A trio of Google’s apps received updates today, joining Google Search or Google Now on Jelly Bean devices. Google Translate received a major update, now providing the ability to recognize Chinese, Japanese and Korean using a device’s phone. The capability is limited to horizontal text only for now, but we can only imagine the ability to translate vertical text must be in the works. Google also added eleven new languages, Afrikaans, Croatian, Czech, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Slovak, Slovenian, Ukrainian, Welsh, to the list that can handle handwritten text.
Android 4.2 brought Multiple user account support, which is a welcome addition. It’s only available on tablets since they are more likely to be used by more than one person in the household. This means yourself, your wife, your son, and your daughter can all use the same tablet and keep their own settings and app data. You can even set a pin or pattern to individual lockscreens to ensure privacy. For starters, this is only available on the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10, so if you own one, you will want to most likely utilize this feature. In a matter of minutes, you can get everyone up and running. Hit the break for a video highlighting the few simple steps.
While Google’s Eric Schmidt may have once served on the board of directors at Apple, that apparently hasn’t affected his impartiality. The search giant’s executive chairman took a direct shot at Apple today in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, sending the Cupertino company a personal message, letting them know that the current way they are conducting business is laughingly based on a “teenage model of competition,” as the press would like to put it.
Schmidt also expressed his dismay with Apple’s choice to drop Google Maps in iOS 6, a choice that inevitably proved embarrassing for Tim Cook and co.
Soon, we should all see better maps within some of the apps that we use. Today, Google launched an update to their Maps API that developers will use to incorporate Google Maps into their apps. This new API version will benefit both developers on the front-end as well as users on their end. It’ll allow developers to create their map features with less code and also provide them with the ability to incorporate satellite, hybrid, terrain, traffic and indoor maps into their apps, much like Google Maps currently does. It’ll, in turn, offer end-users more robust options in their applications when viewing maps. The overall goal is to make in-app maps look very similar to Google Maps for a seamless experience for all, and this update is getting us closer.
source: Google Blog
Google has just made a major acquisition by snatching up BufferBox off the open market. In case you’re not familiar with how BufferBox works, it’s a shipping service that doubles up as temporary storage space— like lockers— where customers can store all of their online purchases. What’s really neat about the service is the fact that BufferBox customers can utilize the storage space at different kiosks at different locations which can be a good thing too— Google plans on expanding the service to reach a broader net of customers too. Looks more and more like a true Google e-commerce reality is truly taking shape folks.
While this is exciting news, BufferBox is currently limited to our neighbors to the north at this time, so it’s uncertain if or when we will see the service expanded to other countries and markets. However, we suspect Google will expand to other countries since you know— more and more customers will want to buy devices like the Nexus 4 and it makes those online purchases just a little easier for all.
source: BufferBox Blog
As many Nexus 4 customers are being forced to wait until 2013 to get their hands on the new device, eBay has found it necessary to impose sales restrictions on the stock Android 4.2 smartphone. The online retailer usually warrants these types of restrictions to prevent fraudulent listings from being posted, most often for items that have overwhelming demand.
As expected, Google just posted the factory images and binaries for Android 4.2.1 (JOP40D) for the family of Nexus devices. For the Nexus 10, the factory image is still at JOP40C due to an issue. These files allow you to restore any of these Nexus devices to stock if you ever get into trouble, so download them now and keep them in a safe place. Links are below for both the factory images and the binaries.
factory images / binaries
App Annie just unveiled the App Annie Index, which will be a monthly report that provides revenue and download analysis of the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. They have some pretty interesting things to report in their first month. The first of which is that Apple’s App Store generates four times more revenue than Google’s Play Store. That is so interesting when you consider that close to 75% of the smartphones are Android and it’s inline with the Android Engagement Paradox we wrote about earlier in the week. It’s not all doom and gloom though because Google Play revenue grew 311 percent for the year-to-date as compared to iOS revenue, which only grew 12.9 percent.
We’ve already seen the Android 4.2.1 update being pushed out to the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10— but now the venerable Galaxy Nexus smartphone is starting to get some love too. Thanks some keen eyes, we now know the minor Android 4.2.1 update is now available for the takju variant of the Galaxy Nexus. Unfortunately, there’s no word on when the other variants of the Galaxy Nexus will see the update, but the hope is that it will be sooner than later… especially since the latest Android build is already in the open for all the tinkerers out there.
If you’re on the “takju” variant of the Galaxy Nexus, hit the download link below to grab the update and flash that sucker on your device today. All of you other G-Nex owners just sit tight and be patient for now— your update will be here before you know it.
Download: Android 4.2.1 for takju Galaxy Nexus
The Chinese news organization, The Commercial Times is reporting Google will launch its own 12.85-inch touch notebook with Chrome OS in the first quarter of 2013. Yes, that said TOUCH. The news agency says Compal Electronics and Wintek are already working on OEM and touch panel production. The screen will reportedly combine the touch sensor and glass via a process called optical lamination which allows for a much thinner device. New iMacs and some smartphones also use this process to achieve razor thin form factors.
Since Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility there has been a great deal of speculation regarding when Google would produce its own hardware. That speculation along with comments from former CEO Eric Schmidt about Google’s desire to be in the hardware business and you get a sense this might be the beginning of Google hardware. A touch chromebook would certainly place Google in a position to compete with Microsoft’s Surface and maybe even go after Apple’s iMac market.
Source: The Commercial Times
Via: The Next Web