Leaked screenshots show redesigned Gmail with ‘Categories’ feature to sort emails by content

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The image above is being passed around by an anonymous tipster this evening that claims to have screenshots alongside some new information about an upcoming version of Gmail for both the web and mobile devices.

According to the tipster, the update Gmail for web will have new Category tabs that organize emails into separate inboxes based on the content within (as pictured above). Examples given include Main (for family, friends and everything that doesn’t belong in another category), ‘Social’ for emails related to social networks, ‘Offers’ for promotional material, ‘Notifications’ for reservations, bills, etc, and ‘Forums’ for mailing lists and forums.

We have no way of verifying the legitimacy of the tip, but it’s an interesting concept nonetheless and it will apparently also be hitting the new Gmail mobile apps when it begins rolling out this Wednesday… Read more

Report: Google planning to develop wireless networks, low-cost Android devices for emerging markets

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According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Google is now in the middle of a new project that will see the company develop wireless networks in emerging countries including sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. Google plans on teaming up with local companies to develop the wireless networks, which are said to use airwaves normally reserved for TV, but will first have to get government approvals:

Some of those efforts revolve around using certain airwaves reserved for TV broadcasts to create wireless networks, but only if government regulators allowed it, these people said. Google has long been involved in public trials to prove the technology—which operates at lower frequencies than some cell networks, allowing signals to be more easily transmitted through buildings and other obstacles and across longer distances—can work. And it has begun talking to regulators in countries such as South Africa and Kenya about changing current rules to allow such networks to be built en masse.

The report mentions that Google is also “building an ecosystem of new microprocessors and low-cost smartphones powered by its Android mobile operating system to connect to the wireless networks,” although it didn’t offer up any other specific information on the devices.

It also points out a Google X project that takes advantage of “special balloons or blimps, known as high-altitude platforms, to transmit signals to an area of hundreds of square miles,” but it’s unclear whether or not the two projects are connected. Read more

Google shows off a redesigned Gmail app for Android with side navigation drawer?

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In a Google I/O presentation titled “Structure in Android App Design,” Google might have given us a sneak peak at what’s to come for the Gmail Android app. Much of the talk focused on the new navigation drawer that is already present in the latest Google app updates including Earth and Shopper for Android. One slide, as pointed out by AndroidPolice, appears to show off a redesigned Gmail app equipped with the sliding drawer for navigating inboxes (similar to Gmail on iOS) and a number of other tweaks including the removal of the navigation buttons along the bottom of the app. We’ll have to wait and find out for sure if this was simply a mock up for the presentation or the next redesign of the official Gmail app for Android.  Read more

Control your thermostat with your face using new Nest app for Google Glass

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While it might not be an official app coming straight from the company (who in this case happens to be partially funded by Google), selfscreens.com points us to a new piece of Glassware developed to control the $249 Nest thermostat using Google Glass. The app, dubbed “Glass Nest” was developed by +James Rundquist who for a short time was making it available to all through his website. As highlighted in the image below, it allows users to set the temperature, set Nest to away mode, and automatically wake Nest up upon arriving home with a number of different commands for each. Keep your eye on http://www.glass-nest.com to find out when the Glassware becomes available again.  Read more

I want to believe: more rumors of stock Android HTC One – from the guy who called the stock S4

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When seemingly pulling rumors out of thin air, it helps to have a track-record. Geek.com‘s Russell Holly does: he was the guy who told us that a stock Android version of the Samsung S4 would be announced, a day before it was. So when he claims claims rumors that a vanilla version of the HTC One is on the way are true, we pay a little more attention than usual to such things … Read more

Production version of Google Glass to use Samsung OLED displays? Maybe …

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The not-always-reliable Korea Times (via The Next Webis reporting that the production version of Google Glass will use Samsung OLED displays to create the images instead of the projector system used in the Explorer Edition.

Google will use Samsung Display’s organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology in its upcoming Google Glass, a wearable computer with a head-mounted display, sources said Thursday.

The sources said that the company’s top management has recently approved a business proposal by Samsung Display to use its OLED screens for Google Glass … Read more

Google considers Waze acquisition, could start bidding war with Facebook

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Bloomberg reports that Google is considering making an acquisition offer for mapping company Waze. Numerous reports over the past few weeks have claimed that Facebook is also eyeing an acquisition of the maps firm.

Google Inc. (GOOG), maker of the Android operating system, is considering buying map-software provider Waze Inc., setting up a possible bidding war with Facebook Inc., people familiar with the matter said. Waze is fielding expressions of interest from multiple parties and is seeking more than $1 billion, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The Palo Alto, California-based startup might also remain independent, instead seeking to raise a round of venture capital financing, the people said.

Waze’s price-tag is current said to be around $1 billion.

Google’s potential bid would likely create a bidding war with the Menlo Park-based social network. Bloomberg reiterates that Apple is not in discussions with Waze. Rumors from earlier this year claimed that Apple was eyeing an acquisition, but many of those claims were immediately debunked. 

Read more

Google faces FTC complaint over display advertising

According to Bloomberg, the FTC is now investigating Google over its Display ad business which it picked up originally in its purchase of DoubleClick almost a decade ago.

The fresh inquiry, which follows the FTC’s decision to close a review of Google’s search business in January without taking action, is in the preliminary stages and may not expand into a larger probe, said the people, who asked not to be named because the matter hasn’t been made public.

FTC investigators are examining whether Google is using its position in U.S. display ads — a $17.7 billion industry that includes the sale of banner ads on websites — to push companies to use more of its other services, a practice that can be illegal under antitrust laws, the people said.

Out of the FTC Frying Pan, into the Fire. Read more

gMusic app unofficially brings Google’s new “All Access” subscription music service to iOS

gMusic-All-Access-iOSWhen Google unveiled its brand new $9.99/month “All Access” Google Play music streaming service earlier this month at its I/O keynote, we quickly learned that the service would not be coming to iOS initially. Google didn’t get into why, but today developers of the popular gMusic iOS app has unofficially brought support for the service to iPhone and iPad.

The app previously acted as client for songs stored in your Google Music library, but with an update to version 6.0 today the All Access subscription service is now officially available to iOS users. The changelog on iTunes also lists the ability to “Create/play Radio Stations” and “Search, listen, and add music to your library from inside the app.”

As for why Google didn’t make it’s own All Access app for iOS, we’ve heard from sources close to the situation that Google wants to submit an app but is currently in a holding pattern with Apple regarding what they will accept.

gMusic: Google Music Player is available on the App Store now for $1.99. The updated app will require users to have a Google Play All Access subscription to access the new features.  Read more