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3 years ago

Hands-on with 3D buildings in Google Earth at Google I/O 2012

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Google Earth 7.0 has been released, introducing 3D maps for a selection of major cities around the world. Based upon 3D telemetry and textures taken from aerial photography, Earth 7.0 conjures a virtual city right onto your smartphone or tablet screen. What this means is you can now fire up Google Earth and zoom around any of the supported cities, which include San Francisco, Boston, Charlotte and Rome. There's also a dedicated tour mode which will give you a virtual fly-by view of major landmarks, including the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco.

As you might expect, the new 3D mapping capabilities require a fair amount of graphical power and bandwidth to use, though we demo'd the new Google Earth on the 18-month-old Motorola Xoom, and the app remained fairly smooth and speedy.

Check out our hands-on video above. Google Earth 7.0 is available to download now from the Google Play Store. For 3D building support, you'll need to be running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or later.

Download: Google Earth

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3 years ago

Google app updates continue as Currents and Drive step up for their turn

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The mid-I/O Google app updates continues, this time round it's the turn of Google Currents and Google Drive. Both have updates waiting for them right now in the Google Play Store. So, what's new? 

In the case of Google Currents, the biggest change is that finally, it fits into the Android 4.x design guidelines. That pesky menu, it's up top where it ought to be. You might also notice, that it's got a new, less colorful logo too. The full changelog for Currents reads a little like this: 

  • User interface - updated to Android standards
  • Top navigation bar - auto hide, touch to show
  • Library/trending toggle - moved to navigation bar
  • Performance enhancements
  • Bug fixes

Sweet, so, what about Google Drive? Well, an update was to be expected, after the cloud service was heavily featured in todays Chrome based Keynote. One of the biggest new features available in Drive on Android, is the ability to upload, and download, all file types to and from your Drive. Pretty much a standard requirement for cloud storage. The changelog for Drive reads as follows: 

  • Quickly find files that have been recently opened, edited or shared with you
  • Upload/Download all file types to/from your Google Drive
  • Selecting contacts to share with is easier
  • Faster navigation of folders when syncing in the background
  • Choose text alignment in the documents editor

Add these two the lengthy list of Google apps that received updates yesterday, and we've been pretty well spoiled. Some may be more significant than others, but updates are updates nonetheless. Head on over to Google Play and snag yourselves a copy of these two. 

Download: Google Drive, Google Currents

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3 years ago

Google+ SDK for Android and iOS is coming, along with a handful of APIs

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Google has made it clear at Google I/O -- they love Google+ and are going full steam ahead with the social platform. We don't blame them, as we think with the right nurturing it can stand out among the rest. What's been sorely missing is options for third party applications to integrate with G+ as the do with Facebook and Twitter. Google has made that one step closer to reality today with the announcement of the upcoming Google+ API for Android and iOS. Based on the platform notes, supported out-of-the-box are Google+ sign-in, a share plug-in to share your app content to the G+ stream,  +1 button integration, Google+ history functions, and a personalization feature, which will allow developers to pull in public G+ content and use it in their app. 

It's not exactly perfect, but it's very close to what everyone was asking for. Now we just need to see the SDK and some apps built with it.

Source: Google+ Developers

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3 years ago

Bladeslinger video demo on the Google Nexus 7

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The inclusion of an NVIDIA Tegra 3 CPU (and GPU) in the Nexus 7 tablet indicates that Google's betting on mobile gaming to generate sales of the device. That's only natural considering the slew of graphically-rich titles coming to Tegra 3 devices we've seen over the past six months.

One of the upcoming games Google chose to plug in its day-one I/O keynote was Bladeslinger, by Luma Arcade. With a horror-themed Western setting, Bladeslinger sees players taking on the role of William Glaston, who's returned home to find that his hometown overrun by the undead hordes. Gameplay is hack 'n'slash, with a little third-person shooting thrown in for good measure.

We caught up with the devs on the show floor to grab a quick gameplay demo of Bladeslinger on the Google Nexus 7. Hit the embed above to check it out. Bladeslinger is expected to arrive on Tegra 3 Android in a couple of months.

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3 years ago

Google says that Chrome is now the worlds most popular browser

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We're knee deep into the day 2 keynote presentation at Google I/O, and we're expecting lots of Chrome news. The first piece that just dropped highlights the massive popularity of the Google Chrome browser. 

To date, there is now 310 million daily active users of the Chrome browser, which Google says makes it the worlds most popular browser. And, for the data nerds, there's some pretty impressive statistics that accompany it. 60billion words typed, 1TB of data downloaded, and 13 years saved each and every day within Chrome. Thats a whole lot. The keynote continues, so stay tuned for the rundown.

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3 years ago

Google Now official landing page now live

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One of the most impressive new features in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean shown off yesterday, is Google Now. The new, personalized search system that tries to make your day that little bit easier. 

The official landing page for Google Now has gone live -- hit the source link below to head over there -- with the official lowdown on the service. That, and the video you see here. As Jerry said yesterday, it is a little scary, but it does sound pretty cool at the same time. 

Source: Google Now

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3 years ago

Netflix for Android updated to support Jelly Bean

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Seems like the Google suite of applications aren't the only ones being updated to show some Jelly Bean love. Netflix has pushed out an update to the Google Play Store that promises support for Android 4.1. Additionally there are some general bug fixes included too. 

Guess now the guys have something to do with those shiny new Nexus 7 tablets, should the I/O action ever get a little boring. Yeah, we know, unlikely. Hit the Google Play Store now to snag yourselves a copy. 

