Google drops black menu bar, officially goes flat with App Launcher

Google announced today that those folks seeing the flattened search logo and the app launcher weren’t delusional. They were just guinea pigs for what Google just launched.

It is flatter. ChromeOS-ier. It is the new Google homepage design.

 

Google releases Google Wallet app for iPhone

Following the launch of an all new Google Wallet app for Android that brought the service to all Android devices in the US and customers on Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, today Google has launched an official Google Wallet app for iOS devices.

Since in-store payments are still limited to a handful of Android devices in the U.S. with NFC, the new app, available on the App Store now, includes many of the new features that Google announced in its latest Android update. That includes the ability to send money to any friend in the US with an email address, support for adding loyalty cards, and integration with Google Offers for redeeming discounts based on location using the app. The app will let iOS users scan to add debit and credit cards for making purchases online and sending money. Read more

Kamcord brings free gameplay recording platform to Android as it hits 1M video uploads

Last time we checked in with Kamcord, the free SDK that allows developers to easily implement in-game recording functionality in their iOS games, it had just hit 1B videos recorded, announced a brand new user community, and picked up an additional $1M in funding. At the time the company told us it was planning Android support, and today Kamcord becomes the first major platform to make in-game recording available free to Android developers.

Kamcord is today starting to accept signups for its new Android beta through http://kamcord.com/android, and in the coming weeks will make the SDK available to download for anyone.

kamcord-ipad-01

Kamcord’s in-game UI for sharing recorded gameplay on iPad

We spoke with CEO Matt Zitzmann this week who told us all about the company’s plans to break into the Android world after having success on iOS. With next generation Xbox and PlayStation consoles bringing new in-game recording features to the mainstream, Kamcord has the opportunity to be the go-to solution for similar functionality in mobile games, and Android is a big piece of that puzzle. Zitzmann tells us that the company hopes the new Android SDK will help “to more easily drive adoption within Asia” where Android is thriving.

Kamcord’s biggest rival, Everyplay, is yet to introduce Android support for its similar platform, and today’s release of the Kamcord beta for Android could give the company a big jump on its competitor.

CEO of Djinnworks Robert Szeleney, a publisher with over 140 million app downloads across iOS and Android, is excited to bring the Kamcord platform to its Android titles: Read more

Google launches health company with Apple Chairman Levinson as CEO, Cook comments

Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 12.13.26 PM

Google today announced the launch of a new company called Calico. The company focuses on health and well-being matters, and Google CEO Larry Page describes it as a “moonshot” initiative that could help millions of people:

Announcing this new investment, Larry Page, Google CEO said: “Illness and aging affect all our families. With some longer term, moonshot thinking around healthcare and biotechnology, I believe we can improve millions of lives. It’s impossible to imagine anyone better than Art—one of the leading scientists, entrepreneurs and CEOs of our generation—to take this new venture forward.” Art said: “I’ve devoted much of my life to science and technology, with the goal of improving human health. Larry’s focus on outsized improvements has inspired me, and I’m tremendously excited about what’s next.”

Notably, Arthur Levinson will be a founder and the CEO of Calico. Levinson used to be a Board Member at Google, and he is currently the Chairman of Apple’s Board of Directors and Genetech. Apple CEO Tim Cook has even commented in Google’s press release about the company:

Tim Cook, Chief Executive Officer of Apple, said: “For too many of our friends and family, life has been cut short or the quality of their life is too often lacking. Art is one of the crazy ones who thinks it doesn’t have to be this way. There is no one better suited to lead this mission and I am excited to see the results.”

TIME has published an extensive profile of the initiative.

Read more

Google Glass does car maintenance – a hands-free car manual

Augmented reality specialist Metaio has put together an interesting proof-of-concept video illustrating how vehicle manuals could soon be a thing of the past, with Glass providing all the instruction needed …

The demo is an extremely simple one (and anyone who needs to be told that step 1 of filling the washer fluid is opening the bonnet probably shouldn’t be allowed behind the wheel of a car), but it’s easy to see how the same approach could be used for the most technical of operations by a car mechanic.

Metaio previously put together an iOS app for Audi with a similar approach.

You can find some other Glass ideas that caught our eye linked in the opening sentence here – with this one (a surgeon allowing colleagues to watch an operation) coming along shortly afterwards.

