Photo credit: Daniel Cheung
Stadia aims to take streaming video game services to the next level by offering 4K resolution at 60 frames per second with support for high-dynamic-range, connecting players using Google’s data centers across the world. You won’t need additional computer hardware, just a compatible internet-connected device and support for Google Chrome. Now it’s only a matter of time before third party game controllers start showing up, and the Google Playdream could be one of them. Read more to see it in-action and for additional information.
Google’s Project Wing has just received approval for one of the world’s first commercial drone delivery services in Canberra, Australia. Simply put, users order through an app, and then the deliveries are made by drone within minutes. Aside from fresh coffee, you can also choose from a selection of fresh food, medicine and even ice cream. “The feedback we have received during the trials has been valuable, helping us to refine our operations to better meet the needs and expectations of the communities in which we operate. We will continue to engage with the local community and stakeholders as we expand our service,” said Wing. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Google’s DeepMind Technologies artificial intelligence tested its algorithms on a high school Math test, but things didn’t go quite as planned. It trained a neural network on the Math curriculum of a 16-year-old UK student, which included Algebra, Arithmetic, Calculus, Comparisons, Measurement, Numbers, Manipulating Polynomials, and Probability. The AI tried answering 40 questions using different algorithms, but could only solve around 35% of them. Read more for another video on DeepMind and additional information.
Inbox by Gmail was officially released to the public on May 28, 2015 and shut down by Google on April 2, 2019. What set it apart from similar software is that it aimed to improve email productivity and organization through several key features: bundles gathered emails of the same topic together, highlights surface key details from messages, and reminders, assists, and snooze functionality enabled users to control when specific information appears. There were many updates over the years that included several new features, like an undo send feature, a “Smart Reply” that automatically generated short reply examples for certain emails, integration with Google Calendar, newsletter previews, and a “Save to Inbox” feature that lets users save links for later use. Read more for three alternatives you can try now.
Google may become the champion of April Fools’ Day pranks if they keep this up, as they’ve unveiled yet another product that sounds cool, but will never become a reality. This service can be setting Google Assistant on your phone or the Google Home smart speaker to the English language and saying “Talk to Tulip Translator.” In other words, they can now they communicate with humans when they require assistance, such as water, light or some more space. “Socially, it turns out that plants, and particularly tulips, are very chatty, and make for great friends. Tulips are excellent listeners and when listened to carefully, give sound advice,” said Google. Read more to see it in-action.
Google Maps’ Snake game may have been an early April Fools’ Day prank, but the company has followed up with a “Screen Cleaner” for your smartphone that’s supposedly hidden in their Files App. Simply put, this software has a secret feature that eliminates the need to manually wipe the screen display, whether it be dislodging dust, smudges, or other residue. Supposedly, this is made possible through the API that can identify imperfections on the surface of the screen. Once detected, they’re shaken off by smartly targeted micro movements using the phone’s vibrating motor and haptic controls to generate micro vibrations to create a non-stick shield that further keeps your handset clean. Read more to see it in-action.
It’s that time again, time for some April Fools’ Day Easter Eggs, starting with Google Maps. This year, they decided to recreate the classic Snake game, and it’s available now through the end of the week. You’ll be able to enjoy this classic arcade game on their desktop or using the Google Maps’ smartphone app, complete with famous cities around the world, including London, Cairo, Tokyo, and San Francisco. Players control the train on the screen using the arrow keys, and the goal is to pick up passengers without hitting the side of the game board. Read more for a video and a link directly to the game.
To celebrate German composer Johann Sebastian Bach, Google decided to create its first AI-powered Doodle, or a fully interactive musical experience that uses machine learning to harmonize with whatever notes you decide to play. This was a collaboration between the Google Doodle, Google Magenta, and Google Pair teams, and simply put, once you compose a two-measure melody by dropping notes onto the bars, AI takes care of the rest by harmonizing your music to Bach’s famous style. Check out the one we created here. Read more for a video about this special Google Doodle.
Google officially unveiled today their Stadia cloud gaming service at the 2019 Game Developers Conference. It’s designed to run on PCs, Macs, Android devices and even Google’s Chromecast devices. Launching some time this year, it will run a collection of current PC games on Google’s centralized servers that can be played with a new game controller (or existing ones), Just press the “play now” button on any web browser, and the game begins “in as quick as five seconds…with no download, no patch, no update, and no install.” Read more to watch the entire reveal summed up in a five minute video.
Google teamed up with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, owner of the Carmen Sandiego brand, to bring the “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” franchise to the internet, with “The Crown Jewels Caper.” Available on the Google Earth app, it’s very similar to the original 1985 game where the user travels to international landmarks, interacts with locals and collects clues to track jewel thief Carmen Sandiego’s next location. Players will have opportunities to learn about geography and different cultures along the way. Read more for a short playthrough video if you’d like a preview before trying it out yourself.