Google Now will remind you to pay your bills


Remembering to pay your bills sounds easy, but as anyone who has paid a late fee can attest, it’s easy to forget. That’s why the new Google Now cards which remind you when bills are due are a great idea.

The new cards started to roll out to users with Android(s goog) devices on Thursday. The billing information Google Now provides is relatively simple: the biller, the amount, the due date, and a link to the original email bill. Google Now gathers this data from your Gmail account, so if your cable company still sends bills through the mail, for example, you won’t be getting such alerts through Google Now unless you manually enter them. Google’s email-parsing approach is the same way it obtains flight information, which has been one of the primary Google Now features shown in promotional materials and demonstrations.

Bill pay reminders seems ripe for integration with Google Wallet, but at the moment it…

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Google buys Word Lens makers: Can you say better translations on more devices?


Quest Visual introduced its augmented reality Word Lens app in 2010 , and  it’s now owned by Google(s goog). The small company was acquired by the search giant on Friday,  according to Quest Visual’s site , and its technology will be brought “ into Google Translate’s broad language coverage and translation capabilities in the future,” notes Engadget.

Word Lens has wowed me for these last four years. It was first available on the iPhone(s aapl) and later came to both Google Android and, more recently, Google Glass.

word lens glass

The software visually detects words seen by the camera of a smartphone, tablet or wearable computer like Glass and translates them in near real-time. Your eyes might see a sign in Spanish, for example, but Word Lens can show those same words in English or any number of other languages.

Can’t quite visualize that scenario? Here’s a look at both the app…

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Apple and Google declare patent truce, will dismiss all current lawsuits


In a major breakthrough in the bitter and long-running war between Apple(s appl) and Google(s goog) over smartphone patents, the two companies announced on Friday that they will dismiss all current lawsuits against each other.

In a joint statement, the companies also said they will try to work together to reform the patent system:

Apple and Google have agreed to dismiss all the current lawsuits that exist directly between the two companies. Apple and Google have also agreed to work together in some areas of patent reform. The agreement does not include a cross license.

A person familiar with the litigation said the truce will end about 20 lawsuits in the United States and Germany, including proceedings before the U.S. International Trade Commission. The person confirmed the statement’s reference to “directly between the companies” meant that the agreement would not immediately affect related patent litigation between Apple and Samsung, or lawsuits…

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Android this week: Hello Moto E! Goodbye Nexus 6?


Motorola’s(s goog) new handset strategy took another step forward this week: The company launched its $129 Moto E phone, which follows the $179 Moto G and now $349 Moto X. The third model is targeted squarely at feature phone users ready to step up to a smartphone but don’t want to pay hundreds of dollars to do so.

The idea has merit as Motorola notes only 30 percent of the world’s population uses a smartphone today. There’s still plenty of growth in various regions as a result. And the company already has some proven success: The low-cost Moto G is already the best-selling smartphone in Motorola’s history. That device makes for a good first smartphone too — it actually got an LTE edition this week if you want to spend $219 for one — but it’s not accessible to as many budgets.

moto e featured

So what’s the Moto E like to use? It’s actually difficult…

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