Later this year, Google will update Chromecast so that anyone can choose and control the content being streamed through the device – even if they’re not on the same Wi-Fi network as the tiny dongle.
In short, Chromecast owners will have the option to authenticate nearby users. This means that if a person is on a cellular network – either because they can’t be bothered to type in a Wi-Fi password, or because you just don’t trust them with it – they can still control the Chromecast connected to your TV.
Google is also introducing a new feature called Backdrop, which lets you contribute photos to the default slideshow that appears on your TV. It’s a neat trick that should make the Chromecast feel more personal and welcoming. Google will offer curated topics too; images based on the news, lifestyle, specific places and what’s trending on its Google+ service, for instance.
Just a day after Google launched a physical card to allow you to more easily withdraw cash and spend your Google Wallet balance, the company has released an update to the Android appallowing you to add additional cards just by photographing them. Add a credit/debit card just by taking a picture. Both the number and expiration date will be captured automatically … ( Story by 9to5 Google )
You can now see your friends’ device and mood statuses in Hangouts on the desktop.
The feature, introduced in the latest version of Hangouts for Android and iOS allows you to express your mood in the form of emoji, as well as letting people know what device you’re currently using, such as a laptop, phone or tablet.
The feature remained absent for desktop Hangouts, that is until today. The update should be rolling out to everyone now, but works slightly differently to the mobile apps.
#google+ #google+hangouts #google+ios #google+android
Google Chrome Beta for Android has been updated…
Losing your Android device, either to theft or your own forgetfulness, is certainly no fun. But it’s a lot better than it used to be. Google has finally released their answer to Lost Android, Lookout, and Apple’s Find My iPhone: Android Device Manager. ADM should be hitting your device soon, if it hasn’t already, to help you locate or factory wipe your misplaced Android device. Here’s how to use it.
Android Device Manager will automatically hit your device without you having to do a thing. If you don’t have it yet, you will soon. But before you can take full advantage of ADM, you’re going to need to do a few things, like enable factory reset on your device. Setting it up is pretty simple. First, visit google.com/android/devicemanager.
Google Keep has been launched: it’s Google’s latest attempt to create a service for taking notes. Unlike Google Notebook, Keep is a Google Drive app (the Drive integration is not yet ready for public release), it doesn’t have a rich-text editor and it’s optimized for mobile.
There’s an Android app and a desktop site. Both use the sticky notes metaphor and you can choose the color for each note, add text, images, lists and voice recordings that are automatically converted to text in the mobile app. Both interfaces let you choose between the grid view and the list view.
One of the biggest problems Google faces with Android is avoiding a situation where one manufacturer controls so much of the market that everything else falls by the wayside. As study after study shows, though, this is becoming an increasing risk as Samsung gobbles up more customers. To wit, this survey from Localytics—a company that provides analytics for mobile apps— showed that of the top ten Android devices its customers used, eight were made by Samsung, and seven had the Galaxy brand attached.
The trend is staggering, but not surprising. After all, between Samsung and Apple, the two companies account for somewhere between most and more than all the smartphone profits. However, even when you look at products that we assume are doing very well (because they are!) like the Nexus 7, Samsung is still taking the lead. You’ll notice in the chart above that the most used Android tablet that isn’t a Kindle is the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0. That’s more than a little astounding.
A while back, a great little project hit my radar. It was a LEGO Bugdroid made by a fella going by the name of GLHTurbo. Hoping to make his LEGO Bugdroid an official kit, he took to LEGO’s CUUSOO site (think Kickstarter for Lego projects).
In order for any CUUSOO project to be considered by the LEGO group, it must first garner 10,000 supporters. This is no easy feat for a LEGO project, but it’s a feat that GLHTurbo’s LEGO Bugdroid was able to accomplish.
That’s right, we’re happy to report that the LEGO Bugdroid has moved on to the “Review Stage” and will be looked over to determine whether or not it would be popular enough to warrant its availability in stores.
While there’s no guarantee we’ll see our favorite green mascot reach stores in LEGO form, it’s amazing to see the kind of support that comes out of the Android community.
Either way, the LEGO Bugdroid is a winner in my book. Congrats on reaching 10K and good luck!
We already know that Samsung plans on unveiling the Galaxy S IV during a Samsung Unpacked event, only we have no idea when or where that will be. However, according to the latest rumor, we may now have an idea of when.
According to a “trusted insider” who spoke with SamMobile, Samsung is planning on holding their Unpacked event on March 15. While still no word of location, they do plan on unveiling the Galaxy S IV to the world.
