Just last week, we saw the launch of the elusive book cover for the Nexus 10 – the only official accessory of its kind to come out of the Play Store for the 10" slab. Since we spied it at the Nexus 10's original launch, all had been quiet. Presumably, the covers simply weren't ready to be sold.
Google has been pushing developers to build tablet-optimized UIs for their apps since the Xoom was the hot new challenger to the iPad (haha). Okay, so that didn't work out very well, but with the release of devices like the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10, devs are finally starting to see the value of building a great tablet experience. Of course, it's not like you'd know. The Play Store is terrible at showing off tablet UIs, but that's about to change.
Ever since the WSJ dropped a hint about the mythical 'X Phone' back in December, the rumors have not stopped flowing. Which is great because, according to Motorola's CFO, the 18 months of product pipeline that Google acquired weren't exactly wow-ing anyone. However, according to Moto's design chief Jim Wicks, the next generation of hardware will be fantastic.
The handsets have been in the works for the last eight months (so since around August, for those counting), and will target the segments of the market that's looking for a "just right" screen size.
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.
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.
It's been about five months since the Nexus 10 came out. In what is frustratingly becoming true Play Store fashion, accessories did not come out alongside the device. Now, however, the covers have finally landed in two colors: grey and "scarlet" (here being defined as "safety vest orange," at least as it appears in pictures).
For those unfamiliar with how this case works, on the back of the Nexus 10 there is an ovoid plastic plate that snaps in place.
Got a dog bite? Maybe a bee sting? Perhaps you're just feeling sad? Google's got a little mid-week pick-me-up in the form of a sizeable giveaway. To promote the new look of the Play Store and the Google Play Twitter account, they're giving away ten Nexus 10 tablets, seven Nexus 7 tablets, four Nexus 4 phones, and no less than a hundred $10 gift cards to the Google Play Store. Unfortunately for our international readers, the sweepstakes is only for US residents.
We've been seeing leaks about a new Google Play Store UI, that we all thought was going to be released at I/O this year. Nope! The rollout starts today, chaps! According to a post over on the official Android blog, the fancy card-based UI is coming to Android phones and tablets running Froyo (v2.2) and up. Worldwide, the new version will be available "over the next few weeks.
Oh, and you should be happy to know that the ugly pattern across the Action Bar is, in fact, not part of the final release.