Glass users need not apply
Jose Barajas, a Google+ user who took to the network after a trip to his local McDonalds today, at least some franchises have apparently begun banning the use of Google Glass in company restaurants, putting up signs on their doors saying “Google Glass is banned on these premises.” without explanation. One user jokingly commented that McDonalds doesn’t “want people hamburgling McD’s secrets! :D”
The McDonalds in question is one in Sacramento, California – there’s no sign as of yet that this is a company wide initiative. However given the privacy concerns some have had with Google Glass’s ability to record video and snap photos without any indication that it’s doing so, we could imagine that many parties wouldn’t take kindly to the sort of privacy concerns raised by Glass.
We’ve reached out to McDonalds for a comment and will update this post if we hear anything further.
Source: Jose Barajas (Google+)
"Your $5 is attached"
Google announced about four hours worth of new products, services, and features yesterday (quite literally, their I/O 2013 keynote went on for nearly four hours), so some cool little nuggets were bound to have been overshadowed – and indeed, one of the coolest announcements that got pushed to the wayside yesterday is that a new feature will allow Gmail users to attach real money to an e-mail. As in, you click the little attach button, you punch in your value, and you hit send.
The new feature will work concurrently with a user’s Google Wallet account, so if you’ve got any bank accounts or cards or whatnot linked through that service you should be good to go. Google will take a 2.9% cut of the transaction’s value as a transaction fee. Google says that the new service will roll out in the next “couple of months”, however some people are reportedly already seeing the feature show up on their Gmail accounts. While this isn’t something that I can see many people really taking advantage of, especially considering the relative obscurity of Google Wallet today, it’s a great example of those cool, innovative little features that Google is known for.
Check out a demo video Google put together after the break.
Source: ZAGG Blog
Stock Android on your Galaxy S4
The “Google Edition” Galaxy S4 comes with Android 4.2 with the same experience as the Nexus family of devices, despite it not being a Nexus device. The phone comes with 16GB of built-in storage, is SIM unlocked for AT&T and T-Mobile and is also bootloader unlocked so you can run just about anything on it.
If you’re interested in one, you can head over to the Google Play store on June 26th. It will cost $649.
Source: Google I/O 13 Keynote
Google just released the
Google has just announced a brand new Spotify competitor built into their existing Google Play Music service called Google Play Music All Access (Google really needs to work on their names, don’t they?) All Access essentially acts as a sort of Spotify / Pandora hybrid, allowing users to create radio stations based on their musical tastes, but also allows them to explore genres of music to find specific albums and tunes. You can also search for specific artists, songs, or albums, a la Spotify, and create radio stations built off of those.
Google Play Music All Access will be priced at $9.99/month with a free 30 day trial, and as of right now will support Android and PCs via a web UI.
Source: The Verge
Finally, a real XCode competitor for Android
In one of the best kept secrets of this year’s I/O Developer Conference, Google has just announced a new tool exactly zero people were probably expecting – Android Studio, a brand new development environment similar to Apple’s XCode and Microsoft’s Visual Studio, entirely for Android applications. Android Studio comes with some pretty unique (and extraordinarily useful sounding) features, including live code updates, live graphical user interface rendering, support for differences between international versions of applications in one binary, and the ability to check and see what your application looks like on any of Google’s flagship Nexus devices before ever even hitting the “compile” button.
Google says that they have “big plans” for Android Studio going forward – it isn’t yet a complete replacement for whatever you’re using now, but Google promises that they’ll be adding functionality and features quickly as time goes on to make it your one stop shop for Android development.
Source: The Verge
It's been long expected
Not too long ago we brought you evidence that Google was preparing to announce a competitor to Apple’s Game Center service, and today Google made good on our prediction at I/O 2013 – Google has just announced that they’re calling the much rumored service “Google Play game services” (doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, does it?) that any Android application will be able to plug into with ease.
Using a set of new APIs, developers will be able to enable their games to take advantage of a Cloud Save feature, meaning users will be able to pick up their games from where they left off no matter what device they pick up and play it on, leaderboards, achievements, multiplayer, matchmaking, and – you guessed it – total Google+ integration, if the developer is so inclined.
Source: The Verge
That's the wow factor
Google has just announced at their annual I/O developer conference that Google has seen 900 million unique Android activations thus far as of May 15th 2013, essentially eclipsing the total number of activations in the entirety of 2012 in just four and a half months. According to Google’s Sundar Pichai, head of Android and Chrome OS, this is up from 400 million Android activations in 2012 and just 100 million in 2011.
Google Android has obviously seen a huge growth spurt in the last couple of years as Android devices become more and more prominent in the marketplace. Android has just recently began to see some success in the tablet space, where the Apple iPad previously dominated essentially without competition. Though he did not go into specifics, tablets likely made up a large portion of the total 2012 and 2013 activations.
Source: The Verge
Praise be all that's good
If you’re the proud owner of a Windows Phone device, you’re probably painfully aware of how lacking watching YouTube on the platform has been. The default YouTube “application” preinstalled on the device has been no more than a glorified bookmark, and if you were looking for a native application experience you had to wander to the sketchy nether regions of unofficial applications. But no more – Microsoft today has, at long last, finally released an official YouTube application for Windows Phone 8 devices.
Though the application was developed by Microsoft and not YouTube, the app is a clear step up from the options that Windows Phone users had prior to this if they wanted to get their YouTube fix on the go. The new application is now available on the Windows Marketplace for free; have at it.
Bet BlackBerry's CEO is a bit embarrassed
Just yesterday we reported that BlackBerry’s CEO Thorsten Heins said that he thinks that tablets are “bad business” with no future, and now we’ve got some data to really prove him wrong – according to data released by IDC, cumulative sales of all tablets has grown by 142.4% since the first quarter of 2012. What does that mean? People are buying a crap ton of tablets, which is pretty much the polar opposite of the rest of the rapidly declining PC industry.
Most notably, Apple (predictably) lead the charge with the iPad line pushing a record 19.5 million tablet sales this quarter, up 65.3% from this time last year. In second comes Samsung with their Galaxy Note and Galaxy Tab line, which sold 8.8 million devices, up a whopping 282.6% from this time last year. Third was ASUS with 2.7 million up a massive 350.0% (thank you very much, Nexus 7), with Amazon’s Kindle Fire line coming in fourth with 1.8 million sales resulting in a 157.1% increase, and finally Microsoft with a puny but notably 0.9 million Surface tablets shipped. All of the other tablets made by other manufacturers result in a combined 15.5 million tablet sales.
What can we learn from this data? Well, two things – one, despite what Heins said, tablets are absolutely not bad business, BlackBerry just had a bad experience with developing and selling a bad tablet. And two, tablet growth is rapidly increasing whilst the rest of the PC market has been going down in flames. While nobody is saying that this data suggests that the tablet market will one day be bigger than the PC market, it does suggest that it has something the netbook market never had: momentum.
Siri or Now?
Yes, the rumours were right: Google Now has come to iOS. The Now functionality comes as an update to the Google Search app. The only downside is, it’s not a 1:1 duplicate of the Android version. Google Now for iOS will not include integration with notifications or alerts nor will it include support for all the cards such as events, concerts, boarding passes, etc.
It may be that over time the iOS version grows closer to its Android counterpart. In the meantime, iOS users will have to put up with a slightly less-featured version of Google Now.