• Google Confirms Two Flagship Android Wear Watches for the First Quarter for 2017

    Posted on December 26th, 2016 Henry | 97 comments

    Google has confirmed that it’s launching two flagship smartwatches in early 2017. They would be coming out with the debut of Android Wear 2.0. And Google will have the watches built by a third-party manufacturer that has the experience of releasing Wear Watches before.

    According to Jeff Chang, Product manager of Android Wear at Google, Unlike the Pixel phones, the watches won’t be carrying Google or Pixel branding. Instead, they would be carrying the branding of the manufacturer who actually builds the watches – But Chang has yet to confirm who that is.

    According to The Verge, Change also said that they are making an effort to convince consumers that smartwarches are still in demand and the new watches are part of the effort. He also promised that new Wear devices from other manufacturers are on the way for 2017.

    Once the new Wearables have arrived, Google will rollout Android Wear 2.0 to existing smartwatches. But not every watch is getting the update, just those of the most recent ones will and it’s partly because some features on Android Wear 2.0, like Android Pay, require certain hardware.

    Other than Android Pay, Android Wear 2.0 will feature standalone apps that can be used without having the watch connected to a smartphone, and Google’s new voice-controlled Assistant. It will support iPhone, so does Android Pay with iOS.

    Chang also demonstrated Google’s optimistic attitude towards smartwatches, “This is a marathon, not a sprint. This category of product is here with us to stay.”

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  • Google Drive can now back up iPhones and makes Android switching easier

    Posted on December 15th, 2016 Henry | 345 comments

    Google has just updated its website with the guidance for iPhone users to make the switch from iPhone to Android. But the point here is Google adding a new feature to its iOS version Google Drive: the ability to back up data on your iOS device like contacts, calendar, and camera roll and save it in the cloud. With this neat little feature added, you can have all your stuff prepared in Google’s various apps when you want to make the switch from iPhone to Android devices like the Pixel. Data backup is being done automatically, as opposed to the old days when all those data have to be uploaded from several different apps.

    This new data backup option can be found in the settings menu under “backup”. And you’d expect the backup process to be fast and efficient, but in actuality, if you’ve got a lot of stuff on your iPhone, it’s probably going to take a while. Google says that it can take several hours in some cases, so you’d better have your iPhone plugged in and keep it charged and connected to stable Wi-Fi network before you start the process. Also the app have to stay open and on screen during the process.

    This is basically Google’s attempt to make it easier for iOS users to switch to Android. But that’s not what Google Drive is all about, it can do a lot of other great stuff, this new backup feature is more like a bonus from the already awesome program. Unfortunately, you can’t have your texts or music library backup with Google Drive. For that you’ll have to do some extra work, like plugging your iPhone directly into the Pixel or other android phones for data transfer. The Google Drive update doesn’t seem to be available just yet but it should be coming pretty soon.

    Switching from one operating system to another could be painful, which is why a lot of people keep buying phones of the same brand. And even switching to phones under the same brand could be troublesome. Leawo iOS Data Recovery, a program that can back up and recover data types like contacts, messages, call history, notes, calendars and reminder between iOS devices, making phone switching a more pleasant experience.

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  • Google’s Pixel Phones Get Lift-to-Wake and Double-Tap Features for Waking up

    Posted on November 24th, 2016 Yuson Zou | 2 comments

    Google’s well-reviewed Pixel and Pixel XL are the Android phones to have right now, but they’re still missing some much-liked features from the Nexus 6P and 5X. Namely, the models lack the “Moves” that let you double-tap or merely lift the phone to wake it up. However, some Canadians are reporting that those functions are available in the latest OTA update, so folks in other regions should see them soon, too.

    Google-Pixel

    iPhone owners received a “raise to wake” feature with iOS 10, though Apple arguably borrowed the idea from earlier Moto “Active Display” models. While the Motorola brand is no longer in Google’s hands, Lenovo is giving Moto owners the latest Nougat updates pretty quickly, including features like Daydream VR. The Pixel models, however, are still the ones to have if you want all of Google’s newest treats first.

    As Droid Life details, you’ll need to activate the new features once you get the OTA update. To do so, just go to “Moves” in the general settings, and flip on “double-tap to check phone” and “lift to check phone”.

