Archive for the 'Android' Category



Andy Rubin Is Leaving Google To Start A Hardware Incubator

Thursday 30 October 2014 @ 4:08 pm
Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 4.59.03 PM Andy Rubin, best known for his work on Android at Google, is leaving the company. According to The Wall Street Journal, Rubin will build an incubator for what it describes as companies working with “technology-hardware” products. Google confirmed the departure to us with a prepared statement from Google CEO Larry Page: “I want to wish Andy all the best with what’s next. Read More



Google Drive for Android gets Material Design update, improvements to search, sharing, and the PDF viewer

Wednesday 29 October 2014 @ 1:09 pm
Google Drive for Android gets Material Design update, improvements to search, sharing, and the PDF viewer

Google today updated Google Drive for Android with a new design and features related to search, sharing, and PDFs. You can download the new version now directly from Google Play.

First up, the search tool has been revamped so that it updates results as you type. Given that Google is a still primarily a search company, this probably didn’t take too much effort to cobble together:

search

Above you can also see the new Material Design that Google is rolling out across all its apps and services. Notice that each file and folder is shown as a “card” – a design paradigm the company has been pushing ever since it launched Google Now.

Next, the app’s sharing component now lets you add a custom message when you send a file, letting recipients know why you’re sending it. You can also now turn on link sharing on files to make them public (you can still choose viewing, commenting, and editing access rights), which automatically copies the link to the clipboard for pasting wherever you want.

Last but not least, the PDF viewer has received a significant retooling: You can now find, select, and copy text in PDFs. Best of all, it’s now built directly into Google Drive, so you don’t need to launch it separately:

pdf_select

Google Drive may have started as a file storage and synchronization service, but ever since it gained collaborative editing, it has been ballooning in features. In fact, Google chose to release separate Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps, which Drive launches when you want to edit a file.

It’s worth noting that those apps are also getting improvements “over the coming days,” including an Incoming tab in each app (for quickly getting to any file that was shared with you), being able to use an existing document as a template, and more. Details for those are available here.


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Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major glob... read more »











Facebook for Android and iOS gets new collage layout and lets you reorder photos before uploading

Monday 27 October 2014 @ 12:15 pm
Facebook for Android and iOS gets new collage layout and lets you reorder photos before uploading

Facebook today announced an update to its Android and iOS apps that focuses on photos. You can download the new version now directly from Google Play and Apple’s App Store.

When uploading photos, you can now choose the exact order in which they will show up. Once you pick the ones you want, you’ll also get a preview of how the story will appear in your friends’ News Feed.

fb_photos_revamped

You can add an introduction to the story preview, and caption individual photos. Even at this point, you can reorder photos: just press down on one and drag it to a different spot.

The whole point of the ability to reorder photos is linked to Facebook’s new collage layout. Here is how it looks:

photosfeatured2

The uploader and all their friends will see photos in this new story form. Tapping a photo lets you scroll through the photos in the order they were chosen to be seen.

More to follow.


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Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 1.15 billion monthly active users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 w... read more »











Nvidia’s Tegra K1 brings 64-bit computing to Google’s Nexus 9 tablet

Friday 17 October 2014 @ 9:30 am
Nvidia’s Tegra K1 brings 64-bit computing to Google’s Nexus 9 tablet

Above: Nvidia Tegra K1

Image Credit: Nvidia

Nvidia scored a point for its Tegra K1 “superchip” by getting into Google’s Nexus 9 tablet. With that, Google is is the first to bring out a 64-bit Android device.

Google Nexus 9

Above: Google Nexus 9

Image Credit: Google

The Nvidia Tegra K1 is an all-in-one processor for mobile devices, but it has desktop-like features thanks to its 192 processing cores for both computing and graphics. The device is the first tablet to feature the latest version of the Android operating system, Android 5.0 Lollipop. No doubt, this makes the device great for tablet games.

Google is selling the device for $399, and it is available for pre-order today. The deal marks the second time that Nvidia has gotten a Tegra processor into a Google device. The earlier Nexus 7 also used Tegra when it debuted a couple of years ago.

The Tegra K1 is the first ARM processor for Android to take advantage of Lollipop support for 64-bit CPU architectures. Earlier known as Project Denver, the ARMv8-A-based custom central processing unit (CPU) is designed for both high-performance and low-power consumption. It supports all major graphics standards and is based on Nvidia’s previous graphic processing unit (GPU) architecture, Kepler, which is used in a lot of fast gaming PCs and supercomputers.

That processing power helps deliver PC-like performance, higher battery life, and faster web browsing.

The Nexus 9 comes with front-facing stereo speakers and HTC’s BoomSound technology. It has a 8.9-inch display, with a 2048×1536 resolution, and an 8 megapixel rear and 1.6 megapixel front cameras.


