Google has announced some new improvements to Google Search that may make using a smartphone a little easier. When using Google Search, if a result includes information that may be included in an app on your device, the search results will now indicate the app and provide a handy button to launch the app directly from the results. The example Google provides is a search for information on a movie. They point out that detailed information and trivia about a movie may be included in the IMDb app, box office information may be accessed via Wikipedia’s app, and ratings and review information could be in the Rotten Tomatoes app. Google’s search function will now be able to alert you to the fact that the information can be found in an app instead of surfing out to the web.
A new report from a Korean news source indicates Samsung is preparing several new devices for release during the first quarter of 2014. Among the devices mentioned is the Samsung Galaxy S 5 despite that prediction being contrary to an earlier report that the device would not be ready until April. Even if the Galaxy S 5 does not make it to market before the end of the quarter, other devices may receive a warm welcome from buyers.
One of the devices is the Samsung Galaxy Grand 2, just officially announced on Nov. 25th by Samsung. The Galaxy Grand 2 is targeted at the mid-range market, packing a 5.25-inch display, 1.5GB of RAM, a 1.2 GHz processor and running Android 4.3. According to the report from Korea, the Galaxy Grand 2 may only be available in Korea initially. Another device Samsung is prepping is the Galaxy Note 3 Lite, a scaled down version of their latest Note series smartphone. The Galaxy Note 3 Lite is expected to have an LCD display instead of AMOLED with a size of either 5.49-inches or 5.7-inches.
There have been a number of reports saying the Samsung Galaxy S 5 would be released a little earlier than normal, but Eldar Murtazin says that it’s slated for the end of April 2014. This is pretty close to what happened with the Galaxy S 4. It was unveiled in Radio City Music Hall on March 14th, and was available for purchase in late April. If you think about it, it would be tough for Samsung to release the GS5 any earlier considering that it might sport a 2K display and either a fingerprint scanner or eye scanner.
Eldar was also asked about the often rumored ultra high-end F series. He said it is real, but still in development. We have heard the F Series would include devices with flexible displays, so I would say we still have a ways to go until we see anything concrete.
It’s almost Christmas, and that means we can start getting excited about waiting for Santa to drop presents down the chimney. Google is obviously in the Christmas spirit, as they’re started up a page where you can check in on Santa every day to see how his Christmas preparations are going. A new event unlocks each day showing just what Santa and his elves have to do to make sure Christmas goes as planned, and that includes videos, games, and other little interactive events. It’s a pretty fun concept, and a good way to keep your mind off of how excited you are for that new tablet you asked for this year.
You can follow the Christmas Countdown on a website, on an Android app that’s set to be released in mid-December, or a Chromecast app. There’s even a Chrome extension. This is one of the first Chromecast apps we’ve seen Google publish on the Play Store, but it’s probably just one of many to follow.
source: Google Blog
Any.do, the extremely popular note-taking app, recently opened up a beta for Cal, their solution to a calendar app. Today, they’re taking the beta tag off of the app and making it officially available in the Play Store.
Cal features many of the same things that make Any.do so great, including the elegant and fluid interface that Any.do is known for. On top of that, it boasts some deeply integrated social features that connects your social circles with other data to make suggestions for who to meet and where to meet them at. It’s also integrated with Any.do, Google Maps, and Uber, so it’s a nice attempt at trying to congregate many services into one place. The incredibly useful widget from the beta has made it into the final version with a few improvements as well. » Read the rest
Android users sure want to take a bite out of that Apple. According to more than 90,000 Black Friday receipts from Android and iOS users collected by InfoScout, about 40% of them were Android smartphone owners that bought an iPad. This means that about 36,000 Android users bought an iPad. This is an interesting figure because it shows that although Android is an excellent experience on a smartphone, those consumers aren’t feeling the same way about it on tablets. And with the launch of the new iPad Air, consumers are certainly going to be driven to buy something new with excellent specifications.
Google, on the other hand, has yet to announce their plans for a new Nexus 10 or even a Nexus 8. While some would say it is really up to OEMs to produce great tablets, I would argue that Google needs to shape the tablet experience into something fresh with their Nexus devices. The Nexus line is nowhere near as popular as Samsung’s Galaxy brand, but it certainly is evolving into something mainstream.
After Monday’s debacle, Motorola changed things up a bit by offering a 2-day sale and handing out promo codes to those that want to grab the Moto X for $349 during their holiday promotion. Today at noon marked the first day, and about 9 minutes in, the following message appeared when trying to “save a spot”:
That’s It. Your Moto X excitement is awesome! We have sold all the phones we allotted for this promotion. If you missed out, you can try again Monday 12/9 at noon EST.
At first, I was thinking it was a technical glitch, but a Tweet from Motorola confirmed it. I guess this promotion was successful, but then again, we have no idea how many phones were “allotted” for this deal.
So if you really want to get in on this special deal, you are going to have to wait until December 9 at noon EST and have very quick fingers.
A new report from International Data Corporation and App Annie has revealed some interesting things about mobile gaming for Q3 of 2013. Intriguingly, Android gamers favor playing games on Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets rather than an Android tablet using the Play Store. This isn’t too surprising as Kindle Fire sales are excellent and an emphasized selling point is gaming. The app store for the Kindle Fire has a huge selection of games and Amazon always includes games in their press images and demonstrations.
So many people enjoy the gaming experience on mobile devices that they actually have passed Nintendo’s 3DS/DS line and Sony’s PlayStation Vita in popularity. That’s also unsurprising because mobile gaming has shifted towards phones and tabs while handheld consoles are experiencing a slump.
Apple stumped Android in app store revenue while also defeating it in popularity. To be exact, Apple’s App Store generated almost three times as much revenue as the Play Store in the United States. The Play Store, however, seems to be on the climb with more quality apps be released and devices being able to handle intense graphics and physics.
Source: App Annie
You can never have enough cloud storage right? Well if you are about to drop some coins on a new smartphone, you will be happy to know that Amazon will give you 50GB of their Cloud Drive service for free. A ton of phones are part of the deal, such as the Galaxy S 4, Galaxy Note 3, Moto X, HTC One, LG G2, and more. A couple of catches though…you have to be in the U.S., you must purchase your phone through Amazon Wireless, and the free storage expires in one year.
You have until December 31st to buy your phone, and it will take about 10 days for the storage to be added to your account. Hit the source link to see the full list of phones that are part of the deal.
Yesterday, the buzz was about Amazon’s vision to deliver packages via drones, but something that might be a little more closer to reality is Googles “moonshot” robotics program. The New York Times is reporting that former Android lead Andy Rubin is in charge of the efforts. Of course Google is tight-lipped about the project, but we know they are serious since they purchased seven technology companies to push this project forward.
Before you go thinking that you will be buying a Google robot for your home sometime soon, it appears Google efforts (at least in the beginning) are concentrated on manufacturing such as electronics assembly and competing with companies like Amazon in retailing.