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  • Google to Release Its Daydream VR Headset on November 10th

    Posted on November 2nd, 2016 Yuson Zou | 296 comments

    Google announced the news that the Daydream View, Google’s new virtual reality headset, will be released to the market on November 10th, 2016. After the announcement, Google opened a Google Store page for the $79 headset for preordering. Verizon and Best Buy are also selling the Google’s new VR headset in the US, along with other retailers and mobile companies carrying it in Canada, the UK, Germany, and Australia.

    daydream-vr-headset

    The upcoming Daydream VR platform is built into Android Nougat. The Daydream View is the first VR headset among many potential headsets to support this platform. So far, the supporting phones are limited to Google Pixel or Pixel XL. However, there would be other compatible phones being announced in the coming months.

    There is only one color available for preordering currently. It is Slate. Later on, two additional colors Crimson and Snow will be available. All headsets are made of soft cloth and foam, with a plastic frame. The Daydream View headset package includes a plastic remote control that charges via USB-C; you can buy a cable separately or use the one that came with the Pixel.

    Daydream is the followup to Google’s cheaper, simpler, and less sophisticated Cardboard platform. A variety of apps will be available at launch, including VR news apps from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, games like turret shooter Gunjack 2 and puzzler Danger Goat, and experiences like a tie-in to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

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  • What are Google Glass and iWatch

    Posted on July 30th, 2013 Webber | 110 comments

    Recently, Google Glass has been talked about among people. Google Glass is a wearable smart device, it provides functions just like a smartphone do, but it’s hands-free. The Google Glass works via voice commands, which makes your life simpler. iWatch may be the biggest rival against Google Glass, although it is still mysterious, it is likely to be a hands-free and full-function iOS device like other Apple devices. These two products may probably be the start of a mobile communication devices’ revolution, and both of them may change the way that people live.

    Google Glass

    Google Glass now is under testing with the volunteers, and those users’ feedback will be helpful to make this wearable device more user-friendly. The main functions of Google Glass may be: Facing time, taking n’ browsing pictures, shooting n’ watching videos, GPS and making calls. That is to say, Google Glass will have all the functions a smartphone has. Meanwhile, Google Glass will let free your hands, you are able to use the functions by voice or blinks. Google Glass is an advanced technology, it will fit in with users’ needs and make people’s lives easier. Google started this program last year, and the product, Glass, is likely to be available in 2014. “Google Glass is a tiny computer that sits in a lightweight frame, just like this, and resets neatly above your eye and it makes exploring and sharing the world around you easier,” said Chris Dale, the Senior Manager of Communications for Google Glass. We could learn from his words that the magic glass is going to change the way people “looking at” the world.

    iWatch Concept by James Ivaldi

    iWatch, created by Apple, is no longer just a concept. Apple registered this “iWatch” trademark in many countries, maybe this product is going to be unveiled in coming years. For us, the most part we care is the iWatch’s appearance and the functions. If the fruit company still carries on using iOS, the iWatch is likely to have full functions which iPhone or iPod touch has. Apple registered a technology patent named “Bi-Stable Spring with Flexible Display” in 2011 but let people know in the February of 2013. The media believes that the iWatch is coming, and some designers have already made the appearance of iWatch according to their understanding. If iWatch could do the things iPhone can do, users can take pictures and transfer pictures to larger-screen iOS devices for the enjoyment. Also, iWatch can be used for sending messages, users don’t have to take iPhone out of pockets to text message. Other functions like Safari browser or GPS, may not be taken away from the iWatch. It is said that Apple has asked the manufacturing factories to produce 1.5-inch screens, maybe Apple would apply the 1.5-inch displays to iWatch.

    Google Glass and iWatch are alike, they are both wearable devices but wear on different places. Apple and Google may be the biggest rival to each other, and the competition is fierce in smartphone market at first, and now this kind of competition has extended to a new field. Whether Google Glass or iWatch wins the market, the other will never be eliminated. Google Glass and iWatch are both revolutionary, and they will make the future communication more user-friendly and convenient. Maybe sometime later, people didn’t use smartphone anymore, everyone wore a smart gadget. But the devices’ appearance might be various, not only glass and watch available, but also necklace, rings or even earrings.

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  • Chromecast – Google’s Best Living Room Solution So Far

    Posted on July 29th, 2013 Webber | 122 comments

    Chromecast

    Google unveiled Chromecast along with the New Nexus 7 on Wednesday, this streaming utility, costs $35, can be regarded as Google’s best living room solution so far. According to Google, “With Chromecast, you can easily enjoy your favorite online entertainment on your HDTV – movies, TV shows, music and more from Netflix, Youtube, Google Play and Chrome.”

