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.
Google's steadily rolling out Google Play gift card availability to various countries around the globe. We previously reported that Austria, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland had all made the 'coming soon' list. Now all four have bumped to officially being available now. Not only can consumers find cards in local retailers, each country has its own gift card site. Here's Spain's below.
In every country except Switzerland, the gift cards are available in increments of 15 €, 25 €, and 50 €.
A few days ago we caught wind of the existence of Google Play gift cards in Austria. It was good news, though it came as a surprise as Austria's name was nowhere to be found on the list of countries Google sells gift cards in. Now it is, though oddly still listed as 'coming soon.' Nevertheless, Austria isn't the only country to make an appearance. Now we see that Italy, Mexico, and Switzerland have joined the list as well (with Spain also still listed as being on its way).
Google's long, slow journey towards bringing Play Store media to all corners of the globe has advanced another step today: the Movies section has opened up to Android and web users in Italy. Italian readers can check the Play Store on their phone, tablet, or PC to see what's available for rent or purchase. At present it looks like most of the major American studios are on board for the new territory.
Normally we're pretty pleased when we can report that a new country or carrier has enabled the option for carrier billing in the Google Play Store, allowing customers to charge app and media purchases directly to their phone bill. But for some reason, European carrier Vodafone seems to have dropped the option entirely. Vodafone has disappeared from the list of carrier billing partners on Google's Play Store support page, and we've confirmed the loss of capability from individual users in the UK, Germany, Italy, and Spain.
Earlier today, Google announced that the new LTE Nexus 7 was now available for purchase from the Play Stores in 9 countries: Australia, Canada, Germany, Spain, France, UK, Japan, Korea and U.S. For some reason, the company has neglected to mention Italy, which just got the Devices (Dispositivi) section added to the Play Store for the first time ever.
The only devices available at the moment are all three flavors of the Nexus 7:
The Nexus 10 and Nexus 4 are nowhere to be found, which isn't too surprising considering they're now almost a year old.
Good news for our friends across the pond - Amazon Mobile for Tablets is now available in Italy, United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Spain. This change follows closely behind a pair of updates from Amazon, the first adding support for additional tablets while the second added Canadian availability to the phone version.
- Now available in Italy, France, Germany, Spain, and United Kingdom, as well as United States.
- Bug fixes and performance enhancements
If you live in any of these European countries, own a tablet, and can’t wait to buy something online, hit the widget below.
Just as planned, Google just unleashed Play Music upon select European countries, including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK.
We've known that Google would bring Music to Europe since last month, when the Mountain View giant also announced a new alliance with Warner Music Group, meaning that Play Music was finally partnered with "all of the major record labels globally."
Readers may remember that this rollout also heralds the introduction of music matching for Google Play Music users.
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.