Good news for Google Music fans. The latest update brings a few enhancements that you might find useful. First, if you’re sporting a Jelly Bean device, you’ll enjoy expanded notifications. Check out the screenshot above from my Nexus 7. You can collapse the notification with a two-finger swipe up and get a more compact entry, or two-finger swipe back down to expand it again. Great to see Google embracing Jelly Bean’s new notification improvements.
If you happen to be one of the few Nexus Q embracers, you’ll be happy to see a convenient link to Q settings from the Google Music settings menu. Not a major feature, but appreciated nonetheless.
Probably the best new feature, at least in my opinion, is Google TV support. Yes, now you can legitimately install and use Google Play Music on a Google TV device. The old version always listed Google TV devices as incompatible in the Play Store, which to me was quite surprising.
Of course, now that it runs on my Sony Google TV set top box, I have to wonder if I’ll use my Nexus Q less. Playing my Google Music was the main thing I did with my Q since it was the easiest way to pipe my music through my entertainment center. Not so any more. Perhaps that’s why it took Google this long to add Google TV support… business reasons. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter now, and I’m happy.
All this sound good to you? Click the download link or scan the QR code below to grab the update.
Google’s managing director of Google Canada, Chris O’Neill, started a new blog today. An individual starting a blog may not be newsworthy, but when it is an official blog for Google, that gets our attention. O’Neill indicates in the blog’s welcoming announcement that he hopes to “share some of these stories from Canada and about Canadians, to make announcements about Google products and events, and to share a glimpse of life at Google in Canada.” He also introduces a new (at least to me) term, “Canooglers” – Canadien Googlers. Hit the source to visit the official blog site. They have already posted an update!
Adding new Samsung Android-powered devices to their lineups seems to be the “in” thing this week as Virgin Mobile USA announces the availability of a new device to their portfolio. For $250, buyers can get their hands on a Samsung Galaxy Reverb. This 4.0-inch display smartphone is powered by a 1.4GHz Snapdragon S2 processor and will run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The device is only 3G capable. Virgin Mobile will start taking pre-orders on August 29th and availability is expected some time in September.
source: phone scoop
Consumers who prefer or need a no-contract smartphone will have a couple new options available soon through Boost Mobile. For the first time ever, the Samsung Galaxy S II 4G (a rebranded Sprint Epic Touch 4G) will be available with a no-contract carrier. Priced at $370, buyers can get this device starting September 6th with Boost Mobile’s $55 Android Monthly Unlimited plan. In addition to providing unlimited talk, text, and web services, Boost Mobile has a “shrinking” payment feature which results in a discount of $5 per month for every six on-time payments, ultimately dropping the monthly cost to as low as $40 per month. The device is the familiar Galaxy S II with a 4.52-inch display running on a dual-core Exynos processor. The phone will be delivered running Ice Cream Sandwich and can connect to Sprint’s 3G and WiMAX-based 4G network. For an additional $10 per month, subscribers can make use of the device’s mobile hotspot capabilities to provide access for an additional five devices.
For buyers who may not need quite as much hardware, Boost Mobile will also be offering the Samsung Galaxy Rush later in September. Not much is known about the device slated to be available for $150. According to Boost Mobile, the Galaxy Rush will have a 3.5-inch screen and will also be paired with the Android Monthly Unlimited plan.
Hit the break for the full press release.
Motorola announced today via Twitter that the company would not be offering its bootloader unlocking tool to users with older devices. According to the manufacturer, handsets like the Droid Bionic, Droid 3 and Droid X2 are not “currently in the plan“, meaning owners of these devices will be left out in the cold. Currently, the service only supports the Xoom, Photon Q 4G LTE, and the European RAZR Developer Edition.
No mention was made about the possibility of the original RAZR or RAZR Maxx receiving the special treatment, though it seems highly unlikely that anything other than the company’s newest hardware will gain access. However, with the Droid RAZR HD on the horizon, there may be an alternative.
US Cellular now has another 4G LTE handset available to customers, the Samsung Galaxy Metrix 4G. The Metrix 4G is now available online for $179 after a $100 mail-in rebate, but if you purchase the phone in an LTE capable market (or a market that will have LTE by the end of the year), then the device will only cost you $129. If don’t live in an LTE capable market, but live relatively close to one, it may be smart to take the quick drive and save yourself a quick $50. As for the specs of the phone, here’s what you can expect:
- A slide-out QWERTY keyboard
- A 1GHz processor
- A 4.0-inch touchscreen
- A 5MP rear-facing camera and camcorder
- A front-facing camera
While it’s no Samsung Galaxy S III, it’s still a more than capable device that will give you 4G LTE speeds. You can read the full press release after the break.
We previously heard rumors claiming LG’s square-shaped Optimus Vu would be heading to Verizon this quarter, but new evidence has solidified our suspicions. A leaked internal document suggests that the Optimus Vu will be making its way to Big Red as the LG Intution. If the leak is accurate, the device will be priced at $199 with a new two-year commitment or $549 off-contract. Add this to the fact that a similar device has already passed through the FCC with support for Verizon LTE, and the evidence is overwhelming.
Verizon has yet to release a product to compete with Samsung’s Galaxy Note, and the LG Intuition could certainly fill that hole. However, the Galaxy Note 2 event is just a week away, and if the rumored specs turn out to be true, Verizon could be in for a heap of trouble.
Remember the Vizio Co-Star Google TV box? Much of the specs for the device remained undetermined, but thanks to the folks at ifixit, some important specs are finally revealed. Here’s what you can expect from the Co-Star:
- Marvell Armada 1500 1.2 GHz Dual-Core Processor
- Marvell 88DE2755 QDEO Video Processor
- Nanya NT5CB256M8GN-DI 2 Gb DDR3 SD RAM (1GB total RAM)
- Samsung K9GBG08U0A-SCBO 32 Gb (4 GB) NAND Flash
For $99 bucks, this definitely isn’t too bad for the hardware that you’re getting. Has anyone out there purchased one of these? If so, tell us your experience with the device.
With testimony finally being finished for both sides just a couple of days ago, jurors for the Samsung vs Apple patent case have now begun deliberation, thus this lengthy clash between the two titans is now starting to come to an end. This federal trial has lasted over 3 weeks (seems longer, doesn’t it?), and now this multi-billion dollar patent infringing case rests in the hands of 9 people (7 men and 2 women). Remember, Apple is trying to prove that Samsung ripped off the designs of the iPhone and iPad with their successful Android devices such as the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab 10.1.
With so much money at stake, not to mention the implications this has in the mobile industry market, we should not expect a quick decision from these jurors anytime soon. According to Professor Mark P. McKenna of the University of Notre Dame Law, “This case has huge implications, it could result in injunctions against both companies.”
I know most of you are probably wondering how these jurors will make such a huge decision that could massively affect Samsung. First off, the judge has to read a 109 page set of instructions intended for the jury, as as they make their decision, jurors must fill out a 20 page form that includes dozens of “check-off” boxes. According to experts, this 20 page form that the jurors must fill out are “crazy” and “incredibly complicated.” Needless to say, these jurors have a lot of work ahead of them. Secondly, the jurors have several smartphones and tablets at their disposal in the jury room to further help them from determining whether certain patents were indeed infringed upon or not.