Flowers are clearly in bloom if you take a look through the entries in last week's photo contest, and the pictures of those flowers on display are quite incredible. It's a great time of year to see what nature is showing off, and every one of the entries across seven pages in the forums are spectacular.
The only complaint you can make is that Google didn't release these features sooner.
Google has dropped a pretty notable update to its stock camera app, given it a proper name and at the same time opened it up to non-Nexus devices running KitKat in the Play Store. While the interface still isn't mind-blowing, it has changed pretty dramatically from what you'd be used to if you used a Nexus 5 just yesterday. Google has overhauled the picture-taking interface for regular shots, panoramas and Photo Spheres, while also adding a brand new feature called "Lens Blur."
We've taken some time to walk through the new interface, and you can color us impressed with the changes that have been made. While we know most of you will be able to get your hands on the app right away and give it a try for yourself, we're going to take a run through all of the latest features of the Google Camera app and give you a few tips for getting the best shots possible.
Head into the Google Play Store and you'll see YouTube sitting at version 5.5.27. The last time we covered an update for YouTube on Android was in late November when the app improved search results and channel pages. The changelog listed is old, but there are reports that there is now support for casting live videos to Chromecast.
Samsung's do-not-disturb option is oddly named but easy to use
Sometimes Galaxy S5 features need quite a bit of explanation. This isn't one of those times. Blocking Mode is a poorly named but extremely useful function that serves as the phone's do-not-disturb mode. You'll find it in Settings>Personalization, or as one of Samsung's numerous quick settings in the notification pull-down.
New camera options bring a little extra to your pictures, but who does it the best?
The new rage in smartphone cameras these days is selective focus. Think of a really nice portrait you've seen of a friend or family member, where they were in focus and there was a lovely background that was slightly out of focus. It really makes the subject "pop" and photographers — both professional and amatuer — love the look. It's only natural that this made it's way onto our phones. It's not really something new, as there have been apps that do the same thing for a while now. But seeing the folks who make our phones get into the game means more adoption, and hopefully, better results.
Google's first quarter 2014 results are in, and the company unsurprisingly made buckets of money. Revenue was up to $15.4 billion, a 19% increase from the same quarter a year prior. Earnings were also up, clocking in at $4.12 billion — 27% of revenues. That's an increase in the raw profit from last year, but also a drop in the share of revenue (it was 29% this time last year).
Real Racing 3 has been updated to include a batch of open-wheeled cars. These new rides include the Caterham Seven 620R, KTM X-Bow R, Ariel Atom 3.5 and V8, plus the Porsche 911 RSR (2014) and Hyundai Veloster Turbo have been tossed in for good measure. That Turbo actually has a special event associated with it where you could win a real trip to Italy. There’s also a new Road to Le Mans live event with unique rewards to be won. Finally, you can now check out the collections of your friends, because who doesn’t like drooling with envy?
Just a couple of weeks after a full-fledged Chrome Remote Desktop app entered closed beta testing it has been opened up for all to use through the Play Store. The completely free app will let your Android device — assuming it's running Android 4.0 or above — connect to and control any computer you have the Chrome Remote Desktop software installed on.
The client is simple, but mimics closely what you find doing computer-to-computer remote access with its existing Chrome and desktop clients. You can see all computers listed by the Google account they're associated with, connect by entering a PIN and control your computer from anywhere. You simply swipe around on the screen to move the cursor, tap to click and tap and hold to drag for selections or to move windows. The app offers a full on-screen keyboard for text input and a one-tap ctrl-alt-del button for those controlling Windows machines.
The app has worked pretty smoothly on our Nexus 7, but it's clear that you won't be getting any super heavy work done on a small screen controlling a full desktop operating system. For those who need remote desktop in pinch though, Chrome Remote Desktop is one of the simplest ways to go now.
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