    Google released Nexus Q in 2012, which did not come to a success, but Google never gives up the trial on the living room solutions. This Chromecast can be regarded as a success to the Nexus Q. Yet, however, Chromecast could not catch up with the Apple TV and Roku. The Beta screen-mirroring feature of Chromecast doesn’t work as well as users want, and users also won’t be able to get access to the apps you may need, for example, Amazon Instant, HBO Go, MLB TV, Spotify and Rdio. Apple TV and Roku have experienced many updates so they are more multifunctional and powerful than Chromecast. Although Chrome lacks the power when compared with other similar products, Chromecast is sure to attract many consumers because of the fair price. With $35, users are able to enjoy the streaming services with ease.

    Janko Roettgers, the senior writer for GigaOM, writes, “Chromecast is pure simplicity: Search and discovery of video content is happening on the mobile device or laptop, and all Chromecast does is stream media from the cloud.” Chromecast is about to provide convenience for users to enjoy the media files, and this is the mainstream of the living room solutions. Nowadays, people don’t want to be interrupted by ads when watching movies, or wait for the favorite TV shows after a long time. What they want is just watching what they like. The streaming service is all about user experience, users can find favorites on the mobile or laptop, and use certain technology or devices (for example, AirPlay and Chromecast) to stream the media files onto their TVs. So Chromecast meets users’ needs and has done well by far, and this device will be widely used in the coming years, but the functions of Chromecast should be perfected.

    Chromecast - Living Room Solution

    According to the hands-on review of Chromecast from THEVERGE.com, we get to know that when you plug in the streaming stick to your TV, the mirror feature of this device will make your phones, tablets or computers as remotes, and you are able to playing videos, control volume or even turn on TV. The videos will continue to play even when you use other apps on your phones or computers, and even when your phone is asleep, the video playback will not be interrupted. The Android and iOS devices just work the same, but the Windows Phone is not supported at present, but you can transfer the movies from your Windows Phone to iPad or Android devices to solve the problem. The Chromecast supports nearly all kinds of movies, but Silverlight and Quicktime videos are not supported. The Chromecast is so attractive that some news press is making a trial to find their ways in. Washington Post, for example, said in a statement that it would begin “integrating the The Post’s upcoming new video offerings, Post TV, with Google’s Chromecast.” It proves that Chromecast has gradually changed people’s viewpoints of the multimedia. The traditional multimedia needs a change to catch up with the new trends.

    In a word, if Chromecast improve its functions, it will be a good solution of people’s living room.

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  • Next Nexus 7 details exposed to come with 5MP back camera and Android 4.3.3 OS

    Posted on June 14th, 2013 David Brooks | 36 comments

    On the near past Google I/O Conference, Google announced nothing new except the Google edition of Galaxy S 4. This makes the next generation of Nexus 7, which is powerful enough to contend against the iPad mini, even more mysterious. What would comfort us is that based on the latest reports and leaked news the official release date of the next Nexus 7 is not far away. Just after the leaked news that people discovered the devices codenamed K009/K008 in Bluetooth SIG, a new Nexus 7 tablet with the upcoming Android 4.3.3 OS is reported to have pass the FCC authentication.

    Nexus 7 vs. iPad mini

    From the leaked FCC files, we could easily see that this new Nexus 7 will come with Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro (APQ8064) processor with built-in Adreno 320GPU, and a 7″ 1080P screen display, which no doubts delivers amazing visual experience for people to watch HD movies on Nexus 7. As in the design description part of the leaked file, it writes “The tablet features a 7” LED-backlit capacitive multitouch screen for easy carrying and fantastic multi-media experience everywhere. Wireless networking ensures simple connection to the Internet without wires.

    next Nexus 7 tablet details

    As for the detailed specs of the next generation of Nexus 7 tablet, you can refer to the following:

    -  Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro (APQ8064) processor;
    -  Adreno 320 GPU;
    -  7″ 1080P screen display;
    -  2GB RAM and 32GB internal memory storage;
    -  5MP main camera and 1.3MP front camera;
    -  NFC, WiFi connection on 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands;
    – 4G LTE support;
    -  3950mAh battery with Qi wireless charging;
    -  Thinner edge, 7.5mm to 8mm thick;
    -  Android 4.3.3 OS

    The following picture is a list of key components of next generation of Nexus 7 tablet.

