Verizon no longer the gold standard for mobile data?

Photo: Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
Photo: Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Verizon Wireless, once the gold standard for LTE, has admitted that it is struggling to keep up with demand in the big cities – with some users being dropped down to slower 3G speeds. The carrier’s Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said yesterday:

There are certain pockets where we’re absolutely going to experience that down tick from the LTE network down to 3G because of capacity constraints …  Read more

Google’s US ad revenues now bigger than magazines or newspapers

Screen Shot 2013-11-12 at 2.54.20 PM

We all know that Google is BIG, BIG, BIG, but just how big is Google these days? During a keynote at Ignition 2013, Business Insider CEO Henry Bloodroot presented a slide that shows Google on course to exceed the revenues of both magazines and newspapers this year. In fact, almost all of Google’s expected $60 billion in revenue will come from advertising this year.

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Gmail adds new attachment experience w/ previews & deeper Drive integration

Attachment3That was quick. Shortly after we posted leaked screenshots today of an updated attachments experience for Gmail, Google has now made the announcement official on its Drive blog. As expected, the attachments UI includes much deeper Google Drive integration, allowing users to easily view and save files to Google Drive without having to leave their inbox. You’ll be able to click a new Drive icon next to attachments and select a folder to save to right within Gmail (pictured right).

As you can see in the gif above, the new attachments also include new previews for photos, videos, spreadsheets, PDFs and more, and clicking a preview will launch a new slideshow style full-screen view of the file directly in Gmail. This is what the new full-screen preview mode looks like: Read more

Google files patent for a neck tattoo with lie detector capabilities and a microphone

necktattoo

It’s no secret that Google thinks big when it comes to crazy, innovative technologies, and that appears to be just what the company is doing with its latest patent filing (via The Register). Google’s Motorola Mobility division, a year ago, filed for a patent relating to a temporary neck tattoo that can serve as a lie detector and includes a built-in microphone. It’s an incredibly out-there concept. Essentially, Motorola says you will be able to apply the tattoo with a sticky substance to your neck and wirelessly connect it to a mobile device.

The patent application suggests a couple of potential use cases. For one, Google points out that it could be used by security personnel that work undercover or in noisy environments. The application reads:

Mobile communication devices are often operated in noisy environments. For example, large stadiums, busy streets, restaurants, and emergency situations can be extremely loud and include varying frequencies of acoustic noise. Communication can reasonably be improved and even enhanced with a method and system for reducing the acoustic noise in such environments and contexts.

Google also suggests that it could be used in conjunction with a lie detector to tell when a user is speaking falsely, based on skin response.

Optionally, the electronic skin tattoo 200 can further include a galvanic skin response detector to detect skin resistance of a user. It is contemplated that a user that may be nervous or engaging in speaking falsehoods may exhibit different galvanic skin response than a more confident, truth telling individual.

Obviously this Google neck tattoo is still in the early stages of development, but it does raise some interesting questions as to what else Google is secretly working on.  Read more

Google Crisis Response launches site to aid Super Typhoon Yolanda victims

Google-Crisis-Response

To help victims and the ongoing rescue efforts in the Philippines following Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), Google.org’s Crisis Response team has just launched a support site. The site allows people to make contributions through the American Red Cross, UNICEF, and the World Food Programme, and also provides news updates, a crisis map showing evacuation centres and other resources, and a tool to report information about a missing person.  Read more

Google makes it easier for Android & iOS devs to deploy cloud backends w/ Cloud Platform updates

Google is making some improvements to its Google Cloud Platform today that will make it easier for developers to provide cloud services across apps on multiple platforms. After first launching a preview of Cloud Endpoints earlier this year, Google announced today that the web backend solution for app developers has moved to General Availability. Cloud Endpoints provide developers with an easy way of building a simplified cloud backend to deploy across their web, Android and iPhone apps: Read more

Android remains a big part of future gaming, but is NVIDIA’s Shield part of the future?

nvdidashield

As the world prepares for the arrival of the XBOX One and Playstation 4, NVIDIA’s CEO reminds us that Android still has a role to play in the future of gaming. Speaking on an investor call, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang pointed at the company’s Shield gaming product as its means of growing the Android gaming ecosystem.

