Today is Day 8 of Google’s 10 Billion app downloads celebration. There are some new apps and some repeats as well. It’s time to share with you all the new list of apps available for you all to download for you guessed it, 10¢ each. For whatever reason, Google is showing 12 apps for today.
Alternatively, you can hit this link to get all of them on one page. Well go on. Time is wasting folks!
With an abundance of Android developers creating Siri clones, replicas, replacements, competition, etc. you may have had your fill of personal assistants. Three that we have written about include Cluzee, Iris and Speaktoit. Well Google has been working on a secret project in response to Apple’s Siri. Codenamed Majel, this project looks to bring an evolved version of Google’s Voice Actions, as seen on most Android phones. For those that don’t get the reference, Majel is named after Majel Barrett-Roddenberry aka the Federation Computer voice from Star Trek.
Voice actions required you to use specific commands such as “send text to…” or “navigate to…” where, like Siri, Majel will allow actions to be performed in your natural language. Google search queries will also be included with the initial release, which could come this year. It is suggested that the release is slated for this year because the folks over at Android and Me heard that Google X engineers are working around the clock to finish the first release. The also heard that the folks at the New York Times previously had reported that a product would be released by Google X this year. As you know, December is about half way over so that may not happen but controlling phone actions and applications with natural language commands is expected to come later.
In an interview with Google’s Matias Duarte by Slashgear hints were dropped about the future of Android’s Voice actions. Matias was quoted to say:
“Our approach is more like Star Trek, right, starship Enterprise; every piece of computing surface, everything is voice-aware. It’s not that there’s a personality, it doesn’t have a name, it’s just Computer.”
Even with the “it’s just Computer” approach you can expect greatly enhanced voices that sound more fluid and human. This is thanks in part to Google’s Phonetic Arts acquistion at the end of 2010.
There aren’t any details yet but they will eventually surface. I am pretty excited about this and look forward to using it. What do you guys think? Is this pretty cool or no?
[via Android and Me]
Some of you may have been disappointed to learn that Adobe will stop development for Flash beyond Android Ice Cream Sandwich, but that doesn’t mean that they are going to stop making the current app’s experience any better. For example, today they released an update for the Adobe Flash application that’s all ready for you to download in the Android Market and we have even heard about plans to support ICS throughout all of its reincarnations.
Speaking of ICS, we have heard that Adobe AIR is up and running on the Galaxy Nexus and Flash should be available sometime this month. We will keep a close eye on this one and will let you know when it’s completely ready for the public. Who knows, maybe both applications will be ready by the time the Galaxy Nexus becomes available in the states.
If you want to grab the Flash update, hit one of the links below.
[via Droid Life]
Don’t you love it when a device manufacturer says that they plan to release a device during a certain time-frame and actually do it?! Props to Toshiba because they have done just that. Back in September they announced the 7-inch Toshiba Thrive and said it would drop sometime in December, and it did — well in Canada anyway.
The 7-inch Toshiba Thrive is an Android 3.2 powered tablet with a resolution of 1280 x 800 and contains Toshiba’s Adaptive Display and Resolution combined with video enhancements. The tab has stereo speakers, a 5MP rear camera, 2MP front facer and is available in 16 or 32GB flavors. The whole package is powered by an NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor and has plenty of ports to plug-up such as miniUSB, microHDMI, and a microSD card lot. Not a bad set up given the reasonable price of $370. You can pick one up right now from the Future Shop and if this guy sounds like something you’re interested in then just hit that little source link below.
[via Future Shop]
This little tidbit of news certainly is going to be a doozy for Big Red customers. As if the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play wasn’t enough, we just got a tip that Verizon is prepping their employees for training on a new Xperia Play variation. Employees are advised of a registration for December 12th and 14th training dates for a specific device. What’s the significance of the training for this specific device, you ask? Well kids– this new specific device is a 4G variation of the Xperia Play. Yes you read right– the gaming phone is set to run on Verizon’s blazing fast LTE network. One can only imagine the speed and smoothness of the multiplayer battles on Big Red’s network. Sheesh. Customers should be able to see the new phone in the very near-future. Stay tuned with Talk Android for any news and follow-up for this exciting variation of the gaming phone.
