My first experience with a smartphone was my uncle’s Sony Ericsson. It was a handsome device with a pretty large resistive touchscreen, a flip-down numeric keypad, and a stylus. The interface was tiny and complicated, requiring precise presses with a stylus. It was thick and bulky and capable, if slightly impractical.
Then the iPhone came along. I, as a schoolboy, mocked it. But now its influence is hard to ignore – it completely revolutionised the mobile landscape. Capacitive touchscreens were now a thing. The industry slowly started to move away from focusing on specifications and started to care about user experience – those that didn’t are either dead or dying (think Nokia or Blackberry).
Apple did the same for tablet with the iPad, and had done the same before the iPhone with the iPod. So as smartwatches finally became a thing people waited with bated breath for Apple’s version. This is it. But is it the revelation the smartwatch market was waiting for? …
Naturally with the release of Apple Watch upon us, you’d expect Android to ramp up their marketing. And they did just that in their latest cheeky commercial which was debuted at SXSW Interactive. Quick sidenote, before I start rambling. This ad was directed by Alexei Tylevich and produced by the gifted creatives over at Droga5.
Choreography was the dish of the day, as a host of talented artists danced away to the beat of Shamri’s On The Regular. Other than the dance moves, which I’ll never be able to do in my lifetime, the other important part was the diversity of the products. Not one watch was the same in terms of form factor or design amongst the host of aspects involved. …
As the stars shined brightly in Hollywood, and the awards were dished out you’d expect a tonne of brands trying to capitalize with branded tweets and campaigns as they try their hand at real-time marketing. And that’s what happened.
Huge brands like Lego, Coca-Cola and Dove, naturally, got involved. Another giant we mention a lot here at Techno-Speak got in on the action, that giant is of course, Google. Their real-time marketing stunt that promoted the movies that won their respective Oscar awards was pretty innovative to say the least. …
Android, despite it’s popularity, has little to now power as a brand. People know their phones run Android, but it’s Samsung’s Galaxy brand or Motorola’s Moto brand that really stands out. Google wants to change that.
This gigantic, 20 million pixel, LED billboard is the latest addition to Google’s campaign, dominating Times Square in New York. The billboard was built and is owned by Mitsubishi, and estimates claim Google is paying more than $2.5 million for four weeks. User-created Androidify figures appear on the 8 storey tall billboard, and an elevated stage lets passers by control figures with Kinect-like sensors.
As part of a holiday sales initiative Google is giving away 1TB of free Google Drive space for 2 years to any Chromebook bought during the holiday season, or any Chromebook bought recently. I don’t know how recent is recent enough for Google, but I redeemed the offer from my Dell Chromebook 11 (purchases in July) with no issues.
If you already have a Chromebook hit the source link below from it and enjoy a 1TB of cloud storage!
PS. The offer can also be redeemed from a Chromebox.
Inbox is blue and Gmail is red. End of article, thanks for reading. I should that I’m a terrible joke-maker. That sentence was the polar opposite of what was expected of me from Emmanuel.
Inbox is exactly that. A polar opposite of its 10 year old brother, Gmail. First off, Inbox radiates an aura of what I need to do, it adds a sense of purpose to your emails kind of like a to-do-list. It filters your e-mails into a number of categories or as Google likes to call them ‘bundles’. Emails you receive from colleagues, newsletters and that Nigerian prince who happens to be your relative, are all tidily bundled at your convenience. Don’t worry that last one is still filtered into junk mail automatically, I hope.
Highlights really caught my eye. It turned my endless list of emails into a kind of Twitter or Facebook news feed, making scanning through them a doddle. The best part is that you can preview the content from your inbox if it contains images or any other related media before you even open it, so basically you can already determine whether it’s useful to you or not. It’s convenient, but it’s also extremely creepy. Privacy probably isn’t that big an issue any more.
The service brings a new tab to the Play Store on mobile and web, of course, and users can both buy and rent movies from the store and view them on the phone, tablet, or PC. If you’ve got a Nexus 5 you can grab an HD copy of Gravity for free!
Anyone want to make a bet on if anything’s coming today? I’m guessing Play Books, but we don’t have till we have it.
Literally minutes ago Google seems to have finally opened up Google Play Music to the Maltese islands (and a few other countries, one would assume), not only allowing one to stream their own private collection online but to also purchase tracks and albums through the Play Store.
The first change you’ll notice is that opening the Play Store directs to a general page with three sections up to: Games, Apps, and Music. Click on the latter and you have full access to the Music Play Store, with all prices in Euros.
The Google Play Music app also features All Access and you can get it for only €5.99 monthly plus a 1 month free trial if you sign up before January 2015, as compared to €6.99 for Spotify Premium, which became available earlier this year.
But I can’t see it on the Play Store!
No problem. It should show up just fine on the web, but on your phone I suggest going into Settings> Apps > Play Store and hitting clear data. That should do the trick!
Hat tip to my good friend Zach for pointing it out!
Google Now Launcher available for nearly any Android device
Earlier today Google officially updated the Google Now Launcher to be used on any device running Android 4.1 and up (ie. nearly 75% of all Android phones currently in use). This, Android fans, is huge.
For the uninitiated, Google Now Launcher brings Google Now front and centre and makes it your homescreen. While the traditional app/widget paradigm persists, Google Now is just one swipe away to the right and can be triggered with the “OK Google” voice command from the homescreen (and anywhere else).
Update 1:Google’s updated the app to make the work around in the previous paragraph clearer. At the bottom of the Search history tab is an option to “Make the map area available offline”. Still not as useful as caching a map area, but it’s something at least.
It’s been a couple of months since a Google Maps refresh was announced at I/O 13 but it’s finally here! The new directions are there, as is a brand new interface and other optimisations. In a few words, it looks great, works great, and is simply fantastic.
There are a couple of issues, however. Firstly, the option to cache a map area for offline use is gone. It’s not there. There’s a bit of a hack that kind of does the trick, but it’s almost pointless unless you really need to save what you’re looking at in a pinch.
The second issue might not be that big a deal for many, but for some it’s been a deal breaker. Lattitude is gone from Google Maps, indeed Google have now released a statement that says that the service will be killed on the 9th of August, 2013. A Google+ service will replace it at a later date.
I’ve played around with it a little and I’m writing a hands on/review mashup (the service is still in beta on the PC, and I feel a full review might be unfair. Still undecided). The app looks fantastic and works great, but the features it lacks make travelling abroad nearly impossible using the service. Hell, any travel without a data connection is out of the question entirely.
If you haven’t got the update on the Play Store yet you can grab the APKs that Android Police has mirrored. Do read the post first, there are a couple of versions out there: one for 4.1 and another for 4.2, the 4.1 app won’t parse on a 4.2 phone and vice versa. There are also different APKs for other form factors. Be careful. You can get it here.