Whilst the Google Execs were busy strutting their stuff at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the Google Developers were beavering away in the labs to bring you some updates. If you head on over to the Android Market you’ll find updates to both Google Wallet and Google+ waiting for you. The excitement stops there I’m afraid folks as both updates are minor bug fixes and process enhancements.
Still it’s good to know that the Google Developers are always working on improving their already great applications. Bug fixes and stability improvements can only be a good thing so why not check out the links below and get yourself updated!
Google+ Market Link
Google Wallet Market Link
What would you say if I told you that you could play a game using Google Maps and Google+? You’d probably call me crazy and think that would be unusual, if not impossible. Well kids, the ability to play a game using both Google Maps and Google+ is now a reality. Let me explain: Google has nonchalantly released a promo video which highlights the ability to “Play your world, like never before” and then leads you to a link to “Start Here“, directing you to other cool videos on how to use Google Maps.
The game is based off a unique technology used by the Google Maps development team. The technology— called WebGL– features a unique 3D engine powering the graphics. What’s special about the technology is it can create 3D web graphics you can see without having to install additional drivers or software.
There’s one other subtle feature as well for this concept as well. You remember how Google acquired Zagat, but has been mysteriously mum about its intentions since? Well it looks like we now have a hint of Zagat’s integration with Google services. If you look at the demo carefully, you’ll see the ability to earn more points for rolling over Zagat-rated venues and locations. Neat, isn’t it? You can always count on Google to be clever and witty when it comes to their products and services.
Look for the game to come out sometime next month. In the meantime, check out the video below to get an idea of how this cool game works.
Well it appears that Android knows that we like surprises as they have something in store for us tomorrow. While we don’t know what it is, others are hopeful that it deals with a wide release of Ice Cream Sandwich. We aren’t sure about that, but we are just as much in the dark as you folks are. So with that, it appears that we will have to wait until tomorrow sometime to see what Google and Android have in store for us. Stay tuned!
[via Android on Google+]
Google’s Open Source Programs Manager, Chris DiBona, recently posted a to his Google+ page a rant of sorts calling out mobile antivirus companies.
“Sometimes I read an article about open source that drives me nuts. A recent one stated, without irony, that ‘critics have been pounding the table for years about open source being inherently insecure’ and that android is festooned with viruses because of that and because we do not exert apple like controls over the app market.”
In the post that follows he effectively explains how there is nothing inherently insecure about open source. Further more, no major cell phone has a ‘virus’ problem in the traditional sense that windows and some mac machines have seen. If there were, they haven’t gotten very far due to the user sandboxing models and the nature of the underlying kernels. Then his post gets especially juicy,
Google has given Android users a special treat tonight. The latest Google+ update is now available in the Android Market. The update includes a new look to the UI that closely resembles that of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), some bug fixes, and new translations. This looks and sounds like it will fix various issues users may have had previously using the app. Hit the break to see specific changes in the update as well as the QR code and link to download the app.
Google+ announced today that it has entered its Beta phase and along with it bringing open enrollment and a much appreciated update to its mobile application.
It has been hard for me to be an avid Google+ user because not everybody has been able to create an account due to an invite only status. Now that it is fair game to all, no invite required, the new social networking site should see an increased influx of users. With hopes that more of my friends and contacts sign up for the service, I plan to use the network more frequently. And now that the mobile app has also received some really cool updates, the experience is sure to bring more people together in ways unavailable to them before.
Hangouts were once limited to desktop use and allows video chat between multiple users. With the recent update to the mobile platform, you are free to video chat with your friends while on the go. When you notice a hangout within your stream, just join in and you should be all set for an audio/video experience that expands the way in which we communicate within a social networking group. In order to do so, you must download the latest update and have an Android phone running 2.3 and up. iDevices are not supported so feel free to rub that in to the respective owners although an update for them has been said to follow at a later date.
Join us after the break for more features and a link to download or upgrade the Google+ app.
Hot on the heels of Google+, Google’s social networking push is still going strong. Taking a slightly different turn from a simple social network, along comes Google Propeller. Although not yet officially announced, Propeller is expected to be a content delivery system with a social aspect. While not much has been disclosed, sources close to the project describe it as “mind-blowingly good.” On top of a pretty interface, the way in which Google allows publishers to distribute content will also be a draw. Propeller is said to give publishers different packaging and distribution options such as a web app for publishing and distributing as well as layout options allowing end users to view content on a multitude of devices. Publishers utilizing the service will also be able to incorporate other Google services which will undoubtedly play a supporting role to Propeller; services like AdSense, Checkout, and Analytics.
Nielsen’s first android meter results are in. After the Android Market app itself, apps for Facebook, maps and mail had the highest active reach among U.S. Android users above the age of 18. (“Active reach” is defined as the percentage of Android owners who used an app within the past 30 days.”)
While there are a handful of apps popular among all users, what’s interesting are the notable differences in some apps, particularly social networking apps, between gender. Facebook’s mobile app saw an active reach of 81 percent for women compared to 69 percent for male. Twitter also reached more women, 16.5% compared to 13.4% of men. However, Google+, the newest social network, had more than twice the active reach among men; 15.8% compared to 7.2%.
Scores after the break
Android Market 3.1.3 is rolling out OTA to phones right now. This update adds two big new features. First, you’ll notice the addition of Google’s +1 button. The +1 button will be used to help shape market search results, so +1 those apps you love! Also in this update is the addition of a pin lockout control system. Going to the market’s preferences you’ll find that you can set up a pin to prevent purchases without authorization. While that may not be useful for everyone, I can see how it would be a very welcome update to parents whose kids use their smartphones. Among other things we’re starting to notice slight organizational changes; for example, moving app size and last revision into better view and even a slightly changed Market icon.
If by chance you are as impatient as I am, you can forgo waiting on the OTA and download the new market now from here. Just remember to allow unknown sources.
The Google+ Application has already received an update bringing some much needed bug fixes and a slew of improvements. The update now makes it possible for you to hide a 1 to 1 Huddle session by going into your conversation, tapping the menu button and simply hiding it. In addition, complaints about notifications with the application have grown as the they’re currently slow and sluggish. The update addresses this issue bringing you fast and timely pushes. Hit the break to check out the full log of changes and if you haven’t downloaded the application for your Android device already, you can check it out on our popular apps database here or give it a go from the Android Market.