We have already heard that Android and Chrome will unite under Project Hera, so it’s no surprise that the same will happen with icons. Right now, Google has different icons for the web and Android, but Android Police is reporting that Android icons will be altered to more resemble web icons.
Of course, all Google projects have an internal name, and this one is “Moonshine.” It’s expected that Android icons will become flatter, with long, hard shadows. This change could also bring updated design guidelines because the current square or circular boilerplate icons wouldn’t fit in.
Google gave a presentation at the recent Electronic Transaction Association’s trade show in Las Vegas. While they acknowledged that consumers have been slow to embrace the mobile payment service Google Wallet, they also said that they plan to stick with it.
Ariel Bardin, the chief of Google Wallet gave the presentation, and mentioned that when Google Wallet was launched it relied on NFC technology and only one carrier – Sprint – to push it. This limited the reach that the service had, and after a year it only supported one credit card and bank combination.
We know a KitKat update is going to be announced soon, we just aren’t sure when. Thanks to Android Police, we also know that Google has begun the dogfooding phase for the 4.4.3 update on employees, which likely means the update will go live soon.
Now, dogfood testing typically means we’re still a few weeks away from an actual release, which gives Google time to sort out any last minute kinks in the software. The update has reportedly gone live for the main Nexus line, including the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, both Nexus 7 tablets and the Nexus 10, but GPE devices and the Moto X are said to be on track for an internal update, as well. » Read the rest
Developers who want a head start on creating Project Ara modular smartphones can take a look at the Module Developers Kit (MDK). The MDK was released today, ahead of next week’s developers conference.
As previously stated, Ara phones start as an endoskeleton, and parts can be added such as a display, a processor, camera, and Wi-Fi. Google is looking to third-party developers to create these modules. There will be three sizes for the endoskeletons: mini, medium, and large, and Google will make these skeletons. Larger skeletons should be able to hold more modules, but Google will determine what each size can accept based on how the “ribs” and “spines” are laid out. The “ribs” and “spines” are nothing more than dividers.
While Lenovo works on completing its purchase, Motorola has found a new leading man. Rick Osterloh is now Motorola’s presiden and chief operating officer. What will Osterloh be doing? Reporting to the Motorola Operating Board at Google until this big acquisition is finished and the company ends up in Lenovo’s hands.
Osterloh, while not being a notable name on the surface, is actually a longtime Motorola employee. He joined the company in 2007 when it bought Good. From there, Osterloh worked with development teams for Motorola’s Android devices. Also, Osterloh worked with Skype until Microsoft spent a fortune on it before returning to Motorola recently.
Google just announced today that it is rolling out an update for the Chromecast. It carries the build number 16664 and brings a few changes along with one important feature.
According to the changelog, the update brings a few bug fixes and stability improvements, better support for IPv6, an “improved DNS robustness” and most importantly, “Chromecast audio volume level is retained across sessions”. This means that the volume settings will be saved so that when you switch to Chromecast, you’ll never have to deal with really high volume levels or a low one.
Google has been internally testing out a new design for the calendar app in Android, and some screenshots of the new interface have leaked out for us to take a look at. The app is picking up a much cleaner look, abandoning the grids and lines that we’re used to in favor a slightly more colorful, flat, minimalist design. There’s a daily agenda feature and a heavy dose of social integration thanks to Google’s massive push with Google+.
The daily agenda feature rounds up all of your events for the day, including contact birthdays and information from G+, and pools them into one place for you to look at. Many other third-party calendars and OEM skin calendars have been doing this for a while now, so that would be a very nice addition to the stock Google calendar. There’s also a new separate birthdays menu that will show you upcoming birthdays from your contacts. It looks like a nice way be able to keep up with your friends’ birthdays without having it clutter up the rest of your calendar. » Read the rest
Google Glass certainly has an uphill battle with consumers and their perception of privacy, but aside from the fear of someone filming them while they sip a coffee at Starbucks, Google Glass could be a valuable tool in so many other ways. Take the medical profession for example.
Five doctors at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston are part of a pilot program in which they regularly wear Google Glass. Dr. Steve Horng was helping a patient suffering from massive brain bleeding, and thanks to Glass. was able to see that the patient had severe allergic reactions to blood pressure medications. This kind of information is usually only found on another computer or tablet. The doctor would have had to leave the patient, find the info, and scrub again. Because of Glass, Doctor Horng was able to start the treatment immediately. He went on to say….
Google has made a change to their YouTube platform so that users can now cast live videos to their Chromecast devices. This new feature only works when users are accessing YouTube using their desktop web browser where they will find the cast button now available on live streams. This capability is not yet enabled when using the YouTube app on a smartphone or tablet, but it seems like it should not take long for an update to roll out to enable this on mobile devices.
Google also recently changed the YouTube site to allow the casting of private YouTube videos. It appears that the only type of video that cannot be cast from YouTube are those where the publisher has not enabled viewing on mobile devices.