Attention, people of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland: you can now buy television shows from Google Play, both on the web and via your Android devices. Google threw the switch on the content earlier today, making the UK the first country to get access to TV shows on Google Play outside the United States. Content appears to be a decent mix of US and UK shows at the moment, though it's probably a bit anemic when compared to the US store due to good old-fashioned licensing issues.
The power button is supposed to wake up your phone, and ideally it should work every single time. On Android 4.3, however, that is not necessarily the case. Running the Netflix app seems to invariably cause the device to freeze the next time it is put to sleep. It's an annoying bug, but Googler Dan Morrill swung by a Reddit thread to confirm Google and Netflix are aware of the issue and have "top men" working on it.
Googlers have alluded to an expansion of the Glass Explorers program for some time now, but we may finally be seeing some forward motion on the idea.
Posted by Explorer Ryan Mott and confirmed by Glass community advocate Sarah Price, the screenshot below shows an email being sent out to some explorers allowing them to "Invite a Friend" to become an explorer.
For now, Price indicates that the program is "an experiment," and independent of the previous #IfIHadGlass campaign, though some explorers from that contest "may receive this email."
We've reached out for more details and will keep you updated if more information emerges.
Another day, another cancelled Google product. Try to sound surprised as I report that the Google Catalogs Android app will go the way of the dodo on August 15th. Too difficult? I understand. I couldn't muster up any shock either. Catalogs scratches a very niche itch, one Google was willing to address on tablets but never bothered with on smartphones. While it's true that some people have installed the app, the vast majority of Googlers probably never knew it existed.
A few of our European readers might have discovered this already, but Google's Carrier Billing page for the Play Store was updated yesterday. According to the additions, Android users on the Bouygues carrier in France and Play (the carrier, not the store) in Poland should now be able to buy apps and media via their phone bill. We've reached out to Google for confirmation and haven't heard back, but a post to this list is usually conclusive.
Update: Well, it seems someone at Google was a bit confused, as LTE has been added back to the European specification of the new Nexus 7, including band 20. Crisis averted.
The last generation of Nexus devices was stuck with HSPA+ mobile data, but with the new N7 Google has stepped into the 4G world. However, it seems like that world may be smaller than we previously thought. The specification page for the Nexus 7 has been tweaked to remove LTE bands from the European version, leaving it with only HSPA+.
Ever since its inception in Android 4.2, end-users have wondered why the multi-user function has been restricted to tablets. While switching between profiles desktop-style certainly makes the most sense on tablets, there's no technical reason why it couldn't be enabled for phones as well. Yesterday an official Android engineer took to Reddit to explain the reasoning behind the limitation.
"...it is not at all clear how it should work on a phone, specifically with respect to SMS and phone calls," writes Dan Morrill, Google Engineer and a regular on the popular /r/Android subreddit.
You may have noticed that Google's shiny new Chromecast streaming gadget has suddenly become a bit popular. The combination of easy streaming and a cheap $35 price sticker has made the dongle a hot ticket, already backed up by three or four weeks on the Play Store, periodically sold out at Amazon and Best Buy, and selling for insane markups on eBay. Google has noticed too: according to a report by the LA Times, they've decided to end the Netflix promotional giveaway, which bundled three months of streaming video service (a $24 value) with the device.
In the realm of nerdy Easter Eggs, the Konami Code is a long-time favorite. It shows up in various games and websites, offering a bit of nostalgia each time. Leave it to Google to have a little fun with the Konami Code on Android. Just a few swipes, and you've unlocked a secret achievement in the new Google Play Games app.
In the Google Play Games app, simply swipe the following directions: up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right.
Wall Street Journal reporter Amir Efrati has let it slip that none other than Chrome/Android head Sundar Pichai has divulged the existence of a next-generation Samsung-made Nexus 10 tablet. If Pichai related more details to Efrati, he's keeping them under his hat. Still, Samsung is more or less confirmed as the OEM for Google's next 10-inch slate.
— Amir Efrati (@Amir_Efrati) July 24, 2013
The Nexus 10 was announced along side the Nexus 4 late last year.