Time flies in the tech world. The Moto 360 isn't the latest hotness anymore, but I still love the one strapped to my wrist. In my mind, it remains the most visually stunning smartwatch you can buy. And when I say you, I'm referring to folks in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom—all places where the watch is now listed as available from the Play Store.
Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical newspaper that was attacked by gunman last week causing the deaths of twelve people, has published its latest newspaper edition on the Play Store. The "survivor's edition" has rapidly sold out in print despite an enormous initial run, so interested readers in France and around the world now have a more accessible alternative.
OK, European readers. We know Google doesn't always put a rush on features and products outside of the United States. America got lane guidance (which tells you which lane to get into before you approach a turn or exit) way back in May. It looks like US roads were the only ones on which this feature was available, at least until yesterday, when Google announced lane guidance for some European countries on the official Google Europe blog.
You know what thermostats and smoke detectors need? They need touchscreens, and internet connectivity, and apps, and gesture recognition. The only way you're getting that is with Google's Nest thermostat and Nest Protect smoke/carbon monoxide detector. Now you can get them even if you're in France or Ireland.
Hello, European readers. Yes, we know you're there, and if we should ever forget, you're sure to let us know in the comments section for every cool new Google product you can't play with. If you live in Belgium, France, the Republic of Ireland, or the Netherlands, you'll soon be able to scratch at least one of those off your list. Nest is bringing its smart connected thermostat and Nest Protect smoke detector to these countries sometime in September.
The Google Play Newsstand Android app is pretty and all, but without the ability to subscribe to magazines, it's little more than a dumbed down pseudo-RSS reader. So it's a pretty good thing Google is rolling out access to the digital magazines to more countries. By now, residents in France and Germany should have access to the Newsstand content available in Google Play.
Motorola's Moto X is making the trip to Europe, and while it isn't packing everything into its suitcase in time for launch (such as Moto Maker), it will still be the same phone we already know and love when it hits store shelves in France, Germany, and the UK come February 1st. The device will sell for £380 or 399 euros unlocked with British customers also able to snag one up on contract starting at £25 a month.
The default way to order content from the Play Store is to add a credit card to Google Wallet, but if you've grown accustomed to having purchases show up on your bill like the good ol' days when phones were phones, there's the option to enable carrier billing. The choice isn't universal, and while it's available to customers on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon here in the US, it still has to trickle out to other carriers around the world.
A report in L'Expansion claims that Google has finalized the acquisition of FlexyCore, an optimization company based in Rennes, France, for 16.9 million Euros (just over $23 million USD). Google confirmed the sale to GigaOM, but did not comment on the price or purpose. The French website says that Google has been processing the acquisition for over a year and finally closed the deal earlier this month.
FlexyCore is a five-year-old company founded by Gilbert Cabillic, a former head researcher for Texas Instruments.
The recently refreshed ASUS Nexus 7 is now available directly from Google's Play Store in Europe in France, Germany, Japan, Spain, and UK as well as in Asia in Japan. Both 16GB and 32GB Wi-Fi-only variants are being offered - we're still counting down days till the launch of the LTE version.
The 5 new countries join the 2 existing ones (U.S. and Canada) for a grand total of 7.