Google using Apple’s PrimeSense in ‘Project Tango’ smartphone, beating Apple to the punch

By Jake Smith on Apr 16, 2014

Google has beat Apple to the punch by using PrimeSense’s Capri PS1200 3D imaging system-on-a-chip in the Project Tango smartphone, before Apple could in its iPhone line-up, the teardown specialists over at iFixit found.

PrimeSense is the 3D technology sensing company Apple acquired for $350 million late-November 2013, and its chips weren’t expected to be found in Google’s Project Tango smartphone given the fierce competition between the two companies. Only Movidius Myriad 1 3D-sensing chips were expected, but Apple’s PrimeSense showed up as well… Read More

 

Tech companies ask court to keep Steve Jobs’ personality out of hiring trial

By Cody Lee on Apr 15, 2014

Although the patent battle with Samsung is far from over in northern California, Apple’s legal team has to start preparing for another high profile trial coming up next month. The iPad-maker, along with Google and others, is being sued over no-hire agreements in Silicon Valley.

This week, those companies in a joint court filing asked that witnesses in the upcoming suit not be allowed to offer evidence that Steve Jobs was “a bully.” Emails regarding the case are fine, but excerpts from the Isaacson bio and other sources should be barred from admission… Read More

 

Google launches new ‘Helpouts’ iPhone app

By Cody Lee on Apr 15, 2014

Google this afternoon launched an iPhone client for its growing learning and tutorial service called Helpouts. The app gives users the ability to find and schedule Helpouts, start their own free Helpout, read reviews and listing details, and send other users messages.

For those unfamiliar with Google’s ‘Helpouts’ service, it’s a website that connects you to experts from various fields including cooking, health and Art & Music. These experts hold video classes teaching you how to do everything from playing the guitar, to editing photos…

Read More

 

You’ll be able to buy a Google Glass headset tomorrow; will you?

By Jake Smith on Apr 14, 2014

Google will hold a one day sale on Tuesday, April 15, for anyone who wants to pick up the Explorer edition of Google Glass, the wearable headset that can take photos, beam apps into your eye, and more.

Until now, Google has limited the sale of Google Glass to customers who received an invitation from another Explorer or directly from Google, but starting Tuesday at 6am for 18 year old US customers, it’s your chance to finally check out what’s going on with this wearable hype. To buy a pair, you must go to the Google Glass website, but don’t think they’ll come for free…

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Google wants to buy mobile payment startup Square, but CEO wants to sell out to Apple

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 9, 2014

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s other business venture, the mobile payment startup Square, has a cozy relationship with Apple.

As a case in point, not only does Square develop for iOS first, Apple itself is happy to carry Square’s $9.95 credit card reader for the iPhone and iPad and the $99.95 Square Stand for iPad on its web store.

Moreover, some of Square’s talent comes straight from Apple, including director of engineering for the iPod, iPhone and iPad accessories, Jesse Dorogusker, who recently left the company to join Square.

After allowing Google to buy smart thermostat and smoke detector maker Nest Labs back in January, pundits have observed that Apple should be wise enough to avoid repeating the same mistake twice. Be that as it may, Apple is said to have mulled an acquisition offer for Square.

The possibility of such a deal has been floated on Wednesday as rumors of both Apple and Google discussing a possible acquisition with Square continue to persist. Although CEO Jack Dorsey would reportedly prefer selling the company to Apple, not Google, a deal with Apple is wishful thinking for now… Read More

 

Google building Android set-top box with voice input, apps and games

By Cody Lee on Apr 6, 2014

In 2011, Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said that, “by the summer of 2012, the majority of the televisions you see in stores will have Google TV embedded.” But here it is, 2014, and a quick search of BestBuy.com confirms that the lofty goal never came to fruition.

The company hasn’t given up on the living room though. In fact, according to a report from The Verge, it’s readying a new Android-based set-top right now. The site has obtained screenshots and other documents outing the project, which is apparently named Android TV… Read More

 

Meet Project Ara, Google’s modular smartphone

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 4, 2014

Last October, Motorola’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group, then a subsidiary of Google, announced an interesting partnership with PhoneBloks with the goal of creating highly modular smartphones that customers could build and update themselves much like LEGO bricks.

Basically a free, open hardware platform, Project Ara calls for a structural metal endoskeleton frame designed to hold a bunch of different items in place.

Swappable parts would include commonly used phone components like a display, keyboard, battery, electrical components, cameras and custom 3D-printed module enclosures. The audacious idea behind Project Ara is to allow folks to easily swap out malfunctioning modules or replace components with better parts as technology evolves.