    Next Nexus 7 components

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  • 6 Highlights of Google I/O Conference 2013 Keynote Speech

    Posted on May 16th, 2013 David Brooks | 50 comments

    The 3-hour-long Google I/O keynote came with abundant announcements. Out of our expectations, the most anticipated Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie will not be announced during Google I/O. and maybe Google thought they brought so many hardware devices in the last I/O conference, this Google I/O mostly focuses on software and service. There’s no Google Glass, Nexus Q, nor the rumored X Phone and new Nexus 7 tablet. The only device scheduled to appear in Google I/O is Google Galaxy S 4, the Google version of Samsung Galaxy S 4 with the native Android OS. Of course, every attendee would get a free Chrome Book Pixel as a gift, though still not a new thing.

    But you needn’t get disappointed. In the three hours keynote, many Google staff explained dozens of new functions and services, which are creative and attractive, like the Google Search, Google Maps, etc. To sum up, there’re at least 6 highlights of Google I/O conference 2013.

    Google Play Games Services

    Google Play Games Service

    Google, on the Google I/O conference, officially announced its brand-new gaming service, the Google Play Games Services, which has been reported before. This new gaming service is to compete with Apple’s GameCenter. Compared with GameCenter, the advantages of Google Play Games Services include its ability to save gaming progress online, sync between multiple devices including iOS and WEB, combine gaming chart to Google+, etc. New functions would be noticed via Google Play Services update.

    Google Play Music Services

    Google Play Music ServiceGoogle also brings new Google Play Music Serivces, which charges for $9.99 per month as preorder price in USA. Preorder before June 30 would save $2 per month. This new service provides people with ability to create music radio, personal recommendation, customization, etc. It’s still not clear whether it supports to save to local disk.

    Education

    Google built a Google Play app store exclusively for teachers. Students only need to get a Google account, then teachers could help them to select proper apps and push and install the apps on students’ tablets or PCs. Not only apps, but also books and videos could be done in such way. The Google Play educational version would start this fall, while receiving apps from developers from summer.

    Google+

    Google+

    Whether you think that Google+ is a Facebook competitor or not, the 41 features introduced today will get your attention. The stream itself, which now has 190 million monthly active users, is now three-columned and has interactive animations all over the place. Google says that the stream was flat, so it needed a fresh take.

    If you’re into taking photos, Google has finally integrated all of Nik’s professional photo suite goodies and will now auto-enhance your shots with something they call “Awesome.”

    Not a photographer, but chat with your friends a lot? GTalk, Talk, Google Chat or whatever you’ve been referring to it is gone. Hangouts is in, and it’s an app for iOS, Android and the desktop. It has video and text chats, complete with emoji and presence. We’re just glad that they didn’t call it Babel, which was the real internal name for the project.

    The takeaway here is that Google knows that you want to talk to your friends and family. It thinks that if it can integrate features to facilitate your communication from anywhere — at your desk or on your phone or tablet — they have you covered.

    Google Search

    Google Search

    Search is getting smarter these days. Google knows that you go to its site whenever you can’t think of something, but it wants you to be able to ask it questions naturally. You can do that on Android and iOS with Google Now, but the company announced conversational search for the desktop today. Speaking of Google Now, you can get public transit information, as well as details on your favorite TV shows, books and video games.

    Knowledge Graph, which fires in little snippets of information when you perform a search, added some new languages and statistics.

    The takeaway here is that Google wants even more of your searches, but would rather you sit back and relax while performing them. There’s no need to think about how to get the best search result, simply ask a question.

    Google Maps

    Google Maps

    Getting the gist yet? Google is refreshing all the things to make them easier to use, develop for and discuss with your Mom and Dad. Speaking of Mom and Dad, they probably use Google Maps to get just about everywhere.

    Mobile Maps users will get a new experience come summertime, while the desktop experience got such a complete overhaul that they’ve only made it available in preview mode as to not give anyone a heart attack. Want to see it for yourself? Check out our hands-on look.

    The takeaway here is that Google Maps has been a force for almost 10 years. It was time to make the product more user friendly, helping you discover new places and not just get from point A to point B.

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