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4 years ago

A surprisingly (but very much welcome) civil Google I/O keynote

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It's worth mentioning that for everything we saw in the Day 1 keynote at Google I/O, one "feature" of years past was noticeably absent -- there weren't any major jabs at Apple and the iPhone.

No references to 1984. No talk of a "draconian" future. Google just showed what it came to show -- even giving glimpses of the new and improved Google+ on the iPad.

Apple, at their WWDC event just two short weeks ago, didn't exactly display the same level of maturity. Right from the get go, during Siri's opening comedy routine, Apple went straight at Google and Android -- ICS, Jellybean, who's making up these names, Ben & Jerry? -- and continued the theme throughout the show. Apple SVP of iOS, Scott Forstall referred to ICS as a "dairy product", and once again claimed Google had a negligible amount of tablet apps. 

If that's so, why all the attention? Why not concentrate on their own products and take the high road...?

Now, the Day 2 keynote is today. There's still plenty of time for the barbs on the browser side (though with as poorly as Chrome's been running on the Mac recently, we kinda doubt it). But kudos to Google for staying on message, showing us some great hardware and software, and leaving the pettiness to the other guys.

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4 years ago

Google's Project Glass, skydiving, and another extreme nerdiness at Google I/O

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This nearly brought the house down in more than one way Wednesday. Sergey Brin's surprise appearance at the Day 1 keynote at the Google I/O developer conference wasn't merely just to show off Project Glass, the sort of heads-up display eyeglasses that have been making the rounds the past couple months. Brin also served to show off the power of Google Hangouts, and did so in a way that nobody expected to see happen live, let alone nearly flawlessly.

Peep the video after the break. It's simply ridiculous.

"One more thing"? Who needs it.

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4 years ago

Video walkthrough: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on the Galaxy Nexus

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Android 4.1 Jelly Bean has arrived, in the form of a preview version of the OS on the Galaxy Nexuses given away to Google I/O attendees. As we've already mentioned in our coverage of Jelly Bean, there's lots of new improvements to the OS. These are mainly based around making Android more slick and responsive to touch input, and eliminating lag wherever it occurs. There are also new software treats in the form of expanded notification functionality. Google Search has been overhauled, and Google Now presents relevant information based on your location, calendar and other stored data. Android Beam has been expanded too, with photo and video transfer capabilities

Check out some of the changes in Jelly Bean on the Galaxy Nexus in our video after the break.

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4 years ago

Android Central Podcast - Google I/O 2012 Day 1

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Audio-only stream below

Phil, Alex and Jerry wrap up all the news from Day 1 of Google I/O 2012, including Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the new Nexus 7 tablet, the Nexus Q media streaming orb, and so much more. Join us!

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4 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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4 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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4 years ago

How to quiet those damned Google+ Events notifications

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Google today rolled out Events for Google+, which is a slick way to invite people to, erm, events. (Not unlike what's already on that ... other social network.

The bad thing is that right now every damned person on Google+ can invited every other damned person to their damn event. And while I love you all, I just can't make it to your birthday party in Akron this weekend. Sorry, just couldn't move the schedule.

Right now there's no way to limit who can invite you to events, and that's leading to a lot of inbox clutter. The good news is that you can at least get rid of the e-mails that are sent when you're invited to a damned event, or there's an update to a damned event, or there's a reminder about a damned event, or there's activity on a damned event that you created. Just hop into your Google+ settings, and uncheck the boxes you see above.

And while I appreciate the invite, I just can't make your son's bris this weekend. 

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4 years ago

Contest: Win yourself a brand new Google Nexus 7 Tablet

The Google Nexus 7 Tablet has gone up for preorder and we've gone hands on with it already. If you're still on the fence about picking one up for yourself, well, you may not have to. Why? Because we want to give you one that's why! Entering will take a little bit of effort on your part but hey, the good things in life never come easy so you do what you have to. So what is it that you need to do?

  • Become a member of the Android Central Forums. If you're already a member, you're good to go.
  • When your account is created, change your avatar from the default avatar. Make it personal; unique as long as it is not left as the default Lloyd version, you're in.
  • Post in this thread with a comment, that way we can see that have indeed changed it from the default. If you're already not using the default forums avatar, just post a comment.

We all love Lloyd but adding a little personality to your forum avatar is a good and fun thing to do. Plus, it helps you stand out a little better. We'll pick out two winners to receive a brand new Google Nexus 7 Tablet, which everyone can appreciate and love. Everyone is welcome to enter, if you need to know how, exactly, to change your avatar you'll find details below. Remember though, comments on this post are NOT counted as an entry -- they must be in the forums.

