Following up yesterday’s release of an update to Google’s Play Movies that enables saving movies in low resolution, Google has started pushing out an update to their Play Music app that enables a similar feature for music. Instead of giving users an option to save a smaller file, the app will now prompt users to save their music files to external storage if their device has any available. Google also added a standardized “Share” option to make it easier to keep your friends updated on what you are listening to. The code for this latest update reveals support for the redemption of coupon codes as well, though it is not apparent in the app how that might be done. » Read the rest
Google is giving Glass Explorers an opportunity to exchange their current pair of smart glasses for the new version. Explorers that purchased Glass before October 28 of this year are receiving invitations to exchange because the updated version is compatible with new accessories and prescription frames that are on the way. While Explorers are not required to exchange their Glass, it would be a smart move considering they would be getting a new piece of hardware.
Explorers have until February 5 to decide and it will take about 3 to 5 days after receiving your current Glass to send out a new one. So if you’re also unhappy with the color you chose, you can change that as well.
Thanks to Google+, you can now “GIF-out” your holiday photos to send some pretty cool e-cards to family and friends.
If you take a photo featuring any kind of Christmas tree or snow, Google will automatically “Auto Awesome” your pictures and add snow or twinkling lights to it, turning them into GIFs.
The idea seems a bit corny, but when actually looking on it, it’s really not all that bad. Try it out for yourself! Let us know how it turns out. Hit the break for an example of a snowy picture.
When Google announced KitKat, they confirmed that the Samsung Galaxy Nexus had officially reached the end of its support life and that it would not see the update from 4.3 to 4.4. Of course, the entire reason many people buy these Nexus devices is so they don’t have to settle for “official” updates and can take care of it themselves, and the Galaxy Nexus is no different. Thanks to developer PlayfulGod on XDA, the Gnex finally has a fully functional KitKat ROM available so it can join the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 with up-to-date software.
The ROM is built off of Cyanogenmod 11 source, and every major thing works, including data, phone calls, camera, etc. There are a handful of bugs left to iron out, including panorama being broken and a graphical glitch when taking screenshots (although the screenshots turn out fine) but neither of those things are going to affect the ROM in a major way.
If you’re interested, you can find the ROM below. Remember, unlocking your device and flashing custom software can void your warranty, so flash at your own risk.
We already know that Google will release a version of Google Glass for people who need prescription lenses. We can only assume it will be ready when the retail version of Glass launches, but if you want a quick idea of what it will look like, check out the image above and below. We know it’s the real deal since it was posted by a Googler. However, the post has since been pulled, so it’s obvious that Google didn’t want anyone to see them yet.
As you can clearly see, it’s a pretty clean look. From what I can tell, the frames were designed to go with glass, but it would be cool if they could modify it in that you could just attach the white part to any pair of glasses. That way you could choose your own design. Now all we need is a left eye version and we will be all set. Hit the break for another image.
Google has started the process of rolling out an update to the Camera app that is included in ChromeOS. The updated app features a new user interface that puts more emphasis on the content, which in the case of a Chromebook is probably the user. While that is nice, most users will probably be more interested in the features that are described as “in the pipeline:”
- video recording
- the ability to upload to YouTube and Google+
- Syncing of pictures across Chrome devices
Unfortunately, no timeline for the availability of these new features was provided. The new version of the Camera app is being rolled out to users in the typical Google phase fashion. However, users impatient for the update can head over to the Chrome web store to grab the update.
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.
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
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.
When Google introduced Android 4.4 KitKat to the world, one of the benefits they touted was Project Svelte, a concerted effort to minimize the memory footprint to encourage the system’s deployment to older or less powerful hardware. Trying to make Android run easier on more hardware is not the only way Google is trying to reduce fragmentation and in effect “flatten” the world. They are also working on efforts that blur the line between the desktop and mobile platforms like Android and iOS. The latest example is news that Google is poised to enter the beta stage in January 2014 with “Mobile Chrome Apps,” a project to build a toolkit for developers so they can more easily deploy the apps they have built for Chrome on the desktop over on mobile operating platforms like Android and iOS. » Read the rest