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Siri and Google Now duke it out, which is better?

Posted by wicked July - 22 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Siri-vs-Google-Now

The war between Android and iOS isn’t just about smartphone or tablet market share. How about Google Now vs Siri? Which is better? Well Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster conducted a study that answers the question.

He threw 800 questions at both apps, and half of them were asked indoors, while the other half was outdoors. The questions were about local information, commerce, navigation, general information, and OS command.

Back in December 2012, Munster conducted a similar test and Siri came out on top answering 83 percent of the questions correctly, while Google Now answered 81 percent correctly. This year was much better for Google, but the spread was the same. Google Now got 86 percent of the questions correct while Siri was able to get 84 percent of the questions correct. Google Now received a grade of B while Apple got a B-. Google Now is the winner, but I guess you have to ask yourself if 2% better is really going to be all that noticeable?

Other interesting tidbits from the study was that Siri used Google as the source for only 3 percent of the questions. That is a 27 percent drop from December 2012. Siri is now relying more heavily on Bing for its search engine and Apple Maps for navigation related questions. Siri can still do somethings on its own, but not much. This year, Siri was able to answer 4 percent of the questions on its own, which is better than the 1 percent it achieved the last go around.

source: CNet

Come comment on this article: Siri and Google Now duke it out, which is better?

MaR-V-iN to Talk Google and Android APIs at XDA:DevCon 2014

Posted by wicked July - 22 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

53ab099dee15d_android

Our international xda:devcon ’14 in Manchester, UK on the weekend of September 26-28 is a celebration of all things mobile. The most popular sect of mobile development is perhaps software development. There are many different ways to develop software. You can use libraries and APIs to help advance your skills, among other things.

Today, we are happy to announce another great speaker that will be at xda:devcon ’14. MaR-V-iN is a computer science student, privacy enthusiast and hacker. MaR-V-iN started coding for Android at the end of Gingerbread era. Since then contributed to numerous Free Open Source Software projects. He is a big fan of penguins around him.

At xda:devcon ’13, XDA Elite Recognized Developer Stericson gave a presentation entitled “Root Application Development with the RootTools Library.” In his presentation, creating root applications for rooted users becomes extremely trivial with the RootTools open source library. If you wanted to learn about creating root apps check out the video from last year.

This year, MaR-V-iN’s presentation will be about which APIs are missing on non-Google systems, how they work, with specific focus on Play Services and what developers should do about it. Entitled “The Google in Android™,” this presentation talks about how since the first release of Android, Google has been an integral part of Android. At Android’s beginning, most apps by Google were just standard apps and use was not forced. More recently, however, Google started providing APIs through these apps. Since the rollout of alternative AOSP distributions, Google increasingly provides APIs through “Google Play Services” and the corresponding library. While Google claims that they’re combating fragmentation between Android versions this way, they’re in fact targeting fragmentation between Android and alternative AOSP distributions. So check out this talk to learn more about Google’s APIs, this is the talk for you.

Join us September 26 to 28 in Manchester for XDA:DevCon 2014. Register to attend using this link for exclusive savings. Hurry, as the Early Bird registration ends August 1st.

The post MaR-V-iN to Talk Google and Android APIs at XDA:DevCon 2014 appeared first on xda-developers.

Google redesigns the Chromecast site with improved usefulness

Posted by wicked July - 22 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

chromecast_site_july_2014_revamp

Google has given the dedicated site for Chromecast a redesign. It was previously difficult to actually use the site as a tool for exploring what Chromecast has to offer in terms of applications. Now, though, Google is giving breakdowns for featured, new, and other apps to help users get the most out of the $35 dongle. A filter is included to see which platforms for Chromecast are supported. And there is even a search button to see if Chromecast has exactly what you are looking for.

Let us know if you find the redesign useful.

Source: Chromecast

Come comment on this article: Google redesigns the Chromecast site with improved usefulness

No new Android L preview images will be coming

Posted by wicked July - 22 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Perhaps you are a developer eager to get the next blockbuster app or game completely ready for Android L. Or maybe you’re a power user testing the waters of the next Android release. Whether or not you fall into either of these categories, if you’ve been waiting for an announcement for an Android L Developer Preview version 2.0, don’t hold your breath. A Google developer has practically confirmed what you probably didn’t want to hear: no updated images are planned for the pipeline.

To understand the context, we have to take a few steps back, actually a few days. Last week, Google published one of its Dev.Bytes videos on YouTube that focused on the Android L Preview. The four and a half minute long video, hosted by Googler Rich Hyndman, who was somewhat ironically wearing a KitKat shirt, delved into some of the things developers might want to take note of when trying out the preview image on a Nexus 5 or a Nexus 7. Later, a developer named Michael Panzer re-shared the video on Google+ and asked Hyndman whether there will be updates to the preview before final release. The gist of Hyndman’s answer is that there will be extras coming but no updated preview image.

