Back at Google I/O we were introduced to Android One, an initiative from Google to give smartphone manufacturers guidance on how to build quality Android experiences using affordable hardware and updates directly from the Google mothership. At the time, Sundar Pichai explained that the program would be launched in India with three hardware partners - Spice, Micromax, and Karbonn "this fall," with other territories coming later.
Google evidently sent out invites for the official Android One launch event at the beginning of the month, and partner Karbonn is already teasing that its device is coming soon. Meanwhile, however, Spice may have let its own cat out of the bag.
Back at the Google I/O keynote this summer, we saw a very interesting demonstration - as Sundar Pichai explained, Google wants to make the experience between Android devices and Chromebooks seamless by allowing Android apps to run natively on Chrome (using App Runtime for Chrome, currently in beta). Evernote, Vine, and Flipboard were demonstrated on stage, and today Google has announced the first batch of Android apps that will run on Chrome right now. Among them are Duolingo, Evernote, Sight Words, and Vine. Flipboard is still notably absent.
For now, Google is working "with a select group of Android developers to add more of your favorite apps," meaning there won't exactly be a flood of native Android experiences coming to Chrome OS users.
Remember Grooveshark? It's OK if you don't - after all, the controversial music sharing app hasn't been available on the Play Store for more than two years after it made its amazingly brief debut. But users can still get the app as an APK download on Grooveshark's site, and last month they were thrilled to find that it supported Google's Chromecast streaming gadget. Until today, when Google unceremoniously blocked it from accessing Chromecast features... reportedly at the request of the RIAA.
Yes, the Recording Industry Association of America is still alive and kicking, serving as the real-world embodiment of John Lithgow in Footloose.
Dear Egyptian readers: yes, we know you're out there. We're sorry to report that Google Street View still isn't available for the vast majority of your country. And while you'd surely prefer Street View in Cairo or Alexandria for the sake of convenience, at least Google has made a small stop in Egypt... at the place where all the other Americans go first, the Giza Necropolis. Street View is now available in and around the pyramid complex.
Google has taken its trademark Street View rigs around the Great Pyramid, the Pyramids of Khafre and Menkaure, the Great Sphinx, and the various smaller pyramids, tombs, and monuments that still stand in the area.
Update: Aaaaaaand it's live. You can download the latest version of Netflix here. It looks like it's on a slow rollout, so don't be surprised if you can't get it right it away.
Enhanced integration with Chromecast, including a new "Post-play" experience to easily continue watching at the end of TV episodes.
Confession: I watched four 90-minute episodes of Sherlock in a single sitting, thanks in no small part to Netflix's auto-advancing "Post-Play" feature on the web. It's that little pop-up interface that automatically goes to the next episode in a TV series if you don't press anything.
Update #2 9/9/14 1:15pm PT: Back in stock. This time, it "leaves warehouse in 2 - 3 weeks."
Update #3 9/9/14 3:37pm PT: Sold out again.
The Moto 360 has been in high demand, though some early reviews indicatepoor performance and battery life, especially with the ambient display setting turned on (we're talking having trouble getting through a single day without recharging).
Just days after the Explorer Edition of Google's first wearable device made its way onto the US Play Store, the Glass development team is starting to roll out yet another in a long history of updates. This time we're looking at XE21.0, which appears to be on the smaller side based on the changelog. Only two noteworthy details made it onto the list: faster updates for Google Now cards and accident indicators during Navigation, provided by Waze.
Despite so few changes, this update promises to address two features that haven't seen much improvement over the last several months. For quite some time, users have complained that updates to Google Now cards on Glass would lag behind a paired phone by several minutes, or even more than an hour.
Google is continually tweaking its search engine to make getting information just that little bit easier. The latest addition to the far-reaching Knowledge Graph system appears to be additional inline information that will show up beneath some broad search results. Search for a historical figure or something relating to geography, and you'll see basic facts beneath the entry. The new feature was spotted by the Google Operating System blog, and it appears to be limited to Wikipedia results for the time being.
The additional snippets of information seem to be bite-sized versions of the full Knowledge Graph display, shown to users when the search engine isn't sure that they're looking for one particular thing.
Earlier this week, the following crane lift project notice was posted around the famous Android statue lawn next to building 44 on Google's Mountain View campus:
Of course, this sighting sparked a variety of rumors - after all, it would only be natural to assume that any work requiring a crane lift involved a new statue being installed, which would mean we'd finally find out the name of the L release. Lemon Meringue Pie, as the LMP abbreviations have been suggesting, Lollipop, or something else?..
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.
Previously Nest's connected home gadgets were only officially available in the Unites States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, though the latest blog post says that Nest has users in over 120 countries at this point.