This day full of Google goodness, keeps on rolling, and Google just made it easier to send money to our friends and family with the help of Gmail and Google Wallet. The two have been integrated to allow you to send money. In Gmail there will be an option next to the attachments, in the form of a dollar sign $. By clicking on this button you can now send money to the people you care most about. There are limitations to the service however, which are covered after the break: » Read the rest
The long-anticipated Google Hangouts application was announced this afternoon at Google I/O 2013 and is now available in the Google Play Store for download.
The app allows for one-to-one chat, group chat, picture/video sharing, emojis, as well as video calling. It’s multi-platform integrated, meaning you can use it on your computer, your Android, or your iOS device— everything will remain perfectly synced. Conversation threads will remain on the Hangouts application until you delete them, so you can always look back and see a timeline of old photos and videos you shared with others through the app.
One pretty big disappointment is the lack of SMS support in the application. However, some have said otherwise. Google knows that apps like “Hangouts” are the future of smartphone communication, so they may just be paving the way for the abandonment of SMS-use. We’ll just have to wait and see how users react to this new technology! Check out a photo gallery and the link to the Google Play Store after the break! » Read the rest
Google’s new Maps feature that we told about earlier today is officially a reality. So many things to list and such little brain power to remember them all. Let’s try and cover the stuff that got the most reaction from the crowd. There have been some major improvements to the 3D rendering. Getting to see St. Peter’s Basilica in 3D at I/O on Google Maps is excellent, but what really took the cake was the integration of user photos of the Basilica. By clicking on a user submitted Geo-tagged photo, Google Maps now helps to bring the interior of the Basilica on other wonders of the world right into your house through the browser.
And of course like all of the other neat services, Google Maps can now become more personalized as you use it more and more. Picture this: you see a restaurant that may be of interest to you in a particular area, so Google Maps will showcase only the important items like specific roads or landmarks it is for you to get to the restaurant, so Maps will only show the information to you that matters most. Oh and you have friends that may +1 a restaurant or locale, so Google Maps will begin offering you recommendations based off of your friends’ interests. Pretty cool indeed. So the more you interact with the map, the better it gets. When you set your Home and Work locations, star favorite places, write reviews and share with friends, Google Maps will build even more useful maps with recommendations for places you might enjoy.
We told you last night about the possibility of this happening, and today at the I/O keynote, Google made it official that they will be releasing an unlocked Samsung Galaxy S 4 running stock Android. The LTE compatible, completely unlocked phone will come with an unlocked bootloader and will work on AT&T and T-Mobile. Storage will be 16GB and the device will arrive on June 26 for $649. The crowd at I/O went silent, with a few boos audible when they heard about the high price tag.
This is the first non-Nexus device to get this kind of Google treatment. It’s a little surprising Samsung is on board with this, considering how much they market their TouchWiz UI’s additions to the Android experience. » Read the rest
There’s no doubt that Google Play has seen some extensive improvements, but Google I/O is highlighting some of the cool functionality that users will see using the service moving forward. One of the great things that Google does for its users is learn about its users, so the Play Store can now give personalized recommendations of games, music, movies and whatever else may be good for users. Additionally, Google has implemented a new strategy for its ever-growing tablet users by showcasing a brand-spanking new “Designed for Tablets” section— ensuring the various tablet apps out there will operate at a smooth level. Oh and for you music lovers out there— Google Play Music All Access is Google’s first subscription-based music service, which allows listeners to enjoy the huge library of songs Google has— complete with the ability to customize your music as you choose— all for $9.99/month. “Radio without rules” is the motto of the All Access service, which means that we may have yet another means to enjoy our awesome music.
Look for the new improvements to start rolling out over the coming weeks.
Google is planning to introduce a new subscription-based streaming music service to compete with Spotify and other similar services. The feature will be integrated into Google Play and could be introduced as early as this morning at Google I/O, Google’s annual developer-centric conference.
The service has been in development for some time now, and when launched will put Google at an advantage over competitors like Apple and Amazon, who have yet to launch an integrated streaming music service to their platform. And with the lackluster sales the Play Music Store has accrued, this could be the jump-start to help them catch up with iTunes, the largest retailer of music in the United States. » Read the rest
If the Nexus program is any indication, there is a group of people out there that prefer vanilla (stock, AOSP, whatever you feel like calling the pure Google Experience) Android over those skinned versions that manufacturers bloat their devices with. Some have even gone on to wish and hope that there was an ability to turn these user interfaces off and just run pure Google software. Well if current rumors ring true, we’ll see that very thing tomorrow.
The newest rumor is that Google will be showing off a Galaxy S 4 with vanilla Android. You’ve read that right. The newest flagship from Samsung could very well run a pure version of Google’s OS. It’s rumored to be released on T-Mobile’s network in June with no love for any other carrier at the moment. Either way it brings up the question of whether or not this will be a Google Play Store exclusive or be sold in stores.
I love rumors as much as the next person and sincerely hope that this one becomes a reality. This wouldn’t be the first time that Google and Samsung have debuted a product variant running pure Android. Remember the special edition Galaxy Tab 10.1 given out to folks at I/O? Although it would be the first time that such a product would make its way to the general public. We’ll know soon enough.
Yesterday, only a couple days before Google I/O is scheduled to open, a new photo of a white Google Nexus 4 device surfaced. Today, things ratchet up a bit with the discovery of a white Nexus 4 at a Qualcomm booth at The Mobile Show in Dubai. The folks at TechView even took the time to video the device which was presented to them as a demo unit. One thing that is apparent now is that only the back is white with the face still sporting black panels surrounding the screen. Since there is no information on a timeframe for a retail release, or if that will even happen, there is always the possibility the whole thing could end up being white, not just the back. Hit the break to check out the video. » Read the rest
Another shot of the white Nexus 4 has surfaced, which seems to backup earlier photos of a white Nexus 4 we reported to you back in January. But as we near Google I/O 2013, we’re expecting an official announcement (or maybe even a release) of the device, hopefully with some bumped up specs.
This time, the device ended up in the hands of Google+ user Ervin Sue, who obtained the phone on a buy and sell website. Although the outer hardware looks to be the same (aside from color), we’re hopeful that Google at least adds a modern Snapdragon 600 processor and 4G LTE.
When Google I/O starts in a couple of days we’ll be sure to have some more information— but until then, you’ll just have to be patient!
Source: Ervin Sue
Security and privacy are two huge issues with smartphones, and anything connected to the internet, really. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Google unveiled a five-year plan towards increased device security on Wednesday. This roadmap has Google breaking away from its traditional user sign-in process on devices, and instead replaces with an extremely secure, once-per-device-log-in. By replacing traditional passwords with complex authentication codes, a device can register itself with Google and keep the owner of an account from having to repeatedly sign in to their Google account multiple times. » Read the rest