We heard at Google I/O about Google's plans to help improve the experience of users on slow connections, especially in parts of the world where even 3G speeds are few and far between. They gave us a peek at how the search interface would change under those circumstances to improve those load times. Now, in select markets, the pages you click on will also be optimized to load much faster.
Google's estimates have you loading the page 4x as fast compared to the unaltered version when on a slow connection, with 80% less data. They claim, appealing to webmasters, that this results in 50% more pageviews due to the better experience and lower wait. Read More
Sprint is so good, you can take it with you when you leave the country. Okay, maybe its service isn't the best. Whatever. It's cheap. That's why you signed up, right?
Now when you travel to Colombia, Denmark, Honduras, Ireland, Italy, Paraguay, or Sweden with an International Value Roaming plan, you can roam data for free. You're limited to 2G speeds and might not always be able to find a connection, but again, it's free. If you do need faster connectivity, you can get 3G for the not-at-all-tempting prices of $15-$50 for 100-500MB of data that last up to fourteen days.
These additions join the likes of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Russia, South Korea, Spain, and the UK. Read More
Sprint wants your business. Obviously. It's a carrier. So today it has announced a plan meant to appeal to those of you who travel. The package includes free international roaming, unlimited texting, and calls that cost 20 cents per minute when you travel to countries in Europe or Latin America, as well as Japan and South Korea. Think of it as International Value Roaming.
With this plan, Sprint limits international roaming to 2G speeds. If you want something faster, you need to cough up quite a bit of money for a day pass. We're talking $15 for 100MB in a single day. Read More
It may be taking longer than many potential customers would like, but Google is still working on bringing its goods and services to interested parties around the world. Today, those in New Zealand and Taiwan will be happy to find that the Play Store now has a "Devices" section in their countries.
For now, it seems that only the Nexus 9 and the Chromecast are available in these two countries, but this is still a promising development.
Thanks for the screenshots, Shaun!
If you're in New Zealand or Taiwan and haven't already got your hands on Google's latest tablet or trusty media streamer, head over to the Play Store and go wild. Read More
Placing a voice call over Google Hangouts is a nice way to save some money. If you and another user both rely on the service, you can start chatting with anyone regardless of where they live. But placing a call to a traditional phone number comes with a few more restrictions.
On the positive side, Google has announced that it's loosening a major one for users in India. Now residents there can place international voice calls using Hangouts.
While Indians can place calls to whichever countries they choose, only those placed to the US or Canada are free. Yet that alone makes the service a good option for the many people who need to stay in touch with family, friends, and co-workers in North America and the Indian subcontinent. Read More
There are so many regional and carrier variants of Samsung's Galaxy S4 flagship that even we can hardly keep them straight, but apparently CyanogenMod hasn't released an official ROM for the white bread, vanilla, Exynos-powered original GS4 before now. But lo and behold, a new build for the GT-I9500 GSM model has appeared on the CM download page. It's a test version of CyanogenMod 11 (Android 4.4) if you're interested.
As you may recall, support for Exynos-based hardware has been something of a sticking point for CyanogenMod and other ROM teams. While the LTE versions of the phone with Qualcomm's Snapdragon system on a chip designs have had plenty of support, the Exynos versions have lagged behind for various reasons. Read More
Google's various digital media stores are slowly, slowly making their way across the world. Today's expansion of Google Play Movies brings it to 12 new countries and Hong Kong, for a total of 25. The new countries added today are mostly smaller nations, scattered all over the globe, and strangely featured before larger ones get the service. Put it down to the precarious nature of international content negotiations. Read More
Spotify made news earlier today by lowering its barrier to entry, allowing users to stream music to their phone or tablets for free. Yet it isn't the only music-streaming service in town, and competitor Rdio has expanded access to 20 additional countries. This brings the total number of supported territories up to 51, which this handy map illustrates. Read More
Yes, yes, we know: Google takes its sweet time in getting all the various parts of the Play Store rolled out to all corners of the globe. This evening (or morning, I suppose) they've expanded the Google Play Books service to South Africa, Switzerland, and Turkey. Android and Chrome users in these countries should be able to buy and read books right now.
Pics or it didn't happen: South Africa
Today's update brings Google Play Books to 39 countries, mostly in North America, Europe, and Asia - in fact, South Africa is the first country on the continent to get access to the service. Read More
The Good Ship Motorola has more leaks in it than Stan Rogers' famous Antelope, and the Moto G (and the Moto DVX, which is probably the same thing) has been the only significant device we've heard about since the X. It looks like Motorola is almost ready to take the wraps off of the phone officially: the website moto-g.com went live early this morning with a teaser for an event on November 13th.
The website is simple, with only a few links, a hashtag, a signup page, and a shifting graphic in the style of the Moto X boot animation. Read More