A lot of people are excited for Google Glass right now. The first Explorer units began rolling into the happy embrace of those selected for the exclusive pilot program just last week, and we've already seen a ton of feedback. Combined with decent pre-release coverage, it's clear that Glass has the potential to shake things up once more people have it in their hands. Of course press coverage and user excitement only form part of the story.
Google has just launched a new app that brings a charitable side to the Play Store, making it easier than ever to – in Google's words – "do a little. Change a lot."
The basic idea behind the app (which, for now, is limited to the US) is that users can donate $1 at a time to a daily project such as saving cheetahs, bringing clean water to those in need, or providing a roof for school children.
Back in January, we learned that if you want to be a developer and avoid leaving money on the table, you need to be on both Android and iOS. One or the other isn't going to cut it. However, according to AppAnnie, if you have to choose just one platform, Android is still struggling to prove it's the one you should go with.
According to the report, Play Store downloads are nearing App Store levels, reaching close to 90% as much as the iOS store.
In the interest of time, I'll spare you, dear readers, my usual spiel and say simply this: I like official accessories. In theory, anyway. I like the idea of accessories specifically made for specific devices by the device's original manufacturer. I've been delighted by the Nexus 7 pogo dock, and love the Nexus 10 pogo charger (though it isn't actually official yet).
Then there's the official book cover for the Nexus 10.
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.