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Firebase, a cloud database company, joins Google’s Cloud Platform team

Posted by wicked October - 23 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

firebase_logoGoogle has announced that they’ve acquired a new cloud database company, Firebase. The Firebase team will join Google’s Cloud Platform developers in an effort to make development for mobile devices even easier.

Firebase exists to allow developers easy ways to keep data synced between mobile applications and web sites and apps, which can be a pretty tricky and difficult task otherwise. By bringing this technology under Google’s cloud platform fold, it should help speed up development for mobile apps as it gives developers one less thing to worry about.

For current Firebase developers, improvements should come to the service soon. For Google Cloud Platform customers, the improvements should kick in immediately.

source: Google Cloud Platform

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Solar eclipse and police activity cards now showing up in Google Now

Posted by wicked October - 23 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Google_Now_Launcher_02

Good news for heavy Google Now users; you’re getting two new types of cards in your automatic information feed. Google has added in support for police activity as well as solar eclipses. The police activity is pretty useful, as it shows nearby criminal activity which can give you a heads up on areas or roads to avoid.

The solar eclipse card is pretty weird, but it gives you information on ways you can safely view the eclipse, so that’s pretty cool. Not life changing, but a cool feature regardless.

Fortunately, these cards won’t require an update to the Google Now app (as long as you’re already on the latest version) since the info comes from Google. Keep an eye out and let us know if you see either of them on your device.

source: Reddit

via: 9 to 5 Google

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Google may sell Project Ara modules in a Play Store type marketplace

Posted by wicked October - 23 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

project_ara_the_verge_1Google’s Project Ara is one of the most highly anticipated developments in the modern smartphone world, assuming it gains traction with developers, manufacturers, and consumers. We know the basic idea behind it, but one thing that Google has never truly clarified was how potential customers could purchase smartphone “modules” for their devices. Thanks to a new interview at a Purdue Presidential Lecture, the head of Project Ara, Paul Eremenko, talked a bit about how the modules would be sold, and it’s shaping up to be pretty interesting.

Google wants to invest in a marketplace not unlike the Play Store where customers can buy different modules. This marketplace would sell directly to customers, so there wouldn’t be any middle-man retail stores to go to. Buyers would also be able to comment and review all of the different hardware available, which would help other customers make informed decisions. That function is pretty similar to every other major online retailer today.

A big point of interest, though, is how Google will test and certify modules to be sold. They want to allow developers to create and sell their own modules on the marketplace, but Google is also responsible for making sure that the modules don’t blow up anyone’s device, which is a tricky thing to tackle. Looking at how loosely Google polices the Play Store, that may or may not end well.

If you’re interested, you can find the full video below. It’s a pretty long clip, but it’s entertaining and interesting, especially if you’re eager for Project Ara smartphones.

source: Android Headlines

Click here to view the embedded video.

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Google Earth for Android gets updated 3D rendering engine

Posted by wicked October - 22 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

google_earth_icon

Google has announced a major update for their Google Earth for Android app. According to their announcement, the key to the update is a new 3D rendering engine, the first overhaul since Earth launched over 10 years ago. Google says the new engine will provide “faster, smoother, and crisper transitions.”

In addition to the 3D enhancements, Google says their maps will update quicker and they are making it easier to view KML files. Updates to Earth maps will now correspond to updates in their Google Maps product. Google says they have given roads and labels a fresh new look in Earth as well to make it easier for users to find what they are looking for. Users who have created their own maps and generated KML files will now be able to load them directly from Google Drive.

If you want to give Google Earth for Android a try, just hit the download link below.

New labels and roads.
Old labels and roads.
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google_earth_kml_import

qr code

Google Play Download Link

source: Google Maps Blog

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Google introduces ‘Inbox’, an alternative to Gmail that works for you

Posted by wicked October - 22 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Google_INbox_App_Large_Icon

Google just unveiled “Inbox,” which sounds a lot like our earlier story on Bigtop. It’s a completely separate app from Gmail, which aims to be a better alternative for those that find they are overburdened with email. When Email started, it was a simple way to pass messages, and it made you more efficient. However, as email as grown over the years, it’s gotten so distracting that it sometimes is hard to actually get things done. One could argue that it no longer makes us efficient.

According to Google, Inbox works for you and helps you get to the important information quicker. This is all done by new features such as Bundles, Highlights, Reminders, Assists, and Snoozing.

Bundles groups similar emails together just like the categories feature that was introduced last year. So now all your purchase receipts and bank statements will be grouped together for quick review. Want certain emails grouped together? Inbox will learn from your habits.

Highlights makes it easier to spot those important emails, which could be for events or emails that include photos or documents. Inbox is also smart enough to display any other important information from the web that might not even be in the original email. That could include flight status information or even package tracking information.

