Extra Stuff From Google Today: Google Play Games, Google Play Textbooks & More

Jul 24, 2013 - 12:37 PM - by dgstorm

Google's "breakfast" event this morning didn't just come with a helping of Nexus 7 and a side of Android 4.3. It also included a generous portion of several other tasty side-dishes as well. Here's a quick rundown with some quotes from Google & Engadget below,

Google Play Games App - (Available now. Here's the Google Play Store link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...oid.play.games)

Description

Google Play Games app is the easiest way for you to discover new games, track achievements and scores, and play with friends around the world. It brings all your gaming on Google Play together in a unified Android experience.
KEY FEATURES

- Discover great games
- Play with your friends, and see what they're playing
- Join multiplayer games
- Track your achievements
- Compare scores with other players
Google Play Text Books - (with a quote from Engadget)

The section will offer titles from the top five publishers, and students will have the choice of renting books for six months in addition to buying them outright. Textbooks should be available this August, and they'll sync across Android, iOS and the web.
Netflix 1080p Streaming -

Director of Product Management Hugo Barra revealed that the company has teamed up with Netflix to bring higher resolution video streams to compatible devices, a feature you'll only enjoy on devices running the just-announced Android 4.3. Yep, Netflix will now run at 1080p resolution, with the video-streaming company one of the first to use the new set of DRM APIs announced in tandem with this latest OS release. ~ Engadget
As you can see, Google shared a great deal more than expected at the event this morning. One other interesting new piece of tech they share is their new Chromecast HDMI Streaming device. We will cover that one in a separate thread in just a bit.
  0 Replies | 2,342 Views


Android 4.3 Demonstrated on Nexus 7 Today With Several New Features Detailed

Jul 24, 2013 - 11:06 AM - by dgstorm

Today Google demonstrated Android 4.3 running on their new generation Nexus 7 device. They explored several new features in the newest version of Jelly Bean, and here's a breakdown below,
  • Multi-User with Restricted Profiles - Control access to content at a user level - basically means better and more versatile parental controls and more
  • Bluetooth Smart 4.0 LE - includes lower energy consumption and several new Bluetooth devices connection capabilities including new health sensors and more
  • OpenGL/ES 3.0 - Raises the bar on 3D graphics and visuals
  • New Content Streaming and DRM APIs - this includes a new Netflix app that supports streaming 1080P HD movies on your tablet

There are more features and tweaks to Android 4.3 that they didn't detail, but we shared in previous leaks. For the most part they downplayed Android 4.3, but focused on all of the new Google Play Store apps and functions. Android 4.3 is pushing out starting today to the OG Nexus 7, the Nexus 10 and the Nexus 4. It will push out to other devices later on depending on release schedules for your specific OEM.
  0 Replies | 2,228 Views


New Generation Nexus 7 and Android 4.3 Debuts from Google

Jul 24, 2013 - 10:33 AM - by dgstorm

The new generation Nexus 7 from Asus and Google just debuted. It upgrades nearly every feature and function available. Here's a breakdown of hardware specs,
  • Is 2mm thinner than previous gen
  • Is also lighter than previous Nexus 7
  • Still uses the popular black on black soft touch rubberized outer casing
  • 7-inch True HD 1920x1200 Display with 323 PPI (Highest Resolution and PPI of any 7-inch tablet) - Can handle native 1080P videos and 30% wider range of colors
  • Dual Stereo Speakers with new immersive Fraunhofer Virtual surround sound
  • Front 1.2MP Camera
  • Rear 5MP Camera
  • Quad-Core Snapdragon S4 Pro 1.5GHz - (1.8x faster CPU & 4x faster GPU than first Nexus 7)
  • 2GB Ram
  • Bluetooth 4.0 LE
  • 4G LTE Version will be available that will be unlocked and useable across all major U.S. carriers
  • More battery efficient by 1 extra hour
  • Android 4.3 Included and pushing out today for the previous gen Nexus 7, Nexus 10 and Nexus 4.

We will detail Android 4.3 separately in just a bit! Here's a comparison chart from the previous gen Nexus 7 to the new one:


July 30th available 16GB WiFi for $229.99, 32GB WiFi for $269.99 and 32GB 4G LTE Model for $349.99!
  0 Replies | 2,044 Views


Nexus 7 Next-Gen Detailed & Benchmarked; 2GB RAM, Snapdragon S4 Pro, & 1920x1200

Jul 24, 2013 - 10:06 AM - by dgstorm

In just a few minutes the Sundar Pichai Nexus 7 and Android 4.3 launch event will occur, but before we reveal all the juicy details we have a final few last minute bits of intel to report. The guys over at AndroidPolice are on a roll. They have some exclusive specs and benchmarks for the device. Here's a quick quote with a breakdown of what they shared,

1920x1200 screen (reported as 1200x1824 because of the on-screen nav bar) That should look great on a 7-inch device – it works out to 320 PPI. Inside is a Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core clocked at 1.5GHz. If that sounds familiar, it's probably because that's exactly what the Nexus 4 runs. Something else the new N7 and N4 have in common is RAM. Yes, the rumors were off in this case. The new Nexus 7 has 2GB of RAM.

