Google Play Services sees update to version 4.1 with several new features

by Jared Peters on
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Google has updated their core Play Services to version 4.1 which includes a handful of nifty new features. They’ve added in turn-based multiplayer for Google Play games with support for up to 8 players and a new transition splash screen for when games ask to connect to Google Play. Developers will also now have access to a Google Drive API which they can use to allow apps to read and write files saved to Google Drive so apps and programs can remain synchronized across devices. That’s something that will definitely take the headache out of switching devices in the future.

There are also some minor tweaks, including updates to Google’s Mobile Ads SDK and improved Google+ integration. Nothing major in this update, but there are enough cool new tricks to stay interesting. Like all of Google’s new updates, this Play Services update will likely roll out over the next few weeks to your devices.

source: Android Developers Blog

Motorola now offering free Chromecast with purchase of off-contract Moto X

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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Moto X

With most of the sweet holiday deals on the Moto X having already ended, you may have decided to move on from the idea of buying one. However, Motorola isn’t stopping their awesome offerings anytime soon— the company will now throw in a free Chromecast with the purchase of an off-contract Moto X. Combine that with the permanent $100-off price reduction, and you’re getting a very nice deal.

Be sure to purchase the phone before January 14th because the deal ends at midnight on that date. Add a Chromecast to your cart after putting in a 16 or 32GB Moto X and enter the code “STREAM.” The only way to make use of the deal is through the Moto Maker and with Developer edition phones.

Source: Motorola

Gmail update hits Google Play with Auto-Show Images feature

by Jeff Causey on
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Google has updated the Gmail app in Google Play to version 4.7.2. The big news with this update is the ability to toggle images to display automatically instead of having to tap the “show pictures” link. For users worried about potential security problems, Google claims this new method is safe because they are pulling down images to their own servers and scanning them before serving them up to users when they check their email. Users will still be able to disable this functionality at the account level.

Google has not yet updated the description in the Google Play store, so we don’t know whether there were any other changes of note included in this update. In normal Google fashion, the update is rolling out in phases so it may be a few days before it shows up as available for your device. If you just cannot wait, below are a couple download links to the APK.

Download Link 1, Download Link 2

source: Android Police

Acer unveils its newest touchscreen Chromebook in White Moonstone, costs only $299

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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Chromebook

Acer will be showing off its C720 Chromebook at CES next week in a Moonstone White color. The specs are the same as the original, including at touchscreen 11.6-inch LED HD backlit display, 32GB SSD, 2GB RAM, an Intel Celeron 2955U processor, and a webcam.

The best part is its price— you can get one for only $299 later this month. You’re looking at a low-cost version of a Chromebook Pixel— it has a lower quality display, and a less powerful battery, but you get a fully functioning and great looking Chromebook for cheap.

Hit the break for Acer’s full press release.

» Read the rest

Microsoft, Google sit uncomfortably as Intel awaits Dual OS announcement at CES

by Justin Herrick on
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We all know that the PC market has been shrinking for some time. Although Microsoft has made Windows 8 ideal (in their eyes) for touchscreens, consumers have not responded so well. To aid Microsoft’s big problem, Intel is going with a free solution — devices that can also boot into Android. According to sources close with The Verge, Intel is leading the charge and is in talks with PC manufacturers to unveil these “Dual OS” devices next week at CES in Las Vegas. » Read the rest

Could the new Nexus 10 be unveiled at CES?

by Robert Nazarian on
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Traditionally, Google doesn’t usually announce Nexus devices at CES, but that could change this year. DigiTimes is reporting that the new Nexus 10 could be unveiled next week at CES. The new Nexus 10 will be manufactured by Samsung and could sport an AMOLED display. We might also see other Samsung tablets as well.

We are only a few days from the biggest tech event of the year, so we don’t have to wait too long to find out if this rumor is true.

source: DigiTimes

Google Glass could hit the market in 2014 with a $600 price tag

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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Like it or not, Google Glass is coming in 2014. It’s about time, since the Glass Explorer Program as been going on for quite a while now. The device has only been available to those that received special invitations or were accepted to the program by Google itself.

Pricing has remained a major question mark— when the product inevitably hits the market later this year, it will surely cost less than it currently does under the Explorer Program, but we still don’t know exactly how much it will be.

» Read the rest

Google files patents for turning conversations into comic strips

by Jared Peters on
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Google Comic Patent

Google has been awarded a patent for what’s probably their weirdest idea yet. The patent involves taking a conversation between two or more people, then turning it into a small comic strip. The idea looks pretty similar to Bitstrips that have been floating around social media for a few months now, but Google filed for this patent way back in 2010.

The key aspect of this patent for Google is the ability to share these comics through instant messaging or social media. That probably means Google was eyeing this idea for a Google+ feature. When you get into the details of how the engine can automatically turn conversations into comics, it really sounds similar to Google’s Auto-Awesome photo features on G+. Of course, turning private conversations into comic strips may not always be appealing, but if Google can get the privacy part right, I could see this being a popular draw to their social network.

It’s just a patent, though, so we may never see anything come of this. You never know with these things.

source: pat2PDF

via: Engadget

All Access Subscribers Given Invites to Snag Their Very Own Google Glass

by Jack Holt on
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If you’ve been hoping for an invite to Google Glass but have missed every opportunity to do so thus far and you’re an All Access subscriber you’re in luck. In celebration of All Access and Google Music coming to Glass users everywhere, Google is sending out invites to those already subscribed to the monthly service. As Google puts it:

Your Chance to Buy Google Glass

With the launch of Google Play Music on Google Glass, we’ve secured VIP invitations for All Access customers to join the Glass Explorer Program. Interested in rocking out while exploring with Glass? Sign up to receive your invitation below!

Check your inbox if you’re a subscriber. While you’re still required to have a U.S. shipping address and have $1500 it’s an opportunity to snag one. I don’t know if there is an expiration date for the offer but if you’re on the fence sooner may be better than later to move on this.

source: Android Central

 

Android, Chromebooks lead charge in changing commercial market for computing devices in 2013

by Jeff Causey on
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The NPD Group has released some sales numbers and analysis for computing devices sold in the commercial channel for Jan. – Nov. 2013 that show a changing landscape led by demand for Android and Chromebook devices. According to NPD, sales of computing devices – desktops, notebooks, and tablets – increased 25.4 percent compared to the same period for 2012. NPD notes that Chromebooks and Android tablets “collectively had the biggest impact on sales growth” for the year so far. Perhaps the most stunning number to come out of their analysis is the fact that Chromebooks now account for 21 percent of all notebook sales in this channel. With one out of every five notebooks being deployed to business and institutional buyers being a Chromebook, we should probably expect to see that start to influence the retail consumer market as well. » Read the rest