The reason, according to the Google developer, is that the Android L preview is primarily to help developers test and prepare their apps against the upcoming release. At the very least, developers will be able to test if things run well, or hopefully even better, on the new ART runtime, if theming needs to be adjusted for the new Material Design, and other such considerations. The implications seems to be that the Preview isn’t meant for bug hunting, testing, and squashing. It sounds as if Google is expecting developers to just wait for the final Android L release to address those concerns.

For the casual observer or brave tester, this might be a disappointment at best. But it might be a bit disheartening, if not inconvenient, for app developers, especially those whose efforts have been foiled by Android L bugs. Some of those might have already been fixed on Google’s side, but developers won’t be able to enjoy those fixes and test their apps again without an updated image to try it on. That said, this is the first time Google ever provided a developer preview of an Android release and it is admittedly doing things a bit differently. One can only hope that they will reconsider and put out even just one more preview image before Android L, whatever its name will be by then, rolls out this fall.

SOURCE: +Michael Panzer
VIA: Smartdroid.de, BGR

Google shares what Samsung KNOX is bringing to Android

Posted by wicked July - 22 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Google and Samsung have a pretty interesting and lively relationship. Although the two seem to be at each other’s throats over topics such as OEM customizations, Tizen, and Android Wear, the two have come together last Google I/O to tell the world that they are collaborating on bringing Samsung KNOX to Android. Now Google is finally divulging what that partnership really means for the future of Android.

Of course, the main focus of this endeavor is to make Android an enticing option not just for personal smartphone use but in the workplace as well. To this end, Google and Samsung will be porting over some KNOX features to Android, particularly in the upcoming Android L release. The primary feature will be the ability to separate personal and work data and apps into their own walled gardens. This frees employers to either let their workers bring their own devices (BYOD) or just issue company smartphones, without fear of work data bleeding into personal space or normally insecure personal apps getting access to sensitive work files. This dual separation is based on the KNOX Workspace implementation and utilizes Android’s new multi-user capabilities.

Separating personal life and work life is one thing, but managing all those is another. The upcoming Android release will let Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) apps and services to enable employers and their IT departments to manage and control the enterprise half of an Android setup even remotely. EMM’s can create managed profiles for work, enforce restrictions and policies over all managed devices, keep their own collection of approved apps, and even remotely install or remove apps on an employee’s smartphone. Again, these are all based on KNOX’s security enhancements and will integrate seamlessly into Android, even showing up as marked apps in launchers and recent apps lists.

knox-android-l-2

As for KNOX, Samsung will still be controlling its development and still plans on keeping its business alive. What Samsung will provided then is added value on top, or below to be more precise, whatever KNOX features will be integrated into Android L. Since Google doesn’t have direct control over device hardware, it can only implement security frameworks on top of the Linux kernel and in Android itself. This is where Samsung believes it can offer something more, by providing security even on the hardware level. It will, however, provide a compatibility layer so that KNOX apps will still work on Android L, at least as far as the upper layers and features are concerned.

SOURCE: Google, Samsung

New and improved ‘Explore Nearby feature’ coming to Google Maps

Posted by wicked July - 22 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Google_Maps_New_Explore_Nearby_Screens_01

Google recently updated the Maps app last week with new features, but it looks like a handful of people are getting one additional feature. It’s a new and improved “Explore Nearby.”

Everybody already has the current version of Explore Nearby, which will give you ideas for different types of establishments. This newer version gets its own button at the bottom right, and it’s more powerful. It has more groups along with points of interest. You can even select the time of day to get better suggestions such as a bar for later at night.

We aren’t sure when this will land on an official update, but we are thinking sooner rather than later.

source: Android Police

Come comment on this article: New and improved ‘Explore Nearby feature’ coming to Google Maps

Google joins effort to turn pay phones into WiFi hotspots

Posted by wicked July - 22 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

NYC Plans To Replace Pay Phones With Wifi Hotspots

It may be hard to believe, but New York City still has over 7,300 pay phones. The modern world sees these as being a complete waste of valuable space, especially in a city where every square foot is important. What can we do to make these archaic pay phones more valuable? Turn them into WiFi hotspots, of course!

New York City’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications is calling upon over 50 companies to support them in an effort to transform pay phones into internet-spreading machines. Phone companies would still be able to make money by charging for calls, but data usage would have to stay off their reach, meaning the service would be free.

We know Google wants as many users online as possible, as that also means more money for them. A city like New York is bound to be a major target for the Search Giant, and they are in the Big Apple taking care of business. Also attending are Samsung, IBM and Cisco.

banner-better-wifi-on-off-app-review-120815

What makes this project interesting is that it would create a complete cloud of WiFi access over most of the city. The idea is that all pay phone/WiFi hotspots would work together. There wouldn’t be a need to connect to each one of them individually, creating a city-wide network like we can only imagine.

Maybe New York City can start a trend we could all benefit from. After all, it’s not really a smart idea to get rid of all pay phones just yet. Some people still don’t own mobile devices, and we all know how frustrating it can get when your phone dies and no phone is nearby.

I usually don’t even pay attention to public phones anymore. I know I would be amazingly glad to see those abandoned devices if I knew they were feeding me data, though! Let’s hope this idea comes to many other cities – Google could make it all happen!

