Many happy returns, Google+, you are five today. Google's home-built social network was launched on June 28th, 2011, competing with the likes of Facebook and Twitter with a unique "circle" approach to contact management and deep integration with Google services. Many predicted it wouldn't last this long (rest in peace, Google Wave), but Google+ has proven surprisingly resilient.
Android has more birthdays than a cheapskate in an Applebees. November 5th, 2007 is often given as one option, because that's the day that Google announced the development of the platform itself. October 22nd, 2008 is another one, the day that the HTC's G1 phone was first released by T-Mobile. But for some reason, the Google Store team is choosing to pin down today, September 23rd as Android's "seventh birthday." On this day in 2008 Google and T-Mobile announced the availability of the G1 for the following month. That's also the day that the Android 1.0 SDK was first available for public download.
Happy birthday, Google. You didn't invent Android, but you made it awesome, for which we are sincerely grateful. Most of the other stuff that you do is pretty cool too. We'd tell you to watch a certain John Hughes movie, but you're too young to appreciate the reference.
Google declared September 27th its "official" birthday with a 15-year celebration last year, though a precise date for the start of the company isn't really known - you could say that the start of the project goes back at least 18 years to when Larry Page and Sergey Brin began work on their custom "BackRub" search engine at Stanford University.
Can you believe it's been three years since Google introduced its very own social network in private beta? We can - Android Police has published hundreds (Hell, maybe thousands) of articles about Google's social network, since it's been tightly integrated with the company's mobile, web, and search platforms. There have been a lot of big changes since then, and it still isn't the Facebook-stomping behemoth that some people hoped it might be. But the combination of innovative posting features and Google's sheer presence has boosted the service to more than 500 million users.
Man, look how ugly our Android Police logo was back then.
Full disclosure - Ting is my mobile provider of choice. I may write about the constant tug-of-war between the big four American carriers, but at the end of the day, I refuse to sign a two-year contract with anyone, and T-Mobile has precisely zero coverage in the drastically non-urban corner of the US that I'm from. Thankfully, I have options. Ting is celebrating its two-year anniversary this week, and it's doing so by slashing its data prices. As a Ting customer, this is my kind of party.
Sprint may still offer unlimited data plans, but Tuscows-owned Ting (a Sprint MVNO that uses the same network) has to charge higher rates.
Yahoo Mail is turning sixteen (the service, not the company that runs it), and as we would tell any reckless teenager eager to get their hands on the wheel, it might want to slow down a bit. You see, the company has rolled out a slew of new features for the service that, on the whole, are positive, but the provided press photos makes me wonder if they expect anyone older than sixteen to use them.
Yes, those are iPhones. I got that. The updated Android app has yet to hit the Play Store, but Yahoo is promising that themes will be introduced across all platforms.
Pocket, in an update to celebrate the one year anniversary of Read It Later's rebrand, has introduced (among other things) Send to Friend, a new feature that allows for quick, easy sharing of content with friends. Users can accept shared content directly from the Pocket app, using the app's new Inbox. Those sharing can also highlight quotes or add their own comments before sharing, sending them along for friends to read.
What's great about Pocket's Send to Friend is that users can share content with anyone via email without ever leaving the app. While a relatively small feature, it makes the Pocket experience all the more seamless.
Do you like physics games? I sure do. Puddle THD happens to be a great game in this category if you happen to have a Tegra 3 device. The puzzle-centric fluid simulator is typically available on the Play Store for $5, but today the app has gone on sale for a measly $0.99 to celebrate its first whole year on the market. Not bad!
To get an idea of what this game is like you can either watch the video above or rely on my words. Here they are: have you ever wondered what Sonic the Hedgehog would be like if Sonic were a glob of semi-viscous goo?