Version 32 of the Chrome beta browser brings goodies both to the desktop and to Android devices. Gone is double-tap zoom on Android and so too is the 300 millisecond delay after every tap. Chrome on the desktop gains animated WebP image support. Read more »
Google voice search and Google Now functionality are on their way to Chrome and Chrome OS. The latest developer channel of Chrome OS has the feature in an experimental state and although it’s limited, I see great potential here. Read more »
Last week’s rumors of Chromecast support for the HBO GO app are this week’s reality: The app for both iOS and Android now supports wireless streaming of HBO Go content from a mobile device to Google’s $35 Chromecast dongle. In a blog post announcing the feature, Google says you can also Chromecast HBO GO from a Chrome browser window. I’d opt for ‘casting from a smartphone or tablet though: Those methods actually cause the stream to come from the cloud. Chromecasting from a browser tab uses a peer-to-peer type stream and is dependent on your computer’s resources, meaning the quality may not be as good.
Google’s Wallet Card can be ordered but it won’t help you carry less cards. It’s more like a pre-paid debit card that uses your Google Wallet account balance to pay for things. It’s free, however, Coin’s $50 universal card may be better. Read more »
Want to safely explore Middle Earth from the comfort of your phone or tablet? You’ll avoid dragons and get a taste of new web technologies at the same time: Google’s latest Chrome Experiment showcases off new web technologies for mobile devices. Read more »
Does Google Glass need another input method? The team behind Remotte thinks so: It’s looking to raise $70,000 on Kickstarter for the connected device. Even if you don’t have Glass, this could be a handy little remote control. Read more »
It’s game on for iOS 7 hardware controllers: Logitech launched its entry with the PowerShell + Battery controller for $99. The accessory has an internal battery so it can recharge your iOS 7 device, but it lacks joystick controls, opting for a D-Pad instead. Read more »
After rumors of a lower-cost touchscreen Chromebook, Amazon France outed it: Look for Acer to bring touch to its C720 line. We also discuss some new experimental Chrome features and recommend a useful new extension on this week’s audio podcast. Read more »
Tired of covering the screen of your iPhone or iPod touch when gaming? Moga has a solution to that, thanks to the game controller support built into iOS 7. The folding Moga Ace with lightning port is ready for pre-orders. Read more »
Need a location tracker for your younger child that doubles as a limited phone and text message machine? Check Filip which launches today on AT&T with both a $199 price and a relatively reasonable $10 monthly service plan. Read more »
A day after Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets got a software update, so too does its Paperwhite. Like the tablets, the Paperwhite gains deeper Goodreads integration while also adding some new parental controls that could help children read more. Read more »
With two months of availability, Samsung says its Galaxy Gear is the best selling smart watch every thanks to 800,000 sales. Industry insiders say the actual figure is closer to 50,000. So which is it? Sadly, we’ll likely never know. Read more »
After buying the Zagg Folio keyboard for my iPad Air, Targus sent me a review unit of its Versavu — pronounced “versa-view”– keyboard case. I’m not a fan of the Shift key and the keyboard isn’t backlit, but one unique feature is appealing. Take a look. Read more »
You don’t even have to be a good student to get Sprint’s latest deals, any student qualifies. The carrier is providing one year of free talk, text and data service with a student purchase of a smartphone through Best Buy. Read more »
Got a Kindle Fire tablet? Starting today, you can get new features including deeper Goodreads integration and a function called Second Screen that can wirelessly “fling” video content from a Kindle Fire to a PlayStation 3 or Samsung HDTV set. Read more »
Now that Google has introduced Portable Native Client, developers can use traditional programming languages to create apps that run on the Chrome platform regardless of the chip inside the device: x86, ARM or MIPS. Read more »
The Moto G was finally unveiled this week as a follow-up to the Moto X. For under $200, the handset looks pretty compelling and could give Motorola a nice sales boost. Google Now gets more like Siri and the next HTC handset specs leak. Read more »
A major shortcoming of Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch appears to be fixed with a new software update: Support for far more notifications from apps. I’m still not sold on it though. That $300 price tag and a lock to Samsung devices is off-putting. Read more »
AT&T announced contract options for the Lumia 2520 tablet running Windows RT 8.1, but if you ask the right questions, you find the contract-free pricing and per session LTE data costs. That may be a better way to go if you want Nokia’s tablet. Read more »
Months after promising a native iOS app for its Google Play Music service, Google finally delivered the goods. The free app is available in the iTunes App Store as of Friday and supports both local music playback as well as cloud streaming of tunes. Google allows up to 20,000 music tracks in the cloud and offers a $9.99 monthly music subscription service called All Access, which is also supported in the new app. So too is the ability to Chromecast music wirelessly to a TV. I doubt many long-time users of iTunes will make the switch, but for someone who is living a Google-centric life on an iPad Air, the new app is music to my ears.
