Google talks screen size of Nexus 6, thinks people want giant phones

Nexus-6-splashWhen Google announced the Nexus 6, there were two details that raised eyebrows. The biggest shock was definitely the pricing, since most of us have gotten used to the incredibly cheap phones and tablets in Google’s Nexus lineup. However, the size of the phone has also become a hot topic for debate.

The Nexus 6 sports a 5.9-inch screen, which is considerably bigger than the 5-inch screen offered on the Nexus 5 from last year and still slightly bigger than even the largest phablets on the markets today. It’s clear that Google wanted an absolute top-of-the-line device with the Nexus 6, but there are still questions about whether or not customers will want something that big. Google thinks they do.
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Wear apps on the Moto 360 not displayed correctly when language is set to German after 4.4W.2 update

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The 4.4W.2 update started rolling last week, and it appears a pretty big bug was found on the Moto 360 by Albrecht Noll, developer of Android Wear Faces Creator. If the language is set to German, apps are displayed as if the Moto 360 is square, not round. We aren’t sure if any other languages are affected, but we do know that everything is working okay with English.

You can clearly see the issue from the image above and below. The left is when German is selected, and the right is when English is selected. The issue is not only affecting apps, but even the stock launcher as you can see in the image below.


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Google Search updates messes with alarms, turning them off in some cases

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This could prove to be a little troublesome for users of alarms within Android. The latest update to Google Search seemingly breaks the hands-free alarms and timers. Before, hitting the “Set alarm” and “Set timer” button was not necessary but now some are required to do so. If not, the device will not set anything and notify you when it should. The reason we say “some” is because there are users experiencing the issue while others are not. It is a spotty bug. The Google Search app is also having a problem setting these alarms and timers for dedicated clock apps.

So this is a public service announcement to go and check your alarms. Otherwise, you may not get up for work tomorrow morning. Not that you would want to do that, right?

Via: Android Central

Retailers blocking Apple Pay and Google Wallet as they build their own service

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A slew of retailers are taking a stand against mobile payment services like Apple Pay and Google Wallet. They are blocking the mobile payment services from Apple and Google (and even SoftCard) because one of their own will be launching next year. Companies including Old Navy, Lowes, Dunkin’ Donuts, Sears, Best Buy, Stop & Shop, Walmart, Wendy’s, and a bunch of gas stations are behind the CurrentC mobile payment service scheduled for 2015.

The benefit of using CurrentC will be the lack of processing fees as the credit card companies are not at all involved. CurrentC is designed to work by taking funds from the user’s checking account. With the credit card companies taken out of the equation, retailers behind CurrentC will offer exclusive promotions as an incentive.

Via: The Verge

Googler Alan Eustace breaks parachute jump record from 25 miles up

 

eustace_jump_01A senior vice president with Google, Alan Eustace, parachuted from about 25 miles above Earth to break the world altitude record for a parachute jump, breaking the speed of sound during his descent in the process.  The jump by Eustace differed in many ways from the successful attempt of Felix Baumgartner from 128,100 feet in 2012, not the least of which may be the relative secrecy surrounding Eustace’s attempt.
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Google reassigns Sundar Pichai to oversee all of its products

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Sundar Pichai is no longer the face of Android, Chrome, and Google Apps. He is now the face of every Google product there is. The company has reorganized its staff and CEO Larry Page gave Pichai expanded leadership over just about everything offered by Google. According to a staff memo released internally on Friday, executives will begin reporting to Pichai rather than Page.


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Nest thermostats add compatability with third-party home automation products

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It was only a matter of time before the now Google-owned Nest Learning Thermostat (and smoke detector) became even more integrated in the “Internet of things.”

Now, the device can be paired and controlled with other home automation products, including Pebble smartwatches (to check and control the temperature in your home), ivee (voice-controlled home manager) and Life360 (an app used to check the location of family and friends and can adjust the temperature when people enter and leave your home).

WallyHome, a device that checks for water leaks, is also on the list of compatible products, as is Rachio, which controls sprinklers in the house for fires. Expect more and more products to become compatible with Nest, as Google is looking for more partners to expand the capabilities of its device.

Source: Engadget

Firebase, a cloud database company, joins Google’s Cloud Platform team

firebase_logoGoogle has announced that they’ve acquired a new cloud database company, Firebase. The Firebase team will join Google’s Cloud Platform developers in an effort to make development for mobile devices even easier.

Firebase exists to allow developers easy ways to keep data synced between mobile applications and web sites and apps, which can be a pretty tricky and difficult task otherwise. By bringing this technology under Google’s cloud platform fold, it should help speed up development for mobile apps as it gives developers one less thing to worry about.
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