The Google Maps design refresh, which was first unveiled at Google I/O, is finally making its way to Android tablets and smartphones. The update features a clean, card-based UI that is very similar to both the web version and the iOS version. From the screenshots, it looks very polished and streamlined. New features include enhanced traffic navigation, reviews from Zagat, and “Explore,” which allows you to discover new places by tapping the search button.
The update is using the staged-rollout option, so it might be a while until you receive it. You can try your luck through the download link after the break.
Play Store Download Link
Samsung has always been know for setting its sights pretty high, and it’s certainly paying off right now as they’re pretty much dominating the top of the mobile industry. But what about the future? Well yesterday at the MobileBeat conference in San Francisco, Samsung strategy chief Young Sohn displayed a video showing what kind of potential the future holds in their industry, and more specifically, their own products. The video features flexible displays, unique wearable technology, and even a health-sensor that pairs with your smartphone which immediately sends if off to the doc. Check out the full concept video after the break.
Dropbox has maintained its position as one of the major players in cloud storage space by offering tons of features like automatic photo sharing and storage and some excellent cross-platform apps. Today, they announced a new API for third-party developers called Sync that lets apps take advantage of Dropbox’s reliable storage features, mainly for syncing application data for users. Dropbox Sync is a first step in creating a Dropbox Platform for developers to use to add in cloud storage and file syncing to their applications, which is especially handy for cross-device and cross-platform apps.
Dropbox already offers constantly updated folders and files, so adding in the ability for developers to sync an app’s data across many devices is invaluable. Want to see all of your sketches in your favorite drawing app on both your phone and your tablet? Dropbox Sync can handle that. It’s mainly a developer’s tool, but it’s going to allow developers to make some pretty big improvements to their applications and pad out Dropbox’s impressive 175 million active users.
Rovio Stars, a new third-party shop under the wings of Rovio, announced yesterday that they would be releasing their first game, Tiny Thief, on July 11th. Following up on that announcement, a teaser video was released today that gives us a look at some of the gameplay we can expect. The game’s developer, 5Ants, has brought a Rovio look and feel to the title, though it does not appear to involve any flicking or flinging of objects on screen. Instead, users will have to use their brains to solve puzzles and find hidden objects as they work their way through thirty different stages. Hit the break to view the video.
When Google made the move earlier this year to start consolidating all of their communication platforms to the Hangouts app, one feature that went missing was the ability to include phone calls as part of a Hangout. In response to user demand, Google announced today that they have brought that feature back to the desktop versions of Gmail, Google+ and the Chrome extension. Possibly due to the negative vibes created by removing the feature, Google not only brought the feature back, they have improved the calling features by making calls to U.S. or Canadian numbers free.
Some new images of Huawei’s forthcoming mid-range device, the Huawei Honor 3, reveal a couple features that may help the device set itself apart from other competitors. First, as one of the leaked photos indicates, the device will be waterproof, although we do not know to what extent. This implies the device will be dustproof as well. Another image shows what appears to be an infrared blaster similar to those found in high-end smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S 4 or the HTC One.
In a week that seems to be full of leaked images, the latest batch to be discovered steps things up a notch as several images and even a video surface showing the forthcoming LG Optimus G2. The images show a device apparently heading to the Sprint network based on the information shown in the settings screen and not because of any logos on the exterior of the device.
After the tablet craze started, Amazon jumped and and built a solid tablet lineup with the Kindle Fire, which is still one of the most dominant Android tablets in the market today, and according to BGR Amazon is going to make some major improvements to their tablets by the end of the year to stay competitive. There will be three new tablets to replace current models on the market, which includes the Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, and Kindle Fire HD 8.9″.
In case you’ve forgotten— the latest additions to the Samsung Galaxy Tab family are officially here with the arrival of the full Galaxy Tab 3 series of tablets. While each tablet model bears an uncanny resemblance to the Galaxy S 4 per se, the new tablets come in 7-inch, 8-inch and 10.1-inch varieties— allowing for topnotch flexibility for a wide range of customers by including items such as a built-in IR blaster and expandable memory up to 64GB for each model. Oh and Sammy went ahead and tossed in some nice goodies for added measure:
“In addition, each of the devices in the Galaxy Tab 3 family comes with added value through pre-loaded content and Galaxy Perks available at www.samsung.com/us/galaxyperks. Specifically, hundreds of dollars’ worth of content, including a $10 voucher for the purchase of apps, books, movies and music in Google Play; one year of free access to the Boingo Wi-Fi network in North America, including more than 35,000 hotspots in the United States, Canada and Mexico; three months free Hulu Plus service; and two years free Dropbox Service with 50GB storage space.”
Don’t think all of the cool content will cost you a pretty penny either. Samsung is offering some pretty competitive pricing too as the tablets are priced at $199, $299 and $399, respectively, so the Korean giant is placing a bet that all that nice content and freebies will be enough to woo in customers by the masses.
More deets can be found once you hit the break and check out the full press release.