Google TV is the project no one in Mountain View likes to talk about. It was announced with much fanfare, but the platform has languished on an ancient version of Android 3.2 Honeycomb for far too long. Well, Google didn't see fit to mention it at the keynote, but Google TV is getting a fresh coat of paint with an Android 4.2.2 update.
The update should appear on compatible Google TV devices in the next few months and bring new core functionality and support for newer builds of Google Chrome. Read More
For Android fans with children, it can be a bit disheartening to learn that your kids are using iPads and iPods for learning every day. While this is becoming more and more standard across the country, Google is looking to change that with its newly announced "Google Play for Education." This is exactly what it sounds like: a specially curated version of the Play Store made for educational environments. It offers curriculum-based discovery for grades K-12, which will make it easy for teachers to find apps appropriate for his or her students. Read More
Google asserts that over 97% of mobile shoppers abandon their shopping carts because the process simply makes them jump through too many hoops. To free Android users from this heavy burden, Google has launched a new Google Wallet Instant Buy API that will allow mobile shoppers in Android apps to check out in as little as two clicks. No more poking out lengthy street address and re-looking up credit card information. Read More
It's probably not the water-cooled superphone you've been looking for, but Japanese smartphone maker NEC announced the succinctly named Medias X 06E for the NTT DoCoMo network today, the world's first smartphone with a CPU cooled by H2O. Unfortunately, the specs are decidedly middling, and NEC intends to market the device as a "lady's" phone in essentially the same vein as HTC with the Rhyme.
The Medias X 06E packs a quad-core Qualcomm processor clocked at 1.7 Ghz, a 4.7-inch 720p OLED display, and a 13.1 megapixel camera. Read More
Google's Play Books service launched last year as a competent reading app, and a necessary pillar for Google Play. But one feature readers have since been asking for is the ability to incorporate their own files into the library, and now Google is adding that option to the service.
Play Books supports PDF and EPUB files, which can be uploaded through the online library on your desktop. The feature appears to still be rolling out, so don't worry if you get a 404 right now. Read More
Let it be not be said that Google neglected the Google TV platform today at I/O. Though it wasn't mentioned during this morning's 3 hour-plus keynote, the company rolled out a new version of the YouTube app for TV during the presentation.
Specifically, the updated application brings a simplified UI, enhanced video playback controls, and support for paid channels. The video discovery and subscription tabs now show playlists with blown-up video thumbnails and bolded titles for easier browsing. Read More
One of the cooler new features of both Gmail and Google Wallet that didn't make it into today's three-hour Google I/O keynote is the new ability to send money to any Gmail contact. Just message or reply to someone, write something along the lines of "here's your money, dog," and click the Attachments paperclip icon. You'll see a new option among the expanding icons: a dollar sign. Click the dollar sign, and you can send funds straight from Google Wallet. Read More
Today, Google announced a new look for the Google+ stream. Gone is the weird, bubbly look that we've had for forever. The cards-centric UI that we've seen on phones and tablets is now coming to the desktop as well. You can select a one, two, or three-column layout and each individual card can flip over with a slick animation and provide more information and options.
Google's also improving its search and tagging functionality. Read More
Google's official Search app (aka Google Now) for Android has been updated with a few new features, though they're pretty awesome ones. First, voice reminders are finally live - you can now say, for example, "remind me to buy milk this evening" or "remind me to take out the trash when I get home." I think we can all agree that's kind of amazing.
The second new feature is suggested content, in the form of upcoming books, music, TV, and video games you might be interested in. Read More