Big Google TV news reportedly being announced at Google I/O this Wednesday

It would not be too far-fetched to claim Google TV is a lackluster affair— even after it has been on the market for close to two years. Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said one of the issues with Google TV is that it is not embedded in enough set-top boxes. That could be the problem—or maybe it is just the software. I guess that is up-to personal interpretation. However, at this year’s Google I/O conference, we may get a closer look at a totally revamped Google TV platform that could change the direction of the platform.

Clayton Morris of Fox News, who cited “people familiar with the keynote,” reported that Google would announce a slew of updates for the platform. Morris pointed to the biggest announcement being a joint live TV, DVR, and Netflix interface that will allow you to see all of your content in one place. It is said to let you watch the content you want anywhere without having to dig to find it. Other features that will be shown-off include an AirPlay-like interface for watching content between the smartphone and TV, with a focus on getting third-party apps on the Google TV platform. It should certainly be interesting, along with the tablet and Jelly Bean news expected to unveil.

Last December, Schmidt made some bullish comments. He claimed Google TV will be “embedded in the majority of new TVs by summer of 2012. ″ Time is certainly running out on that promise, Mr. Schmidt. In February, GigaOm said Google TV device sales only looked to be in the 500,000 to 1 million-unit range. Ouchies. Google also launched a new Google TV website design this evening:

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Google says more than 500 districts in US and Europe use Chromebooks actively

Google just revealed over 500 school districts in the United States and Europe use Chromebooks on a regular basis, while also naming a few new districts to adopt the technology in both North Carolina and Wisconsin.

In a post on the Official Google Blog, which is appropriately titled “In schools, all you need is web,” Google talked about the functionality of Chromebooks coupled with Google Apps and educational apps available on the Chrome Web Store. The company clearly wants the world to know its marketplace and lineup of notebooks are ideal for teaching, learning, and exploring the Web.

“There are tens of thousands of apps in the Chrome Web Store, and today we’re adding some new ones: ST Math, VoiceThread and Acheive3000,” wrote Chromebooks for Education Product Manager Vidya Nagarajan. “To give you an idea of what’s possible on the web: Leyden High School District from Illinois is rolling out Chromebooks to their 3,500 students and are using apps like WeVideo,EasyBib, Vernier Labquest2, SlideRocket, Geogebra and Pearson’s OpenClass as part of their 1-to-1 learning initiative.”

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Google introduces live blogging gadget for Google I/O

We all know Google I/O is just around the corner with yet another Nexus tablet leak today and news of some fresh Google TV products hitting the market soon. We will be on hand this week with live coverage of the event, and Google will make things even easier this year thanks to a new blogging tool it is unleashing specifically for the conference. As noted on Google’s developers website, you can now create your own embeddable Google I/O keynote live blogging gadget that will pull the event’s live video stream, and then it will post from your Google+ account:

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Google Offers to sponsor free Boingo Wi-Fi in NYC until September, with underground access

Google Offers will sponsor free Wi-Fi in New York City this summer starting today.

The sponsorship is possible through an agreement with Boingo Wireless. New Yorkers and tourists can now access free Internet at six subway stations and over 200 Boingo hotzones around the borough of Manhattan. The Wi-Fi coverage extends below street level and will last through Sep. 7.

“New Yorkers using the complimentary Wi-Fi services can check out deals from local businesses from Google Offers when they connect at Boingo hotzones throughout the city and at the following subway stations with wireless networks deployed by Transit Wireless,” explained the press release.

Google Offers is an infant deal-of-the-day website that caters localized savings to major geographic markets in the United States. It is the first sponsor of Boingo Wi-Fi, so today’s news is clearly a brand campaign for Google. However, Boingo will also benefit by expanding its initiative. The wireless tech plans to reach 36 subway stations by the end of 2012, with over 270 stations getting access by 2017, to create “a distributed advertising and sponsorship network reaching the subway system’s more than 1.6 billion annual passengers.”

Boingo Wi-Fi is already available at New York-area airports, retail centers, sports venues, hotels, fast food restaurants, and more.

The press release below.

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Samsung predicts Galaxy S III sales of over 10M units for July

JK Shin, head of Samsung’s mobile division, told reporters today (via Reuters) that the company expects to sell over 10 million units of the recently launched Galaxy S III during July. Despite concerns of component shortages for the flagship device, the company is expecting higher earnings for its current quarter compared to the $3.6 billion profit generated from January to March:

Samsung kicked off global sales of its Galaxy S III on May 29, but shipments have been affected by the tight supply of parts such as the handset casing for the pebble-blue model… In the United States, where sales were launched last Thursday, major carriers including Sprint Nextel Corp, T-Mobile and AT&T have not been able to offer the Galaxy with 32 gigabytes of memory, partly due to tight supply… “Due to overwhelming demand for the Galaxy S III worldwide, Samsung has informed us they will not be able to deliver enough inventory of Galaxy S III for Sprint to begin selling the device on June 21.”

