Google keeps giving away freebies to customers who buy its hardware. The latest is a trio of free movies from the Play Store for owners of Chrome OS-powered laptops. It's quite nice, but don't head out to buy a copy of Age of Ultron just yet - you get three movies from a relatively limited selection, and they're only in standard definition. So, nice, but not amazing.
Here's the list, or at least the one that we've seen on our personal accounts in the US. Your results may vary:
- Mission Impossible
- Mission Impossible II
- Mission Impossible III
- Mean Girls
- Ferris Bueller's Day Off
- Forrest Gump
- The Spongebob Squarepants Movie
- The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water
- The Last Airbender
- Charlotte's Web (2006)
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
I'm no movie critic, but I'd say that the clear winners among that limited selection are Mission Impossible, Forrest Gump, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Read More
The Galaxy View is Samsung's biggest tablet, and the company is positioning it as a sort of all-purpose, general-use device for an entire household rather than a conventional mobile device. To that end they've released another exclusive app for the 18.4-inch tablet, Family Square. According to the description in the Play Store, it's meant to be a digital bulletin board, allowing multiple users to post photos to the app which are then displayed on the screen.
The setup is... unique. Instead of simply pulling photos from Facebook or Google+ accounts, Family Square needs to connect to individual phones, presumably over the local Wi-Fi network. Read More
The Chromecast is already a pretty fantastic deal for a streaming gadget, and it just keeps on giving. It looks like Google is repeating the $6 offer it extended back in February, giving users six bucks of Play Store credit for each Chromecast and Android TV box associated with their account. The credit stacks - I have both a Chromecast and a SHIELD TV, so I now have $12 in credit just begging to be used. Thanks, Big G.
We've seen this credit activated for both the original and updated version of the Chromecast, plus the SHIELD TV and Nexus TV. Read More
The OnHub router has quickly become an interesting novelty in the sometimes stoic home networking segment thanks to its forward-looking hardware and user-focused software. And Google isn't letting up on the latter: the router is already receiving its first software update, about three months after the launch of the TP Link-branded OnHub and just a week after the announcement of the ASUS version.
That being said, there isn't anything in this update that's particularly mind-blowing. According to the changelog posted on a Google support page and corroborated by an owner on Google+, the changes are focused on better performance and network management. Read More
While the A9 is indeed a pretty good phone, there's no doubt HTC's bungled the launch of the device a bit. First, the whole promotional pricing thing (and the 2GB/16GB variant abroad being so damn expensive), and now? A pre-order shipment delay for those who did choose to buy one. We're hearing from US readers that HTC has sent out the following email, pushing back shipment of the initially available colors until next Tuesday, November 10th, at the earliest. Some customers, though, will be waiting much longer than that - especially if you ordered a Sprint variant.
In addition, HTC has now delayed Verizon network compatibility for the One A9 indefinitely. Read More
As an Android user, you are forgiven for not knowing who or what Fly Labs is. The company's video editing suite of applications is only available on iOS so your exposure to its products may have been non-existent. But you're about to hear more about Fly Labs or at least its products' features since it has just been acquired by Google.
The company announced the acquisition on its site and Google Photos' product lead David Lieb reiterated the news, dubbing Fly Labs as the "creators of the world's best video editing apps." I don't know about the world's best, but Fly Labs has some very interesting products under its name. Clips puts fragments of videos together, reorders them, and tags music or voice recordings on top of them. Tempo edits slow-motion, fast-forwarded clips, and time-lapse videos. Fly uses gestures to edit videos, apply cuts and transitions, integrate picture-in-picture, or split the screen. Read More
Calendar apps are a dime a dozen on the Play Store, but few of them have the polish, power, and intuitive interface of Today Calendar. Now the app can add one more bullet point to its list of handy options that make it easier and faster to schedule appointments and tasks: natural language processing.
What that means is that you no longer have to fuss with manually picking dates, times, and durations. You simply type them as you're making a new entry and Today will interpret the specific details and schedule accordingly. Words like today, tomorrow, Friday, in 3 days, specific dates, holiday names, and times like 2pm, for 3 hours, from 1pm until 5pm, are processed by the app without the need to go into date and time selection. Read More
If you use DoubleClick for Publishers to sell and serve ads, you'll be happy to know that Google finally released an app for the platform to monitor your performance on the go.
The app appears to pretty much be strictly for viewing performance in a dashboard card-style layout, not actually taking any actions in DoubleClick itself. You'll be able to see your network performance, including things like impressions, clicks, your click ratios, CPM, and individual ad performance.
You can get it on Google Play at the link below.
Until today, just five countries had access to Google Play TV shows: Australia, Canada, the US, UK, and Japan. Now, Germany and France have joined the rather [frustratingly] exclusive Play TV club, and that's not all. Germany and Spain are also getting access to redeemable Google Play credit promo codes starting today, both having already been in the list of countries with Google Play gift cards.
While Play Movies is available in dozens of countries, licensing television shows can be much more difficult. With many different distribution deals often occurring even within different regions of a given country, let alone for different seasons of a show, the number of deals that have to be made can be quite ridiculous. Read More