Archive for June, 2012
We generally have to wait for a device to hit the FCC or wind up with the likes of iFixit to see it thoroughly dissected, but Google has changed things up a bit for its new Nexus Q media hub. It’s provided Wired with a complete teardown of its own that breaks the Made in the U.S.A. device down piece-by-piece with attention to every little detail. Hit the source link below for a closer look at what’s inside the orb.
SOURCE via Wired
Here’s a bit of a surprise that slipped under the radar during the Google I/O keynote: Google Earth for Android has been updated to 7.0 to take advantage of the new 3D map technology it unveiled at another special event just a few weeks ago. As a refresher, the visuals are automatically created from 45-degree aerial imagery and can pick up 3D elements as subtle as trees. Before you go racing to your hometown to see how it looks in 3D, be aware that just a handful of cities and regions exploit that dimension. Besides San Francisco Bay, the full coverage extends to Boulder, Boston, Charlotte, Lawrence, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Portland, San Antonio, San Diego, Santa Cruz and Tampa in the US, with Rome being the lone international hotspot. If that’s too few places to visit, there’s always the addition of guided tours. Android users can head over Google Play to get the update today; iOS users shouldn’t fret, as they’ll get the new maps soon.
In Gingerbread, those tapping repeatedly on the version number with Android’s “Settings” menu were greeted with a picture of “zombie art” by Jack Larson. In Honeycomb, a bee found its buzz. In Ice Cream Sandwich, we saw an image of the Android robot dressed up in an Ice Cream Sandwich, which grows in size when you long-press it until it transforms into a Nyan Cat-style animation. Today, we grabbed hold of a Galaxy Nexus equipped with Jelly Bean (Android 4.1), and sure enough, the tradition continues. This time, we’re graced with a cutesy bean, and when long-pressed, you’re presented with a game that encourages you to flick candy around a gravity-less location… for eternity. Care to see for yourself? There’s a video just past the break.
Xbox Music is coming to Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, that much we know. We also know that the Zune brand is dead. But whether the new service will be a simple rebadge or an entirely new beast remains a mystery. Bloomberg has it on good authority, however, that that Xbox Music will more than just a new face. Microsoft is allegedly combining all the most successful elements of its competitors — streaming, online storage, and offline syncing — into a product that will put iTunes, Spotify and Google Play squarely in its crosshairs. The company is allegedly in talks with the record labels to secure the necessary rights for a monthly subscription service and a market for purchasing tracks. It will also take a page from Google Music and allow customers to upload their own collections. If Microsoft can pull off a such a comprehensive service others in the field better watch out — few companies have the reach or budget of Redmond.
SOURCE via Bloomberg
As anticipated, Google has just launched its cloud service for businesses at Google I/O 2012, called Google Compute Engine. Starting today Urs Holzle announced “anyone with large-scale computing needs” can access the infrastructure and efficiency of Google’s datacenters. The company is promising both performance and stability — Amazon EC2 they’re coming for you — claiming “this is how infrastructure as a service is supposed to work”. It’s also promising “50 percent more computes per dollar” than competitors. Beta testers will be on hand at later meetings to give impressions of the service, if you want to know how running your apps on 700,000 (and counting) cores feels. Hit the source links below for more details on “computing without limits” or to sign up for a test yourself.
SOURCE via Google
In case you didn’t get enough Google I/O news today, the Chrome team has just let loose a video teasing the launch of Web Lab beta. We aren’t exactly sure what the Mountain View crew is up to, but apparently, the Web Lab will be revealed through a series of experiments set to be launched later this summer. Apparently, the installations will make their debut at the London Science Museum, and from the video snippets we’ve seen, they’ll leverage the web and some custom machinery to create works of art. You don’t have to take our word for it, however, just take a minute to see for yourself in the video after the break. Read more…
Google just did what many thought wasn’t possible — it just put mobile Chrome on iOS. Both iPad and iPhone users will get the app, either with incognito browsing, syncing and that unique tabbed browsing interface intact. The company hasn’t said what’s changed versus the Android build, but it’s likely the main differences are matters of integration — Apple’s app rules won’t let Google bring in its own WebKit rendering engine tweaks or change the default browser. Whether or not that switch is a dealbreaker, Chrome should be available later today in the App Store for those who want a break from the Safari norm.
Google wasn’t going to leave its budding social layer (don’t call it a network) out of today’s IO fun. It gave itself a bit of a pat on the back for (probably) exceeding people’s expectations. For all the jokes that have been made (some of them on this very site) at Google+’s expense, it’s racked up more than 250 million users. Sure, only 150 million actually active, but simply getting people signed up is a victory in itself. And, hey, about 50 percent of them sign on every day. More interestingly, Vic Gundotra says that more users are signing in with the mobile app than visiting the desktop site. That’s great news to go along with the dedicated tablet version that was also announced.