Report: Google to launch its tablet this month alongside magazine subscriptions

Following yesterday’s alleged leaked images of Google’s first Nexus tablet, a report from BusinessInsider today, which cited sources with “knowledge of the company’s plans,” claimed Google is set to announce the device at the end of this month. The report is unclear whether this is the same device as the Asus Google tablet pictured in the leaked images, but the source claims Google will introduce magazine subscription functionality with major publishers alongside the tablet:

Google is expected to announce its first Android tablet at the end of the month, according to a source with knowledge of the company’s plans… The new tablet will also offer magazine subscriptions from some major magazine publishers, our source says.

Previous reports from The Wall Street Journal claimed Google plans to open its own online tablet store to sell Google-branded tablets directly to customers. We are expecting to hear a lot more on June 27 at Google I/O.

Report: Google Nexus press shots leak online [Photos]

Display captures of press shots for the Google Nexus allegedly leaked online today, which show the Asus-manufactured tablet looking like a huge Galaxy Note and Galaxy S III cross.

PhoneArena posted the leaks of the highly anticipated 7-inch tablet. Google is long-rumored to launch the device with the latest version of Android for around $250 to directly compete with Amazon’s Kindle Fire and the Barnes & Noble’s Nook.

The images showcase a white front with three dots in the upper-right corner that closely resemble Samsung’s Galaxy S III. Meanwhile, the back sports a two-tone white and black color scheme. The device also carries a bevy of sensors with indications of a video-capable camera on the front and a second camera on the back. The tipster, who leaked the drafts, mentioned a quad-core Tegra 3 as the CPU with the possibility of 1GB of RAM for additional specs.

It is worth noting that the source denied rumors about the Google Nexus featuring Android 5.0 Jelly Bean for the operating system, and instead claimed an updated version of Ice Cream Sandwich, i.e., Android 4.1, would power the tablet. This information corroborates the RightWare benchmark test from last month that suggested a “Google Asus Nexus 7″ would boast Android 4.1 with a quad-core Tegra 3 processor.

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Google demos enhanced 3D maps using aerial imagery

The last demo given at Google’s Maps event today in San Francisco provided us with a look at the next update to 3D maps. Google’s Product Manager of Google Earth Peter Birch explained it is now using “automated technology to extract 3D from aerial images.” In other words, planes equipped with Google hardware fly in tight patterns to record aerial imagery for building 3D models of the city. Google Maps’ Vice President Brian McClendon explained the process took Google many years to perfect, but the result provides more precise data and better 3D maps experience.

Google explained during the Q&A that it has “a fleet of planes with contractors that fly exclusively for Google. And the privacy issues is no different than we’ve had with aerial shots for years.” During the demo, it also showed off a new “Tour Guide” feature for Google Earth that offers recommendations while navigating. Though the demo was given on an iPad, Google announced the new 3D features would come to both Android and iOS in the coming weeks.
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Google exhibits ‘Trekker’ backpack that captures street level data for Street View [Photo]

Google just revealed a backpack-like Street View capture device called “Trekker” that snaps images in areas impossible to navigate by vehicle (above).

“It’s 40 pounds and includes two batteries that’ll last you all day. It’s Android-powered…. We intend to take it to National Parks, the Grand Canyon, castles, etc.,”explained Google’s Engineering Director of Street View Luc Vincent at the “Next Dimension” Google Maps event in San Francisco.

The director further said street level data “could be” useful for users, and then he showed off an original Street View van (below). It is a Chevy Astro and definitely does not compare to newer Street View cars.

It is worth mentioning that Google announced it drove over 5 million unique miles to collect 20 petabytes of imagery for Street View.

More information about today’s event as at the Official Google Blog.

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Google demos upcoming enhanced offline Maps experience

Live on stage at its “Next Dimension of Google Maps” event, Google is giving three demos of the updated Maps app. The first gave us a look at the upcoming enhancements to the offline Maps experience that allows Android users to have full access to maps they saved through a “make available offline” option when not connected to the Internet. The offline Maps will let you to still view the blue GPS marker and access the compass. It also provides fully zoomable maps with Street View.

Offline was available as a Labs feature before (Google is shuttering Labs to focus on big-picture stuff), where you would have to map something out while connected and then have Android cache it. This will actually make cell/mobile data less valuable. You could even do mapping with devices like Samsung’s Galaxy Player—as long as you have the local area cached via Wi-Fi.

We are expecting it to go live in the coming weeks.

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The Next Dimension of Google Maps event live stream

Google’s Maps event is happening right now in San Francisco. You can check out the live stream here. The presentation is set to include “sneak-peak demos and a behind-the-scenes look at Google Maps” with Google Maps’ Vice President Brian McClendon. We will update with all of the details as it goes down.

Google homepage animates first drive-in theatre and announces IPv6 rollout [Video]

Google’s homepage today features an animated video for the first drive-in theatre coupled with a notice below the search field that informs folks of the IPv6 protocol rollout.

