Samsung has built a major part of its reputation with its line of Smart TVs, but has yet to fully dip its toes into Google TV — until now, that is. While not a part of its press conference, the company is showing off new Google TV hardware on the show floor of IFA 2012.
Details are scarce, but Samsung plans to utilize its Smart Hub as the central user interface for switching between television and apps. As expected, the company has already ported some of its own Smart TV apps to the Google TV unit. With these added tweaks, the company hopes to “enhance the Smart TV experience.”
Google TV has undoubtedly failed to catch on with consumers, but Samsung is hoping that it can make an impact with its prominent branding. Let’s just hope Samsung can actually bring this thing to market for a reasonable price. More on this story as it develops.
First we got offline maps, then indoor maps and walking directions for museums. Now Google Maps gets even better with expanded traffic coverage worldwide. The capitals of Colombia, Costa Rica, and Panama have been added, and a whopping 130 US cities will also be receiving traffic information and estimated travel times. So if you live in Kalamazoo,
Michigan or Tuscaloosa, Alabama, welcome to the party!
In addition, Google has improved and expanded coverage in Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. Hit the source link for a complete list of all cities covered.
Source: google lat long blog
A new version of the Google Play Store is rolling out, bringing it to v3.7.15. This version seems to be more of a behind the scenes bug fix update as it seems to have fixed the Sprint 4G download issue, so not quite as exciting as the last Play Store update. Other than that, we’re not seeing anything obvious.
The folks at Android Police have pulled the file for those who don’t want to wait for the official over-the-air push and wish to sideload it manually.
Source: android police
Google released a new API for Google Drive bringing it to version 2. It offers a simplified developer experience along with mobile app support for both Android and iOS. Mobile apps can now securely use the new API to read and write files directly to Google Drive. On the web users have the “Open with” option to view or edit, but now it comes to mobile phones and tablets in the same manner.
Last but not least they announced that new apps are coming. For example they are working on a mobile photo editor for cropping photos on your phone. Google Drive is still at its infancy so I’m excited to see what lies ahead.
Source: google developers
Google is finally giving developers a way to respond to app reviews in the Play Store. This is a great addition since it gives developers a way to defend their apps against unfair reviews, and for improving customer/dev interaction and communication. Developers with a Top Developer Badge have access to this feature now, but other devs are going to have to wait a bit before it becomes available to them.
We love seeing Google add more features like this that help out Android developers. Keeping devs happy keeps them making apps, and we all know that a healthy software ecosystem is the key to the success of a platform.
Source: android spin
In a world where patent lawsuits and idea-borrowing are a real issue, it appears that Google wants to lock down a few of the inner workings of their upcoming wearable tech, Project Glass. According to some new, recently granted patents (four to be exact), Google now owns the rights to the business end of their AR glasses. The folks at Engadget did some digging through the patent paperwork and noticed that pretty much everything that makes Project Glass different from regular eye-wear have been patented. This includes that the part that covers the eye and relays information (including the ability to relay different information over each eye), the pressure sensitive nose-pad that tells the device it is being worn, and the ability visually reproduce ambient sounds by displaying its origin information.
Now that we’ve seen Google execs wearing the device in public and have a few more patents out of the way, the big question is when will we be able to get our hands on a pair of these specs! I know I am sure hoping to get a closer look at this years Google I/O in a couple months… Nexus locs anyone?
Source: USPTO / 2 / 3 / 4
Word from the grapevine is that Big Red is planning to finally release Android ICS 4.0.4 to the Galaxy Nexus masses with OTA (over-the-air) roll-out commencing as soon as tomorrow. This rumor supposedly comes from a Verizon customer who was visiting their local store and was briefly shown a Verizon proprietary document detailing the upcoming OTA update. So for those of you who didn’t want to manually install Android 4.0.4 to your GNex, the wait may finally be over. Only tomorrow will tell if this rumor pans out so be sure to keep a eye on your notification bar for a possible icy treat.
When AT&T was asked why the carrier took so long to respond to Android updates on their smartphones, CEO Randall Stephenson responded with “Google determines what platform gets the newest releases and when. A lot of times, that’s a negotiated arrangement and that’s something we work at hard.” This seems to imply that Google had the bigger hand as far as when a current update is pushed to devices. Naturally, this caused the search giant to be somewhat confused. And while we could naturally see why an update might take some time to reach carrier devices with different technologies, skins and other variables, we’re thinking AT&T is just looking to pass the buck here. With expected confusion, Google’s spokesperson responded with the following:
“frankly we don’t understand what he is referring to”
So, it doesn’t appear that the answer was ultimately answered here but rather deflected and passed on to Google’s court. We’ll see if someone from AT&T’s camp can clear the matter up for us and get the ball rolling on some of these devices still running Froyo.
Source: Pocket Now
Current Version: 6.7.0
Requires Android: 2.1 and up
Category: Travel & Local
Discover nearby Google Offers in the US
Indoor walking directions (Beta) for Japan and the US
See 360° panoramas inside restaurants and stores
Download the latest release of Google Maps, and never carry a paper map again. Google Maps for Android with Navigation (Beta) has:
* Detailed maps with 3D buildings
* Voice guided turn-by-turn GPS navigation
* Driving, public transit, biking, and walking directions
* Live traffic information to avoid congestion
* Local search and business reviews
* Google Maps Street View
* Indoor maps for select airports, hotels, retail stores, and more
Whether you need directions to your destination, the closest good place for a bite to eat, or just a sense of where you are, Google Maps for Android can help.
When looking for the best price on a new smartphone, heading directly to Amazon Wireless is becoming more and more the best option you have. They have managed to beat retail and sale price’s on many of the top-tier Android phones and now they are at it once again. For those of you who may have been holding out to grab the new Sprint Galaxy Nexus, now may be your chance to score a pretty good deal. It isn’t one of Amazon’s Penny Sale’s, but they will beat the contract price by 50 bucks and will give you a $50 Google wallet credit as well. On top of that, Amazon will also include free two-day shipping so your wait time will only be minimal (they know how much we pine for a new Android device!). To get in on the deal, simply click through the source link below and be sure to come back and let us know if you placed an order! We like to know when our readers make good decisions.