I loaned a Chromebook to a friend who didn’t factory restore the device when returning it. And if you can’t sign in to a Chromebook, you can’t restore it… or can you? A four key combo is the secret to do so. Read more »
Acer introduced a lower-cost version of its C720 Chromebook on Friday. The newest model is priced at $199. On the outside, the new laptop looks exactly like the previously available $249 model that we reviewed last month. Inside is the one single difference; this version has half of the internal memory of the higher priced model with 2 GB of RAM. Paired with the same Haswell-based Intel Celeron processor as its predecessor, the new C720 will still run for more than 8 hours on a single charge. The Chromebook will be available at Best Buy and online at Amazon.
Right on time: Just as I switched my Google-centric life from an Android tablet to the iPad Air, Google improves Gmail for iOS. The new features make it easier to compose and read mails in full screen and switch between multiple accounts. Read more »
“Google Wallet 2.0″ is live but it’s not from Google. Instead, Isis is the newest digital wallet payment program and it’s now live. You’ll need a phone on Verizon, T-Mobile or AT&T before you can pay with your handset. Read more »
Google Now voice commands offer more information than Siri, but they’re not conversational like Siri. Google appears to have addressed this gap in it’s latest version of the software: Your Android will speak back to you for more information as needed. Read more »
Google has requested that retailers stop selling the HP Chromebook 11 due “a small number of user reports that some chargers included with the device have been damaged due to overheating.” Read more »
Can you live a happy “Google” life in iOS? Now more than ever, the answer is yes. For that reason, and because I get a superset of content options in iOS not found on other platforms, I sold the Nexus 7 for an iPad Air. Read more »
It just got a little bit easier to put custom ROM software on certain Android phones: The CyanogenMod (CM) installer app is now available in the Google Play Store. Only certain devices are currently supported and you’ll need a Windows PC (for now) to complete the process, but the app will root your Android device if needed and install the CM ROM. Without this “one touch” install, the process is a bit arcane, requiring the Android SDK, specific terminal commands and various downloads. CyanogenMod raised $7 million earlier this year to turn the custom ROM effort into a full-fledged company. Oppo also sells an edition of its N1 phone with CM preinstalled.
Motorola takes on the world with Moto G, an Android phone styled after the Moto X and costing as little as $179 without contract. The target audience is the 500 million who will spend up to $200 for a handset in the next year. Read more »
Chromebooks aren’t for everyone, but if you’re going to decide if they fit your needs, at least base the decision on facts. Some detractors are simply ill-informed so we educate them in this week’s podcast. And Instagram fans will love our extension of the week! Read more »
Chromebook owners shouldn’t have to worry much longer if an app will work on their device: Google unveiled Portable Native Client, which lets developers code once in C or C++ and then compile the app for Chrome on x86, ARM or MIPS hardware. Read more »
Earlier this week, we saw alleged screenshots of the Google Play app store running on a BlackBerry 10 handset. That brought hope to current BlackBerry owners, with the potential for hundreds of thousands of new apps. Unfortunately, it’s not happening. Speaking to CNet on Tuesday, a BlackBerry representative dismissed the rumor, saying the company had no plans to support Google Play on its devices. That’s too bad. It would have been nice to see Google Play support on BlackBerry phones; they do have a runtime environment that can use Android apps, but the process to install such apps right now is cumbersome.
Google Glass is great for capturing photos, searching the web and sending messages. Might it be a good music player too? We’ll find out soon as Google is adding Play Music support along with a stereo headphone option for Glass. Read more »
Reports of only 500,000 Moto X sales don’t tell the whole story, given that there are also three Moto Droid Ultra phones. Chitika’s mobile ad data indicates that Motorola is nearly even with HTC when it comes to web browsing on phones. Read more »
How does the thinner, lighter iPad Air lend itself to a keyboard accessory? Pretty good if you have the right keyboard. I bought a Zagg Folio case and really like the typing experience, not to mention the backlit keys with various color choices. Read more »
Now that hardware is getting cheaper and mobile apps are driving simplicity, smart home system installations are expected to rise dramatically, says Berg Insights. Read more »
Two recent articles belittling the need and use cases for Chromebooks also belittle those consumers who buy them. It’s a shame that some are stuck in the old-school traditional computing model where the thought of “more is better” overlooks cases where less is more. Read more »
AT&T’s exclusive MotoMaker customization may be over soon. Verizon has a web page ready for Moto X buyers who want to choose the colors of their Moto X handset. It could go live as early as today — will wood backs launch with it? Read more »
We shared a user recommended app list on our weekly Chrome Show podcast that could come in handy if you use Chrome OS or even the Chrome browser. Plus, we take a deeper dive into new Chrome features for the Android beta client. Read more »
Programmers eager to make more robust apps for Google Glass will have their chance later this month. On November 19 and 20, the Glass team will host a hackathon in San Francisco to show developers the latest Glass Development Kit (GDK), according to an invite found by The Verge. The GDK is expected to allow direct access to the Glass hardware which could enable standalone apps that work offline and also take advantage of the wearable computer’s internal sensors and other Glass hardware components.