The Starbucks app on Android has always been on the forefront of mobile payment and technology features, and this evening, the app has received an update making it even more useful for customers. Bumping the app to version 2.7, the update today adds a handful of new features, including the ability to pay tips digitally and shake your phone to pay.
The above photo has been making the rounds on the internet, especially on Google+ where the vast majority of users are definitely on the Android side of the pond. Put together by Ron Amadeo of ArsTechnica, the little graphic compares the specifications of the iPhone 6, which was only announced yesterday, to Google and LG’s Nexus 4, which was released in November of 2012.
It’s finally all coming together. As many suspected would eventually happen, Google Hangouts is finally—in an update rolling out over the next few days—going to be getting integration with Google Voice. The latter service seemed to definitely be getting neglected by Google as of late, with much of the company’s focus going to its Hangouts platform. But it appears that Voice may even moreso eventually become a thing of the past because, starting today, Google is putting it straight into Hangouts as part of a new update to its apps across Android, iOS, and the web.
Probably ill-advised timing but why not?
“Know your competition, but don’t copy it.” Those words of wisdom come from the image above accompanying a message put on the entirely original – not a copy of Facebook – Google+ by Google executive chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt. Schmidt is promoting his new book with Jonathan Rosenberg called How Google Works due out next month where the billionaire lays out the principles that made Google what it is today.
Included with the lemonade stand image and ‘don’t copy’ caption is another Schmidt line on originality and competition. “Playing catch-up with the competition will never help you get ahead by creating something new,” Schmidt says. Google would be the “hard” boozy lemonade to the competitions’ fresh lemonade. In the case of Google Plus, the booze could be the hangouts or perhaps the photo editing features or integration with other Google products.
Now picture this tidbit from Walter Isaacson’s biography of the late Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs:
“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,” Jobs said. “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”
It’s hard to deny that Android started looking a lot more like iOS after the iPhone’s introduction, and iOS has clearly borrowed its fair share of features from Google’s mobile operating system, but there’s no denying that Schmidt’s message could be challenged. File this one with the rest under Talking Schmidt.
The latest enterprise market share data from Good Technology shows that Android gained five points from iOS, hitting almost a third of the market at 32 percent while iOS fell from 72 to 67 percent. Windows Phone remains flat (and irrelevant) at just 1 percent. (BlackBerry data is not included as the company uses its own servers and activations are invisible to Good Technology.)
What’s particularly impressive about the numbers is that Good’s technology mostly connects mobile devices to Exchange servers and organizations that use Google services for enterprise, which are more likely to Android, aren’t being counted here…
It may look like iOS, but this functional “Wico6″ iPhone 6 clone is actually running a heavily skinned version of Android. Published by YouTuber Danny Winget, this functional clone mimics Apple’s iPhone in almost every way possible, all the way down to the packaging and accessories. So what’s the big deal? Apple clones pop up all of the time. Well, the Wico6 is designed to look like all of the iPhone 6 dummies we’ve seen up to the point.
This “fully functional” device does work as a smartphone (SIM card slot and all), but it’s not running iOS. There’s nothing fancy here as far as specifications go, but its user interface is shockingly detailed and does a very good job mimicking iOS. This device is powered by a 2.4GHz quad-core MediaTek processor, 2GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, and has a 4.7-inch display with a resolution of 960 x 540 (234 ppi). Nothing impressive, but apparently it gets the job done.
Happy birthday, Chromecast! That’s what Google is saying today as it announced the HDMI media streaming stick has been used to cast content 400 million times in the 12 months since it launched. The Chromecast, of course, allows you to stream content from services like Netflix, Hulu, and Pandora to your HDTV from your Android or iOS as well as your computer via the Chrome browser.
We’ve added hundreds of your favorite apps, including WatchESPN, Pandora, Hulu Plus, HBO GO and PBS Kids; announced new features like mirroring your Android device to the TV and expanded to 30,000 stores across 20 countries.
That’s certainly a lot of casting from the $35 accessory, and Google is giving all Chromecast users 90 days of its Google Play Music All Access service for free to celebrate. The offer to redeem 3 months of free access to the $9.99/month music subscription service will run from today, July 24th, through September 30th, for all existing Chromecast customers not already subscribed to All Access. Read more
Flesky, a popular third-party keyboard option for Android, is rolling out version 3.0 that brings a refreshed user-interface design, new premium features, and more languages. Fleksy makes typing on smartphones quicker using a combination of advanced text prediction and an iOS QuickType-like function for predicting the next complete word in a sentence.
Today’s refreshed design brings clearer letters and new color tones. Besides the included color variations, users of the paid version of Fleshy from Google Play will be able to purchase additional themes through the keyboard’s settings. There will be six paid themes, and paid Fleksy users will receive one premium download at no cost. Fleksy is also bringing 17 new languages out of beta and enhancing the 40 previously available languages.
Amazon’s worst kept secret, an all-you-can-read Kindle eBook service, is now live. Dubbed Kindle Unlimited, this $10 per month subscription service grants its members unlimited access to over 600,000 ebooks and thousands of audiobooks. Highlights of the library include:
The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Harry Potter series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt, Water for Elephants, Oh Myyy! – There Goes The Internet, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People… plus thousands of classics such as Animal Farm, To the Lighthouse and 2001: A Space Odyssey…
Kindle Unlimited members will also get free access to Audible’s library of over 150,000 audiobooks for 3-months. After which, you’ll presumably need to pay the standard rate of $14.95 per month.
Full press release follows: