11 June 2015

Chrome Web Store Adds Compatibility Information

Chrome Web Store now shows if an app, extension or theme is "compatible with your device". Google also uses a small icon to reassure users that they can install the app, extension or theme and it will work on their device.

If the app is not compatible, the blue "add to Chrome" button is replaced by a red "not compatible" button, just like before. Click the "not compatible" button and you'll see a message like: "This application is not supported on this computer. Installation has been disabled. The following problems are detected: This app runs only on Chrome OS".

{ Thanks, Mukil Elango. }

10 June 2015

Gay Google (2015)

Just like last year and the years before, Google celebrates the LGBT Pride Month with some special decorations that are displayed when you search for [gay], [lgbt], [lesbian], [transgender], [queer] and other queries that include them. This time, Google shows a colorful heart and some people holding hands.

You can also check Google's decorations from 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Send Places to Mobile Devices in Google Maps

Google Maps now lets you send a place from the desktop site to the mobile app for iOS. You first need to open Google Maps for iOS, go to the Settings, tap Notifications and enable "Sent from desktop Maps". "Make sure you’re signed in to Google Maps with the same account across your computer and mobile devices with the latest version of Maps for mobile installed," informs Google. Then you can search for a place in desktop Google Maps, click "send to device", pick the iOS device and you'll get a notification on your device.

Some similar features are available for Android from the desktop Google Search site. You can send directions, notes and even set an alarm. Unfortunately, "send to device" is not yet available in Google Maps for Android yet.

{ via Lifehacker }

Updated Interface for Google Play Music Mini Player

Google Play Music for the Web wasn't the only thing updated to Material Design last month. Google also updated the mini player that's displayed when you install the Chrome app.

The mini player is still standalone, so it works without having to open Google Play Music in a new tab. It has some new animations, controls hide when you're not using them, there's an icon that shows the main player and you can click the song's title or the artist's name to open the album page or the artist page in Google Play Music.

Here are some screenshots from Chrome for Mac and Windows:

{ Thanks, Angelo Giuffrida. }

Google Payments

Now that Google announced Android Pay, it's interesting to see what happens with Google Wallet. A Google+ post mentioned a few weeks ago that Google is building a new Google Wallet app that will "will allow anyone with a US debit card to send and receive money for free within minutes - even if the other person doesn't have the app".

There's also a help center for a service called Google Payments, which is supposed to be available at payments.google.com. Right now, this URL redirects to Google Wallet. "You can securely store payment information in your Google Account using Google Payments. You can use this payment information to make and track purchases on Google services," informs Google. The services that support Google Payments are Google Play, Google Drive, YouTube and Google Express.

Chrome's Dev Channel replaced Google Wallet references with Google Payments. For example, there's an option that shows "addresses and credit cards from Google Payments". Here's a screenshot from Chrome Dev for Android:

{ Thanks, Brandon Giesing. }

Google Calendar Discontinues SMS Notifications

SMS notifications were a very useful Google Calendar feature back when smartphones weren't popular and most people used feature phones. Now that the sales of feature phones decline and they're replaced by low-cost smartphones, Google decided to discontinue SMS notifications.

"Starting on June 27th, 2015, SMS notifications from Google Calendar will no longer be sent. SMS notifications launched before smartphones were available. Now, in a world with smartphones and notifications, you can get richer, more reliable experiences on your mobile device, even offline. This change will not affect Google Apps for Work, Education and Government customers," informs Google.

{ Thanks, Manuelvh. }