Those who custom-build PCs will know what I’m talking about. It’s interesting that the 100 engineers strong ATAP group, led by former DARPA director Regina Dugan, was not included in Google’s sale of Motorola to Lenovo and instead got folded into Google’s Android team to work under the direction of Android’s new head, Sundar Pichai.

Today, Google posted a video providing a glimpse into the DIY smartphone project, ahead of the first Ara Development Conference which runs April 15-16 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California… Read More

 

Greenpeace praises Apple and others for helping build a greener Internet

By Cody Lee on Apr 4, 2014

Apple has quite the history with environmental organization Greenpeace. The outfit has panned the iPad maker several times over the years for using toxic chemicals in its products and other non-green practices—it even staged a protest outside of its Cupertino headquarters back in 2012.

A lot has changed over the years, however, and this week, instead of protesting Apple, Greenpeace took to the skies to praise it and other companies for helping build ‘a greener Internet.’ That image you see above is of a blimp that the environmental advocacy group flew over Silicon Valley… Read More

 

Rdio update makes album headers prettier, brings out Chromecast support

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 31, 2014

Google’s Chromecast is picking up some noteworthy support from third-party software makers. The latest example: the popular Internet radio service Rdio has just pushed a new update today bringing support for Google’s inexpensive $35 HDMI dongle.

The new Rdio version 2.5.8 also includes various user interface improvements, minor bug fixes and prettified album headers.

The update is now live in the App StoreRead More

 

Drag and drop iTunes tracks to Google Play Music using new Chrome lab feature

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 26, 2014

Google’s official Play Music app lets you access both Google’s subscription-based All Access and standard music services on your iPhone and iPad, but Apple-imposed restrictions prevent your iOS device from actually uploading song files to Google’s music locker in the cloud.

Desktop users can upload their music using Google’s Music Manager application for Mac and Windows PCs, but now there’s a ridiculously easy way of adding those iTunes tracks to Google Play, using only the Chrome browser.

Now available in the Labs section of the Google Play Music web interface, and only on the Chrome web browser, this nicely done web app lets you upload individual tracks to the cloud literally by dragging and dropping them from iTunes, Windows Media Player or folders… Read More

 

Google Now cards now rolling out on desktop in Chrome for Mac

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 24, 2014

Rich desktop notifications have been available in Google’s Chrome browser for the Mac for some time now, provided you were on the Canary channel where Google hosts early and unstable alpha releases of its browser. The normals, however, had to wait until desktop notifications for the Now cards made their way into the stable Chrome channel.

According to Google itself, that day is today – people on stable Chrome releases should start seeing Google Now alerts being pushed to their Macs and PCs. The handy alerts are nested right inside the browser’s notification center that sits in your Mac’s status bar (bottom-right if you’re using Windows)… Read More

 

New Google app: Photowall for Chromecast

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 24, 2014

The Internet giant Google on Monday released a brand new iPhone and iPad application, Photowall for Chromecast.

Conceived as a collaborative photo sharing “Chrome experiment,” the software uses your iOS device and Google’s inexpensive $35 Chromecast HDMI dongle to allow anyone to beam their photos to a Photowall on your Chromecast-equipped TV, creating an interactive collage of memories.

What’s more, YouTube will automatically generate a video of your Photowall to show off to friends who don’t own a Chromecast. The app is now live in the App StoreRead More

 

Google Voice reportedly getting axed soon in favor of VoIP-to-phones Hangouts integration

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 18, 2014

Have you even wondered why it’s been nearly six months since Google last refreshed the free Google Voice for iPhone application (it still lacks iOS 7 styling)? After all, isn’t Google Voice supposed to be a priority for the Internet giant?

For those unfamiliar with it, Google Voice is a telephony service that offers a bunch of nice features such as voicemail, free text messaging, call history, conference calling, call screening, call routing, blocking of unwanted calls and voice transcription to text of voicemail messages, to name a few.

According to a new report, Google could be looking to retire the standalone Voice app for iOS and Android and instead fold its functionality into the native Hangouts app, which was released in the App Store in May of 2013Read More

 

Motorola shows off its Android Wear smartwatch, Moto 360, coming this summer

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 18, 2014

Google has just announced its brand new Android Wear platform for powering wearable devices like smartwatches and handset maker Motorola is already showing off its first Android Wear-driven device, a smartwatch dubbed Moto 360.

Billed as a “modern timepiece,” the device indeed is designed much like classic timepieces and sports high-grade finish that oozes premium quality.

