New York Times, Evernote, Gmail, Skitch, and Path apps for Google Glass revealed today at SXSW

We’re waiting for some better videos, but Google revealed some third-party (and first-party if you include Gmail) apps for Google Glass at SXSW today. As you can see in the demos, the companies have really thought about the apps people will use on their head and Google has been thoughtful about the way they are going to interact.

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Galaxy S IV teased on Samsung’s Facebook/Twitter with Galaxy S III-esque design


If you weren’t a fan of the Galaxy S III’s design, then the Galaxy S IV may not be to much of your liking. Provided that a teaser picture that Samsung just posted on its Facebook (and Twitter) page is to be believed, then the Galaxy S IV will sport a very similar design.

The Galaxy S IV is scheduled to be released in New York City on March 14.

Google’s shopping delivery service gets a little more official and a little more hush hush at the same time

Google is taking on Amazon Prime with a shopping service later this year. You know this. TechCrunch is filling in some of the blanks today with more details like pricing (free for Googlers, $4.99 for beta testers, and a final target a little below Amazon’s) and some more beta stores like BabysRUs, Targét, and Nob Hill Foods. Also, don’t tell anyone about it because it’s a total secret! Google HR e-mail below:


As you may have seen, there was a leak last night about Google Shopping Express, including several very specific product details. Our PR team is working to quiet this down, but we need your help — please don’t add fuel to the fire by discussing or even confirming Google Shopping Express. If you are contacted by a member of the press, please follow normal procedures and refer them to

But wait, you asked me to ship to my home to help you test … so what about spouses and roommates? We trust your judgement. If your roommate writes a tech blog or works for a company in this space, please don’t ship it home. But if you feel it’s safe, then by all means, we still really need your help dogfooding this.

Get free same day delivery with Google Shopping Express

After weeks of testing, we’re now excited to open Google Shopping Express to every Googler in the bay area including temps, vendors and contractors.

Save yourself a trip to the store and stock up at places like Target, Nob Hill Foods, Babies “R” Us and more. Googlers who sign up early for a free membership will receive free same day delivery for one year! Non-members pay $4.99 per delivery per store.

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First reviews of the HTC one come in: Amazing hardware build quality, Sense hinders, camera/battery mediocre

The Verge is the first out the gate with its HTC One review. I found this passage in its conclusion prescient, which mirrors my initial reaction when trying it last month.

In my quest to find the perfect Android phone, I’m still left wanting. I want the One’s hardware, but I want the Nexus 4’s software and promise of timely updates — I’ve said for a year that HTC should offer stock Android phones, and I’m still convinced the company could save itself with the One plus pure Android. I also want a better camera — the One isn’t bad, it’s just mediocre, and I’ve seen better from Android phones. For now, the list of Android phones worth buying is two items long: the Nexus 4 and the One. Personally, I’d buy the One if I had to choose right now, but with the Galaxy S 4 coming in just a few days, I’m pretty lucky I don’t have to choose right now.

The reviews here aren’t retail units. We have a review of one of these on AT&T (for better or worse) coming soon. That means battery life results (we’re not sure how accurate a test they gave it with 2 days) and other variables might change.

As for the 4Mega‘ultra-pixel’ camera, it seems to be a risky tradeoff. Great low-light performance in exchange for the crispness of those extra pixels.

My question to HTC is: Will you ride Sense into obscurity/bankruptcy or give your users the option to use a recent unadulterated Android OS? With the S4 and Google I/O looming, the decision to put so much effort into features that users don’t want is puzzling.

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Sketchy Motorola X phone specs leak, Key Lime Pie in tow


More details about the rumored next Nexus device, à la Motorola, have leaked. The device is said to début the next version of Android: Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie. Features of the next version of Android are scarce, but it’ll be revealed at I/O in May, according to claimed it has two conflicting sources and to take the leaked specs with a grain of salt. The (conflicting) leaked specs of the Motorola X phone include either 4.7-inch full HD (1080p) display or a 5-inch bezel-less display, a NVIDIA Tegra 4i processor, as well as a 16MP back-camera with a 5MP front camera and eye-tracking technology for scrolling and “email reading”. If the leaked specs are to be believed, the X phone is going to very thin— coming in at only 7.9MM thick.

These aren’t the first-time rumors of a Motorola-Google phone. In January, a job listing for project manager for the “X-Phone” was found on Motorola’s website. The listing was removed a few minutes after it was posted, but it all confirmed the existence of a Moto-Google collaboration phone in the works.

We’d caution that this is a particularly sketchy/unlikely scenario, especially considering Google CEO Larry Page told us some of the goals for the new phone on a conference call (including withstanding drops and a long battery life). This doesn’t mesh well with the bezel-less display and 7.9mm thickness.

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Google Doodle celebrates Douglas Adams, author of ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’

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As Monday rolls across the globe so does an awesome new Doodle from Google. Celebrating Douglas Adams, author of “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, the Doodle shows a control panel from the book/radio series/movie. From Wikipedia:

Douglas Noel Adams (11 March 1952 – 11 May 2001) was an English writerhumorist and dramatist. He is best known as the author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which started life in 1978 as a BBC radio comedy before developing into a “trilogy” of five books that sold over 15 million copies in his lifetime, a television series, several stage plays, comics, a computer game, and in 2005 a feature film. Adams’s contribution to UK radio is commemorated in The Radio Academy‘s Hall of Fame.[1]

Adams also wrote Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (1987) and The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul (1988), and co-wrote The Meaning of Liff (1983), Last Chance to See (1990), and three stories for the television series Doctor Who. A posthumous collection of his work, including an unfinished novel, was published as The Salmon of Doubt in 2002.

