Back in September of last year, Google chairman Eric Schmidt told us that Android had reached 1.3 million daily activations every day. Today, he tells us that number is up to 1.5 million, which is actually not that staggering of an increase. Andy Rubin said the number was 900,000 per day in June of 2012, so the increase from there to September was much, much faster than the increase from September to now.
This morning, at AllThingsD's Dive Into Mobile conference, Eric Schmidt was interviewed, and that interview was livestreamed. During that conversation, he said three words that are now sweeping the web. Leading up to said words was a question about Motorola, and the future role it would play in the mobile landscape, and as a part of Google. Schmidt provided a meandering, broad-strokes answer that really isn't important, but then started talking about future products.
The day AT&T and US Cellular customers have been waiting on for some weeks is here: it's time to pre-order Samsung's Next Big Thing. For a shiny new two-hundred dollar bill, you can secure the 16GB Galaxy S4 in either white frost or black mist on either carrier. And if you're on US Cellular, you get an added bonus: the company is throwing in a free S View flip cover to seal the deal.
MyGlass, the Google Glass companion app, has just hit the Play Store. Since no one actually has a pair of Google Glass yet, no one actually knows what this thing does. To save myself from going crazy while waiting for my Glass email, ripping apart this new app seemed like a good distraction.
The package name is "com.google.glass.companion," and, naturally, this release is version 1.0.0. MyGlass has a decent amount of permissions, here are a list of the most important ones:
- Access Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (ACCESS_WIFI_STATE/ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE/CHANGE_WIFI_STATE)
- Google Voice Send and Receive permissions
- Full account access (GET_ACCOUNTS/USE_CREDENTIALS/MANAGE_ACCOUNTS)
- Receive and send SMS and MMS
- Full location access (ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION/ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION)
- Full internet access
- Read contacts
So basically, it's a tethering app - a tethering app that Glass appears highly dependent on.
It looks like Google is gearing up for the Glass Explorer program, launching the MyGlass companion app and a new Glass setup page, both accessible to the general public.
The companion app relies on Google's now-signature "Card UI," and the listing's screenshots show off some of the app's functionality, though Google reminds us "if you don't have Glass, then downloading this will be a waste of time. Sorry about that." The description goes on to comfort readers, however: "But if you swipe the screenshots to the right, you'll see there's a picture of a puppy in pajamas.
There's nothing like sliding in behind the wheel of a finely tuned automobile for a little drag race. Odds are you have neither the inclination nor the resources to do that in real life, so why not enjoy the experience in a video game? CSR Racing has been released globally on Android, and it's got more officially licensed cars than than you'll be able to properly drool over.
CSR Racing is still a racing game, but it doesn't have the same level of interaction as something like Real Racing 3.
It was just five days ago that Hazard Rush was released to the Play Store. The developer took to Reddit to make the announcement and offer some freebies. Well, the community was into Hazard Rush, which (according to the app description) is a little like Snake and Geometry Wars. It's the next part of the description that got Hazard Rush banned from Google Play. The developer made a cheeky SEO joke, and that was enough for it to get swept up in Google's Play Store purge.
For the first time in a million years, Google Voice got an actual update. While the changelog is, as usual, of no help whatsoever ("Improved the reliability of SMS delivery"), a teardown teases out an eyebrow-raising tidbit: Google Voice’s configuration settings can now be read by other apps.
The GV update comes packing a new service for handing out this info, called “GoogleVoiceConfiguration,” and a new permission, "com.google.android.apps.googlevoice.permission.FETCH_CONFIGURATION."
There’s an explanation of the permission in the strings file:
<string name="google_voice_fetch_configuration_permission_label">Read Google Voice configuration</string>
<string name="google_voice_fetch_configuration_permission_description">Allows applications to read the configuration of Google Voice, including your Google Voice phone number.</string>
That's about it for the cold, hard facts.
Don't drink and drive. Ever. Now that we've got that out of the way, Breathometer, the smartphone-powered breathalyzer, has reached its Indiegogo goal about six times over. What does that mean for you? Cheap BAC tests for everyone! The $20 device aims to make it inexpensive and easy to know when you're too intoxicated to drive. This will, naturally, replace the more commonplace test of "Have I had any alcohol? Yes?
Google Voice is a great service for replacing your carrier's voicemail and texting options. If you need something that's a bit more robust, however, SendHub has launched on Android and allows business-class users to set up a phone number (or set of numbers) and get texting and calling for free or cheap, depending on what class of service you need.
Free users can get 60 voice minutes, 500 messages, and 3 groups of 50 contacts for their first line.