[via Android Central]
Remember the HTC Amaze 4G that we did an extensive review on in October? Well, a new update started rolling out for it today (no, not ICS) and it brings a few fixes to the device and also includes the awesome advantage of IMS Wi-Fi calling. The update will bring the device up to Android 2.3.4 and the changelog is as follows:
- IMS Wi-Fi Calling
- Google Music
- Improvements to Bluetooth connection
- Clock widget not updating with time zone change
- Improvement to Twitter and Peep application
- Improved Wi-Fi connection
As you will notice, the software improvements aren’t really anything to write home about (although improved Wi-Fi connection is always nice), the real kick in the pants here is IMS Wi-Fi calling. Basically, its a T-Mobile supported bridge between their network and the Internet that allows for incoming/outgoing voice calls. I am not sure yet whether or not T-Mo is going to count those minutes as part of the calling plan, but if not it’s going to be the best deal going for phone calls. If you are the owner of an Amaze 4G, after you get the update you can enable said feature by pressing Settings-> Wireless & Networks, then enable the Wi-Fi Calling option. Pretty bad-ass if you ask me.
The update began to roll-out today and will continue through Jan. 20th. As usual, the roll-out is done in stages and can take some time until it reaches all devices. If you don’t see it just quite yet, be patient. Eventually you will see the welcomed notification in your notification bar. Hit the source link below for further details.
[via T-Mobile Support]
Nielsen just conducted a study to find out what apps Android users use the most. Other than the Android Market itself, the most popular app was Facebook. I certainly am not shocked, but I’m a little surprised. I believe Facebook should be high up on the list, but I would have picked Gmail to win. They broke it down to within three age groups, 18-24, 25-34, and 35-44, and Facebook came out on top (other than the Android Market) in all groups. Gmail was close though as it tied in the 35-44 age range and was within 1% in the 25-34 range. For the 18-24 range, Facebook beat Gmail out by 3%. For all groups, Google Search, Google Maps, YouTube, and Angry Birds had high ranks and were fairly consistent across the board. For music, the most popular app was Pandora which is a little surprising since the built in music player or Google Music didn’t show up at all.
Hit the break for the full chart
Samsung announced the Galaxy Tab 7.7 back at the beginning of September at the IFA Conference in Berlin, but only for Europe. We immediately wondered when we would hear something for the U.S. A WiFi version recently passed through the FCC, but how about a 4G LTE version? If you are liking that form factor and wanting the lightning fast speeds, you might be in luck because these documents show Verizon has already entered it into the system as of December 7. This gives us no clue to when we will see it, but don’t expect it to be till after the New Year.
Do you live in Canada? Are you waiting on 4G LTE service in your area? Then you may be in luck as Rogers has announced today that their LTE service is now live in more cities surrounding both Toronto and Vancouver. According to Rogers, their LTE network should cover 30% of the Canadian population by the end of this year. The cities surrounding Toronto include:
- Richmond Hill
And around Vancouver:
- West Vancouver
- North Vancouver
- Port Coquitlam
- Maple Ridge
So there you have it, those of you in these areas should have access to the 4G service. If you are eligible for an upgrade or have a 4G phone and are in this area I recommend going out and getting a 4G phone and playing with this new service. For those of you in this area, are you seeing 4G signals yet?
Whoa, that didn’t take long. Barnes & Noble has announced an update for its Nook Color tablet. The update includes new PagePerfect NOOK books, the ability to read books in portrait or landscape mode and wait for it– Netflix support! The update is over-the-air (OTA) of course and will begin rolling out starting today. Users should receive it when their device is connected to Wi-Fi and is idle. Of course you can download the update here if they just can’t wait for the OTA update. Don’t forget to let us know how the update works out for you in the Comments section.
[via Barnes & Noble]