Google has crept on all of us over the course of developing Google Maps into the ubiquitous product that it has become, and now the company is enabling us to start creeping on each other as well.* Today Google has kicked off a pilot program opening up use of the Street View Trekker to third parties. If you're a member of a tourist board, non-profit, university, research organization, or something otherwise interesting, you can apply to borrow the Trekker and help capture images of the hard-to-reach places Google has yet to access.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is working on a few things. They are, according to the world's most infamous tipster "People Familiar With The Matter," working on an Android-powered video game console. And a smart watch. And a new Nexus Q. And the possibility of Android-powered appliances (like refrigerators). And Laptops. And, oh yeah, low-cost phones for developing markets.
Typically we avoid reporting on too-good-to-be-true rumors, but today's alleged revelation is a real whopper.
Today's update to Play Movies introduces a sleeker experience for Android devices. Unfortunately, the experience is too sleek for the Nexus Q to handle. For the few of you that have one of those endearing little spheres, your movies are now joining your music as content you can no longer stream to the device.
With both Play Music and Play Movies support gone, there is little reason to continue using the Nexus Q.
Last month Google announced that they would remove Argentina from the list of regions supporting paid Android apps in the Google Play Store. The company cited "ongoing issues," likely having to do with rapidly increasing inflation and other economic problems in the country. Google had planned to remove all paid apps and IAP apps from Argentinian developers tomorrow, June 27th. Now the company has reversed its decision, and though they haven't said why, presumably it follows the outcry from the Argentinian developer community.
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.
If you take a look at Motorola Mobility's company branding, you'd be hard-pressed to find much that's changed since Google bought them almost two years ago. Today that changes... a little. The Verge found the logo above in the site for Techweek, a Moto-sponsored technology show taking place in Chicago on June 27th. The new logo surrounds the familiar "M" with a segmented color wheel, and swaps out the all-caps name for a softer font with "a Google company" beneath it.
The day is here, AOSP fans: you can go pick up a gloriously stock Samsung Galaxy S4 or HTC One in the Google Play Store now. The "Google Play Edition" phones went live this morning, right on time, and are now for sale next to the Nexus phones and tablets. The GS4 Google Edition can be had for $649, while the HTC One goes for slightly less at $599. Both are running the latest version of Android 4.2 shod of all skins and add-ons, with promised updates via Google itself.
If you've ever felt the urge to indulge in Android-branded consumerism in the same way that Apple fans do, you might soon get the chance... if you live in India. The Economic Times reports that Google plans to open an Android-branded store called Android Nation in New Delhi's Select Citywalk shopping center. The store will feature Android hardware from multiple brands (not just Nexus devices) and operate in partnership with Asian conglomerate Spice Mobile.
Google Glass is an extraordinary device. Like the Apple II, the Palm Pilot, and the first iPhone, Glass is a category-defining product that will quickly become the template for all other devices of its type going forward. It's the kind of device that will have a place in a computer history museum.
As a technology journalist, I often cover innovative devices, or exciting devices, or devices destined to sell millions, but how often, going in, can you say "This is a device of historical significance?" Wearable computing has arrived.
Last week there was a bit of hubbub among the still-tiny population of Google Glass users, after Google sent out packages to the Explorer program. A few of them spotted UPS packages coming in through the My UPS service, and speculation ran wild. What could this 1-pound package be? A free Nexus 4? Keys to one of Google's self-driving cars? A golden ticket for admittance to the Google X Dream Factory?