Shin assured reporters that the company is not worried about the shortages affecting second quarter results. Shin noted “supply simply can’t meet soaring demand,” but he claimed, “things will get better from next week”:

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Specs/pricing for Google’s Nexus tablet leak ahead of Google I/O

Gizmodo AU claimed this morning to have reviewed a training document related to Google’s upcoming tablet that is set to be unveiled at Google I/O this month. While we have had several leaks in the months leading up to the event, today’s report —if legitimate—provides us with some exact specs for the Nexus-branded, Asus-built slate. According to Gizmodo, the tablet will hit at least Australia in July and be the first to run Jelly Bean with the following specs:
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Google doesn’t plan to leave iOS Maps users without a fight

Jeff Huber, senior vice president of commerce and local at Google, posted on Google+ last night that the Street View team built a Street View exhibit at the Computer History Museum. Cool.

Of more interest to Apple users: Huber took to the comments to answer some questions for an iOS user. He said Google looks forward to providing “Amazing Google Maps experiences on iOS.” That does not sound like a web app or anything like Google now offers in its Google Earth app or its Latitude app. With geo being such a big part of Google’s recent efforts, and iOS being such a big part of Mobile, it would be surprising to see Google just wave off the large iOS audience.

In a possibly related move, Google just dropped the prices of usage of its API for third-party apps—like Foursquare and Zillow— in the hopes to be used on more screens (there is going to be a lot of freed up bandwidth once iOS 6 is released!)

Prior to Apple unveiling its own Maps solution at the Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month, Google revealed that its new 3D maps were coming to iOS “in coming weeks,” which is another indication that Google plans to add to its iOS Maps experience.

Perhaps we will hear something at Google I/O next week (full coverage at 9to5Google.com).

Remember, competition is usually good for consumers!

via TNW

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Larry Page says ‘nothing seriously wrong’ with his health in a memo to employees

After a worried investor voiced his concerns about the health of Google’s CEO Larry Page this morning, Page confirmed to employees this afternoon that nothing is seriously wrong, according to the The Wall Street Journal. Page also assured his staff in a memo that he would “continue to run the company.” This definitely clears things up, because investors began to worry after Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt told attendees at the company’s annual investors meeting that Page would not attend the Q2 financial earnings call and Google I/O conference next week due to the chief losing his voice. We are certainly glad nothing serious is happening with the 39-year-old. Check out Schmidt announcing the news about Page this morning:

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Google posts hour-long ‘Project Re: Brief’ documentary on YouTube [Video]

Google unveiled its “Project Re: Brief” ad campaign in March, which re-imagined four classic commercials, and now the company has published an hour-long documentary of its marketing venture on YouTube.

The four re-imagined classic commercials are Coca-Cola’s “Hilltop” from 1971, Alka-Seltzer’s 1972 commercial, Volvo’s “Drive it like you hate it” from 1963, and Avis’ “We try harder” campaign from 1962. Google’s in-house advertising team and several other agencies— including the creators of the original campaigns—re-created all the ads. Each video is available on Google’s Project Re: Brief website.

“Re: Brief is not just about the ads themselves. It’s also about the creative process behind them: bringing ‘old school’ advertising legends and technologists into the same room to create digital ads that consumers love as much as they loved the iconic campaigns of yesterday,” explained Project Re: Brief Lead Aman Govil on the Official Google Blog. “To share this experience, today we premiered the documentary film Project Re: Brief, directed by Emmy winner Doug Pray, at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity—also available on YouTube.”

Govil continued:

The documentary follows the story of the five art directors and copywriters who made the original ads as they come out of retirement to “Re: Brief” their classic campaigns: Harvey Gabor (Coca-Cola’s “Hilltop); Amil Gargano (Volvo’s “Drive it like you hate it”); Paula Green (Avis’ “We try harder”); and Howie Cohen and Bob Pasqualina (Alka-Seltzer’s “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing”). While major shifts in technology have reshaped the advertising business, as we learned from our heroes of the past, the basic tenets of storytelling haven’t changed. We found these icons’ ideas, wisdom and passion for great advertising inspiring and hope you do as well.

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Larry Page will miss Google I/O and Q2 earnings call due to health, analyst questions excuse [Video]

One Wall Street analyst is calling into question Google’s co-founder, Larry Page, and his health, due to the executive’s notable absence from the company shareholders’ meeting on Thursday.

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, who bequeathed his CEO title to Page in April 2011, told shareholders that the chief executive “lost his voice.” Schmidt further revealed Page would not attend the Google I/O developer conference next week or Google’s Q2 earnings call next month (as seen in the video above). Page will, however, maintain his post duties and continue an active role at Google while his voice recuperates over the next few weeks.

According to Canada.com, a Google representative explained that Page was “asked to rest.” No more information on the CEO’s mysterious voice condition is available at this time, but JP Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth debated Google’s excuse for Page in a note to investors today:

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Flipboard officially comes to Android phones, smaller tablets

After long being an exclusive to iOS, Flipboard has finally rolled out a free official application for Android devices. The application is available across Android’s multiple App Stores and is compatible with Android phones running Android 2.2 and above. The application, however, is not available on 10-inch tablets, currently staying exclusive to smaller Android tablets like the popular Kindle Fire. The new version of Flipboard adds Google+ and YouTube integration. Flipboard will come included with the U.S. variant of the Galaxy S III.

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