There's no doubt that anyone who loves Android, Chrome, or Google in general wanted to be at I/O this year. Unfortunately, most of us didn't get the opportunity to experience everything I/O has to offer in person, but Google livestreams basically all events, so we got to watch I/O from afar.
While it lacked certain things that we expected to see (like a new version of Android), that didn't stop the wow! moments from coming through – Google Games, Play Music All Access, new and improved Google Maps, Android's domination on the smartphone market, and so much more. To give everyone the opportunity to "relive the magic" of those moments, Google has released a 5-minute highlights video from this year's I/O session.
While the actual announcement wasn't quite the spectacle ASUS' MWC conference was, it no doubt had its own merits. The number of ping pong ball-based "tech illusions" was low, but any announcement with Jonney Shih is guaranteed to hold your attention.
When you set out to map the entire Earth, if you do it right, you're going to end up with a lot of data. Google Maps has a constant stream of information coming in from a ton of sources - its own Street View cars, satellite imagery, governments, and users all over the world. Once you have all of that information, how do you deal with it? What happens when the government map doesn't perfectly match the satellite image? How do you make sure that a "No Left Turn" sign is reflected in the turn-by-turn directions?
As outsiders, we've always just assumed the answer to this is "magic," but it turns out, it's all handled by a program called "Google Atlas" - an internal-only tool used to manage Google Maps data.
Samsung has just announced details of a new syncing/file management tool called Side Sync, which it mentioned last month alongside new ATIV PC branding.
The basic idea behind the app is easy, painless file and information transfer from PC to mobile and vice versa. This is accomplished using a dock that plugs into your PC's USB port. Once hooked up, you can share your mouse and keyboard with your Samsung phone, dragging and dropping files, and copying and pasting information as you please. Users can also set the service to automatically sync photos. Here's Samsung's introductory video for the product:
As great as the service looks, the tagline "PC in Mobile, Mobile in PC" is at least a little misleading - Side Sync doesn't just work with just any PC – it's only compatible Samsung PCs.
Let's be honest, most of us will never get to live in a crazy futuristic home like the Jetsons, but that doesn't mean we can't strive for a few of the simple luxuries. To that end, Doug Gregory is on track to make his living room smarter than the bridge of the USS Enterprise, all with a few electronic controllers and extensive use of Tasker. There's no way around it, you really need to see the video for this one.
Not counting home theater equipment and the Nexus 4, Doug was able to put everything together for less than $300, but he appears to have had the advantage of working for an authorized dealer.
Google's official Glass YouTube channel released its first video today – a minute long introduction to Glass' most basic controls. The video is titled Glass How-to: Getting Started, which leads this writer to believe there may be more How-to's in the works.
Impressively well-produced and perfectly simple, the video discusses Glass' gestures – tapping, swiping forward, backward, and down, and gives a very digestible explanation of the device's time-based card interface. The video shows off a few possible Glass cards, but nothing we've not seen before – Google Now notifications for a flight and nearby places, a message, the clock home screen, and calendar items are all represented.
If the phones that Pantech has released in America thus far have been your sole exposure to the South Korean manufacturer, you might be surprised to learn that the company has some legitimately awesome hardware in its home territory. The Pantech Perception... isn't. While it competes with the likes of the Galaxy S III on paper, at least in some respects, a combination of old software and expensive hardware makes this new Verizon phone a hard sell to anyone who wants a high-powered device. It launches on Thursday, April 25th for $100 on contract... after a $50 mail-in rebate. Remember those?
Paradox Interactive, a well-known game publisher and developer, today posted up a promo video for the upcoming ship battling game Leviathan: Warships. If you watch only one video today, let it be this one. Kittens and puppies can wait till tomorrow. I haven't had this much fun watching trailers ever since the unfortunate fireworks accident at the nearby trailer park.
Paradox Interactive's previous Android project, Magicka, is sitting at 4.8/5.0 after over 100 reviews, so needless to say, I'm pretty excited about their next game. It sets sail April 30th on Android, PC, Mac, and iOS.
Facebook Home has arrived, and whether we like it or not, it's here to stay. The 2.5/5.0 rating at the close of the day isn't exactly inspiring, but it's likely a knee-jerk reaction from Facebook haters, which I am confident will go up to somewhere in the 3.X range with further improvements. Cameron addressed the current state of Home pretty well earlier today, so now that the dust has settled, it's time for a fun video to finish off the work week, both for Facebook employees who worked on the product and us, its potential (but unlikely) users.
I'll be honest - I haven't liked a launch video this much in a while.