It was back in August 2011 that Google bought Motorola’s loss-making Mobility division for over $12 billion. It seemed a tad excessive even back then, but the major justification of the acquisition happened to be Motorola’s vast patent portfolio (in the time since then, that is disputable as well). Now, it turns out that Lenovo may be ready to take Motorola Mobility off Google’s hands already, with an acquisition of $2.91 billion confirmed by Google CEO Larry Page. Read on below the break to know more.
Google had announced last month that it was planning to create a framework for developers to bring their Chrome apps to mobile platforms like iOS and Android. Earlier today, Google finally got around to launching a developer preview of the toolkit they’d made for this purpose. Read on below the break to know more.
iOS may have a reputation for having the best designed apps across all platforms, but Android has caught up drastically in the last couple of years. One of the best examples of this would be Timely, a beautiful timekeeping app for Android that could rival the best designed apps for even iOS. It is developed by Bitspin, a startup by some computer science grads from ETH Zurich. Now, Bitspin has announced that it has been acquired by Google with immediate effect. Read on to know more about the latest Google acquisition.
Apple has done a commendable job of always staying ahead of the curve when it came to tablets, with its line of iPads (& its variants). iPads are virtually synonymous with tablets now, and that’s duly reflected in the latest sales data about tablets sold in the US over the last one year, as iPads rule the roost when it comes to tablet units sold. Read on to know more about this tablet sales report from 2013.
There’s no lack of sales going on at this time unsurprisingly, and Apple’s much publicized ’12 Days of Gifts’ scheme has been one of the most keenly awaited of all the sales going on. Apple even launched a dedicated app for it, and the sale’s been on since the morning today, with Justin Timberlake’s live album from the iTunes festival in London this year being the first to kick things off. The next in line for the sale happens to be Rovio’s underappreciated Tiny Thief game, and it’s about to go free for all iOS devices tomorrow. Read on to know more about it.
Google has started to expand the Glass Explorer Program and simultaneously, its issuing new updates for the Glass Software at a regular pace. Though the X11( current month) software update isn't a major release, but it has added two new features- a new setup tutorial and a more user-friendly way to initiate a screencast from the Glass for its Android users.
However, the one feature that has been removed, is the long press on the touchpad of the Glass that takes it user directly to Google Search, without actually using the " ok glass, google..." command. Though discovered accidently, the Google Glass team says that, "it turns out that a lot of people long pressing the touchpad to activate a Google search were doing so by mistake." Therefore, to avoid that, the team decided to eliminate the feature with their X11 software update.
As for the X11 update's new features, its includes easier directions from home to work and vice versa. All that Glass users need to do is, simply use "ok glass, get directions to home/work" command. Glass will instantly get the directions for you from Google Maps or Google Now, where you can type in this data. In case if you are a Google now user, it uses an advance algorithm which tries to guess this data based on where you spend your time during the day.
The other new feature added is easier access to your calender data. The Glass alows its user to quickly browse through its calender details, by excuting commands like " ok glass, google my agenda" or " ok glass, what am I doing next week." Though setting up Glass is easy, Google has tuned up its tutorial in the latest version. The tutorial displays all the commonly used Glass features, including how to- use the touchpad to swipe through card and connect to the phone. The users can also screencast their Glass experience using the MyGlass app's new feature "Start Screencast" button below the MyGlass notification in the Android notification tray.
Google's latest instalment of its Nexus series of pure Android phones is up for sale. As always, the Nexus 5 runs the latest version of Android, which is KitKat.
Nexus 5 sports a bigger screen than the Nexus 4. The 5 inch 1080p display is gorgeous and had a pixel density of 445 ppi. The Corning Gorilla glass 3 layer keeps the screen safe from scratches. The bezels around the screen have been kept to a minimum, which makes the screen look even bigger.
Nexus 5 uses the latest Snapdragon 800 processor, which ensures a very snappy performance. The devices runs blazing fast and has no lag whatsoever. It comes with a 2300 mAh battery which is non removable. The battery is good enough to hold up to a full day of use, but not more than that.