The Moto 360, of course, runs Android Wear and includes Google Now integration, Android notifications, apps like weather, sports scores and more. It does gestures, too. “With just a twist of the wrist,” Motorola writes, you can see who’s emailing or calling, what time your next meeting is or a friend’s latest social post… Read More

 

Google extends Android to wearables: introducing Android Wear

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 18, 2014

Wearable computing is set to take off in a big way as the Internet giant Google on Tuesday introduced Android Wear, as previously promised.

Android Wear, as the name suggests, is meant to put Android on wearable devices such as smartwatches.

The company will be releasing soon the official Android Wear APIs to device vendors who want to put the power of Android in their health and fitness bands, smartwatches and other wearable gizmos.

Wearable devices driven by Android Wear include ‘OK, Google’ functionality and Android’s rich notification system. Moreover, they can show users timely information and suggestions akin to Google Now.

Health and fitness functions are supported as well: users can get their fitness summaries and set their goals with reminders. Fitness apps taking advantage of the Android Wear APIs can give users information such as real-time speed, distance and time for their run, cycle or walk.

Perhaps the most interesting bit is the ability of Android Wear devices to relay your voice commands to other devices such as smartphones, tablets or Chrome devices. Starting today, programmers can download a Developer Preview to tailor their existing app notifications for watches powered by Android Wear.

The company said that first Android-powered wearables are coming later this year. Jump past the fold for more information and a pair of pretty good promotional videos… Read More

 

New commenting features, UI tweaks and more added to YouTube iOS app

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 17, 2014

Google’s native YouTube application for the iPhone and iPad has just been updated with some much-needed enhancements to the commenting system and more. For starters, it is now finally possible to reply to other people’s comments and delete your own comments right within the app.

Previously, you had to visit the YouTube interface on the web to remove unwanted comments so that’s a nice little time saver right there. This edition of YouTube includes a few other timely enhancements and useful interface refinements, all listed and illustrated right after the break.

The update is now live in the App StoreRead More

 

Google Play Games gets cross-platform multiplayer gaming between iOS and Android

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 17, 2014

First announced at the Internet giant’s I/O developer conference last May, Google Play Games services provide Android, iOS and web developers with APIs for Apple Game Center-like features such as leaderboards, achievements, cloud saves, sign-in services and more. There was just one piece of the puzzle missing for the full cross-platform gaming nirvana: support for multiplayer sessions between iOS and Android devices.

As announced today on the official Android Developers blog and at Game Developers Conference, the newly-updated SDK now makes it easy to implement both Google Play Games turn-based and real-time multiplayer modes. When implemented by a game developer on both iOS and Android, player with an iPhone can challenge his or her Android-totting friend to multiplayer matches, and vice versa… Read More

 

Geohot wins $150,000 for exposing ChromeOS exploits

By Cody Lee on Mar 15, 2014

Google held its Pwnium 4 security competition last week at CanSecWest in Vancouver, Canada. The day-long event ended with hundreds of thousands of dollars being awarded to hackers who demonstrated exploits in Google Chrome. And believe it or not, $150,000 of that went to Geohot.

For those not familiar with the name, Geohot has picked up a number of headlines over the past 7 years. After hacking the iPhone he took his talents to the PS3, where he caused enough chaos to get sued by Sony. And he’s since been spotted at Facebook, iOSDevCamp and various other places… Read More

 

Google cuts prices for Drive storage, putting pressure on Dropbox and others

By Cody Lee on Mar 13, 2014

Google announced some drastic price cuts for its Drive cloud storage today, dropping its 100GB plan down to just $1.99 per month. The service now significantly undercuts rivals like Dropbox, which charges $10 per month for 100GB, and iCloud, which doesn’t even offer a 100GB option.

To be fair, Google’s Drive pricing was already lower than Dropbox, with a 100GB plan costing $4.99 per month vs. $9.99. But that extra $3 per-month savings equates out to $36 per year, making it even more attractive. Don’t mind paying $9.99 monthly? Drive now offers 1TB at that price… Read More

 

Google updates Wallet app with new Orders feature

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 12, 2014

Google last month introduced some nice new features for its mobile Wallet app, namely the ability to scan your loyalty cards using the iPhone’s iSight camera and receive notifications for offers from local merchants.

According to a post Wednesday on the Google Commerce Blog, the Internet giant is rolling out a new version of Wallet for iPhone which uses receipts from Gmail to track your online purchases.

The refreshed software is currently being rolled out to US-based customers so keep an eye on the App Store as the app goes live in the course of this week… Read More

 
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