Lilbits: Apple is worth $2 trillion, hard drive failure rates, and the US vs. Huawei

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone that Apple is basically a money-making machine these days thanks to a combination of sales of popular hardware and control of an ecosystem that allows the company to take a cut of sales of apps, games, music, videos, eBooks, and other content. But Apple became a […]

Google Maps: use “OK Google” voice commands just when you’re driving

The Google app for Android lets you use your voice to search the web, set reminders, open apps, and do a lot of other things. You can use it by tapping the microphone icon on your phone, but if you enable “OK Google” hotword detection, you can also interact with your phone without ever touching […]

Google Maps gets easier to use with spotty internet connections

Google is rolling out a few new features for Google Maps that makes it easier to use your phone to get from place to place, even if you have spotty (or non-existent) internet access. There’s a new WiFi-only mode for Android that lets you navigate when your phone is offline. There’s now support for storing […]

Google Maps navigation now works without an internet connection

Remember when you used to have to pay for a GPS navigation device if you wanted turn-by-turn directions when you drive? Most smartphones now come with maps software and navigation features that work for free… assuming you’ve got an internet connection. But what happens when you drive into a cellular dead zone? Now there’s a […]

Google Play Services 4.4 brings Street View to apps, knows when you’re walking or running

Google is rolling out an updated version of the framework for its core Android apps and services. You might not notice many changes right away, but the new rollout of Google Play Services 4.4 means apps from Google and third parties will get a few nifty new features, including the ability to tell whether you’re walking […]

Lilbits (11-26-2013): Cheaters never win (unless they’re not caught)

Want to know which phone, tablet, or PC has the fastest processor? You might turn to benchmarking tests like Antutu or 3DMark. These tests don’t always paint a solid picture of real-world performance, but they can at least help you figure out which device performs certain CPU or GPU-intensive tasks the quickest. Or at least […]

Lilbits (8-20-2013): Google Maps gets crowd-source traffic updates

It’s been a few months since Google acquired mobile mapping service Waze and promised to bring crowd-sourced data about traffic accidents and other conditions on the roads to Google Maps. Now it’s available. Waze incident reports about construction, road closures, and other conditions will start showing up in Google Maps for Mobile in the US, UK, […]

New Google Maps update for mobile rolling out, adds tablet UI, drops Latitude

Google is starting to roll out its new Google Maps app for smartphones and tablets. It has a simpler user interface that puts the maps front and center a center, a new dedicated tablet version for Android tablets, and retires the Google Latitude location tracking service. The update starts hitting Android devices this week, and […]