Nexus 5 fallse behind its competitors in the camera department. It has a 8 MP camera with optical image stabilization, but the results are nothing to get too excited about. It also has an HDR+ feature which is not very different from the usual HDR, though it gives slightly better results.
The USP of Nexus devices has always been the software that it comes with. The Nexus 5 comes with Android 4.4 KitKat in its purest form. KitKat has a bunch of improvements and optimizations which make it feel quite different and quicker than Android 4.3. There are a lot of subtle UI changes that have made the Android experience much cleaner than before.
The Nexus 5 is available unlocked at an exciting price of $349 for the 16 GB model, while the 32 GB model costs $399.
Google has officially unveiled the latest version of Android 4.4 called KitKat. The latest version features a plethora of new features and improvements over the previous version. All Android versions after 4.0 update have mostly been about under the hood improvements, and Android KitKat follows the tradition. Most of the improvements in this version are about improved memory management, security enhancements and optimizations in battery life.
Apart from that, KitKat also sports a new phone app, and integration between SMS and Hangouts apps. KitKat's all new immersive mode takes the center stage in this update. It allows any app to run in a full screen mode, so that users only see what the want to see. The full screen mode will completely hide the system bar even when the user is interacting with the app. Users can bring it back by the slide gesture on the top or bottom edges of the screen.
Another remarkable achievement is that KitKat will be able to run even on older devices which are low on RAM. In fact, KitKat will be able to run smoothly on even 512 MB of RAM, so phones that couldn't run JellyBean will be able to run the latest version of Android.
Although Google has released the latest version, it will take a while before major OEMs start releasing update for their respective devices. As always, the first devices to receive the update will be Google's own Nexus devices and Play edition devices. These devices should receive the update within the next few weeks.
When Google Hangouts was released earlier this year, it had received widely varying users reviews. While it was praised for its simplicity and design, its lack of features was vehemently criticized by bloggers and users alike. Google has been fixing all relevant issues over time, such as the ability to see who's online and who's not, but the biggest update yet to Hangouts has finally arrived.
The most important feature to be added in the updated version is the support for SMS. Till now, Hangouts had not received wide acceptance majorly because of the lack of this feature. Users already had this feature in apps like Whatsapp, which is widely popular, but Google's entry might be enough to turn the tables. It is being said that starting in Android 4.4, users will be able to replace the default SMS application with Hangouts and get all their text messages routed directly to the app.
Another nifty feature coming to Hangouts is GIF sharing. Users will be able to create and share GIF images from right inside the app. Users will also be able to share their location through the app, using Google Maps by one touch only.
Google has also improved video calling by adding auto enhance feature to the app. The app will now automatically adjust brightness and contrast according to the ambient light, resulting in a much better video calling experience. All video calls will now start in HD by default.
The app update has already started rolling out, and users will be able to download it in the next couple of days.
Google's highly anticipated gadget Goole Glass has seen a recent surge in production, ahead of its consumer launch in 2014. According to a report by the Financial Times, Google Glass has received a "substantial boost" in marketing which will enable Google to release the product smoothly in the next couple of months. Consumers however will not be able to get their hands on the product till next year.
Google might also be planning to send out more devices under its Explorer program. People who already own Glass will be able to send out invites to their friends enabling them to purchase the device. Google might be planning to diversify its Explorer program to get the device thoroughly test before it decides to make a mainstream launch.
The Financial Times report was confirmed by Google with the announcement that the Explorer program is indeed being expanded. Every Glass owner will be able to invite 3 more people to join the program, who will then be able to purchase the device. The asking price of Google Glass is still a whopping $1500 and is unlikely to change anytime soon.
Google has also announced that it has made hardware changes to Glass' design, which will enable it to support various lens shades and prescription frames. People who have the old version of the device have been given an opportunity to swap their device for the new one, which also includes earbuds. Explorer can also take advantage of this opportunity to get a different colored Glass.
Further details about this scheme will be released by Google in the coming days.