United States Stories April 5, 2016

huawei-logo

On the eve of the P9 event in London, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Huawei plans to launch a flagship phone in the US later this year. Entering the US market is a part of its broader plan to compete in the premium phone market and shed its image of making low-end devices.

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United States Stories February 5, 2016

Huawei starts selling its GX8 mid-range phone in the United States

Huawei recently announced the Mate 8 for intenernational markets and brought its low-end Honor 5X to the United States, but the company apparently isn’t stopping there. Today, the Chinese company began selling another smartphone in the United States. As per its Amazon listing the US version of the Huawei GX8 is available for $350…

United States Stories December 18, 2015

Check out this 360 degree holiday tour of the White House on YouTube [Video]

360 degree video has taken off this year, and now yet another creation use of the technology is hitting YouTube. Just in time for the holidays, the White House has taken to YouTube to upload a 360 degree video tour of the decked out temporary residence and workplace of the President of the United States.

Beyond just being a 360 video that you can pan around, this video also offers 3D options for those that have a pair of classic 3D glasses laying around. Also, as with any 360 degree video on YouTube, you can also head over to your mobile device and pan around the video using your phone’s gyroscope. There’s also Google Cardboard support.

United States Stories December 12, 2015

Honor-5X

We told you a few days ago that Honor, a brand of primarily low-end smartphones owned by Huawei, sent out invites for an event early next year at CES. The wording in that invite was very vague, mentioning only new “creative and smart technology,” but now we have more of an idea what the company has planned. As we previously speculated, it appears Honor is planning to officially enter the United States market… expand full story

United States Stories November 6, 2015

ASUS ZenFone 2 Deluxe ‘Special Edition’ arrives in the US at $399 w/ 128 GB of storage

We already heard about the ZenFone 2 Deluxe when it was announced for India a few months ago, but now the phone is available in the United States in the form of a “Special Edition” model. It’s not all too different from the standard ZenFone 2 (which is actually a pretty decent phone for the money), but it adds to the package a couple of fancified back covers and 128 GB of flash storage.

Its specs are pretty much identical to the ZenFone 2. There’s an HD IPS 5.5-inch display, 13-megapixel/5-megapixel rear and front cameras, respectively, and a 2.3GHz 64-bit Intel Atom processor with 4 GB RAM and 4G LTE. The Special Edition inherits dual-SIM capabilities, and sadly, you’ll probably be stuck with Android 5.0 Lollipop for a while with this phone.

We’ve found the phone for $399 at Amazon, Newegg, and B&H Photo Video, but it doesn’t seem to available quite yet at the time of this writing.

United States Stories October 28, 2015

Redmi2Pro_1

Xiaomi has reiterated what feels like a half dozen times that the United States is in its long-term view, so that shouldn’t come as much surprise to those who have payed close attention to the words of VP of International Hugo Barra, and more recently, reports from The Wall Street Journal. But interestingly, we now have tangible evidence that the company might be doing just a bit more than just “thinking” about coming to the US. If new documents (via Lilliputing) are to be believed, the company is already seeking FCC approval to bring one of its phones, the Xiaomi Redmi 2 Pro, to the United States… expand full story

United States Stories September 17, 2015

The constitutions of 13 countries now show up as Knowledge Graph results

Google is always expanding the information it offers at the top of search results, with the goal being to keep users within Google itself — no longer needing to navigate to external websites. Today, the Mountain View company has announced that it is adding constitutions from 13 different countries to the top of your search results page…

According to Google’s Inside Search blog:

The Constitute Project helps people access, compare and analyze the world’s constitutions. Now we’re adding more of this content to our search results, so you can find the full text for the United States Constitution—or constitutions from 12 other countries—right at the top of your search results page. To try it out, type (or say) “constitution” into Google Search or the Google App and a box will pop up with the Preamble for the United States Constitution and a drop-down menu where you can see all of the accompanying articles and amendments.

The new feature comes in partnership with the Constitute Project, a group that hopes to give people more access to world constitutions. Of course, the United States constitutions is one of the many you’ll be able to access. Besides the US, there’s Afghanistan, Bhutan, Estonia, Finland, France, Iceland, Japan, Laos, Latvia, Micronesia, Norway and Ukraine.

Just head over to Google and search for “constitution of [your country]” and you’ll be given many drop down menus that let you get a full glimpse of these documents. Of course, Google says that it is looking into adding more countries in the future.

United States Stories August 24, 2015

Google has its own enterprise-grade cloud storage offering which competes with the likes of Amazon and Microsoft for storing data from big Internet players like Snapchat and Netflix. Now you can send your data to their cloud in the most literal, or most lazy, way ever before possible.

