Nook HD and HD+ get Google Play after Barnes & Noble U-turn

Photo: slashgear.com

Photo: slashgear.com

Nook HD and HD+ owners will now be able to download content from Google Play after Barnes & Noble reversed its previous position of limiting app downloads to its own service (via Engadget).

Barnes & Noble had previous justified its locked-down approach on the basis of quality-control. The new policy allows Nook owners to download not just apps but also books, magazines and movies from Google Play … Read more

What we know about the Motorola X Fon (ghost): 25+ color options, all US carriers, early July ship, more

Update: We’ve been asked to remove the picture.

We’ve been sitting on some good Motorola X Fon information for awhile but weren’t able to confirm it until the most recent leaks which seem to corroborate what we have.  It turns out that the leaked images by Tinhte and @Evleaks appear to be legitimate Motorola X prototypes according to our source.  The phone above is a drawing the X FON which now appears to be the same phone pictured below:

The information we’ve heard from our source who has seen it a LTE version was that it will be released on all 4 US carriers and come in over 25 different color options.  The bottom bezel is remarkably small as you can see from the drawing above and the Tinhte.vn images. Like the other ones pictured, this one was 32GB storage, 2GB of RAM, and no SDCard.  Like the others, it was still running Android 4.2 recently and was codenamed ‘ghost’.

Both volume and power buttons are on the right side. Headphones jack is on top center, charging port was on bottom center.

The display was estimated to be 4.7 inches but with the very slim bezel on the bottom it felt very small. Perhaps as small as a 4.3-inch phone.

What we’re thinking at this point is that this phone looks like the successor to the Droid RAZR or RAZR M – small bezels, 4.3-4.7-ish display, extremely long battery life. But what about all of those colors and protection we’ve heard so much about?

Here’s what we’re thinking: Motorola is going to offer protective plates/skins in 25 colors from the point of ordering. 80-90% of people buy protection for the phones so perhaps Motorola is owning this aspect of the device from the order and can provide almost an almost indestructible, perhaps water-resistant customization.

Well, that’s our current thinking. We’ll likely hear what’s on offer at Google I/O in a few weeks.

Gmail adds ability to create Google Calendar events directly from inbox

Gmail-Google-Calendar-inbox-add-event

Google is beginning to roll out a new feature in Gmail today that will allow users to quickly and easily create or add an event to Google Calendar without ever leaving their inbox. Once the feature has been enabled, users will be able to click the date and time within emails to add or create an Google Calendar entry using the data from the email (as pictured above). The calendar entry  can be edited before added and will also automatically include a link back to the original email for reference:

When you click on one of these underlined dates, you’ll be able to preview your schedule for the day and change the title, date or time of the event. Clicking “Add to Calendar” will do exactly that — add the event to your calendar, and for extra convenience, the calendar event will include a link back to the original email.

Keep an eye out for the new feature rolling out to everyone using the English (US) language setting over the next week.

Google hires Noah Falstein as its ‘Chief Game Designer’

Noah-Falstein-Google-Game-Designer

While there might not be much information surrounding Google’s recent hire of Noah Falstein, the company’s decision to pick up the game design veteran as its “Chief Game Designer” certainly gives the impression Google has something big planned in the way of first party titles. TechCrunch first spotted the job title on Noah’s LinkedIn page and notes that an earlier cache of the page shows his new gig at Google used to be listed as “Chief Game Designer at Android Play Studio.” That’s a pretty good indication that whatever Falstein is working on is likely Android related.

Google of course has its feet into gaming through Google Play and Chrome apps, but it has not been active in developing its own titles for Android or Chrome OS. Falstein has worked as a game designer and producer at a number of studios over the years including LucasARTS Entertainment, DreamWorks Interactive, and the 3DO Company. More recently he has been active in developing the concept of serious gamesRead more

Android 4.3 spotted again in logs, to be released at Google I/O on May 15th?

android4-3

Web visits from devices running Android 4.3  – an as yet unannounced version – have been showing up at various Android-related sites, including 9to5google.com – suggesting a possible launch at the Google I/O developer’s conference on May 15-17.

The Mountain View location (Google’s HQ) and Android Authority logs revealing that most of the devices running 4.3 were Nexus devices do tend to suggest the profiles are genuine … Read more

DoD to grant approval for Galaxy devices as Samsung steps up corporate & government push in US

DOD-iPad-USThe iPhone and iPad have already been cleared for use by a number of US government agencies, and in February the US Defense Department confirmed plans to open its networks to 100,000 new devices from Apple and Google by February of next year. Today, The Wall Street Journal reports the DoD is about to grant two more important security approvals that could increase the number of agencies allowed to deploy iPhone, iPads, and Samsung Galaxy devices:

The Defense Information Systems Agency, or DISA, the agency that sanctions commercial technology for Pentagon use, is set to rule that Samsung’s Galaxy line of smartphones, preloaded with Samsung’s Knox security software, conforms with the Pentagon’s so-called Security Technology Implementation Guide, according to people familiar with the approval process. That would allow it to be used by some Pentagon agencies for things like sending and receiving internal emails, according to these people.

Separately, DISA is expected to rule that Apple’s latest operating system, iOS 6, conforms to a different security-requirement guide, these people said. That would allow iPhones and iPads to be used by military agencies for nonclassified communications, like email and Web browsing.

The report from WSJ explained Samsung has been steadily increasing its attempt to break into corporate and government markets by hiring a new team of security experts and former RIM employees to reach out to Western governments and corporations: Read more

A bittersweet look at growing up through the eyes of Google auto-complete

Gizmodo drew our attention to this sad/funny look at growing up in the form of a Google auto-complete video created by Marius B …

Using billions of searches, Google has prototyped an anonymous profile of its users. This reflects the fears, inquiries, preoccupations, obsessions and fixations of the human being at a certain age and our evolution through life.

To eliminate the influence of personalised results, the queries are made in incognito mode with no user signed in, no cookies and no search-history.

Google Glass: the case for the prosecution & the defense (Video)

When you stage a debate on Google Glass between a self-described technology evangelist and a man who believes that current technology trends are debasing culture, things are likely to get interesting … especially when the discussion begins with the question of the etiquette of wearing the gadget at a urinal.

Check out The Next Web‘s conference video below of a conversation between Glass enthusiast Robert “I will never live a day of my life from now on without it” Scoble and British entrepreneur and privacy advocate Andrew Keen …

Read more