“Shield is our initiative to cultivate the gaming marketplace for Android,” Huang said, as quoted by ZDNet. “We believe that Android is going to be a very important platform for gaming in the future, and to do so we have to create devices that enable great gaming to happen on Android.”

Speaking to that tune, Huang called Android the “most versatile operating system that we’ve ever known.” NVIDIA hopes that the Shield, the small Android tablet connected to a game controller will continue to stare down the portable gaming hardware released by Nintendo and Sony. A recently released software update added more functionality for the device to run games via larger screens including televisions, making it something more in lines with standard living room gaming machines. NVIDIA obviously hopes that it can push developers to build gaming experiences designed specifically for its Tegra platform.

With Qualcomm seemingly dominant in the mobile space, Huang’s comments about Android and gaming may be correct, but the question remains whether or not the Shield is the right product to capitalize Android and its gaming future.

via ZDNet

That Google barge: have sails, will travel

barge

More information on that Google barge was revealed today by SFGate, including an artist’s rendering showing that it will be equipped with giant sails.

When completed, the full package is envisioned to be an “unprecedented artistic structure,” sporting a dozen or so gigantic sails, to be moored for a month at a time at sites around the bay […]

“We believe this curious and visually stunning structure will be a welcome addition to the waterfront, an experience unlike any other,” the proposal says …

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Results on Nexus 5 camera poll: Perhaps not as bad as (over 20,000) people thought

The results from our Nexus 5 vs. iPhone 5s photo quality survey are in.  The winner is probably not a surprise (the iPhone 5s) but the margin may have been a bit of a surprise after so many people rated the Nexus 5 camera so poorly (and Google subsequently offered promises of fixes).

At the time we turned on the answers, the iPhone won about 55% of the votes overall from over 200,000 votes placed.

Nexus 5 − 89724  (45%)

iPhone 5S – 110828 (55%)

After testing the Nexus 5 camera for a few days, it is pretty clear that it isn’t the best shooter out there, and even the best Android shooter.  But it also isn’t that bad. In fact, I think it might be a bit better than other high profile phones like the MotoX.  The weaknesses in the survey and in my own testing is in speed (it is slow, especially in low light), Low light images in general weren’t great and paradoxically over-exposure outside in well lit situations (though people in the survey seemed to appreciate that bias) seemed to happen frequently with the Nexus 5.

The bottom line however is that the Nexus 5 camera isn’t the best but it really isn’t that bad – especially for a $350 phone.   Full results before we turned on the labels below: Read more

Nexus 7 won’t be allowed on Verizon LTE until KitKat rolls, “systems issue” blamed

verizon

If you have a Nexus 7 you’re waiting to activate on Verizon’s LTE network, there’s good news and bad news …

The good news is Verizon has acknowledged the issue that has been preventing the device registering on its network, and says that a solution is in hand. The bad new is that solution is to wait for KitKat to be installed on the tablet, and there’s as yet no word on when this may be. Google has said only that it will be “in the coming weeks” and that is for the Wifi versions …  Read more

Google finally comments on its mysterious barge project

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Google has finally broken its silence and openly acknowledged its mystery barge project. The barges, which are now anchored in Portland, Maine, and San Francisco, have been a big mystery and have even spawned their very own parody Twitter account. A Google spokesperson provided TechCrunch with a brief quote advising the site that the barges will be used as an “interactive space to teach people about its technology.”

Google Barge … A floating data center? A wild party boat? A barge housing the last remaining dinosaur? Sadly, none of the above. Although it’s still early days and things may change, we’re exploring using the barge as an interactive space where people can learn about new technology. Read more

Nexus 5 vs. iPhone 5s Photo Poll: You be the judge!

To check the validity of claims that the Nexus 5 has a poor shooter, we took 10 different pictures with both a Nexus 5 and the reigning champ of smartphone cameras –  the iPhone 5s.  We even split the test over two different Nexus 5s and iPhone 5s devices.  The comparison test is below. We’ll publish the results tomorrow.

Let’s see how the Nexus 5 fares against the champ:

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