It is no secret that Google has been working on Android 4.4.1, which according to rumors and statements from Google spokesperson, suggest is meant to improve the Nexus 5 awful camera app and experience. Well, it looks like Google is done with the update and will start rolling out the update over the next few days.
Google Voice Actions and Google Now are, undoubtedly, one of the best features Android has up its sleeve. However, Voice Actions can be a bit limited in nature since it only recognizes a certain pre-defined commands. The lack of an official API from Google means that third party apps cannot plug into Voice Actions and take advantage of Google’s superior voice recognition algorithm.
When Samsung opened an R&D center here in Finland, right next to Nokia’s offices no less, people knew the Korean electronics giant wanted to soak up any and all of the locally available talent. Now it’s time for Canada to get a big old giant hug from Samsung. According to a Samsung Electronics’ press release, the company’s new R&D office will be focused on “enterprise security solutions, while also providing global technical support for the company’s diverse B2B customers.”
Translation: We’re taking all your smart employees, BlackBerry.
Forget that Apple makes iOS and that Google makes Android, what makes the iPad mini different from something like the Nexus 7 is the aspect ratio of the display. Almost every Android you see on store shelves today has a 16:9 aspect ratio panel, the same ratio a majority of movies are filmed in. But the thing is, people aren’t using their tablets to constantly watch movies and TV shows, they also read articles, write emails, and use Facebook. That’s where 4:3 comes in.
Apple has iTunes, Microsoft has XBOX Music, and hell, even Nokia has their own music service. This is why Google launched “Play Music All Access” this year. One flat monthly fee, consume as much as you want. Oddly enough, YouTube, which is absolutely a part of Google, but technically their own separate division, plans to launch their own music service as well. The latest version of the YouTube app for Android actually confirms that, with hidden text strings that clearly call the service out. But according to AllThingsD, this service has now been delayed.
If you’re one of the less than 2,000 people lucky enough to have Google Glass, you’ll soon get a pretty strongly worded email from Google telling you that it’s time to upgrade. The letter, published in full over at Engadget, encourages Glass owners to mail in their Glass by February 5th for a free replacement or else face a lack of updates since all future Glass development will be done on the new version of the device.
Hugo Barra, the guy who used to get up on stage every few months and talk about all the new work Google has done with Android, left Google during the summer to join Xiaomi. Xiaomi, in case you haven’t heard of them, is a Chinese handset maker that prides itself on making highly affordable devices, selling them online, and creating an Android skin called MIUI. Hugo’s boss, Lei Jun, the CEO of Xiaomi, recently gave an interview where he called the iPhone the best phone on the planet.
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group has just announced that they’ve created a new Bluetooth standard, version 4.1. For those who don’t care about Bluetooth all that much, you should, because devices like smart watches, health trackers, and who knows what sort of sensors that have yet to be invented, will use the technology. Version 4.0 added a low-power mode to help converse battery life, and now with version 4.1, they’re tackling radio interference, connection robustness, and data transfer rates.
Rumors about Samsung’s next flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S5, are starting to come out at a furious pace, so I can only assume that the device is almost finished. Several Korean publications have said the phone will be on store shelves as soon as February, but that’s now been called into question by Eldar Murtazin from Mobile-Review. The Russian journalist is well connected, and his sources tell him that we should expect the GS5 to land in late April instead of Q1.
Back in early October, Chris Lacy – the developer of Action Launcher Pro – released the first beta of the v2.0 update for the launcher that included a couple of new features. Now, after 2 months of numerous beta releases, he has released the final version of the app on the Play Store.