Google working on a location based news feed for Google Now

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Google has revealed they are working on a new Google Now card that will deliver local news stories based on a user’s location. Google Now cards work off of algorithms to present the user with “contextually relevant” items. Among the inputs used to determine what is relevant are interests, time of day, and location. The new card is being tested in a closed beta right now, apparently only within Google itself, as revealed by Johanna Wright, Google’s vice president of search and assist.
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Google leaks info hinting at upcoming Google Wallet Card

More news this week about a physical card coming from Google to expand the functionality of the Google Wallet app. The latest leak was discovered on Google’s own web site in the help section for Google Wallet. On the page listing eligible devices, Google’s text indicated “Eligible devices for use with Google Wallet card” and then went on to note that any device running Android 2.3.3 or better could install the Google Wallet app to use with the new card. It appears Google has taken steps to scrub the page clean, but not before visitors were able to grab screenshots.
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Duracell Powermat Hopes To Bring Wireless Charging To All Smartphones Via WiCC

With their new Wireless Charging Card (WiCC) technology, Duracell’s Powermat division is hoping to bring wireless charging to the masses. The WiCC hopes to bring the integration of Powermat technology to all smartphones, via a connector that is built into the phone itself. This of course requires participation from the major smartphone retailers, since the technology would have to be implemented at the production level. Given that Duracell promises that this implementation will only cost pennies at most, I wouldn’t be hard pressed to believe that phone manufacturers will at least give it a shot in one or two phones before considering it standard on all their future models.

Powermat currently offers wireless charging through the Powermat charging bed coupled with a proprietary case designed to communicate with the base. The new WiCC hopes to remove the mandatory use of the Powermat case and enable users to use a case of their own choosing, or none at all. The thin wafer-like charging card can be purchased at any time by the user, enabling the power of choice. Although Duracell isn’t placing the WiCC as immediate priority for release and we won’t see it any time this year, it’s most definitely something that we hope to hear more from here at TalkAndroid. Keep tuned to TalkAndroid for more news and updates from Mobile World Conference 2012. Full press release after the break.

source: engadget


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Motorola Xoom 3.2 update brings SD support, but in a read-only format

You know that old saying, “you can’t have your cake and eat it, too”? Well, it looks like Motorola knows it, and they’ve taken it as law. The latest slew of updates coming to the Motorola Xoom 3G’s is bringing a long-awaited support of SD cards… but don’t get your hopes up. According to Motorola, access to the SD cards will be read only; this means you won’t be able to actually save anything to the card without using your computer. According to Moto:

The Google Experience Devices like the Motorola XOOM (3.2 update coming soon) and Motorola XOOM WIFI allow you to write to the SD card from your PC and use the Android File Transfer on Mac or a cable transfer on Windows to transfer files from the Motorola Xoom to the SD Card.

While a user cannot move apps to the SD card, the device comes equipped with 32 GB of on-board memory that provides plenty of storage. Users can also store and play videos or music from the SD card if the content was copied to the SD card via the aforementioned file transfer processes. However, videos or pictures taken from the device itself can only be saved to the internal memory and not to the SD card.

While this probably won’t keep a lot of people from getting the Xoom, it certainly puts a huge damper on developers and power users alike. At the same time, this editor expects to see this blasted away by XDA, sooner than later. What are your thoughts? Be sure to let us know in the comment section below.

[via moto]

Quick Look: Mushkin 16GB Micro SD Card

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to pick up a 16GB MicroSD from Mushkin for my HTC Evo. I have to tell you, having the extra storage bump from the standard 8GB was great to have. I was able to fit a huge amount of music, pictures, video and apps on my device, while still giving my storage plenty of breathing room. The price was right on the money, too – especially at only $25.49 before shipping. What’s more, it’s a class 10 card, meaning it has faster read / write speed than a standard class 4.

Be sure to hit the break for the complete video hands on and rundown of the storage space capabilities, and head over to Mushkin here to get your hands on one yourself.


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Visa ropes in Bank of America for mobile payments trial in New York

Remember that post awhile back about AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile rolling out a platform that would get them involved in mobile payments? Well, it looks like Visa heard the call, and have responded with an attack plan of their own. The company has now announced that they are going to start trialing a contactless payment system of their own, with Bank of America as their guinea pig.

The service will start out in New York in September, and moving on through the end of the year. While there isn’t a whole lot of official information on this, speculations say that only select people and employees will be getting the specialized chips that allow mobile payment.

[via engadget]