Google I/O 2013 App is live, lots of streams planned

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You can now download at the Play Store with a lot of new features this year:

– NEW! Scan attendee badges via NFC
– NEW! Schedule changes are immediately synchronized between devices
– NEW! Lock screen widget for viewing your agenda on the go
– NEW! Vector-based maps with session info
– NEW! Dedicated HDMI video output for livestreams
– NEW! Automatic WiFi setup for attendees
– NEW! Off-site attendee mode for livestream-only viewers
– Use Google+ for login
– Support for viewing Office Hours sessions
– Improved support for devices with RTL locales
Additionally Google reminds us that if we can’t make it to Moscone, they’re streaming everything so stop complaining about not getting a ticket. Read more

Android now powers almost 60% of smart mobile devices

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Research firm Canalys is out today with its latest report tracking worldwide smart mobile device shipments for Q1 with Android accounting for almost 60% of smart mobile devices shipped by OS. That’s compared to a 19.3% share for Apple and approximately 18.1% for Microsoft. Keep in mind Canalys’s report also includes notebooks, in addition to tablets and smartphones, which account for the majority of Microsoft’s share. When looking at tablets alone, Apple continued its lead with 46.4% share in the quarter, although Canalys warned Apple “lost share to its Android-based rivals for the third consecutive quarter.”

‘Spearheaded by Google and Amazon, the commoditization of the tablet market has happened far quicker than that of the wider PC market,’ said Canalys Senior Analyst, Tim Coulling. ‘Profit margins are being squeezed and vendors without a low cost structure will find it hard to compete. A solid range of must-have accessories and a software and services strategy are vital as vendors will increasingly need to make revenue around their devices.’

When it comes to smartphones, the report has Android at roughly 75.6% of shipments with around 32% of those shipments coming from Samsung. We know Apple sold around 37 million iPhones in the quarter but, as always, we warn that the stats from Canalys don’t include shipped vs sold data.  Read more

New ‘Save to Drive’ code makes it easy for website owners to deliver media to readers’ Google Drive accounts

Google just announced a nice bit of API code that will allow developers to to make it easy for readers of websites to download files to their Google Drive account.

Adding a Save to Drive button on your website is easy. You simply have to include the script and HTML tag below:

<script src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script>
<div
 data-filename="My Statement.pdf"
 data-sitename="My Company Name"
 data-src="/path/to/myfile.pdf">
</div>

It isn’t hard to see how this could come in handy.

Read more

Google Translate app for Android gains Phrasebook feature, 16 new languages for camera-input

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Google has updated its Android Translate app with a new Phrasebook feature to store some translated phrases that users want to keep quickly accessible. Phrasebook can easily sync via your Google Account’s login credentials.

When you’re traveling in another country, you want quick access to your favorite translated phrases—whether it’s “Where can I find a museum?” or “Do you know where the bathroom is?” Google Translate lets you save these translations in your Phrasebook, but you still could not easily access them on the go from your phone or tablet. Starting today, you can automatically sync the phrases in your Phrasebook to your Android device using the Google Translate mobile app, so you can carry your most useful phrases with you wherever you go.

 Additionally, Google has added support for 16 new languages for camera-input translations.

Last but not least, this latest release of Google Translate for Android sees a significant improvement to the camera-input feature. You can now use camera-input to find translations in 16 additional languages: Bulgarian, Catalan, Danish, Estonian, Finnish, Croatian, Hungarian, Indonesian, Icelandic, Lithuanian, Latvian, Norwegian, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, and Swedish.

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Google confirms head of Google Wallet to leave company later this year

google-wallet-mobile-atmAfter reports last year that Google Wallet’s co-founding engineer Rob von Behren had left the company to join competitor Square, Google today confirmed it has now lost another important employee related to its mobile payment efforts.

Google provided the following statement to VentureBeat, confirming that Osama Bedier, who was up until today chief of the company’s Google Wallet business, will be leaving the company “this year to pursue other opportunities.” Bedier joined Google back in 2011 after leaving eBay.

“We can confirm that Osama Bedier has decided to leave Google this year to pursue other opportunities,” said spokesman Nate Tyler. “He’s achieved a lot during his time here and we wish him all the best in his next endeavor. “

Google made a point of noting that it remains committed to making payments easier for users despite Bedier’s departure: Read more

Talking Schmidt: Even dictators care about their reputations

(AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Steve Jobs welcomes Eric Schmidt at Macworld Expo 2007 (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

In our continuing series Talking Schmidt we bring you the most insightful lines from Google Chairman Eric Schmidt.

Schmidt, who is promoting his new book The New Digital Age with his coauthor Jared Cohen, recently spoke alongside his coauthor to Nathan Gardels of the Global Viewpoint Network.

When asked about the role of technology and social networks in creating change in government, Schmidt replied, “Even dictators care about their reputations.”

Read more

Google Glass ‘XE5′ update adds Google+ notifications, performance enhancements, & other new features

glass

Google has just started pushing out an “XE5″ software update for Google Glass users today and with it comes a number of new features in addition to fixes and performance enhancements. Phandroid points us to the full changelog for the update, which includes incoming Google+ notifications for direct shares, comments, and +mentions, the ability to comment and +1, incoming Hangout notifications, new crash reporting features, and much more.

With the update Glass users can also now “Long-press to search from anywhere in the UI,” access international number dialling and SMS, as well as view a new recipient-list mosaic. A full list of new features on the XE5 Google Glass update is below: Read more

Redesigned, more immersive Google Maps seemingly coming soon with Google+ integration

new-google-maps

The unofficial Google Operating System blog posts some screenshots and details of a supposed upgrade to the Google Maps website that is nearing launch.

The experience is redesigned and more immersive due to a greater focus on the map content instead of navigation buttons. The new map tiles also look similar to the interface included in Apple’s proprietary iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch Maps software…

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Google updates Hangouts On Air: Rewind & autoplay live broadcasts, higher quality video & faster YouTube uploads

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Google has updated Google+ today with a couple notable and highly requested new features for Hangouts on Air users. The first big new feature is the ability to rewind live broadcasts, allowing users to navigate back to the beginning of a broadcast regardless of when they started watching. Other improvements include higher quality video for those joining Hangouts on Air from a mobile device, as well new auto-playing broadcasts that don’t require users to refresh the page when aHangout starts.

Google did note that “it may take longer to set up your Hangout On Air. For example: the ‘Start broadcasting’ button may be grayed out for a bit, before it turns red.” That change is to provide users with enough time to get everything in place before starting the Hangout.

Google appears to have been able to implement the changes by now processing the video in real-time rather than after the fact, which also means it’s promising Hangouts will be instantly uploaded and ready to watch on YouTube the second you go off air:
Read more