Nexus_5_Android_L_Developer_Preview_Home_Screen_01_TA

If you’re one of the many who jumped ship from their stable Android version to try out the Android L Developer Preview, you definitely noticed it’s not exactly the most polished thing in the world (not even close, actually).

No reason to be mad at Google, though — it’s just a developer preview, and we’re lucky to have something before launch.

As most Android enthusiasts tend to do, we looked ahead, and hoped for Google to upload an updated factory image of the L Developers Preview. But according to Googler Rich Hyndman, it ain’t happening.

Here’s what Hyndman had to say on the matter:

“There’ll be some extras coming, like the 64-bit emulator. But I don’t believe new device images are coming,” Hyndman said.

He also noted that, as we know, the release is primarily for developers to be able to test their apps and get them ready for the L launch.

“It is the first time we’ve had a preview release and it will mean less chance of issues with apps in the Play Store at launch and more apps ready to take advantage of the new features,” Hyndman said.

Expect the official version of L to start hitting Nexus devices this fall, alongside the launch of one (or more) new Nexus devices.

Check out Hyndman’s video about the developer preview below.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Source: BGR

 

 

 

 

Come comment on this article: Want an updated factory image of Android L Dev Preview? Not gonna happen, a Googler says

Google Talks Android L Preview Features, Can’t Promise Updates Though

Posted by Kellex July - 21 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

On Friday, the Android team’s Rich Hyndman took to the Google Developer YouTube channel to run through some of the new features introduced in the Android L developer preview. Most of this stuff we covered in a series of Android L feature posts, but for developers, the clip was a good refresher for the new goodies that can be taken advantage of. Rich talks everything from notifications to the new camera API to Material Design to the devices that the L preview is available on

Developer Michael Panzer saw this video over the weekend, shared it to his G+ timeline, and asked Hyndman if we could expect to see updates to the L preview at some point before the release is made stable to the public. Rich actually responded, noting that “They’ll be some extras coming, like the 64bit emulator. But I don’t believe new device images are coming.” He later continued on, saying that the Android L “preview release is primarily for developers to be able to test their apps and get them ready for the L launch. It is the first time we’ve had a preview release and it will mean less chance of issues with apps in the Play Store at launch and more apps ready to take advantage of the new features.”

While we love this move by Google to release a preview of the next version of Android months ahead of time, you can imagine that this news is unfortunate for developers who are experiencing bugs with the preview that are affecting the way they develop apps. Apple releases multiple versions of its iOS beta builds before it reaches stable, so you would think that Google could do something similar. Then again, Google often does things their own way.

I personally would love to see new preview builds, but that’s because I just love Android. From a developers perspective, especially if they want their apps working flawlessly come the Android L launch, it would make a lot of sense for Google to consider it.

Via:  +Michael Panzer | Smartdroid

Google Talks Android L Preview Features, Can’t Promise Updates Though is a post from: Droid Life

A couple of weeks ago, I took a 5-day trip back to my home state of Montana to visit family and friends. I stayed with my dad, of course, but during the stay, I noticed an interesting Google Now card that kept coming up after a day or two after having been there. The card kept popping up with “Time to Dad’s,” as a reminder of how long it would take me to get back to his house. It was like the “Time to Home” card that you see if you have your home location added to your Now location settings. The card shows up if you leave home, so that you always know how long it will take to get back there no matter where you are.

I thought this card was interesting because my dad’s address wasn’t on my calendar, it isn’t in my location settings, and not once did I perform navigation on how to get to his house while I was there, because it’s in my home town of Whitefish and I know exactly how to get there. But over the last couple of days on the trip, each time I left his house, it kept telling me how to get back there, just like that “Time to Home” card. It was as if Google knew I was in Whitefish, MT, and that I was staying with my dad because his address is included in his contact card and I kept hanging out there for hours on end. It also could have been that it was simply looking through contacts to find nearby friends or family and was giving me the time it would take to get to their houses. 

At the time of seeing this card, it struck me as awesome and a bit creepy, but hey, I’ve bought into Google knowing all there is to know about me. I had forgotten about it, though, until a reader of ours pinged us over the weekend with a similar situation.

In the card above, our friend was greeted with directions to a friend’s house upon arriving in San Francisco. He explained it as a friend he would stop to see each time he made his way through SF to catch a Giants game or just say “Hi.” But on this particular trip, he had no plans to see his friend, yet Google was still showing him a card, just in case he wanted to head that way, likely because it knew he often made the trip to his friend’s house when in San Francisco.

I can’t find specific card info on Google’s Now support pages for this type of situation, so I just thought I would share. Again, it comes off a bit creepy that Google does always know where you are and locations of friends or family that you may want to visit when in the area, but I can also see how handy this would be.

Update:  Others in the comments are noticing similar cards. Some for a few months, others just now seeing it for the first time.

Has anyone else experienced a similar card?

Cheers Ben!

Google Now Seems to be Learning Contact Addresses When Traveling, Gives Time to Navigate to Them is a post from: Droid Life

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