Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Android Police APK Teardown shows awesome sync updates

Android Police have one feature that I love to check out and that is the APK Teardown feature. This week they got their hands on the Google Play Services APK and tore it down in 2 parts. Part one looks at the gaming portion of the APK and that includes tons of goodies that we may get to see at I/O, including game syncing and leader boards. Part two is the more interesting part in my opinion as it looks as though there is app syncing coming to Android. This could mean backups for your devices or syncing app data across devices which would both be welcome additions to the Android ecosystem. In addition the teardown reveals a location sync that could be great for battery life if it turns out to be what Android Police believe.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Google Services Sharing Data

In a blog post today Google announced today that the storage for GMail, Drive and Google+ (Photos) will be combined into one 15GB package instead of separate amounts for each service.

This is one more in a series of steps in integrating the services provided by Google. I haven't quite decided if it is a good move or a bad one yet as the change has both pros and cons. On one hand now you can increase the size of your GMail past the previous 25GB limit if you pay for extra storage as any additional storage is also shared by all three services. In addition it means that if you are using one and it is close to capacity you will gain extra space if you aren't using the others to their full extent. The downside is that now you have to pay attention to the amount of space your Google+ pictures take up which you didn't have to before and can be a problem if you use all three to their full capacity, though I suppose that was a problem they had before.

Unfortunately CNET's original report that they increased the size of Drive by 3 times is not 100% accurate. (Though there is a one line update at the bottom of the article acknowledging the mistake the title is still quite misleading)

But with I/O still to come who knows, maybe there will be an increase in storage right around the corner.


I for one can't wait for this year's I/O. Here are a couple sites that will have a livestream of the event, and if you need some more sites try any tech site.



Friday, May 10, 2013

Chromium Blog: Building efficient apps and extensions with push messaging

Chromium Blog: Building efficient apps and extensions with push messaging:

'via Blog this'

Event pages keep apps and extensions efficient by allowing them to respond to a variety of events such as timers or navigation to a particular site, without having to remain running persistently. But what if you need to respond to something that occurs outside of Chrome, such as a news alert, a message sent to a user or a stock hitting a price threshold? Until now, you had to do this by repeatedly polling a server. This process consumed bandwidth and reduced the battery life of your users’ machines. For a more efficient solution, starting today you can use Google Cloud Messaging for Chrome (GCM) - across all channels of Chrome.
Hmm, looks like this could come in handy for Google Now updates, or some sort of messenger.....

Motorola X Phone?

Could we see the Motorola/Google X Phone at I/O next week???

Engadget is reporting that Motorola has filed documentation at the FCC for a phone with a designation of XT1058. The documentation shows LTE bands compatible with AT&T and NFC.

The image doesn't give much information about the phone however it does match what evleaks has posted on their twitter account recently. 
The camera and flash are in the same location in the evleaks picture and the FCC filing, as well as the slight curvature under what seems to be the headphone jack in the centre of the phone. Also visible in the drawing and the photo is the power button which starts at about the bottom of the camera lens and goes to about the flash. The only major difference between the two is the circle in the photograph on the left side of the device. The circle below the flash in the drawing may or may not be included on the device as there is a sticker covering that area of the device.

Additional pictures of the front of a black boxed device from evleaks shows a Motorola phone running on AT&T's network that is purported to be the X Phone. 

It looks like it could be something announced soon and seeing that Google I/O is coming next week there is a chance that we may see a brand new phone coming from the team. 

I hope that this is announced next week purely to rub it in to all the blogs that were reporting that it was delayed. In my opinion something cannot be delayed before there has been an announcement of it in any capacity. Reporting that a device or software will be delayed before it has been acknowledged to exist is just crazy talk. 

And to end this post is the picture that claims to be the X Phone in the buff. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

An iPhone Lover’s Take On The Nexus 4 | TechCrunch

An iPhone Lover’s Take On The Nexus 4 | TechCrunch:

'via Blog this'
Android Central looks at the HTC One Ultrapixel camera vs the GS4:
On the whole, though, the Galaxy S4 produced the better-looking images in our testing, despite its comparative weakness in low light shots. The HTC One's camera is by no means bad, but its performance is clearly weighted towards indoor and low-light photography at the expense of daylight performance. The opposite is true of the Galaxy S4, which excelled in daylight photography, and is backed up by an excellent HDR mode.