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Nvidia specializes in the manufacture of graphics-processor technologies for workstations, desktop computers, and mobile devices. The company, based in Santa Clara, California, is a major supplier of integrated circuits used for person... read more »

Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major glob... read more »











Google brings Notification Sync alerts to Google Glass

Tuesday 14 October 2014 @ 5:00 pm
Google brings Notification Sync alerts to Google Glass

Above: Not even Indy gets to wear Glass to the movies.

Image Credit: Illustration by Eric Blattberg / VentureBeat

Notifications from your Android phone might go nowhere if that phone is stuck in your pocket. But if you’re wearing a Google Glass, you’ll be able to see that new information right away, starting tomorrow.

Google announced the coming of Notification Sync for Google Glass in a Google+ post today. The feature will be part of version 3.3.0 of the MyGlass management service.

The move positions Google to make Glass a first-class citizen when it comes to wearable devices. Google announced Android Wear earlier this year and showed how notifications can end up on Android Wear-enabled smartwatches, like the Motorola Moto 360.


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Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major glob... read more »











Android Ads Arrive In Time For Rumored Nexus 6 And 9 Reveal

Tuesday 14 October 2014 @ 4:14 am
Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 8.13.03 AM Google may be tipping its hand with new Android advertisement spots, which were spotted and posted to YouTube by Droid Life. The ads feature an eclectic assortment of Andy the Android characters, wearing various costumes and rendered in various sizes. The Android mascot’s variety is also the main message Google is trying to promote with these ads, which tout the slogan “Be… Read More



Google releases 64-bit Android L developer preview emulator image

Wednesday 8 October 2014 @ 5:01 pm
Google releases 64-bit Android L developer preview emulator image
Image Credit: Tsahi Levent-Levi

Google today released the x86 64-bit Android L developer preview emulator image, allowing developers to start testing their 64-bit apps. You can download the emulator image now from the Android SDK Manager.

As Google notes, building 64-bit apps on Android enables developers to access more addressable memory space, a larger number of registers, and new instruction sets. The company elaborates:

Apps built in Java will automatically gain these benefits, with no changes to existing code. Apps built on other languages, built with the Android NDK r10b, can compile for 64-bit architectures to access the features listed above. 64-bit apps can be built by including x86_64 in the build target or use the catch all APP_ABI=all64 in your Application.mk.

While one can certainly expect security and performance benefits for the user, it’s way too early to say just how much of an impact 64-bit apps will have.

Android L, the successor to KitKat that doesn’t yet have a full dessert name, will be able to run apps on the new ART runtime, which replaces the Dalvik virtual machine Android currently relies on. ART should let apps run faster and smoother and is designed to handle more processor types, including ARM, x86, and MIPS chips. Most importantly for today’s news, it can take advantage of 64-bit chips.

Google first launched the developer preview for Android L back in June and said the final release is slated for “this fall.” The company also revealed its new Material design language, which spans not only Android, but anywhere Google offers its apps and services.


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Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major glob... read more »











The iPhone 6 Plus is a phablet for the Apple flock

Wednesday 24 September 2014 @ 8:30 am
The iPhone 6 Plus is a phablet for the Apple flock

Above: Apple's iPhone 6 Plus

Image Credit: Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat

Volume Up is a regular column on consumer technology and digital ecosystems by Reticle Research principal analyst Ross Rubin.

One of the natural consequences of Android and Samsung having such high exposure is that it’s difficult to a competitor to follow in their footsteps without raising comparisons and presumption of influence.

Apple’s move into the phablet space with the iPhone 6 Plus could be chalked up to any number of reasons — better components from its preferred suppliers the rising tide of  more detailed games and high-definition video, or less desire to delineate between between iPhone and iPad in the wake of the latter’s weakening sales, for example.

But even Apple’s marketing slogan for its new phones — bigger than bigger — connotes a need to be judged against a prevailing industry standard.

When paired with Apple’s signature design, a thinner body than ever, improved battery life and the best cameras Apple has ever shipped in a smartphone, the iPhone 6 Plus is a phablet that should keep loyalists in the fold. With record-breaking opening weekend sales of 10 million units despite possible supply chain issues for the larger iPhone 6 Plus, the products have certainly resonated.

But the availability of the iPhone 6 Plus and the iPhone 6 are only one concession to Android temptation. Others exist in iOS 8. As I noted in a previous column, Apple has brought some capabilities such as custom keyboards and better sharing options, and better notifications to the iPhone to help address more choice that Android has had for some time.

But despite Apple’s stepped-up efforts to woo Android users (or at least even the migration wars that Motorola started), it likely won’t see too many jump ship en masse for a few reasons:

Competition at the high-end. Apple is most likely to pick up Android defectors at the high-end who would opt for similarly priced competitors such as the Galaxy Note 5, LG G3 and refreshed Moto X.