Download: Netflix

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3 years ago

BlueStacks app player brings Android apps to Mac OS X in Alpha form

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Previously a Windows only affair, BlueStacks app player allows folks to load up Android apps onto their personal computers and run them directly within a slim, virtualized environment. Today, at Google I/O 2012 BlueStacks has taken another jump forward and released their Alpha build of BlueStacks for Mac OS X. I've given it a run through to see how well it works and well, it works like an Alpha meaning it's all a little bit buggy but that's why BlueStacks is offering it up, so they can get feedback on it. If you're interested in giving it a go, you'll find the link below.

Download: BlueStacks Alpha For Mac; Source: Engadget

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3 years ago

Sirius XM app coming to Google TV this year, will get shown off at I/O

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Google I/O is upon us and that means the announcements will start coming fast. Sirius XM Radio announced that they will have an official app for the Google TV platform coming out this year. It is the first time Sirius Radio will be offered on any web-connected TV.

The app will be free (but you still have to be a subscriber) and will be available from the Google Play Store on Google TV devices. Here are the main features of the app that subscribers will be able to take advantage of:

  • Tune Start, which will allow you to tune in to a station that will automatically restart the current song so that you don't have to miss it
  • Start Now, by which you will be able to go back 5 hours into archived programming
  • Pause, resume, fast forward and rewind
  • Organize your favorite channels

If you're not a subscriber and would like to try it out, Sirius XM offers free trials, which can be found on their website. This new app will be shown off at Google I/O today at 3:00PM PDT.

This is great news as it further adds premium content to the Google TV platform.

There is already an app out for Android phones and tablets that can be downloaded for free. Please find links after the break as well as the full press release.

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3 years ago

Multiple Google apps updated following Jelly Bean announcement

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Fire up the Google Play Store and you'll see a plethora of updates to just about every Google app out there. The biggest change comes to Chrome for Android, which loses its beta tag and is unleashed as a fully stable product. Other updated apps include Google+, Play Books, Play Movies, Maps, YouTube and Street View, to name but a few. You'll want to check individual changelogs in the Play Store for specifics, but most of these updates seem to be minor revisions to bring the apps into line with what's shipping in the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean preview builds for the Nexus 7 and Galaxy Nexus

More: Chrome for Android changelog

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3 years ago

Chrome for Android exits beta, first stable channel release available now

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Fresh from the news that Chrome will be the stock browser on the new Nexus 7 tablet, today also sees the release of the first stable channel version for Android. The beta tag is no more. 

The update is live in the Google Play Store as we speak, and is available for devices running Android 4.0 and above. Along with its first stable channel release, Chrome receives some important stability and performance fixes. Additionally, there are some small adjustments to the browser's UI. especially on tablets. 

Interestingly, we're also told to "stay tune for more information" regarding other release channels of Chrome for Android. Could we be treated to some canary builds of Chrome for Android in the future? Sounds intriguing. 

Source: Google Chrome Releases

Download: Chrome for Android

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3 years ago

Pinterest for Android - First look

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Pinterest for Android is real. It exists. We've seen it. Here it is. Only, it's not quite ready for public consumption, and so this is all you get to see. But we can tell you all about what we've seen, and it's pretty much what you'd expect from a Pinterest app on Android. The pic above hosts the board, and from there you tap into the individual pins. Scrolling on the Nexus 7 with Jelly Bean was impressive to say the least. The big differentiator over the iOS version of Pinterest, of course, is sharing. You'll be able to share pins in the same way that you can share anything else on Android, and that's a powerful feature. And of course it'll sync up with your current Pinterest account.

Here's the rub, though. The Pinterest app is still very much in development, and not even the lead dev, with whom we spoke here at Google I/O, is sure exactly what it's going to look like when it's released later this year. So it's coming, it's just that nobody's sure what, exactly, it'll look like.

So stay tuned, and keep pinning.

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3 years ago

Google Play web updated, now allows for updating and uninstalling of apps

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In addition to all the other goodies Google rolled out thus far at Google IO 2012 they updated the online version of the Google Play Store with some pretty awesome features. So awesome in fact, that I'm rather perplexed as to why it was never mentioned. As you can see in the screenshot, you can uninstall and even update apps all from the site itself. Plus, any devices associated to your account will now also show an image representing that phone, tablet or Google TV. Sadly, you still can't get rid of apps you no longer use from the listing but we're getting to that point with the latest additions.

Thanks, waltesefalcon!

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3 years ago

Google announces new Google+ app for tablets

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Google announced moments ago that they will finally be releasing a tablet-optimized version of its social network, Google+. For a long time, we've either had to use the browser or a phone app, which hasn't been the greatest experience. They announced a new app with a tablet-optimized UI. It looks pretty gorgeous and the Hangouts feature in particular has us excited.

It will be available for Android tablets as well as iPads and Google also announced that the phone app will be getting an update today to incorporate lots of these new features. Please find links to the Google+ app in the Google Play Store after the break.

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3 years ago

SwiftKey 3 keyboard gets update with bug fixes

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If you're using SwiftKey 3 for Android on your phone or tablet, you'll want to hit the Google Play Store and grab the new version 3.0.0.277 of the popular keyboard app. The first update to SwiftKey 3 fixes a couple of problematic issues that users may have been facing, related to character mapping and memory management. Specifically, a memory leaking issue has been resolved in today's update -- that's a problem where the app would use more and more memory until it crashed, or was dumped out of RAM by the OS. (That's something you'll want to avoid.)

To pick up the new version of SwiftKey, hit the My Apps tab in the Google Play Store. Alternatively, we've got web linkage below...

Download: SwiftKey 3

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