Google integrates Google Wallet with Gmail for sending and receiving money

Following its I/O keynote address today, Google just announced on its commerce blog that it will soon be integrating Google send_money-Google-wallet-GmailWallet features into Gmail to allow users to send and receive money. The feature will be available to those with a Google Wallet account and will initially be available to users 18 and older in the US:

Google Wallet is now integrated with Gmail, so you can quickly and securely send money to friends and family directly within Gmail — even if they don’t have a Gmail address. It’s free to send money if your bank account is linked to Google Wallet or using your Google Wallet balance, and low fees apply to send money using your linked credit or debit card.

Google will be adding a new $ icon next to the paperclip icon for attachements that will allow users to “attach money” to messages in Gmail by simply entering the amount and clicking send.

Google noted that the feature will first only be available on the desktop, but that users can also send money through wallet.google.com on mobile devices.

Look for the feature to start rolling out in the coming weeks but earlier access will be granted to those that receive money from others using the feature. You can learn more about sending money with Gmail here.

Google announces Google Play game services coming to Android, iOS & web today

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We knew from leaks in the weeks leading up to I/O that Google was planning some gaming related announcements and today the company has officially announced the service in a press release ahead of its Google I/O keynote taking place now. Not only will the service allow Android developers to build in real-time multiplayer, social features, achievements, and leaderboards while storing game saves and settings in the cloud, the SDK for Google Play game services will also be available to iOS and web developers.

Google noted a few titles for Android have already been updated with the feature including World of Goo, Super Stickman Golf 2, Beach Buggy Blitz, Kingdom Rush, Eternity Warriors 2, and Osmos.

Not surprisingly, the cross-platform gaming service will also build in Google+ integration to track high scores, achievements and more:

-Achievements that increase engagement and promote different styles of play.

-Social and public leaderboards that seamlessly use Google+ circles to track high scores across friends and across the world.

-Cloud saves that provide a simple and streamlined storage API to store game saves and settings. Now players never have to replay Level 1 again.

-Real-time multiplayer for easy addition of cooperative or competitive game play on Android devices. Using G+ Circles a game can have up to 4 simultaneous friends or auto-matched players in a game session together with support for additional players coming soon.

Google’s full press release below: Read more

Live notes, observations from Google’s I/O 2013 keynote

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We’re live on the scene from Google’s 2013 I/O keynote, and although the event will be streamed online, we will be providing  live commentary and photos on this page. Among other things, we’re expecting talk of a new Google Maps web interface and perhaps the debut of a Google-made Spotify competitor. The event starts at 9AM Pacific/ Noon Eastern time…

Read more

Google developer website confirms Android 4.3 on deck for I/O later today?

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Although we were already expecting only a minor update to Android at I/O based on Google’s Sundar Pinchai’s comments earlier this week, multiple sites are reporting that Google’s Android developer website has revealed Android 4.3 is indeed on deck for later today. TheVerge posted the screen grab above showing mentions of “security enhancements in Android 4.3″ straight from a search result for the Android developer website. We’ll note that these are clearly quite easy to fake, but we’ll know in just a couple short hours whether or not 4.3 will actually be Google’s big Android announcement at its I/O keynote todayRead more

Samsung says Galaxy S4 now its fastest selling smartphone ever, plans to hit 10M sold by end of May

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Samsung has apparently announced that the Galaxy S4 is now the company’s fastest selling smartphone ever in an official statement from “an executive at the company” posted by Chosun.com. While we don’t get any specific sales numbers by region or carrier, the company reportedly said that it had shipped around four million units of the device to partners worldwide by the end of April, just five days after launching the device:

“As of the end of April, we supplied four million Galaxy S4 handsets to telecommunication operators around the world,” an executive at the company said on Friday.

In comparison, it took the previous generation Galaxy S3 around 21 days to accomplish the same.

The statement continued by noting that Samsung had reached 6 million devices sold by last Friday and plans to “break the 10-million mark by as early as the end of this month.” Read more

Google to launch Spotify-like streaming service tomorrow with at least three majors signed up

In March, Fortune reported that Google had signed up Warner Music for an online music service similar but not identical to the popular Spotify service. Today, Greg Sandoval at The Verge is reporting that Universal and Sony Music have also signed on and the service will be launched tomorrow at Google I/O:

When Google rolls out the new services tomorrow at I/O, it will mean that it gets the jump on Apple, which is also trying to launch a new streaming-music service. According to reports, Google’s subscription services would resemble Spotify, and offer on-demand songs that would be streamed to their PCs and mobile devices. In contrast, Apple is working on an online radio service that is said to be more akin to Pandora, the top webcaster.