Monday, May 6, 2013


According to the rumour mill Google is working on a new messaging app, there are tons of rumours flying around about it so lets see what we may have here.
 First off yes this is a problem that Google needs to solve. There are way too many chat programs that involve Google products that work in different ways. There is Google Talk which has been around for ages and right now works in Gmail, Android and many other mobile platforms, and the desktop web chat client for Google+, then they have the Messenger application that runs on iOS and Android in conjunction with the Google+ app, they have Google Hangouts through Google+, there is a chat client within Google Drive, then there is Google Voice which works on the web and on mobile and then there is the standard SMS/MMS app on Android. This is a mess.

In an ideal world there would be one application that could be used on phones, tablets and computers that allow for seamless communication and notification across devices.  This is where the rumoured 'Babel' app comes in. The internet has been abuzz with leaks and information about the service with even some possible screenshots a couple weeks ago.

In my opinion it looks like the chat window that pops up when you use Google+ on the web. It also looks like it would be easily transferrable to a mobile environment. I like how clean it is and absolutely love the card based interface that has been going on with Google design.

The rumour is that at launch everything will be rolled up into one application except for Voice and SMS/MMS. This is a big win for Google, having everything rolled up and working together, I wish they had been able to roll SMS/MMS into the application at launch and of course with no official announcement yet it could still be included. This would be an important addition in order to compete with both iMessage and WhatsApp and would make using it that much easier.

Another feature I would like to see from it is taken directly from BBM and that is read receipts. I don't really know what difference they would make but I do like the idea of it. I also like the idea of integrating service that I use with all of the Google Apps that I use.

Interestingly enough a commenter in The Verge forums may have given the best information we have about the new service. In the forum he states that the service would be called Hangouts, and will not include SMS and have a full Holo design. These are pretty safe bets in general but for the non-believers out there this specific commenter also gave accurate information about the launch of the Nexus 4 and 10 in the fall leading to some credibility behind the story.

I truly can't wait for this to be announced at I/O in a week and hope it catches on to beat out the many many competitors that are out there. I have a big hope that there will be some way for it to work on all of the major platforms as I still have friends that use Blackberry or Windows Phone and if I could use it with them it would be a very big deal.

Once again I cannot wait for I/O to see what surprises Google has in store for us, and it still makes me wish that I had friends inside Google that would let me play with things before they were announced.

Trojan Horse

Google updated their iOS Gmail app today with some cool new tricks. Now when you access links in messages that include Map links, YouTube videos or Chrome links they will open directly in the app if you already have it installed. This is yet another step for Google to take over the iOS platform, each Google app on iOS is an incredible experience and now they are creating links between them that keeps you within the Google experience. Google is taking over the mobile experience in both an overt way through Android and a backdoor way through iOS. They say that anytime someone uses the internet Google makes money, now they are trying to make that true of the mobile experience. I for one can't wait to see what happens in two weeks when Google unveils there new ideas at Google I/O 2013.

Google Drive Update

Looks like a little update to Google Drive desktop is coming. Right click on documents on your computer and you will soon find a share button that allows you to send files quickly and easily. I use Drive all the time and love seeing all the improvements the team makes.

Check out the Google Drive G+ post for more info.

Keep your enemies closer

Big congratulations to MG Siegler on his new position at Google Ventures. I think he will be a great contribution to the team which already includes the visionary Kevin Rose. As very vocal supporter of Apple some people may find this new position an odd one for both MG and Google, however the more I read of MG's material the more I see that he really does speak fairly and accurately for the most part and is very willing to give new things a try to find what works better for him. I think this will be a great addition to the Google Ventures team and wish MG all the best! (I say that like I know him, which I definitely do not, though I think conversations with him would be very entertaining)

Octo-core power!!!

I find it very interesting that the octo-core did not show much if any improvment over the quadcore snapdragon version of the GS4. The battery life and use cases are virtually the same according to Engadget  The one area that it seems to help is the slight lag when scrolling through homescreens which makes me wonder if it was just a matter of Samsung optimizing the software a little more for their own chip over the Qualcomm version.