Google I/O 2011 is all wrapped up, and boy was it eventful. In case you missed them the first go-round, we provided a handy-dandy list (with videos embedded) of the keynotes and Android sessions from both the first and second day. The first keynote, especially, was really quite fascinating and provided a good review of where Android is headed. Read More
We've had leaked betas of Google's Music 3.0 app for Android for what seems like time eternal now, but Google has finally chosen to make the app public. At least part of it, that is. It sports the same interface as the beta we've all come to know (and love?), but lacks one key feature, mysteriously: a settings menu. That's probably owing to the fact that the previous betas we've seen all contained sync (Google Music) options in the settings menu, and unless you're a beta-invitee (don't worry, none of us have gotten ours yet, either), these options will presumably remain hidden and otherwise inaccessible. Read More
At Google's I/O Keynote Tuesday, it was announced that Android may be worming its way into your house in the near future - not just through your phone, tablet or TV, but through other appliances, as well. [email protected] is a system meant to be used as a conduit between your devices and appliances win your home, like the lighting or music systems.
As it was demonstrated for the keynote audience, the presenters had linked various lights to an application in the tablet, dimming them or turning them off as they performed different actions. Read More
Artem's on the floor at Google I/O at the moment, but he's busy taking pictures and popping out highlights over Twitter. While he's busy with that, here are some highlights (via the Livestream).
- Activated over 100m Android devices worldwide
- 36 OEMs
- 215 carriers
- 450k developers
- 310 Android devices
- 112 countries
- 100k activations/day in 05/2010
- 200k/day in 08/2010
- 300k/day in 12/2010
- today: 400k/day
- over 200k apps available in Android Market - "quality of these apps is phenomenal"
- Honeycomb being updated to 3.1 starting today
- Android has true multitasking - now allowing more apps to run at a time with a new system that automatically halts/shuts down apps
- Widgets improved - can now be resized
- Whoa - they're
playing (unsuccessfully) attempting to play a game on the XOOM using a 360 controller.
PowerAMP, hands down the best music player in the Android Market, was updated today to include a couple of long-sought features, most notably true gapless playback and crossfading between tracks. Gapless playback is pure joy for people who listen to a lot of mixtapes broken down into individual songs, and crossfading is the icing on the cake, preferred by many music lovers.
Other notable additions include .cue file support, a silence remover, backing up and restoring settings into the cloud (finally someone's implementing this functionality available ever since Froyo!), and a host of bug fixes. Read More
Shazam, the music tagging service that listens to a song and tells you what it is, has announced today that the free version of their app will support unlimited tagging until January 1st, 2012. While this is pretty cool if you're a Shazam user who doesn't want to pay $5 for Shazam Encore (or didn't grab it what it was Amazon's app of the day), it's still pretty laughable for people who have been using Soundhound the whole time. Read More
The word on the web today is that Google is in negotiations with Spotify, the European answer to Grooveshark, to partner up on Google's upcoming music streaming project. CNET's source claims that during talks with major record labels, Google did a bit of name dropping and announced that they were hoping to work with the popular European music streaming service, although nobody from either Google or Spotify was available to comment on that rumor. Read More
Sony Ericsson Indonesia has quietly announced to the world that they will be putting out the first Android-based Walkman device, the W8. This is by no means a power house, though, with a 600MHz processor, 168MB of RAM, a 3.2 megapixel camera, and a 3" 320x480 screen; clearly, this phone is aimed at the budget market.
This device will run Android 2.1 and the same version of Timescape as the X10 mini, with some tweaks to the Mediascape music interface to give users the Walkman experience. Read More
Companies like YouTube and Grooveshark are at the center of the ongoing controversies around online distribution of copyrighted materials. This controversy reared its ugly head earlier this month when the Grooveshark app was removed from the Android Market. While this disappointed many of the users who stream all their favourite tunes without having to posses an actual digital copy, Google was justified in kicking these pseudo-pirates out of the Market, right? Read More
To answer the question, briefly: nobody really knows at this point. But I do think Google is going to have to make some sacrifices in the short term if the Music service is going to get off the ground. And that's because the record labels won't play ball - at least not by Google's rules according to All Things D, quoting two apparently well-connected sources.
Of course, the words of a couple anonymous music industry insiders aren't definitively representative of the feelings of all the (presumably numerous) parties involved in Google's Music negotiations. Read More