Strong mid-tier and low-end, Particularly among budget prepaid carriers, the iPhone 5, which represents Apple’s new low-end, still has a higher unsubsidized price. Samsung, LG and Chinese vendors are offering Android devices at prices that Apple has no desire to touch.

Google service integration. Android will still hold favor for those who want the most flexibility in their user interface or tighter integration with Google services. While some changes in iOS 8 allow Google to improve integration within its suite, it can’t achieve default app status as it can on Android.

Beyond Apple Pay, Apple is also catching up in allowing developer access to NFC – a technology it once derided as superfluous. And in hopping on the big phone bandwagon, Apple is experiencing some of the pain of unoptimized resolutions that it has had in the past, introducing a scaler to try to compensate for apps that won’t be exploiting the new screen sizes and resolutions for a while.

Apple’s new handsets set a new bar for the company in terms of design and form factor, and the company has used the larger stage to expand into a greater range of user options than iOS users have had before. It’s little wonder that iPhone users have flocked in record numbers to the greatly revamped models. But at the end of the day, the fundamental philosophies and tradeoffs of the platforms remain intact.

Ross Rubin is principal analyst at Reticle Research and founder and editor of the crowdfunding product site Backerjack. He also blogs about the tech industry at Techspressive.


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Apple designs and markets consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The company's best-known hardware products include the Macintosh line of computers, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Apple software includes t... read more »











Motorola’s Moto X Should Be Your Next Android Phone

Wednesday 24 September 2014 @ 7:24 am
IMG_4642 As we enter the era of the ubiquitous Big Phone, it’s refreshing to hold something like the slim and light second-generation Moto X. Priced at $500 unlocked and about $99 with a contract, this 5.2-inch phone with 1080p OLED screen and Gorilla Glass front is a step beyond the latest from LG and, while not as feature-rich as the Samsung Galaxy S5, well worth a look as an upgrade to your… Read More



Sega’s Crazy Taxi: City Rush rolls over its mobile game rivals in August downloads

Tuesday 23 September 2014 @ 10:00 pm
Sega’s Crazy Taxi: City Rush rolls over its mobile game rivals in August downloads

Above: Crazy Taxi: City Rush

Image Credit: Sega

Sega’s Crazy Taxi: City Rush, a reimagining of an old console game, reached the No. 1 worldwide rank on top iOS game downloads for the month of August, according to market analyst firm App Annie. The results from the rankings show there are still many different strategies that game companies can pursue as they make their way to the top of the mobile charts.

Sega tapped the original Crazy Taxi creator Kenji Kanno and Sega mobile developer Hardlight Studios to recreate Crazy Taxi, where you drive like a crazy person to rake in the fares and get to your destinations on time. Introduced on July 31, the polished app introduced a 15-year-old franchise to a new generation of mobile gamers across a bunch of countries.

Future Games of London took advantage of the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week in the U.S. to update its Hungry Shark Evolution game, a move that allowed it to break into the top 10 global downloads.

Meanwhile, King crushed it in China, as Tencent’s localized version of Candy Crush Saga performed well on Tencent’s Mobile QQ and Weixing social networks. That pushed Candy Crush Saga back into the top-10 worldwide download charts. That’s a pretty quick result, as King and Tencent only signed a deal to bring the game to China in April. Tencent and CJ Netmarble also had a hit with Everybody’s Marble, which is integrated into the mobile messaging networks Line, KakaoTalk, and WeChat.

Gameloft also scored with its movie-based Despicable Me game. In late July, it introduced “the Jelly Lab,” enabling the app to grab the No. 4 slot in combined worldwide download charts.

Japan’s SoftBank also had a big month. In August, SoftBank secured a majority stake in the voting stock for Supercell, creator of the No. 1-ranked Clash of Clans (in revenues). Supercell’s Boom Beach also rose in the iOS download charts in August, thanks to a new update.

On Google Play, the Guitar Hero clone Rock Hero rose to No. 4 in the charts in worldwide downloads. The Android game was most popular in the U.S., Brazil, and Mexico. The game was published by Guitar & Music Games.

Disney and Tab Tale moved up in the ranks of downloads with kid-focused mobile games in August. Disney got a boost from the release of Kitchen Scramble, in which players run their own food trucks. Tab Tale broke into the top ten  on iOS with its Airheads Jump platformer game.

Dong Nguyen also scored another hit, following up on his Flappy Bird smash hit. HIs dotGears Studios launched Swing Copters on iOS and Google Play in the second half of the month. It hit No. 4 for the month in worldwide iOS downloads.

And Peter Molyneux of 22cans had a good launch of Godus, a new god genre game published by DeNA on iOS. The simulation adventure game broke into the top 10.

App Annie August charts

Above: App Annie August charts

Image Credit: App Annie

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App Annie Analytics makes it easy for app publishers to track their apps' downloads, revenues, rankings and reviews for iOS and Android. At App Annie, we believe there has been a radical shift in the way content is being distributed. I... read more »











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