In case we didn't make it clear with yesterday's post, we were more than a little miffed at Verizon's dismissal of Chromebook Pixel LTE owners. The company told customers that it had unceremoniously ended Google's free 100MB/month data bundle for the Pixel LTE after just one year, despite the initial two-year service promotion. Today Google is offering a consolation prize to those customers who bought the Chromebook Pixel LTE from the Play Store: a $150 refund credit.
According to ComputerWorld's JR Raphael, who broke the original Verizon-Google story, Google will be sending $150 prepaid VISA cards to customers who bought the $1450 Pixel LTE while the promotion was still being advertised.
Admit it, Glass owners, half the reason you're going to Google I/O is that you want to chat with other Glass people about how cool Glass is (hashtag throughglass). Google has given you plenty to chat about: they've just thrown a dozen new apps into the Glassware gallery, all of them from notable sources. Probably the most interesting is Livestream, the official app for Livestream.com, which was previously available as a side-load install.
Clockwise from left: Livestream, Duolingo, MusiXmatch, Star Chart, The Guardian, and Zombies Run!
Other possibly useful additions include a Glassified version of the Duolingo language learning app, a really cool take on the augmented reality Star Chart app, heads-up versions of the Runtastic and Zombies Run!
Sometimes corresponding events that might otherwise be considered mere coincidence are so amazing that they're attributed to serendipity or universal irony. This... isn't one of those times. But it might just make you go, "huh." Google's recent acquisition Nest Labs has launched the Nest Developers Program, which will allow developers to easily create connections between the smart thermostat and smoke detector hardware and other integrated devices. You can check out various tools and documentation at developer.nest.com.
Also launching today is GTV Hacker's first extensive post on the Nest, which exposes some alarming security vulnerabilities in the hardware. With a single file, the security researchers managed to gain root access to the device through the built-in Device Firmware Upgrade (DFU) mode.
GTV Hacker's interest in gaining root privileges for the Nest are primarily in the name of security, because the device's automation features make it particularly disturbing to think of someone else gaining access.
Google and Verizon Wireless seem to be in a perpetual state of "it's complicated." The protracted issues with the Nexus 7 LTE, the infamously terrible launch and support of the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, and a few other spats come to mind. Now JR Raphael of ComputerWorld is reporting that Verizon has unceremoniously dumped the 100MB per month of free packaged wireless data that came with the LTE model of the Chromebook Pixel that went on sale last year. And here's the kicker: they don't really give a shit.
I don't need to tell you this is a good deal – we've seen it pop up before and it sold out pretty fast. Today you can get the Nexus 7 in either 16GB or 32GB sizes for $170 and $130 respectively, but it's US-only.
Update 2: And now it's showing up for purchase on the UK Play Store - 1000 of your pounds will buy an Explorer Edition Glass in one of five colors. The same free frame / shade deal going on in the US is also available for the UK version. (Thanks, Ben!) Here's the official UK landing page for Glass, too.
Accessories seem to line up, as well - all the shades, frames, the stereo and mono earbuds, carrying case, pouch, and spare charger are all available for purchase. Here's the official announcement on Google+, and you can watch a video about Glass in London or something below.
We don't have news about whether a Nexus phone exists, but we do have information related to HTC's Volantis (or Flounder), an 8.9" Nexus tablet. The information provided to us indicates possible specs, features, and pricing, as well as an early look at the form factor, though the images we have don't appear to be final renderings of the device.
Mozilla employees have mentioned a few times that the company is working on its own streaming device to compete with Google's $35 Chromecast, and now we're getting our first look at how it will work. The device is based on Firefox OS and actually plugs into most Chromecast-enabled apps out of the box.
Right now, in the slide-out "hamburger" menu of most Google apps, there's a Help button, with a tiny circled question mark icon. If a user needs help with the app (or anything else), this button will pull up a web page. Once on the web page, users can browse through categories for help articles and potential solutions or, if all else fails, request a support call from Google.
It looks like Google wants to make that experience a little more elegant, though.
In recent updates to both YouTube and Wallet, we've seen code suggesting a new app-level feature called Google Help.