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United States Stories August 20, 2015

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HTC may be in financial difficulty, but it’s still churning out decent phones. One of the most recent to hit the market is the Desire 626. It’s a competitively priced, attractive mid-range device. But with the new 3rd-generation Moto G on the market, is it worth buying?

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United States Stories August 18, 2015

Is it happening again? It might be happening again. Verizon Wireless is still evaluating whether or not to support Samsung’s soon-to-be-launched mobile payments service, Samsung Pay, on its devices, according to a representative we spoke with from the company.

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United States Stories August 13, 2015

Google is testing its Project Wing unmanned aircrafts, otherwise known as drones, over United States soil with quiet approval by NASA, according to a new report by the Guardian. The technology giant would otherwise have to receive a 333 exemption by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a waiver issued to commercial companies testing the use of UASs (unmanned aircrafts), as the commercial operation of these aircrafts is banned in the United States.

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United States Stories July 30, 2015

Google Play minimum price now Rs. 10 in India, Play Movies goes live in Indonesia and Malaysia (Update: Singapore too)

Update: Google posted to Google+ shortly after we published this to announce that Play Movies is actually now available in three new countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. Our report below doesn’t mention Singapore as a new supported country.

Google Play and Play Movies are both getting some international love today. Play is Google’s store for apps and games, while Play Movies contains movie and television content.

First up, developers in India can now price their Play Store apps lower than ever before: Rs. 10, which comes out to approximately 10 cents in US dollars. This is major because while India is a rapidly developing country with many starting to rise to the middle class, its per capita GDP is still much smaller than that of the United States. Also, and this is just my opinion, 10 cents is much more of a impulse buy area. This new minimum pricing only applies to India. Google recently began selling Play Store gift cards in the country as well – India is very reliant on cash over plastic (credit, debit cards), so by making gift cards available that can be purchased with cash, the company has ostensibly increased its potential customer base in that country.

Also new today, or at least very recently, is the launching of Play Movies in Indonesia and Malaysia. Several people have reached out to Android Police as of late with tips and screenshots of its availability in the two countries, so it’s pretty assured to be real. Play Movies is, as mentioned, Google’s movie and television entertainment store for Android devices. The company also rents out video content through YouTube, although the availability of both of these varies widely by region and country.

United States Stories July 16, 2015

HTC One M9+ heading to Europe soon

HTC has confirmed that its HTC One M9+ (the boosted version of the regular M9) will be heading to Europe soon. Initially, the smartphone was only available to buy in China.

For now, that’s all the detail we have. HTC is yet to confirm which specific countries it’ll be available in, or which carriers will be selling the M9+.

To say that initial reaction to the HTC One M9 was muted would be something of an overstatement. In many ways, the One M9+ is the phone we all hoped the regular M9 would be. It features a 5.2-inch QHD (2560×1440) display, a fingerprint scanner and 20MP Duo Camera covered with sapphire crystal glass. Unlike the M9, it doesn’t use the Snapdragon 810 chip, instead opting to go with the 2.2GHz MediaTek helio X10 with 3GB RAM. It also offers expandable storage via MicroSD on top of the internal 32GB flash drive. It’s got everything any spec-hungry consumer could possibly want.

Sadly, there’s still no mention of when (or if) the phone might make it across to the States. HTC has recently announced that it is partnering with multiple U.S. carriers to launch a handful of mid-range, budget-friendly smartphones. Although that helps the manufacturer boost its presence in the American market, it’ll do little to comfort those who really wanted to buy the M9+.

United States Stories July 14, 2015

T-Mobile announces new Family Plan: $120 for four 10GB lines

T-Mobile’s Uncarrier Amped moves are still going strong. Just days after announcing its cross-border ‘Mobile Without Borders’ plan, the magenta carrier has unveiled a brand new family plan.

With the new plan, two customers can get 10GB per line for $100 per month. Each additional line is then $20 per person, each with 10GB data allowance. As a special offer, T-Mobile is also giving customers a fourth line for free. Between now and Labor day, customers will be able to sign up to four lines with 10GB data on each, for $120 per month.

United States Stories July 8, 2015

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It was ruled as part of the ‘right to be forgotten‘ case in Europe last year that individuals could request to have links removed from Google search results, and now another group is calling for that right to be expanded to the United States. An activist group on Tuesday filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission that Google needs to expand the ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling to the United States, arguing that users should have the right to have inaccurate links removed from search results (via The Hill).

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United States Stories June 30, 2015

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After research firm comScore released data last month indicating that Android’s share of the US smartphone OS market dropped 1 percent during the three months ending in April, Kantar Worldpanel has its own research out which says the OS is gaining momentum stateside again.

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United States Stories June 29, 2015

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The number of railroad crossing accidents that occur in the United States has declined 80 percent since 1970, but last year that number inexplicably rose 9 percent to approximately 1,100, 270 of which resulted in deaths. Today Google and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced a partnership in which Maps users will receive audio and visual alerts when they’re coming close to a railroad crossing in their route, according to a report in the New York Times. The FRA has a vast database of every rail crossing in the country.