Adams became known as an advocate for environmentalism and conservation, and also as a lover of fast cars, cameras, technological innovation, and the Apple Macintosh. He was a staunch atheist, famously imagining a sentient puddle who wakes up one morning and thinks, “This is an interesting world I find myself in—an interesting hole I find myself in—fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!” to demonstrate the fallacy of the fine-tuned Universe argument for God.[2] Biologist Richard Dawkins dedicated his book The God Delusion (2006) to Adams, writing on his death that “Science has lost a friend, literature has lost a luminary, the mountain gorilla and the black rhino have lost a gallant defender.”

Don’t panic.

Meet Google’s Doodle team: a group of artists and technologists who create ’10 seconds’ of homepage happiness (Video)

CBS News sat down with the Google Doodle team on Friday to uncover the magic behind those famous, illustrated logos on the Google homepage.

Google often features its traditional logo in various modifications, otherwise known as Google Doodles, for special events or competitions, and a 13-member group of twenty-something artists and engineers currently make up the team responsible for them.

Google has paid homage to a multitude of holidays and anniversaries with its Doodles, and a few of the more notable ones in recent months include the 200th anniversary of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, 161st anniversary of Moby Dick’s First Publishing, and 107th anniversary of Little Nemo in Slumberland.

Betsy Bauer, a 24-year-old, who has been with Google for only six weeks, said she created today’s Doodle in honor of International Women’s Day, while lead engineer Kris Hom said the collaboration of artists and technologists, who notably all use Macs at the office, can take several months to create a doodle that is live for just 24 hours.

The team designs and builds roughly 300 Doodles a year, but Hom gushed and said the effort is worth it: “Sometimes I describe my job as ‘my job is to make everyone happy for 10 seconds, everyone on Earth.'”

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Facebook-HTC ‘Myst’ phone specs leak


A Facebook phone is in the works according to Unwiredview and @Evleaks. Citing a “reliable source”, the HTC Myst is expected to launch sometime this year with a 4.3″ inch 720p display.

Other specs include a 1.5GHz dual-core from Snapdragon, 1GB of RAM, 5MP camera and Android 4.1.2 Jellybean. Although the Myst is rumored to include LTE and Blutooth 4.0, if this phone does come to fruition, it’ll probably be marketed as a mid-range device just like its predecessors the HTC Status which was a flop on AT&T. In fact the phone was probably one reason why relations soured between Google and HTC which coincided with HTCs fall from grace among consumers as well.

The full specs are available in a chart below.


Microsoft’s patent suit against Google could ban Google Maps in Germany

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Microsoft, during its first direct suit against Google over patent infringements, has asked a Munich regional court to ban Google Maps in Germany, and the software giant could soon get its wish.

Microsoft alleged at a hearing on Thursday that Google infringed upon one of its patents, and, although another German court could rule that the patent is invalid, the regional court’s presiding judge insinuated he’s “leaning towards Microsoft’s arguments about Google’s infringement in this case,” according to a report by Fox Business

The judge also indicated a temporary ban on the Google Maps app might be “inappropriate” if Google could prove that it would permanently and negatively affect the company, but Google’s lawyer said it is “difficult to quantify the possible damage” of a ban. He also said it could have “significant consequences”—even if it’s later lifted.

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Google begins cutting an additional 10 percent of Motorola workforce, around 1,200 employees

Google-MotorolaWe heard in October that Google had plans to further reduce Motorola’s workforce after cutting around 20 percent, or roughly 4,000 jobs, in August. The Wall Street Journal reported today on an email from Google that confirmed the company is beginning to cut around 1,200 employees (a little over 10 percent of its current total headcount):

Motorola MSI -0.74% staffers were informed by the company via email this week that “while we’re very optimistic about the new products in our pipeline, we still face challenges.” The company email added that “our costs are too high, we’re operating in markets where we’re not competitive and we’re losing money.”

As for where the cuts might take place, we previously reported that Motorola, which was unprofitable for 14 of its last 16 quarters, planned to reduce its operations in Asia and India, but today’s report said the layoffs would hit workers in the United States, China, and India. Google also warned that further restructuring might be necessary and significant costs could be involved.

In a recent piece from The Wall Street Journal highlighting Google executives’ fear that Samsung is gaining too much dominance, Android chief Andy Rubin said the purchase of Motorola was “a kind of insurance policy against a manufacturer such as Samsung gaining too much power over Android.”

Google licenses MPEG LA patents for VP8 video format

Google today announced that it has struck a deal with MPEG LA that will allow it to license patents essential to Google’s VP8 and previous generation VPx video compression technologies. The deal will allow Google to stop MPEG LA’s efforts to form a “VP8 patent pool” made up of the 11 patents Google has licensed today.

It will also allow Google to sublicense the VP8 technology to others and sublicense “VP8 techniques in one next-generation VPx video codec.”

Deputy General Counsel for Patents at Google Allen Lo said the deal is a “significant milestone”:

“This is a significant milestone in Google’s efforts to establish VP8 as a widely-deployed web video format. We appreciate MPEG LA’s cooperation in making this happen.”

The press release (below) didn’t provide any financial information related to the licensing agreement: Read more

Facebook rolling out revamped News Feed to Android after iOS


Today, Facebook announced a revamped News Feed for the web and mobile, offering a consistent Facebook experience across all devices. The fresh new look offers an even greater emphasis on photos, videos, events, and articles. The new News Feed also includes improved exploration options:

- All Friends – a feed that shows you everything your friends are sharing
– Photos – a feed with nothing but photos from your friends and the Pages you like
– Music – a feed with posts about the music you listen to
– Following – a feed with the latest news from the Pages you like and the people you follow.

Facebook says that the updates for Android devices will follow those for iOS. The iOS updates are scheduled to rollout in “the coming weeks.” The rollout for the web version on computers will begin today. After the break are videos about the new News Feed

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