As for availability, SamMobile’s source expects Europe and Asia to receive the Galaxy S IV before the end of April while America, Australia and Africa will have to wait until around May/June.
I’m sure we’ll see a ton of rumors and fake photos hit the web from now until then, but if March 15 is indeed the date, it won’t be long before we have official specs. Until then, here are the rumored specs of the Samsung Galaxy S IV:
- an Exynos 5 Octa (8-Core) CPU
- Mali-T658 (8-Core) GPU
- 4.99″ Super AMOLED Full HD Resolution Display
- 2GB of RAM
- 13 Megapixel Rear facing Camera capable of shooting 1080p Full HD Videos at 30FPS
- 2 Megapixel front facing camera capable of shooting 720p HD Videos
- Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean
If for some reason you aren’t already convinced of the moniker Key Lime Pie for the next iteration of Android, we’ve got a bit more evidence for you to ponder over. A leaked Qualcomm roadmap obtained by Android Police all but confirms Key Lime Pie and suggests a Q2 2013 release.
Of course, the Q2 release fits in perfectly with the timing of Google I/O, and frankly, we wouldn’t expect it to be unveiled at any other time or place.
Vanilla Android, top notch features, and an affordable price made the Nexus 7 one of the most successful Android tablets of all time. As we look to the future, it would only make sense for Google to embrace this winning combination and implement it in future models. Well, according to DigiTimes, that’s exactly what Google has planned for the Nexus 7 successor.
According to the Taiwanese outlet, Google is set to announce its second-generation Nexus 7 tablet in May. Like the first, it’s to be made in conjunction with ASUS, feature top notch hardware and software, and remain at the same amazing price point of $199-$249.
The new model is rumored to feature a full HD display, thinner bezel, and the latest version of Android (presumably Android 4.2).
To access this new section, all you have to do is update Chrome Beta for Android and then typechrome://flags in the address bar of Chrome Beta.
With 2013 in full swing, Horace Dediu of Aysmco takes another look at which platforms are leading the pack in the race to a billion. While Horace includes a plethora of platforms, we’ll take a close look at the two we’re most concerned about: Android and iOS.
A quick glance at the Platform Adoption Ramps and you’ll notice Android has managed to surpass iOS in total user base and is on the path to reach 1 billion users well before iOS. These are compelling numbers when compared to the multitude of other platforms that have not only been around longer than Android, but have failed to even come close to the billion mark.
Facebook has already managed to cross the finish line, however, Horace points out that the slopes of both Android and iOS point towards an eventual overtake in overall ecosystem size.
If you were lucky enough to visit the Samsung demo room at CES, you might have noticed a display roadmap hidden among the flexible display prototypes and media fluff. The roadmap mostly covered past or current Samsung device displays, however, at the far end of the map lies a yet announced 4.99-inch FHD display with 440ppi.
Could this be the display for the Samsung Galaxy S4? The display specs and Q1 release date would seem to point in that direction. It is interesting to see the Galaxy S line being bumped up to a Note-like size of just under 5-inches. I was extremely happy with the Galaxy S3 size and found it to be the perfect fit. I, however, do not care for the size of the Note, so I’ll be a bit disappointed if the S4 ends up being 4.99-inches.
We probably won’t hear much more about the S4 until Mobile World Congress next month, but you can be sure Samsung will have some sort of large device sporting an FHD display with 440ppi.
I’d like to take this time to give new Android users some very sage advice: “choose your Google account wisely!” Creating a Google account is one of the very first steps you’ll take as a new Android user, and believe it or not, it’s the most important. Most of us are so excited when we get our first Android device that we don’t give much thought to our Google account username, but I’m going to tell you why you should think long and hard before typing firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m betting there are hundreds of thousands of Android users out there (myself included) that wish they could go back in time and create a general account to use with their Android device. This is important for many reasons, but most of all for the content you will be purchasing from Google Play.
You see, while you can always change things like phone numbers, email addresses, etc., the one thing you can’t change, is the account your paid content is linked to. This is why I strongly recommend all new users create a general account to use for Google Play purchases and nothing else.
As you all know, data has become a high commodity these days and every MB counts. That’s why Google decided to throw users a bone by including some great data management tools in Android 4.0. Today I’m going to show you how to use those tools to help stay in control of your data and keep your hard earned money out of the hands of the, well… you know.
To access the data management tools in Android 4.0+, you need to first go to Settings and then choose Data Usage.
You’ve just picked up your first Android device (congratulations by the way) and managed to take the most amazing photo of a bear on a tricycle (maybe you were at the circus, I don’t know). This, of course, is something you have to share with friends and family, only problem is — you don’t know how! No problem, we’ve got you covered. I’m going to show you just how easy it is to share photos directly from your Android phone.
