A few days ago, we heard unofficial reports that Google was disappointed with the performance of Music thus far. While it's barely been out for a full quarter to date, there have been a few major factors holding the service back. In my opinion, one of the biggest factors holding it back thus far is the lack of an API - or, in English: third-party app support for the service. Luckily, a developer by the name of Simon Weber read the post about Google Music and got in touch a few days ago to let me know that he had a solution to the problem: an unofficial API he's been working on.
Google Music launched just 3 months ago, but CNET is already hearing from Google managers and record labels that the company is disappointed by the service's performance so far. In a nutshell: when Google Music launched, there were 200 million Android users, and that number was growing extremely quickly. The expectation was that it would be fairly easy to convert some of those users to Music customers. Unfortunately, that just isn't what's happened, with adoption lower than expected.
As the Mobile World Congress approaches, it's about that time for companies to start spreading the word about what they'll be showing off this year. Google is taking the "We'll let our past work speak for itself" approach to building hype. "For a taste of what's in store," Google says on Twitter, "check out this video from last year:"
This booth was so incredible last year it got its own round of coverage.
There has been a lot of interest of late in a patent filed (by Google) back in 2009 for what is obviously a rendition of Android's notification bar system. There are a number of pretty (well, as pretty as black and white gets) figures in the patent showing the notification bar we all know and love, and lots of language about notification systems and the like.
As many of the Android-faithful know, Apple recently implemented as part of iOS 5 the "Notification Center," and it looks an awful lot like Android's in some respects.
Following the discovery of two security exploits within Google Wallet, the Vice President of Google Wallet and Payments, Osama Bedier, released a statement reassuring readers that Google takes "concrete actions" to protect its users. The statement further indicated that, in response to Wallet's security scare, Google has put prepaid card provisioning on hold, at least until a permanent fix is issued (which should happen "soon").
Update 2/14/12: Prepaid card provisioning has been restored:
GrooVe IP, a VoIP client that utilizes Google Voice for its calling feature, was pulled from the Market on Saturday evening by Big Daddy Goog. At first glance, it's not clear why Google would pull this app, but after doing a bit of research, we're fairly confident that it has something do with the way GrooVe IP was listed in the Android Market: "GrooVe IP - Google Voice VOIP."
Labeling an app with a title that suggests it has Google affiliation is a direct violation of Market terms; therefore, putting 'Google Voice VOIP' in the title of the app resulted in Google breaking out the ban hammer.
Earlier today, the EU gave the OK on the pending Google-Motorola deal, even if it did so with a bit of hesitation. The U.S. has now followed suit and approved the deal, leaving only the Chinese to put the stamp of approval on before El Goog will fully own Motorola Mobility.
Google first announced its plans to purchase Motorola Mobility back in August of 2011. The proposal was met with skepticism from many companies, though Google has vowed to control Motorola as a separate entity and keep the playing field level for companies that wish to participate in the Nexus program.
Google just got one step closer to finalizing its acquisition of Motorola Mobility with approval from the 27-member European Union. Google still needs approval from the U.S. and China, as well as a few other key jurisdictions, before it can bring Motorola into the fold, but at the moment things are looking rosy for the Big G.
The EU did express some hesitations about the deal, however. EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia had this to say in a statement to the press:
Though some would have you believe Google TV has long been a dead horse, it seems Mountain View hasn’t given up hope just yet: just about a month after a handful of CES announcements, the company put up a Facebook message promising the following:
There’s obviously no way to discern for sure what these “big announcements” might be, but as The Verge says, it’s possible they could entail the yearly GTV update or (more excitingly) a Google-branded device (Nexus TV, anyone?).
Yesterday, a security firm called zvelo demonstrated a vulnerability within Google Wallet, cracking its PIN verification system using brute force, giving Wallet access to anyone who had the exploit. It was also revealed that the hack only worked on rooted devices, and Google swiftly reported that a fix for the bug was already being worked on.
Adding to Google Wallet's security worries, a new hack was posted online today, claiming to give access to Google Wallet (sans PIN) on non-rooted devices, requiring just a few steps to gain user information (and funds).