Last night, we revealed a project codenamed Bigtop that Google has been working on for a few years. And now, I feel confident enough to announce that it's launching later today as 'Inbox by Google' (not to be confused with Inbox).
According to multiple sources, the service, which has been in development since 2012, is going to be invite-only at launch, just like Gmail was, and will at first target Gmail users.
T-Mobile is pushing out an over-the-air update that will bump its Galaxy Tab 4 up to Android 4.4.4. This means that people who own this 8.0-inch LTE-enabled tablet will get to run the latest version of their mobile operating system for at least a week before 5.0 starts running out to various devices. Since this is a bugfix release, that's the biggest reason most users will have to look forward to this OTA.
Limbic has released Zombie Gunship Reality onto Google Play, a game that pretty much no one is able to play at the moment. It's available exclusively for Project Tango, an augmented reality project that has yet to ship on a device intended for general consumers. Unless there's an announcement in the works, one isn't intended for quite some time.
Zombie Gunship Reality takes the popular Zombie Gunship franchise and gives it the Tango treatment, requiring players to move around a physical space in order to find and fire upon the hordes of undead threatening the area below.
Google is pretty well known for building a fast and (usually) reliable infrastructure that can stand up to just about anything short a certain Nexus launch. This is why it came as no surprise when the tech giant announced its own cloud hosting service during I/O 2012, giving developers a path to tap into some of that power. Since the launch, Google has attempted to make its Cloud Platform product as appealing as possible, but the response has been fairly tepid.
Barnes & Noble and Samsung appear to be getting along pretty well, for the two companies have now unveiled their second joint tablet: the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 10.1. Just like the previous Nook tablet, this is a Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 with some added software tweaks that place emphasis on reading and consuming content from Barnes & Noble. The tablet is available for a launch price of $299 (following a $50 instant rebate), which puts it right in line with the price of the non-Nook version of the slate.
Google has promised standalone music playback over Bluetooth as part of Android Wear for some time, and it appears with Wear version 4.4W2 we're finally getting it, at least if you use Play Music (you're also getting new playback controls). If you're using the latest Play Music APK on your Android phone and have the Android 4.4W2 update on your smartwatch, you can now download your pinned music from your smartphone to your watch.
We spotted it in a teardown of the new material Play Music app this morning, but it looks like a new set of media controls in Android Wear are live - and here's exactly what they look like.
The new controls get a red-themed makeover and volume +/- buttons, plus a nifty kind of physical remote key animation. It's nice. For Play Music, these new controls require two things: the material version of Play Music (which contains an updated mini APK for Wear with these controls) and the 4.4W2 update to Wear, which is rolling out to some devices now, like the LG G Watch.
Google has slowly been adding replacement charging docks for the Android Wear devices to the Play Store. That's important in the case of watches like the Gear Live, which uses a special clip to charge the watch. It's less of an issue for the Qi-equipped Moto 360, but the official stand is in stock now anyway.
The listing for the dock appeared recently, but it wasn't available for purchase. That's changed now, and you can order it for $39.99.
Google is rolling out an update to Android Wear that brings the first of two waves of promised features. So far it is arriving on LG watches, but Motorola just chimed in with specifics for the Moto 360. It's mostly the same as what other wearables will get, but with a few key exceptions.
Android 4.4W.2 is slowly rolling out to various Wear devices this week, and my G Watch R review unit just received it earlier this afternoon. A couple of commenters have pointed out a new feature in W2 that we hadn't yet noticed - you can now hide notifications, as opposed to dismissing them, directly from the watchface.