Within the deluge of exciting announcements made today in lieu of its New York event, Google announced that it has partnered with Warner Music Group to explode the Play Store's music selection, bringing the media giant's full music catalog to listeners all over the world. This means that Google is now partnered "with all of the major record labels globally," along with many independent labels and all the major US magazine publishers, which is nothing if not good news for consumers.
A few days ago, Google intro'd a new entry to the ChromeOS family: the 11.6", Exynos 5-powered Samsung Chromebook. At $250, this dual-core ultraportable isn't going to break the bank, and for users who don't normally venture outside of the web browser, it's a pretty ideal solution. And starting today, you can grab this little guy directly from Google Play.
Have you ever wondered what it's like in the giant facilities where Google keeps all your data magically tucked away, ready at the tap of a screen? Well today, you can explore one such data center, street view style. An accompanying video will take you on a guided tour, showing you how the internet giant stores your data, keeps it cool, and destroys it when hard drives fail. Of course you can also walk around the building by yourself, and we certainly suggest you do, as there are plenty of easter eggs.
Yesterday, Android maintainer JBQ posted up a number of binaries and Android 4.1.2 images for multiple Nexus devices. Owners of international GSM variants of the Galaxy Nexus, though, were left out on the image side. Today, both the "soju" (Nexus S) and "yakju" (Galaxy Nexus GSM) have had their factory images updated to Android 4.1.2, and you can find those images here.
Google also saw fit to finally release a factory image for the Nexus Q, though it's based on Android 4.0.4.
If you're among the many, many potential Nexus 7 users who think that 8GB (or even 16GB) is a little on the wimpy side for a modern tablet, you may have cause to celebrate soon enough. The Spanish storefront of Phone House (the international arm of UK-based Carphone Warehouse) has a promotional page up for the Google-branded tablet in a 32GB flavor, listing for 279€. My Spanish is a little rusty, but it looks like the typical "sign up for more information" pre-sale page.
Folks, I can't believe it myself, but this day has finally come - Google seems to have finally sorted out all its backend and frontend issues with Google contact sync. Jelly Bean's 720x720 hi-res contact support was surely a nice addition, but ended up almost completely useless in our earlier tests: Jelly Bean Bumps Contact Photos To Hi-Res 720x720 But Google Sync Continues To Clobber It With Low-Res Mush.
As of today, all the problems I ran into before are resolved.
In the ongoing effort to make apps better on Android, Google has released another new guide for the developers who may be looking for guidance on just how to build a great tablet-oriented app. The piece has some fairly detailed information, including how much to adjust padding of UI elements and how to target different screen sizes and resolutions. There is also more broad guidance on how to make the most of larger screen real-estate.
Google TV is about to get a whole lot more useful. As of today, Google is pushing Play Movies, TV Shows, and Music to GTV. The rollout is going to take a few weeks to complete, so don't stress if it's not available on your box just yet.
With this update, you'll be able to rent or buy content directly from the Play Store and stream it to your TV. You'll also be able to discover movies and shows via the TV & Movies app, which will also provide recommendations for content available on Netflix and Amazon, along with Google Play.
If you like The Washington Post and happen to have a GoogleTV, your day just got better: there's now an official WP app designed specifically for GTV. Dubbed PostTV, this app brings everything you love about The Washington Post to the big screen. It also includes an exclusive news program called The Fold, which is designed to provide bite-size news snippets directly from the WP newsroom.
Aside from The Fold, PostTV also brings a mid-morning newscast all about what's happening in Washington called News In 59 Seconds, as well as an "ongoing political series featuring analysis from top reporters out on the Campaign 2012 trail called Trail Mix.
Reuters, showing its apparent inability to view anything involving spending money in a positive light, is reporting this morning that Google has revised its reorg (read: firing) costs for Motorola to $340 million this quarter, up from an initial estimate of $275 million. The article goes on to describe this "restructuring headache" - you know, the one Google bought knowing 100% full well it is was getting and had time to prepare for literally a year in advance?