Update: Google says that the Nexus Player is also available from TigerDirect. The official Nexus Twitter account also mentions Wal-Mart and Fry's Electronics, though it isn't available from their online sites, so it may only be on sale in brick-and-mortar stores. Staples' online store is also mentioned, but as of noon Monday, the Nexus Player isn't listed. Amazon now has an official listing from Asus available at the standard $99 price with free Prime shipping. Read More
I love the "Moto dimple" on the back of the Nexus 6. It makes the enormous phone just a little bit easier to grip (especially if you have a case with an iPhone-style logo cutout, like this one). But apparently the original purpose of the circular depression wasn't ergonomics, or even to match the branding on other Motorola devices like the Moto X. According to Dennis Woodside, former CEO of Motorola and currently the COO at Dropbox, the dimple was intended to be a fingerprint scanner. Read More
Google's compatibility definition document (CDD) is meant to provide guidelines, requirements, and recommendations to Android device manufacturers who want their devices to be "compatible" with the latest release of Android, allowing them to pass Google's Compatibility Test Suite.
Last time Google updated the document, we noted at least one change of interest, requiring that manufacturers use white status icons with translucent bars. Naturally, when we noticed Google had updated the document again, we had to take a look and see what changes had been made. Read More
YouTube has become a great place for indie musicians to get their work out to the public, and in a few cases, even make a little extra money with Google's automated Content ID music identifying and licensing service. That was all well and good, right up to the point where Google decided it would make its video site into a formal music service with YouTube Music Key. We heard of serious issues with the contract terms even before the service launched, but now one independent artist has spilled the beans on those terms, and how they've left her in a conundrum. Read More
Sometimes old stuff is too old. It's sad, but companies don't have unlimited resources, and they can't provide new software updates and service forever. That's especially true of smaller companies like Dropcam (though it's technically owned by Nest, which is technically owned by Google, so I'm not sure if it qualifies as a "small" company anymore). But instead of simply leaving owners of older hardware in the dust, or compromising on new features for the always-on home monitoring service, Dropcam has decided to simply upgrade the old models for free. Read More
The US and EU have put in effect sanctions against the Crimea area of Ukraine following Russia's annexation of the peninsula, and now various tech companies are complying. Google has already started to block AdSense and AdWords in the region, reports TechCrunch, and it plans to cut off Google Play services starting on February 1st.
Google's actions follow the likes of Apple, PayPal, and Valve (which has opted to turn off Steam in Crimea altogether). When Google cuts off access to Google Play services, this will apply to both paid and free provisions, but the company will continue to provide access to web-based services such as search, Gmail, and Maps. Read More
Reports indicate that Google has taken definitive steps towards launching their own cellular phone service, making a long-whispered rumor sound like more than just hearsay. Google is working on deals with both Sprint and T-Mobile to become a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) on their infrastructure. While details are sparse for now, this might be your surest bet to avoid bloatware if there ever was one.
An MVNO is a third-party who uses a major carrier's network to provide service. Read More
Version 40 of Google Chrome went live today after a couple months in beta. There's no single headlining feature in this update, but there are a variety of genuinely useful additions and fixes. It is Wednesday, after all, and what better update than a major Chrome release?
We have previously covered the bulk of the changes in this release. What's on the menu? Here's a changelog, created by me with links to previous coverage (as if Google would provide one):
About that last one, here's what we mean: press and hold on the address bar and you'll see something like the image below. Read More
It may be taking longer than many potential customers would like, but Google is still working on bringing its goods and services to interested parties around the world. Today, those in New Zealand and Taiwan will be happy to find that the Play Store now has a "Devices" section in their countries.
For now, it seems that only the Nexus 9 and the Chromecast are available in these two countries, but this is still a promising development. Read More
Update: Plenty of readers are saying that they've received 5.0.1 with AT&T SIM cards. The decision to publish this post was made after my testing and another AP team member saying that he had yet to receive 5.0.1 on his device as well. It's possible that the rollout to devices with AT&T SIMs is just moving at a much slower pace than for ones with other SIMs, but regardless, there is still something unique going on with AT&T. Read More