There are a couple different ways you can share your photos. I’m going to show you the most basic methods of doing it from both your Camera app and Gallery.
One of the first things you’ll want to set up on your new Android device is your email. Whether you only use one email account or several, being able to receive your email while mobile is one of the most important features of a smartphone. Since not everyone is a smartphone veteran, we’re going to show you the basics and get you started. Now, depending on which version of Android you’re running, things may look a bit different, but the concept is the same.
When you first set up your Android device, you’ll be asked to either set up a new Google account or use an existing account login. Whatever Google account you end up using will be the default for your Gmail. On an Android device, your Gmail remains separate from all other email. We’re now going to show you how to add additional email accounts other than Gmail to your Android phone.
There hasn’t been much resistance to the belief that Key Lime Pie would be the name for the next major version of Android, but we may have just gotten confirmation for those who might still be iffy about it. A Google employee by the name of Manu Cornet took the time to draw out a a graphic showing the “evolution of Android,” of sorts. The graphic depicts the growth and evolution cycle of an Android robot that isn’t unlike the classic “monkey to man” depiction we see for the human race.
Obviously, the Android robot (whose name is The Bugdroid, in case you still haven’t heard) doesn’t change much in appearance over time. The most recent step in the evolution timeline has the little guy chomping on some delicious key lime pie, though. While this might not be hard confirmation it at least shows that the name is popular enough around the Mountain View offices to warrant time spent on this great illustration.
Some people were expecting that the Google might disappoint with the camera experience on the Nexus 4, but it looks like Google paid extra attention to adding new camera features. One cool new camera feature coming to Android 4.2 is Photo Sphere, which Google says, “lets you capture images that are literally larger than life.
BusinessInsider pointed us to an interesting update to the Google Wallet website today: Google is now advertising “the next version” of its mobile wallet app and providing a link a to request an invite. The website has a link to “Request an invite” for when the new version is ready, but even more interesting is what happens after users do so. After clicking the link, Google asks users to select the type of mobile device they use. The three options include: Android, iOS, and Other.
Good news for those running a rooted Ice Cream Sandwich device, a moderator over on XDA has put together a handy zip file that, once flashed, will finally bring support for all those cute little Android emoji’s once reserved soley for Jelly Bean (and iOS). Now you can finally see what you’ve been missing and proves once again — where there’s root, there’s a way. Hit up the source link for full instructions.
Ready for the latest breakdown of Android’s performance ahead of Apple’s iPhone 5 event tomorrow afternoon? Android boss Andy Rubin has just announced this evening that 500 million Android devices have been activated to date, following Eric Schmidt’s announcement of 480,000 devices last week.
Google has just been awarded a patent on what I can only assume will be a future feature of Android. The new patent expands on Face Unlock, allowing users to set up separate user accounts and access them via Face Unlock. It’s quite brilliant and would allow multiple users to share a single device without their account or preferences being compromised.
You gotta give it to the Evernote development team, they’re constantly refining their Android application, providing consistent updates every few weeks or so in the Play Store. Well, they’re at it once again, this time around adding new enhancements for the few us running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with all new expanded notifications.
With Nikon and Polaroid getting ready to launch their Android-powered cameras as early as September, Samsung officially unveiled its entrance into the market today in Berlin with its first dedicated point-and-shoot running Android. While recent rumors pointed to the possibility of a device with specs close to those announced for Nikon’s Coolpix S800c, Samsung unveiled a 4.8-inch device with specs closer to its own Galaxy S III.
Google’s continuing to transform its search product into a knowledge engine, as evidenced by the new Google Search app on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and its Google Now features. Today some of that functionality is starting to bleed over into the company’s mobile search offering, with the launch of rich “interactive answers” to mobile search queries.
Boy has it been a slow road for Android 4.0, and while the numbers are still dismal, Ice Cream Sandwich is now populating the second highest number of devices accessing the Google Play Store. Gingerbread remains the majority leader with 60.6% of Android devices running it — quite sad considering it’s almost two years old.
It’s been just over a month since Google officially announced Jelly Bean (Android 4.1) and barely three weeks since the first rollout, but already the latest flavor of Android is installed on 0.8 percent of Android devices in the market, according to the search giant’s stats.
Our friends over at AndroidPolice made quite the discovery recently, and it has to do with multiple user accounts within Android. Not only would it be a great feature to have, it appears that Google might be preparing for it, as AP has found several instances within AOSP that could lead to multiple user accounts.