Chief Announcements From Google I/O Keynote: Ice Cream Sandwich, Updates to Honeycomb, USB Host Support, Movie Rentals, Music, and a Commitment to Updates

Yummy little guy, isn’t he? Sadly, while TalkAndroid wasn’t able to attend Google I/O (stupid day-jobs!), we’re watching the coverage closely, and there’s some interesting stuff coming out of the keynote already!

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Pandora: Comedy added, new genre of streaming media

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Pandora is a great service for the music lover. I use it on a regular basis myself. As a member you can choose their free or paid service. Well the automated music recommendation service has taken steps to add comedy to its service. No longer will you only find music on the web based version or the Android app. Now you can search for your favorite comedians, and stream hilarious, knee slapping jokes to tickle your funny bone.

Hit the jump for the press release.


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Is Amazon launching their own Android tablet this summer?

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GDGT’s founder Peter Rojas believes Amazon could be the next run at Apple’s tablet market domination. The article makes good insight and a great argument how Amazon is positioned strategically to take Apple on in a mixed business plan containing many things that may appeal to consumers more than what Apple is currently offering. The first thing for Amazon to do to bring their products directly into the hands of everyone…release their own tablet device.

Rumor has it that Samsung will be the manufacturer of the Amazon tablet (as you could judge by the pic above). This is what Peter Rojas had stated;

It’s something of an open secret that Amazon is working on an Android tablet and I am 99 percent certain they are having Samsung build one for them.

Once Amazon has a cheap (under $300) tablet, they can customize it to deliver all they have to offer including streaming music, movies, downloadable music, movies, books, games, and Android apps. Since most already have an Amazon account, the transition would be painless for many consumers. Things Apple doesn’t have in that mix include streaming music movie service, pay per play movies, tv episodes. Amazon has a premium service which allows you to get 2 day free shipping for products as well as unlimited streaming of over 5,000 movies and tv episodes called Amazon Prime, which only costs $80 a year. That’s cheaper than Netflix.

This is all rumor currently, and neither Amazon nor Samsung have yet commented on this story, but we’re sure we’ll hear something very soon.

[via engadget, gdgt]

Google Negotiations With Music Labels Are “Broken”

In an ongoing effort to launch a reputable and effective music service with the blessings of most major record labels, it looks like Google is at a stand still.  Negotiations with the record labels seems to be moving “backwards” as one reputable blog puts it.  Peter Kafko of MediaMemo states it this way:

But others contended that Google has changed its terms in the past few weeks and that has held up negotiations.

With Amazon having just launched their cloud based service, Cloud Drive, Google is in a bit of a time crunch.  If Google can’t officially score a deal here with record labels, then it’s possible we could see the search giant launch its own cloud based music service much like Amazon’s, one where users can just upload their own music and stream it from several avenues.  That’s not Google’s ultimate goal, as revenue would be less than par compared to a subscription based service like iTunes.  But, I guess something is better than nothing right?  Only time will tell, but stay tuned because you’ll catch it all here on Talk Android.  Let us know what you think in the comments below.

[via bgr]

Sprint unveils Music Plus – get your music fix, if you like RealNetworks

Sprint always seems to be coming out with new, semi-cool, carrier-billable services, and today is no exception. The carrier has released “Music Plus”, a new service that runs off of the RealNetworks back end and is available on Android and Blackberry handsets.

The service provides access to singles, albums, ringtones and ringback tones. They all come in DRM-free, and th app also doubles as a media management too, where you can store your playlists and get recommendations on new media. There is also talk that you can save by bundling your tracks when you buy.

Be sure to check it out by scanning the QR code below, and let us know what you think in the comments.

[via engadget]

Head in the Cloud: Music 2 of 3 – Rdio Review

Anyone who hasn’t been residing under a large rock in the middle of the Gobi Desert can see that technology has been shifting more and more in a mobile direction. As a result of this, storage (media and otherwise) has been taking a different direction than that of several years ago, in that while most storage is still physically stored on devices, it’s becoming more and more common to see storage and media available via servers. This storage has become commonly referred to as “the cloud,” which has become a sort of geek catch phrase that I’m sure many non-techie people have puzzled over. Well, TalkAndroid is here to help you understand this technology and, whats more, incorporate it into your life.

