Google celebrates Independence Day with a baseball doodle game and fireworks in search

Google likes to mark occasions with search Easter eggs (like the Thanos gag for the release of Avengers: Endgame a couple months back) and doodles, and for the Fourth of July this year, it’s done both. Searching “fireworks” will fill your screen with a light show, and a baseball-themed Google doodle leads to a fun minigame.

🌟🔷🔷🔷🌟🔷🔷🔷🌟🔷🌟🔷🔷🌟🔷🔷🌟🔷🔷🔷🌟🔷🌟🔷🌟🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🌟🔷🌟🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷 Searching for 🔷🔷🌟🌟🌟🌟🔎🌟🌟🌟🌟🔷 🔷 “fireworks” 🔷 🔷🔷🔷🔷🌟🔷🌟🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🌟🔷🌟🔷🌟🔷🔷🔷🌟🔷🔷🌟🔷🔷🌟🔷🌟🔷🌟🔷🌟🔷🌟🔷🌟
— Google (@Google) July 3, 2019

As hinted at in a tweet, virtual fireworks splash across your screen when you search for “fireworks” on desktop or mobile (a search for “Fourth of July” will cause the same). Read MoreGoogle celebrates Independence Day with a baseball doodle game and fireworks in search was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Google Pixel 3 XL international model is just $540 ($359 off) at Rakuten with coupon code

Google’s bigger flagship phone, the Pixel 3 XL, can’t be considered new anymore, but it’s still one of the best phones you can buy thanks to its stock Android software and excellent camera. The international model is currently being offered on Rakuten for just $539.95 with a promo code, making it $359 cheaper than the $899 MSRP.

The Pixel 3 XL is equipped with a 6.3″ 1440p OLED display, a Snapdragon 845, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, a 12MP rear camera, dual 8MP front cameras, and a 3,430mAh battery. Read MoreGoogle Pixel 3 XL international model is just $540 ($359 off) at Rakuten with coupon code was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Get two Google Nest Hubs for just $119 ($41 off) on Rakuten

Google Nest Hubs just keep getting cheaper, and cheaper, and cheaper. If you happen to need two of them, you can now get a two-pack of Nest Hubs from Rakuten for just $118.99. That’s $41 off the current price of buying two on their own from the Google Store, at the current price of $79 each.
The Nest Hub is a Google Assistant smart display, meaning it can do everything an Assistant smart speaker can do, plus a few extra tricks. Read MoreGet two Google Nest Hubs for just $119 ($41 off) on Rakuten was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Gboard 8.4 rolling out with taller emoji keyboard and dictionary import/export for some [APK Download]

Gboard has long become more than a simple keyboard app. It also allows you to send rich media files like GIFs, emoji, ASCII symbols, stickers, and even little Google Search cards for quick reference when chatting. So many different options to choose from threaten to make the keyboard feel overcrowded; to help alleviate that, Google is testing a taller media picker for the new Gboard 8.4 release.

As you can see in the screenshots below, the taller keyboard lets you view many more emoji, stickers, and GIFs at once, although the added space naturally comes at the expense of real estate for the rest of the screen — Google Keep looks outright cramped. Read MoreGboard 8.4 rolling out with taller emoji keyboard and dictionary import/export for some [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Google Photos product lead confirms manual face tags, timestamp edits on Android, and other features in the works

Yesterday, Google Photos’ product lead, David Lieb, took to Twitter to ask users for direct feedback about the app. The goal, as he said, was to be made aware of outstanding bugs, possible performance improvements, and most importantly feature requests. The conversation lasted for many hours, during which David replied to many of the messages sent, confirmed a few features are coming, and heard what everyone had to say.

Topping the upcoming features is the ability to manually tag a face, which is said to be on the roadmap. Read MoreGoogle Photos product lead confirms manual face tags, timestamp edits on Android, and other features in the works was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Chrome streamlines online payments with syncless Google account integration

The days of pulling out your wallet and tediously typing in credit card numbers are long gone. Google will happily save your card details to make it easier to splurge on internet shopping, and of course, to pay for Google services. Chrome is getting deeper payment integrations, which are now separate from Chrome Sync.

Previously, you could only access saved card information in the browser if Chrome sync was turned on. Read MoreChrome streamlines online payments with syncless Google account integration was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

43 temporarily free and 49 on-sale apps and games for Wednesday

Welcome to Wednesday, everybody. We’ve reached the halfway point of the week, and since tomorrow is a major US holiday, it’s almost time to start celebrating. Acquiring a few new apps and games while they are on sale should make for a great way to enter into this brief reprieve. I’ve highlighted a couple of standouts so you won’t have to dig to find the gems in today’s list, so go ahead and start grabbing a few of these sales already. Read More43 temporarily free and 49 on-sale apps and games for Wednesday was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Chrome is testing new media playback controls that can even work with background tabs

 
If you’re playing music or a video in a Chrome tab you’re not looking at and want to pause it, it’s a bit of a hassle: you have to navigate to that tab, press the button, then drudge back to the previous tab. The whole process probably only takes a couple of seconds, but an upcoming change will make it easier. Chrome Canary now has a flag to enable “global media controls” in the toolbar. Read MoreChrome is testing new media playback controls that can even work with background tabs was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Q Beta 5 to make back gesture and side menus work better together

Side menus — or navigation drawers or hamburger menus, whatever you want to call them — are a burr in the saddle of Android Q’s gesture navigation system. Swiping in from either side of the screen with gestures enabled takes the user back one layer, a behavior obviously at odds with menus meant to be accessed by the same action. The next beta update will address that discordance, though, according to Googler Chris Banes. Read MoreAndroid Q Beta 5 to make back gesture and side menus work better together was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android could soon get its own version of AirDrop

When it comes to sharing files between mobile devices, there are a myriad of ways that one can go about doing so. For example, you could send files over email, messaging apps, sharing cloud-based folders and links, and so on. While those are pretty decent ways, sharing files directly between device to device is preferred.
At the moment, Android has “Android Beam” which uses NFC to communicate between devices, but as that feature is expected to be deprecated with Android Q, it seems that Google is working on an alternative, which 9to5Google has unearthed and found that the new sharing protocol will be known as “Fast Share”.
Based on their findings, it appears the Fast Share could end up being similar to Apple’s own AirDrop protocol that would use a combination of both Bluetooth and WiFi. This would allow Android users to locate other Android users nearby, after which they can then connect to each other to send files or even text snippets.
What makes Fast Share potentially better than AirDrop is the fact that it will work with iOS devices. Screenshots taken by 9to5Google have shown that Fast Share can discover iPhones that have the feature, although presumably it will require the iPhone user to own a special Google app for it to work. No word on when the feature will be released, but presumably it could be part of the Android Q update.
Source: 9to5Google