Google_Inbox_App_Screenshot_01Google_Inbox_App_Screenshot_02

Inbox also lets you set Reminders such as picking up milk on the way home or giving someone a call. Assists will add information to both reminders and emails. So for example, let’s say you set a reminder to stop at Target. Assist will provide you the phone number and even tell you if the store is even open. Let’s say you booked a reservation at a restaurant. Assist will add a map to the confirmation email. The last feature we need to mention will come in handy for those times you see an email, and say to yourself, “I will deal with that later.”  You know what happens then right? You completely forget about it. Instead of leaving it in your inbox, only to move down lower and lower, you can just Snooze it. It will come back to the top when you want it to so you can take care of it and not forget about it. Of course, Snoozing works with Reminders as well.

Google_Inbox_App_Screenshot_04Google_Inbox_App_Screenshot_05

You can check out this short video showing some of the features…..

Click here to view the embedded video.

So when can you try Inbox? Well a little bit of bad news. Right now it’s invite only, with the first round of invitations going out today. The good news is that new users will be able to invite their friends, and you can request an invite by sending an email to [email protected]. That should get you on their radar a little more effectively than sitting around waiting for one.

As I mentioned, Inbox is completely separate from Gmail. Those that want to continue using Gmail as it is today can continue to do so.

source: Gmail Blog

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Just how big is the Nexus 6?

Posted by wicked October - 22 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Nexus_6_With_Lollipop

The Nexus 6 isn’t for everyone because of it’s enormous 6-inch (5.96) display, but how does it stack up against its predecessors? Thanks to Phone Arena, we have images of the Nexus 6 next to each Nexus phone ever released.  Some of these images my scare you, but what was a large phone in 2010 is not a large phone today. Hit the break for all the images and let us know what you think of the Nexus 6. Too big? Just right? Or dare I say, too small?

Nexus_6_Compare_Size_Nexus_One
Nexus_6_Compare_Size_Nexus_S
Nexus_6_Compare_Size_Galaxy_Nexus
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Nexus_6_Compare_Size_Nexus_5

source: Phone Arena

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Google adds Material Design to Google Drive App

Posted by wicked October - 22 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

nexus2cee_Screenshot_2014-10-20-22-10-09Most of Google’s apps will be receiving a design update within the next month to match up with Lollipop’s general look and feel called material design. 

The first thing you’ll notice upon opening the new app will be new images to represent the functions of the app. You’ll also notice some of the new material style, much like the other app design updates. One of the biggest updates is the removal of the bar formerly at the bottom of the app and the replacement with a red FAB that controls the document creation process.

All in all, not too much has changed in the way of usability, so there shouldn’t be a learning curve to the new update. After you’ve tried out the new design, leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Source: Android Police

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Users of Chrome OS and Android 5.0 reporting Easy Unlock feature is operable

Posted by wicked October - 22 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

android_l_easy_unlock_report

In April, we learned that Google would be implementing a way for an Android phone to unlock a Chrome OS device. That feature is reportedly operable for some users with Android 5.0 Lollipop. It is called Easy Unlock and just asks Chrome OS users to hit a single button to login when their phone is nearby, forgoing the need to manually enter a password. It all works through Bluetooth Low Energy.

Have you found the Easy Unlock feature to be available yet? Let us know in the comments.

Via: OMG! Chrome!

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Nexus 6 pre-ordering starts October 29 on Google Play

Posted by wicked October - 21 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

nexus_6_pre-order_102914

Head over to your calendar and make a note for October 29. While the Nexus 9 is already available in the Play Store, the Nexus 6 and Nexus Player have remained on hold. The Nexus 6, though, will be ready to go in the Play Store next week. The pricing is steep even with the base 32GB storage option at $649. Relying upon Google for excellent pricing is not an option. This year, it seems that going with a carrier to get a Nexus device is the way to go.

Here is a breakdown of the choices:

  • Nexus 6 (32GB, Midnight Blue) — $649
  • Nexus 6 (32GB, Cloud White) — $649
  • Nexus 6 (64GB, Midnight Blue) — $699
  • Nexus 6 (64GB, Cloud White) — $699

[Nexus 6 Play Store Link]

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Google’s Nexus 6 gets compared to Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4

Posted by wicked October - 21 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

nexus_6_vs_galaxy_note_4

This fall, two massive devices will be on the market and consumers will have a very difficult choice to make. Should they go with Google and the Nexus 6 or Samsung and its Galaxy Note 4? Fortunately, you can take a look at a video comparing the two. Carphone Warehouse has both devices on hand for a really good breakdown. Unsurprisgly, the Nexus 6 is a lot bigger than the Galaxy Note 4. After all, the Google device does have a 5.96-inch display compared to its foe’s 5.7 inches.

There is a common ground for the two. The resolution of the displays both equal 2560×1440 and are AMOLED. Inside, Google and Samsung opted for a Snapdragon 805 processor with 3GB of RAM and 3220mAh batteries. They also have 32GB of internal storage; however, Samsung follows its tradition by including a microSD card slot.

Hit the break for the video.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Source: TechnoBuffalo

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