One area where cloud-based technology has been progressing is music. Several apps offering this type of service are available in the Market and we’ll be covering three of the most popular. Yesterday, we covered MOG and today we’ll be reviewing Rdio. How will it fair? Read on to find out!

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Head in the Cloud: Music 1 of 3 – MOG Review

Anyone who hasn’t been residing under a large rock in the middle of the Gobi Desert can see that technology has been shifting more and more in a mobile direction. As a result of this, storage (media and otherwise) has been taking a different direction than that of several years ago, in that while most storage is still physically stored on devices, it’s becoming more and more common to see storage and media available via servers. This storage has become commonly referred to as “the cloud,” which has become a sort of geek catch phrase that I’m sure many non-techie people have puzzled over. Well, Talk Android is here to help you understand this technology and, whats more, incorporate it into your life.

One area where cloud-based technology has been progressing is music. While Rhapsody was an early pioneer of this market, other companies have not sat dormant. Over the next few days, we’ll be taking a look at some of the more popular cloud-based music solutions that are available for the Android OS. All offer unlimited streaming of any music in their catalog for $9.99/month. Will any of these apps be useful for your music needs? Read on to find out about our first app on the list: MOG.
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Updated: Slacker Radio, Streaming Music

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There are a few decent streaming music apps out there. All of which offer their own unique way of delivering its media. I’m pretty fickle when it comes to how I stream my music. I can go from Pandora to Last.fm to Slacker Radio. And sometimes I’ll use Radiotime for my local flavor.
Just as a quick note to all the fans of Slacker Radio, it’s been updated! See below for the list of recent changes.

What’s in this version:

1. This build includes numerous fixes including:
2. Caching stations over 4G/LTE 3. Station selections after automatic refresh
4. App launching on some 1.5 OS phones.
5. EVO USERS: If you experience errors, please contact Sprint Technical Support at 1-888-211-4727 and ask the Rep to apply the work around listed as: ‘HTC EVO 4G (A9292) – UPDATED 2-1-2011: Streaming multimedia applications receiving errors on software version 3.70.651.1′ in Sprint’s device portal

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Google begins testing Music Service internally

googlemusicAbout a month ago, we saw that there were some additional URLs in the Android Market which pointed to a service we know as Google Music (name may change at launch). We also heard about the Music Sync feature in Android 3.0 which a user was able to successfully turn on and begin syncing his music to some Google cloud server that isn’t supposed to exist yet.

All of this is pointing to the Google Music service starting up very soon, as we know have news from Cnet that states Google has already started testing this service with its staff. the service will supposedly allow a Google Music subscriber to sync their library to a Google cloud server for streaming to any Android device or computer. You’ll also be able to buy online music as well, and have it stored in the cloud. If you don’t feel like waiting, you could probably get it going now by trying the hacks at this XDA thread.

[via mobileattack, cnet]

Want unlimited skips, songs, and options on Pandora for FREE?

edit: as of right now the apk files have been taken down. As soon as they are put back up I will let you know!

Nope, I’m not kidding. Keais over at XDA has not only themed the Pandora App, but tweaked it so that you can skip any amount you want, and listen to as much as you want. Too good to be true? Nope. Streaming music for the past half hour and my account shows no sign of being affected. On top of that (as if it wasn’t enough already) it has no ads. Yes, music fans, this is reason to rejoice and party.

You do not need to root. Simply download the apk file, open it using whatever file explorer app you have (AndroZip, Astro, Root Explorer, etc), and select install. Make sure you don’t have any other version of Pandora installed before you do.

It is currently themed in Red, White, and Blue and can come with clear widgets of all three of those colors.

Check out this beauty. Happy listening.

Side Note: Do not update the app in the Market. You’ll lose all of the goodies.