Google comes to these negotiations as a powerful player in music. While Google Play is still a relatively new service, insiders say YouTube is a juggernaut. The user-generated video site sees more than 800 million unique visitors a month and music videos are among the most popular fare.

I may not have exotic taste in music but I’ve never not been able to find whatever I want to listen to on YouTube. Google already owns the space and an advertising-based version of YouTube streaming is just a GUI change in my book. Read more

NVIDIA’s handheld Android gaming system available for exclusive preorder today, slated to ship in June for $349

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Update: NVIDIA has moved the pre-order date up to today because their “partners are so excited about SHIELD.”

Back in January NVIDIA introduced its handheld Android gaming system, SHIELD, and most people reacted to this ambitious project with skepticism. Today NVIDIA moved closer to silencing their critics by announcing preorders and delivery details for the device. Beginning today, gamers can preorder the SHIELD for $349 via an exclusive offer, all others will have to wait until next Monday. To be eligible for the the early-access preorder you must sign up to be notified of SHIELD news and updates. NVIDIA is targeting a June release date with availability at Newegg, GameStop, Micro Center and Canada Computers.


SHIELD gamers will have access to the NVIDIA TegraZone, Google Play and Steam digital gaming stores, while they can grab their movies, music and apps from the Google Play Store. As expected from a hardcore graphics company, NVIDIA has packed this handheld with some serious firepower including the Tegra 4 processor which is claimed to be “the world’s fastest mobile processor.” The SHIELD also features a console-grade controller, 5-inch, 720p retinal multi-touch display and built-in 802.11n WiFi. Only time will tell if the emergence of dedicated Android gaming devices will pressure Apple into creating their own.

BlackBerry announces BBM coming to iOS and Android later this summer

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Although BlackBerry has been rumored to bring its BBM messaging platform to iOS and other devices before, today the company has made things official announcing at its event that support for both iOS and Android will be arriving in the coming months. The service, which BlackBerry says currently has about  60 million monthly active users, will come to devices running iOS 6 and Android 4.0 or above when it’s launched as a free app sometime this summer in the App Store and Google Play.

The company said that it would be bringing messaging and groups functionality to new platforms first but also has plans to introduce voice features, screen sharing, and its just announced “social engagement platform” dubbed ‘Channels’ in future releases. BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins said the company is “committed to making the BBM experience on other platforms as fully featured” as possible: Read more

Report claims Google smartwatch with Glass-like UI, updates to Gmail & Maps coming soon

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While the report is a little bit on the light side with specific details regarding the product, a new report from AndroidAuthority claims that a source has revealed details about a Google smartwatch as well as new updates coming to Gmail and Maps apps on Android.

According to the report, which seems to provide more questions than answers, the Android smartwatch has been floating around Google offices in Berlin, Manchester, and more recently Mountain View, which it claims signals “the watch is set for release sometime soon.” The last we heard from analysts is that Google smartwatch is scheduled for 2014 at earliest, but AndroidAuthority already claims to have details on the device:

While noting that “Functionality will be very much like Glass,” the report claims Google’s smartwatch is “not a standalone device yet” and that “It needs to be tethered to a smartphone.”

We don’t expect to see a Google smartwatch on show at Google I/O this month, and the report doesn’t offer up much in the way of confident predictions for when we might. The report added that sources say Google’s Motorola will be manufacturing the smartwatch.

Also included in the report is info on updates that are apparently coming to Google’s Maps and Gmail apps on Android devices in the near future. AndroidAuthority describes redesigned apps that will apparently borrow a lot from the most recent versions of Google’s apps on iOS: Read more

Google shows off Google+ content recommendations for mobile sites on Android & iOS

Google-Plus-recommendations-mobile-Google today is showing off a new way for content creators online to provide content recommendations to readers viewing their site through mobile devices. The new content recommendations feature is not so surprisingly powered by Google+ and will allow users to access related content for the page they are currently visiting through a small notification that appears as they browse. To access the recommendations, users can enable the feature on Android devices running 2.3.3 and above and also on iOS devices running Chrome or Safari on iOS 5 or later. Site owners can implement the feature by dropping in a single line of code.

Google explained how it creates the recommendations based on Google+ activity and also showed the new feature in action in the video above posted to its Developers YouTube channel: Read more