YouTube offline viewing coming soon – but no details revealed

youtube

The YouTube Creator blog reveals that offline video viewing will be launched in November, but doesn’t reveal any details.

We’re always exploring ways to bring more viewers to your content. As part of this effort, later this year we’ll launch a new feature on YouTube’s mobile apps that will help you reach fans — even when they’re not connected to the Internet. This upcoming feature will allow people to add videos to their device to watch for a short period when an Internet connection is unavailable. So your fans’ ability to enjoy your videos no longer has to be interrupted by something as commonplace as a morning commute …  Read more

New Google Wallet app lets you send money to any U.S. email address, adds loyalty cards & offers

Google-Wallet-Android

Google announced today on its Google Commerce blog that a new version of Google Wallet is beginning to roll out to all Android devices in the U.S. running Android 2.3 and up. It also brings the app to users on Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile, although those carriers won’t be allowing NFC payments as they opt for competitive ISIS mobile payment platform.

The new app rolling out this week will allow users to send money to any US email address and also adds improved features for saving loyalty cards and redeeming offers. While Google is currently in the process of rolling out the ability to send money using Google Wallet through Gmail, the new Wallet app for Android will let users send money to any friend age 18 and up through any U.S. email address:

It’s free to send money directly from your bank account or Google Wallet Balance, and low fees apply when using your linked credit or debit card. And as an added bonus, once you send money with the Google Wallet app, you’ll also get early access to sending money in Gmail from your desktop while we continue to roll out the feature broadly to Gmail users.

The new app will also let all users (not just those with NFC enabled devices), scan barcodes of loyalty cards in order to earn points and use the app at checkout. Google notes that you’ll be able to “join new programs like Alaska Airlines, Belly, and Red Mango within the Google Wallet app.” Some other programs coming soon include: Avis Car Rental, BJ’s Restaurants, Cosi, Hard Rock International, InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott International, Raley’s, and The Body Shop.

Google is also adding some new and improved features for Offers in the new Wallet app: Read more

New leaked shots of LG Nexus show KitKat startup screen, other details

Earlier this month images from FCC filings showed what appeared to be Google’s LG-made Nexus 5 following the device first leaking in Google’s promotional video for Android 4.4 KitKat. Today we’ve received the images above showing what looks to be the Nexus 5 in the wild, and it looks identical to pre-production units floating through the FCC and elsewhere. The tipster also sent along the videos below, which could give us a glimpse at Android 4.4 KitKat running on the Nexus 5, although it looks like the bootup from Google Play Edition phones.

The device in the images was apparently left charging unsupervised by a Google employee at a bar (yeah, lol) where an employee of the bar was able to snap the photos and short videos… Read more

Google acquires mobile sharing app ‘Bump’

Bump, the mobile app that lets users share photos, videos, contacts, files and more by physically bumping their devices together, today announced it is joining Google (via TechCrunch). There’s not many details about the acquisition in a short message posted on Bump’s website by its CEO and cofounder David Lieb, but it does confirm that “the Bump team is joining Google.”

Our mission at Bump has always been to build the simplest tools for sharing the information you care about with other people and devices.  We strive to create experiences that feel like magic, enabled behind the scene with innovations in math, data processing, and algorithms.  So we couldn’t be more thrilled to join Google, a company that shares our belief that the application of computing to difficult problems can fundamentally change the way that we interact with one another and the world.

Bump says it uses “math, data processing, and algorithms” to allow users to share data wirelessly through its mobile app, but didn’t share how Google might take advantage of the technology. Lieb confirmed that Bump, and the company’s photo sharing app Flock, “will continue to work as they always have for now; stay tuned for future updates.”  Read more

Sony’s TV stick offers full Google TV functionality, but only with this year’s Sony TVs

stick-580x264

The Sony TV device spotted in an FCC filing last month was briefly unveiled by Sony in a blog post that has since been deleted. Engadget spotted the post for the Sony Bravia Smart Stick before it was pulled.

It’s an MHL dongle that runs both Google TV and Sony’s own BRAVIA apps. The features are just like Google TV boxes Sony has released before, with a remote (that the FCC filings showed is at least similar to the previous ones) that has QWERTY and voice search support. Additionally, its “picture-and-picture” feature lets users see a browser in one window and TV in another …  Read more