Update: We've confirmed that NFC is present.
They also have some benchmarks of the new Nexus 7. Here's another quote with their benchmark numbers,

Where does the new Nexus 7 fall? Right about where you'd expect at about 19,000-20,000. Just a little better than the Nexus 4. The floating point calculations are a bit diminished on the Nexus 7 compared devices with newer chips, but that's not really going to affect your life.
Quadrant is similar to AnTuTu – it checks CPU, I/O, and 3D graphics. It's a bit more outdated than other apps, but the numbers still provide some interesting comparisons. This test was unkind to the Snapdragon S4 Pro in the Nexus 4, but does the N7 fare any better? The Nexus 4 gets about 4,200 in this test, while the HTC One hits 11,000 (likely a throttling issue with the Nexus 4 in this particular test). The New N7 pulled in about 5500, as you can see below. So still a strangely low score on this test. More reinforcement that this is going to be kind of like a bigger Nexus 4.

3DMark is still fairly new to Android. This graphics benchmark aims to see how many pixels a device can push and how fast. This affects gaming of course, but also has a lot to do with the smoothness of the UI. 3DMark renders an OpenGL ES2.0 action sequence at 720p and 1080p – we ran the 1080p "extreme" version on the Nexus 7. The updated N7 clocks in at 7,188 and manages to keep frames per second at nearly 30, with occasional jumps higher. That compares to the Nexus 4 at roughly 6,300. The HTC One only does slightly better. That shouldn't be too surprising as both the Snapdragon 600 and the S4 Pro run the Adreno 320 GPU. Last year's Nexus 7 could only pull in 1,877 on the 3DMark Ice Storm Extreme test.
Very soon we will bring you guys the full official details from Google, so stay tuned!

Source: ... [Read More]
  2 Replies | 2,300 Views


New Features of Android 4.3 Detailed on Video Including Massive Battery Life Boost

Jul 23, 2013 - 12:52 PM - by dgstorm

The folks at PocketNow have a video up detailing a ton of new features and improvements on Android 4.3. The video uses a Nexus 4 equipped with the new OS from Google, and amongst the many new features comes a huge battery life improvement. Read on and check out the video to find all the details.
  1. Auto-complete in the Dialer - this is a clever function that makes you wonder why they haven't thought of it before. The Android 4.3 stock dialer has been upgraded to include auto-complete within the dialer itself to help you get the right number more quickly. It's important to note that some devices have this function already, but that was thanks to the specific OEM. Stock Android didn't have that feature until now.
  2. New Emoji Keyboard - Google included a this new keyboard as an option for all those super-texters out there who like to add the context of "tone of voice/facial expressions" to their messages with more cute emoticons. To get to it from the messaging app you need to long-press on the space bar.
  3. Bluetooth 4.0 LE - This is one we heard about previously, but it's still pretty cool regardless. The newest version of Bluetooth promises much better power efficiency, and should drain your battery far less. This new version also includes a greater range of compatible devices. (This wasn't truly confirmed in the video, but the Bluetooth SIG has confirmed it.)
  4. Improvements in the Camera App - "The camera in Android 4.3 fine-tunes the way the previous version worked by placing the items in an arc with the selected item clearly called out above your finger. Also, rotating the device from portrait to landscape and back while in camera mode is now almost instantaneous."
  5. Better Performance - Apparently, the Nexus 4 is a great deal more responsive when using Android 4.3. It wasn't really sluggish before, but supposedly the difference is noticeable. This is borne out in synthetic benchmarks as well.
  6. Significantly Improved Battery Life - Normally with this phone, Android 4.2 offers about 4-6 hours of heavy use before you need to recharge. With Android 4.3, the user was supposedly able to jump that all the way up to 25+ hours!

It's exciting to think that software tweaks could result in such dramatic improvements. We probably should remain a bit skeptical, but that should only temper our excitement a little bit.

Luckily, we are likely to hear all about Android 4.3 tomorrow during Sundar Pichai's press event and the probable launch of the next-gen Nexus 7.

Source: Pocketnow
  15 Replies | 3,512 Views


Android Developer Revenue Closing in on iOS

Jul 17, 2013 - 10:07 AM - by dgstorm

For a long time, the argument that iOS is more profitable for developers than Android is mostly true. That argument may soon go the other way though. According to a recent Developer Economics survey performed by VisionMobile, Android developer revenue is gaining ground quickly on iOS and is nearly at parity. It's obviously worth noting that it is a remarkable achievement for iOS that they still have the lion's share of developer revenue. Android holds a majority marketshare for smartphones in the world, yet iOS still holds the lead for developer revenue.

Windows Phone is taking up a solid third place although they still have a long way to go to catch either Android or iOS. HTML5, is a strong contender and is giving chase to Microsoft for third place, while Blackberry is sucking wind in dead last.

It's also interesting to see that the revenue models are a bit different for each platform. Android makes most of its money through "in-app advertising and pay-per-download" (in that order) while iOS follows a "pay-per-download and in-app purchase" model.

You can check out more about the study at the source link below.

Source: Android closing Apple's iOS developer revenue gap | ZDNet
  1 Reply | 1,669 Views


Google Play Store Redesign Hints at Google Glass Support Coming

Jul 16, 2013 - 9:02 AM - by dgstorm

Google recently redesigned their Play Store. (Feel free to take a moment and check it out if you haven't seen it yet: Google Play Store.) Besides the new and easier to navigate aesthetics, there is apparently a new feature which suggests Google Glass may soon get support in the Play Store. Most folks who don't own a pair of Google Glass probably had no idea of this, but Google Glass owners actually have a separate sign-in service if they wanted to browse and activate new apps for their device.

Obviously this makes little sense to have the device separated from the Google ecosystem, but of course, it takes time to add these kinds of features to an already established system. Along with the site redesign is a new hint at future accessibility for Google Glass owners: their Google Glass now shows up on their list of Google enabled devices. It's not much, but it is an obvious sign that Google is working things out to make it available in the future.

Source: Google+
  1 Reply | 1,874 Views


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