I'm not the kind of person that finds some subtle jab at Apple around every corner, but today Google and Boingo announced a free Wi-Fi partnership that makes drawing such a conclusion hard to avoid.
Google has sponsored Boingo Wi-Fi a number of times in the past, offering the company's wireless internet in hotels, shopping malls, subways, and airports around the world. Today's deal extends to 4,000 hotspots across the US, including 15 major airports, numerous Manhattan subways, and thousands of other locations.
Last night, Artem tore down the APK of the new Play Store and found a whole bunch of upcoming goodies, including support for wishlists and gift cards. The first physical evidence of said gift cards has now landed in the hands of Android Central, showing off what we'll likely see soon in retail stores across the country.
That, of course, raises another question: which stores will sell these gift cards?
Piracy is a major issue for Android, and even more so for Android developers, which is why Jelly Bean introduced App Encryption. But this may be a case of the cure being worse than the disease: hundreds of developers of paid apps have chimed in on a Google Code thread, claiming that the encryption (or more accurately, the location of installed and encrypted apps from the Google Play Store) makes their apps entirely unusable, as account information and other stored data is removed after a device reboot.
Google's new tablet, the Nexus 7 is already a pretty sweet deal. Only $200 for a Tegra 3 tablet with a quality screen and solid construction is almost more than we could ask for. The fact that Google is nice enough to throw in a $25 credit to Google Play is just the icing on the cake. It turns out that it might be even better, though. By logging into a different account, the Nexus 7 keeps handing out $25 credits like a sleek little cash machine.
Last month, Google announced that it would be ending all legal disputes with French authors and publishers in an effort to bring books to a wider audience. The announcement came following the French Publishers and Author's Associations withdrawal of their suits against Google, and marked a "win-win solution" which opened "the possibility for out-of-print books to reach a wide audience," while maintaining commercial rights for authors.
Following up on that announcement, Google added a post to its European Public Policy Blog today indicating that Google Play Books has officially arrived in France.
On day one of Google I/O, the Play Store team announced an upcoming brand new version of the Android Developer Console - a publishing interface developers use to, you guessed it, publish apps to Google Play. The completely redesigned UI contains improvements based on feedback from the past several years and is fantastic. For further details, hit the link above or just watch this video:
As promised, you can now sign up to be first in line to give the private beta a go by following this url.
If the combination of summer heat and apocalyptic storms have you feeling a little down, Madfinger Games is here to help. Madfinger develops some really killer titles like Shadowgun, Samurai II, and the upcoming Dead Trigger (which was actually supposed to land today, but has been delayed until tomorrow for some last-minute bug fixes). Starting today, you can get Shadowgun and Samurai II on sale for $0.99.
Shadowgun is an amazing third-person shooter with great graphics and surprisingly good voice acting.
One of the new features that ships with Jelly Bean is Google's Sound Search widget that helps identify songs after listening to short samples. If you've ever used SoundHound or Shazam, you know exactly what this does. The difference is this widget is pre-installed on Jelly Bean, comes directly from Google, and hooks right into Google Play.
As it turns out, the widget works on ICS as well. I looked into the package and saw that compatibility goes back as far as Honeycomb, so I'm guessing it will install there too (sorry, no Gingerbread or below).
There were several new announcements today for the Play Store at Google's I/O keynote, which included the arrival of new content. As previously expected, the Play Store now offers TV Shows, magazine subscriptions, and movie purchases.
First off, let's take a look at TV Shows. This is one thing that the Play Store has been missing since day one, so it's nice to see it finally show up. After spending a few minutes looking through the titles, it looks like Google stocked it up with quite a bit of good content.
Hope you've got a large available line of credit for this year's Google I/O, because the big G is not holding back. After we've found leaks of the mysterious orb of powerNexus Q, now Google's device page has shared some more secrets: expensive bookshelf speakers to go along with its new "social streaming media player."
The speakers will only be available in the US initially, and seem to be of a pretty high quality.