The veil of secrecy surrounding Google's mysterious X lab may be getting pulled back later on today, as evident from new developments around the web in the last couple of days. The X lab, revealed by the New York Times a few months ago, could reportedly have engineers working on projects spanning from plates that post what you're eating on your social networks to driverless cars, robots, and things most of us have never even dreamt of.
Let this be a lesson to all major tech companies: if you have a ton of users and you want to enter a new market, you'd better charge some kind of arbitrary fee, lest you end up in trouble with the French judicial system. Google is feeling that sting this week, as a French court ordered the company to pay €500,000 in damages to Maps competitor Bottin Cartographs as well as a €15,000 fine.
Google's not one to shy away from engaging its developers. Between the Android developers blog, Google Groups, and a myriad of other contact methods, Google is pretty open about talking with developers. If you're looking to get a bit more social, you can now add the official Android developers page to your circles Google+.
If there's one thing we love, it's an open community of developers working together. Google has been pushing harder to try and steer its developers in the direction it wants.
Looks like we missed it, but back in December of 2011, Google officially stopped developing App Inventor (it was a result of the company’s shutdown of Google Labs), allowing MIT to take the reins of a very similar project. Today, that project went open source, and though there’s very little in the way of documentation or guides, you can download the code now and begin modifying the Inventor.
Additionally, MIT hasn’t yet opened its servers, so you’ll have to find your own place to upload your modified version(s) of the file – but hey, if nothing else, at least MIT deems you “free to use the term ‘App Inventor’ and the puzzle-piece Android logo” in your work.
Shortly after Thanksgiving last year, Google updated its Maps application, bumping its version number up to 6.0 and adding, most notably, indoor mapping. At the time it was presumed that the feature would be most useful for navigating places like major malls, airports, and similar metropolitan areas; however, Google just added a new way to use indoor mapping: finding your way around the most important tech show of the year – CES!
Seems Sony’s making good on its promise to keep churning out Google TV devices – in fact, the company just introduced not one, but two such gadgets.
As of now, we don’t have tech specs for either of the duo, but what we do know is what you see above: both the NSZ-GP9 Blu-ray player (on the left) and the NSZ-GS7 set-top box (on the right) look splendid, and both have seriously overcomplicated names.
Well, that was quick. Shortly after new Google TV partners were announced, LG has announced one of their Android-powered offerings: the LG Smart TV with Google TV. Details are scant at this point, as the device won't be demonstrated until CES, but we do know that it will launch in two series at some point this year. Both will feature LG's Cinema 3D displays, which do not require the expensive shuttering glasses to work, and both will come bundled with remote with the Magic Remote Qwerty - unsurprisingly, a QWERTY version of their Magic Remote.
Google TV's debut device, the Logitech Revue, may have been a commercial failure, but Google isn't showing any signs of giving up on the platform. We've already seen the Revue receive the Honeycomb 3.1 update, bringing the all-important Market access to the platform, and now Google has announced a host of Google TV partners who plan to unveil hardware at CES next week:
Although they didn't release many specific details, it seems that many of these new Google TV-powered devices will actually be TVs as opposed to separate boxes - LG even plans to release an entire of line of TVs, powered by their own L9 chipset.
A new app just hit the Android Market that helps bridge the gap between Google TV and iDevices that use Apple's Airplay technology. The app is called Airtight, and it allows you to stream non-DRM movies and images directly to your GTV. In its current state the app cannot stream DRM content or music, but the developers note that they are working on support for the latter.
The app will only set you back $0.99, so if you have both an iDevice and Google TV, it's definitely worth grabbing.
Tired of your lackluster music collection? El Goog is here to you help you remedy that with a huge sale on millions of tracks for just $0.49 in the Android Market. Buying single tracks not your style? No worries, most albums are going for a mere $4.99, too.
I searched through the Market for a few of my favorite artists - some popular, some obscure - just to see if I could find something going for more than $0.49 per track or $4.99 per album.