Earlier this summer when Google released the Chromebook Pixel, it came with a Google+ Photos app, something we hadn’t seen before for Chromebook. Starting today, the app is available through the Web Store for all Chromebooks. Whenever you plug an SD card into your device, the app will automatically organize, enhance, and backup your photos to Google+.
Verizon has put out a new commercial that shows off just how durable their DROID ULTRA is. Trying to recreate a real life situation, a man forgets his phone in a New York City cab, and chases the taxi through the park to retrieve it. Meanwhile, the DROID ULTRA is flying around the backseat, with no damage inflicted. By the end, the man says “OK, Google Now, call my DROID” to ring his phone and reunite with his phone.
Check out the commercial after the break.
An OTA update for the Google Nexus 4 started rolling out to users today to address security issues. The information about the update comes to us from the T-Mobile site and follows on the JWR66V update that updated the Nexus 4 to Android 4.3. This latest update, JWR66Y, only clocks in at 1.8MB, but T-Mobile is recommending users have at least half a charge available on their devices. In addition, the Nexus 4 cannot be rooted.
We will keep an eye out for the security fix to roll out to other Google Play Edition devices.
The latest version of Google Play services has just finished rolling out and it has some pretty nice enhancements that developers will definitely enjoy hearing. Not only does 3.2 offer better performance and power savings, but it also provides improved maps and location-based services through the Fused Location Provider and the ability to inject mock locations for testing.
Apps using Google+ sign-in can now take advantage of multiple new features including simplified sharing control, a compass mode in the Photo Sphere viewer, and InstantBuy implementation which improves purchasing efficiency and packs a cleaner UI.
Check out the full details in the full blog post after the break.
The MHL Consortium announced today a new specification, MHL 3.0, that establishes new standards for connecting mobile devices to displays, including support for 4K Ultra HD video. Ultra HD resolution is the newest resolution working its way down into the market now that some television manufacturers are producing units for consumers. In their announcement, MHL indicates a variety of content deliverers are working on plans to provide UHDTV content, including Comcast, NHK, the BBC, Netflix and Orange.
Along with the support for UHD formats of up to 2160p30, the new MHL 3.0 spec covers simultaneous high-speed data transfer, improved remote control protocol support, power charging at up to 10W, HDCP 2.2 content protection, and 7.1 surround sound. MHL also indicates the specification is connector agnostic and can be run over as few as five pins.
At this time there are still no smartphones or tablets that support the new MHL 3.0 standard. Keep in mind though that Android recently added support for a new DPI category, XXXHDPI, which would be suitable for 4K UHD TV. While many saw that as more of a marketing play than anything else since 4K would be overkill on a smartphone or tablet, it may yet turn out to be useful now that we have seen the success of Google’s Chromecast and how it bypasses the mobile device to get its data straight from the cloud.
The pieces are slowly coming together and getting in place for a new wave of consumer electronic devices to entertain us. To read more about the new MHL 3.0 specification, check out the full press release after the break.
While Google Glass has been available to developers since April, the general public is still patiently waiting to get their hands on the device. While we’ve been hearing of a possible late-2013 release, a new report shuts that rumor down. A Google spokesperson told ComputerWorld that the new “ship date” for Google Glass will not be until 2014.
This means that Google and other developers will have a little while longer to perfect the Glass experience. It won’t be available for the holiday season, but perhaps we’ll see it around the time of next year’s I/O which is typically held in May. The latest rumors say that Google Glass will cost around $300.
Google Now has some pretty neat cards, and one of my favorites is how it automatically gives you directions and traffic info for your commute once it detects (…or tries to detect) your home and work locations. Waiting for Google to detect your places can take a while though, and it can be particularly frustrating when you move or change jobs, and Google Now instead thinks you are trying to get to your old locations.
Fortunately, with the new Google Maps update it became a little easier to manually change your home and work locations for Google Now. Jump through the break to find out how.
The last time the Sony Xperia Z Ultra passed through the FCC it was on the same day as Sony’s official announcement about the new device. That was back in June and at the time, there was no information in the FCC filings about LTE bands. That has changed as the device resurfaced yesterday at the FCC, this time with documentation showing the presence of HSPA+ and LTE bands that would be compatible with T-Mobile, AT&T or carriers in the Canadian market. Whether those carriers actually add it to their portfolio of available devices remains to be seen, but it does look promising for the device to be available somewhere in the North American markets.
Task management app Todoist received what is described as a major update today for the Android app, taking it up to version 2.0. According to developer Doist, the new version was “rethought, redesigned and recreated!” There are some new designs incorporated into the app, bringing it even more inline with the Holo design guidelines. This is especially true for the slide-out menu from the left, but even the main screen sees some refinement. One thing regular users will notice is the menu of actions when tapping on a task now shows up at the bottom of the screen inside of just below the task. Clicking on the menu option provides a new choice – “Add sub-task” which will be a welcome addition for those building a hierarchy of to-do items.