We heard at Google I/O about Google's plans to help improve the experience of users on slow connections, especially in parts of the world where even 3G speeds are few and far between. They gave us a peek at how the search interface would change under those circumstances to improve those load times. Now, in select markets, the pages you click on will also be optimized to load much faster.
Google's estimates have you loading the page 4x as fast compared to the unaltered version when on a slow connection, with 80% less data. They claim, appealing to webmasters, that this results in 50% more pageviews due to the better experience and lower wait. Read More
Despite the continuing tense relationship between Cyanogen and OnePlus, the former seems to be making new partnerships all the time, particularly with low-cost phone suppliers in emerging markets. The latest to run the company's custom build of Android is a carrier phone from Indonesian company Smartfren, the Andromax Q. Despite having a name that sounds like some kind of multi-gendered Replicant, it will be Indonesia's first phone running Cyanogen "OS."
The specs on the Andromax Q are decidedly low-end - here in the states it would probably cost $100-150 off-contract, and it will sell for 1.3 million Rupiah (about $97 USD) from Smartfren. Read More
Direct carrier billing is one of the most convenient ways to buy apps and content from the Play Store. Instead of making sure you have a valid credit or debit card or trying to find gift cards or setting up a Paypal account, you can simply have the purchase amount billed with your regular mobile service.
In today's round of new carrier additions on the Google Play support pages we find the French company Free, Hungarian TMI (Magyar Telekom), Indonesian Telkomsel, Slovakian PPF (O2), and Taiwanese Taiwan Mobile. Most of these won't affect a lot of subscribers (Free: 9M - TMI: 5.4M - O2: 1.7M - Taiwan Mobile: 7.6M), but Indonesia's Telkomsel is really a big deal. Read More
Google's Android One program is the company's play to capture the billions of potential users who don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on a smartphone. The initiative is running a little behind based on Google's previously announced timeline, but the Indonesian launch is coming later this month. Indonesia is a huge country, so the Android One rollout would be big news all on its own, but according to Google's official Android One site, the Indonesian One devices will have Android 5.1 included. Google... what?
OnePlus isn't letting the situation in India get it down—the OnePlus One is coming to Indonesia later this month, and that's a rather large market too. Sure, it's not India, but Indonesia is the 4th most populous country in the world with 250 million people. All of them will be able to pre-order the One on January 27th without an invite. Remember when you didn't need invites to buy a phone? Those were the days.
Update: Here are better screenshots a reader has sent us.
Indosat, update: one of the largest mobile carriers in Indonesia, appears to have added support for Play Store billing. This means that subscribers throughout the world's fourth most populated country should be able to pay for Google Play content by adding the fees to their monthly bills.
Indonesia has not yet appeared on Google's list of supported carriers, but the carrier has provided information on its own website. Here's the provided imagery, which unfortunately is rather blurry.
This change is good for consumers because it gives them more choice, allowing them to commit to purchase content in the future that they may not be able to pick up today. Read More
Updates to Google's Text-to-Speech app aren't always interesting, but today's bump actually brings with it two new languages. For those waiting for Hindi and Indonesian language support, it's your lucky day.
Keep in mind that this is the text-to-speech engine, not the voice recognition software that already has support for Indonesian, but not for Hindi. Read More
Google has a relatively easy time mapping out the US, but things get trickier the further overseas it explores. Each international border brings about its own set of laws and organizations that the tech giant must accommodate. When Google began working with Indonesia's Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy a couple years ago to map out much of the large country of over 200 million, it was undertaking its largest Asian expansion to date. Now the company is sharing the fruits of their labor, along with shots of its progress in Cambodia.
Google Maps users can now take a virtual stroll along the streets of Jakarta, Surabaya, and other Indonesian cities. Read More