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4 years ago

How to unlock the Nexus 7 bootloader

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This should really go without saying, given that it's called the ​Nexus​ 7, but we'll go ahead and say it anyway. Yes, you can unlock the Nexus 7 bootloader, then have your way with it however you deem fit.

Unlocking the Nexus 7 is the same as any other Nexus device. You'll need to put it into USB debugging mode, have the Android SDK installed on your computer, and then use the ​fastboot oem unlock​ command. (Relocking is just as easy, too.)

So, no worries on that front.

Also: See our hands-on with the Nexus 7

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4 years ago

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean SDK now available for download

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With Google I/O 2012 now kicked off and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean unveiled, the time has come to download the tools to make the magic. During this mornings keynote address, it was announced Android 4.1 would be rolling out mid-July while the SDK would be made available to developers today. The update has gone live now and is available for download to those who can make use of it. Some of the highlights to look forward to:

  • Faster, Smoother, More Responsive - Android 4.1 is optimized to deliver Android's best performance and lowest touch latency, in an effortless, intuitive UI.
  • Enhanced Accessibility - New APIs for accessibility services let you handle gestures and manage accessibility focus as the user moves through the on-screen elements and navigation buttons using accessibility gestures, accessories, and other input. The Talkback system and explore-by-touch are redesigned to use accessibility focus for easier use and offer a complete set of APIs for developers.
  • Support For International Users - Android 4.1 helps you to reach more users through support for bi-directional text in TextView and EditText elements. Apps can display text or handle text editing in left-to-right or right-to-left scripts. Apps can make use of new Arabic and Hebrew locales and associated fonts.
  • Expandable Notifications - Android 4.1 brings a major update to the Android notifications framework. Apps can now display larger, richer notifications to users that can be expanded and collapsed with a pinch. Notifications support new types of content, including photos, have configurable priority, and can even include multiple actions.
  • Resizable app widgets - Android 4.1 introduces improved App Widgets that can automatically resize, based on where the user drops them on the home screen, the size to which the user expands them, and the amount of room available on the home screen. New App Widget APIs let you take advantage of this to optimize your app widget content as the size of widgets changes.

There is plenty more where that came from included with the package. If you're a developer, you'll want to be digging into this stuff as soon as possible and working on getting your apps updated with the latest Google has to offer.

Download and more info: Android 4.1 SDK

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4 years ago

Google Earth for Android improves 3D buildings, adds Tour Guide

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Google Earth was another one of the many apps updated for Android Jelly Bean, and includes a new Tour Guide mode to help you find the important sights in a new city. Collections of thousands of notable points of interest will pop up in Tour Guide, and with a quick tap, Maps will fly over to it and provide information from Wikipedia on the spot. The updated Google Earth for Android will also include improved 3D imagery created using 45-degree satellite photography. You can take a look at the new automatically-generated models in the video below. 

You can download Google Earth in the Play store here if you don't have it already. The iOS version will be updated shortly, if you're into that kind of thing. 

Anyone excited for the update? Do you tend to use Google Earth that often even with Maps around?

Source: Google Lat-Long

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4 years ago

Google Nexus 7 hands-on and initial review

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Meet the Google Nexus 7 -- the first Google-produced tablet, the first device with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the first to serve more as a direct portal to Google Play (as opposed to a tablet that just runs apps), Google's first major push into the magazine and television market, the first device to ship with Chrome as its default browser ... and that's just the start of the superlatives.

But is the Nexus 7 just another Android tablet? Can it really beat the Amazon Kindle Fire for content consumption? We'll answer those questions in the coming weeks. For now, hit the break for our initial look at Google's 7-inch tablet.

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4 years ago

Google Maps updated with offline caching

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Following up on the Maps announcement a few weeks ago, Google has released the long-awaited update for Android which will enable offline caching. That means you'll be able to keep navigating when you're outside of data coverage for whatever reason. Over 150 countries are supported, and you can store up to six large metropolitan areas (like New York, London, or Paris) using the new menu option. Bundled with this update are a few performance optimizations for compass mode in Street View.

Offline caching in Google Maps is going to be particularly awesome for frequent travelers that don't want to get nailed with harsh roaming fees and can't get their hands on a local SIM card. It also makes Wi-Fi-only Android devices viable for navigation, which was never much of an option before.

If you've got an Android device running 3.0 or higher, you can get the update over in the Google Play store. Three are also a bunch of other core apps that were updated for Jelly Bean compatibility. 

Source: Google Lat-Long

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4 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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