So, lets discuss the cool animation first: Double click on the video for aggregated search results on the “opening of the first drive-in theater.” A quick perusal details how R.M. Hollingshead Corporation debuted the drive-in theater 79 years ago today in New Jersey. The original lot on Admiral Wilson Boulevard at the Airport Circle in Pennsauken squeezed in 400 cars, but it eventually inspired thousands of locations to pop-up around the country. Eventually the phenomena of watching a movie from within a car became a favorite American pastime.

Go below for more information on IPv6.

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Google demos Google Glasses at street fair booth in SF [Photo]

Google sought consumer feedback on its highly anticipated Google Glasses product today while set up in a street fair booth in the San Francisco area.

According to GottaBeMobile’s Xavier Lanier, who also posted the picture above, the Google Research booth on Union Street screened “qualified” passerbys with an insights survey:

I found the Google booth to be out of place amongst the other booths, most of which were selling handicrafts and food. I asked a Google employee what the booth was all about and she said they had something to show people that hadn’t been released yet. I asked to see it, but was told I couldn’t see it unless I “qualified.”

Outside the booth is a table where research candidates are screened with a survey. The Google Docs survey, which can be completed on either a Google-supplied MacBook Pro or Vizio Android tablet, is designed to identify physically active smartphone users that are parents and at least somewhat interested in new technology products. The survey is also used to screen for those who actively use social media.

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LG’s Google TV now features OnLive cloud-based gaming

OnLive showcased its cloud-based gaming platform on LG’s G2 Google TV sets today during the E3 conference in Los Angeles.

The company highlighted its Universal OnLive Wireless Controller with the LG G2 TV, and then detailed its “growing library of hundreds of top-tier, console-class video games on-demand” with demos available for every title. The sneak peaks allow up to 30 minutes of free gameplay, so players can give any title a complete test-drive. From there, gamers can buy “a la carte” or subscribe to OnLive’s PlayPack subscription service for unlimited on-demand play. Of course, OnLive games are also accessible on almost any Android, iOS, etc., tablet or smartphone with a broadband or Wi-Fi connection thanks to its cloud service.

“It’s always been our mission to make top-quality gaming accessible to everyone, everywhere,” said OnLive’s founder and CEO Steve Perlman in a press release. “OnLive adds no cost to LG Smart TVs, but delivers a full console-class experience. We’re excited to make on-demand top-tier gaming an integral part of the living room entertainment system on LG’s state-of-the-art TVs.”

Perlman previously announced on the official Google TV Blog in January that his cloud-gaming platform would launch on Google TV as an application.

OnLive revealed its social features for Google TV called “OnLive Viewer” at this year’s Consumer Electronic Show, but it elaborated today and said account holders can watch millions of gamers play live, capture videos of their gameplay, and share exploits with Facebook friends. Additional social functions enable OnLive users to exclusively watch, interact, and chat with friends in the new MultiView mode.

The LG G2 Series comes equipped with the Google TV platform, the L9 dual-core chipset, and full HD 3D. LG’s Google TV model is the first smart TV set to integrate OnLive on-demand gameplay.

The full press release is below.

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Sony signs HTC as first PlayStation Mobile partner

(Image via Tech2)

Sony announced its first partnership to bring PlayStation Mobile certification to HTC devices.

The video game maker revealed the news at E3 yesterday. The collaboration allows HTC owners to access a slew of classic PlayStation games, while also giving HTC an enticing edge over other Android manufacturers (including Sony). Moreover, HTC devices can make use of third-party apps and games developed with the SDK.

This is also a lead for Sony, because its fledging Vita console does not encourage developers to work on games and apps. HTC’s involvement now increases the perceived value of the Playstation Mobile platform, which only attracts more interest from developers.

The One series is the initial line slated to join the program.

Check out the full press release below.

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Google acquires productivity app maker Quickoffice

Following several announced acquisitions this week that included Meebo and certain assets and technology from KikScore, Google’s Engineering Director Alan Warren just announced on the Official Google Blog that the company acquired productivity and office app maker Quickoffice. In addition to the QuickOffice Pro for Android smartphones and QuickOffice Pro HD for Android tablets, the company also offers iOS versions of the app for both iPhone and iPad. As for Google’s plans for the app, Warren noted it would take advantage of Quickoffice’s “track record of enabling seamless interoperability with popular file formats” within its Google Apps suite of products.

Google’s full announcement is below. It is followed by a statement from the co-founder and CEO of Quickoffice, Alan Masarek, posted on the company’s website:

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AT&T confirms Samsung Galaxy S III preorders for June 6, ‘exclusive red version’ to debut this summer

Red Samsung Galaxy S3

This red version above is a 9to5Google rendering.

AT&T just announced that its customers can begin placing preorders for the Samsung Galaxy S III on June 6 in both company-owned stores and online.

The company made sure to clarify in the official press release that only its 4G LTE-powered version is able to access “the nation’s largest 4G network.” Moreover, AT&T customers are privy to an exclusive red Galaxy S III that is due to launch this summer, where as the other U.S. carriers are limited to the standard pebble blue and white flavors.

The smartphone’s price tag starts at $199.99 for the 16 GB model after a two-year service agreement.

The full press release is below.

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