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.
Google's HDMI dongle continues to spread across the world, bringing streaming video to bigger screens. This time the Chromecast has landed in Ireland just days after Google Play Movies became available. How convenient.
The device will cost €39 from the Play Store, which is somewhat higher than the US price when you figure in conversion. Until Android TV comes out, the Chromecast is the only way to beam content from all those cast-enabled apps to a TV.
Play Movies have been available on Google Play for years now, but this is the case only in certain parts of the globe. People living elsewhere have to wait patiently for their countries to get added to the list. Ireland is the latest one to gain support, so its residents can now fire up the Play Store to download movies. TV shows, however, are not available.
When it comes to Google Play content, movies have a relatively broad reach.
It's a good time to be a Samsung owner, at least if you've got some recent hardware. After beginning an extensive campaign of Android 4.3 updates for US models of the Galaxy SIII, S4, and Note II (likely motivated by the Galaxy Gear compatibility it provides), Samsung is now starting to update the massively popular international SIII model, the GT-I9300. According to SamMobile, Irish S III owners on Vodafone are the first to get the update, with no other regions reporting in at the moment.
Google quietly brought Play Books today to four new countries: Austria, Belgium, Ireland, and Portugal. The aforementioned countries only had access to Google Play Apps and Music before, so I'm sure the book lovers among those of you who reside in the four territories are ecstatic.
The new Books section as seen in Ireland
Google has been very slow to roll out various content stores worldwide. The last time Play Books expanded was all the way back in March and only included one country - Mexico.
The pace at which Samsung is pushing out Galaxy S III Jelly Bean updates is picking up steam in Europe with the much anticipated arrival of Android 4.1.1 for unbranded UK handsets. The Brits aren't the only ones getting it today - in fact, the list is quite sizeable. Here, check it out:
- UK unbranded
- Switzerland unbranded
- Luxemburg unbranded (update: supposedly, Belgian S IIIs use the same version too)
- Denmark (Three)
- Bulgaria (Mobiltel)
- Romania (Cosmote)
- Ireland (Meteor, Vodafone)
- Czech Republic (O2)
- Sweden (Tre)
- Croatia (Vipnet)
Not bad at all - looks like the next platform distribution update won't be as depressing.
European O2 and Vodafone Galaxy S III owners, it's finally your turn to check out Jelly Bean first hand. Following last week's updates on Hutchison Whampoa networks (Three/3/H3G), now O2 and Vodafone joined the party and started pushing out Android 4.1.1 to Galaxy S IIIs in at least the following locations:
- O2: United Kingdom, Ireland
- Vodafone: United Kingdom, Italy, Czech Republic, Germany
The Vodafone launch started today right on schedule, as per this post from a few days ago.
The Jelly Bean update for the Galaxy S III is steadily spreading to more countries in Europe, in addition to Poland, Sweden, France, Spain, Romania, and Austria. Today, it started rolling out in Italy (H3G), United Kingdom (H3G), Switzerland (Swisscom), and Ireland (Three), as well as on another Austrian carrier called 3 Austria. As far as I can tell, H3G, Three, and 3 are all owned by the same giant company - Hutchison Whampoa (some names are even interchangeable), so four out of five pushes today seem to be a coordinated effort.
While the UK has had the Desire HD since early last week, the EVO look-a-like model and its sibling are only starting to trickle into Irish stores. Currently Vodafone appears to be the only carrier offering one of the new Desires, with the Desire HD available on pre-pay for €479 or €229 on an 18 month €35 contract. However, many Irish Android users appear to be holding out for their network of choice, Meteor, to announce the Desire HD and to a lesser extent the Desire Z.