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United States Stories June 26, 2015

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The United States Supreme Court ruled today in favor of the union of same-sex couples, effectively giving new civil rights to LGBT couples by declaring that states cannot ban same-sex marriage, and Google is going all-out in its celebration.

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Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra: Full Interview at Code Conference (Video) | Re:code 2015-06-26 09-13-04

Hugo Barra, perhaps best known for his involvement with the Android team in its earlier days at Google, is now based over in China working at a company late last year named as the most valuable startup in the world. Known for its high-quality budget Android phones, TV sets, smart device accessories, wearables, and more, Xiaomi hasn’t yet officially launched any of these products in the US. Barra spoke to this at Re/code‘s Code Conference recently, mentioning the company’s long-term plan to eventually make it to United States shores despite many challenges… expand full story

United States Stories June 3, 2015

huawei-ascend-p8

As expected, the Huawei P8 Lite has now landed in the United States. The phone isn’t exactly the first of its kind—the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 and the ZenFone 2 fall into the same category—but it’s a notable addition to the available mid-range offerings in the US. It’s a stripped down version of the company’s P8, as you might expect… expand full story

United States Stories May 15, 2015

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Xiaomi is going to very slowly start its entry into Europe and the United States next week, according to a post from the company’s Facebook page. Starting on the 19th of May, the company will offer a small selection of accessories—including power banks and headphones—to buyers in the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany… expand full story

United States Stories May 7, 2015

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comScore today released a new U.S. smartphone manufacturer and platform market share report for the three month period ending in March. The data suggests that while the continued strength of iPhone 6 adoption has resulted in market share gains for Apple, Android is still the most popular smartphone platform in the United States.

During the measured period, comScore reports that 187.5 million people in the United States owned smartphones, which equates to 77 percent of the total population. Of that, Apple was the most popular OEM (original equipment manufacturer) with 42.6 percent of U.S. smartphone subscribers (up 1% from December), followed by Samsung with 28.3 percent market share (down 1% from December), and LG taking third place with 8.4 percent (up 0.4% from December).

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United States Stories April 8, 2015

LG giving out 4000 G4 Smartphones to consumers in 15 countries in social media push

LG would like you to get social with its upcoming G4 smartphone launch.

SEOUL, April 8, 2015 — As part of its most ambitious smartphone introduction yet, LG Electronics (LG) will select 4,000 consumers in 15 countries who will “test drive” the all new LG G4 smartphone weeks before its official launch. Kicking off today in Korea, the program will target consumers in the following 14 other markets in the days ahead: Turkey, Indonesia, Singapore, United States, China, India, Brazil, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Mexico, Japan and Hong Kong.

Participants will be selected from applicants based on their entry responses (selection criteria may vary in each market). Individuals can increase their chances of being selected by sharing their application experience on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Weibo. Once selected, participants in each country will be given an LG G4 for up to 30 days to experience its unique design and features, including its personalized UX, high performance camera and impressive display for sharing online. Participants will be given various assignments to carry out over the course of their experience with prizes awarded.

“Customers are our best fans and we think this would be an exciting and unique way to get our most important mobile product of the year close to the public,” said Juno Cho, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “We’re putting the success of LG G4 in the hands of consumers before the launch because we believe they are the best judge of a great user experience, beyond just benchmarks and speed tests.”

Interested consumers in participating markets are encouraged to check the local LG web page and social media sites in the coming days for more details on how to participate.

“Customers are our best fans” indeed.

United States Stories March 30, 2015

Want to work for Google in the US? Here are the five main jobs for which foreigners are hired

If Google’s recent job listings for Google Glass has tempted you to consider a move to the US, data from the Office of Foreign Labor Certification may provide a guide to your chances. Applications for H-1B visas–those allowing overseas workers to accept job offers in the US–reveal that top tech companies like Google mostly sponsor the visas for five main roles, reports TechCrunch.

By examining the most common professions among H-1B applicants for Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft, five consistent career paths emerged across each company. Software engineers, systems software engineers, financial analysts, computer systems analysts and marketing managers make up a large part of H-1B visa applications.

The salary data shows that the average salary paid to foreign workers employed in the USA by the five tech companies is highest at Facebook, at $135k, with Google second-placed at around $127k.

United States Stories March 26, 2015

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Google is one of ten tech giants to once again call on the US Government not to reauthorize the Patriot Act in its current form. The Act expires on 1st June unless it is renewed by Congress. Google was joined by Apple, AOL, Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo.

In an open letter to President Obama, NSA Director Admiral Rogers and other prominent government figures, the companies urge Congress to end the bulk collection of communications metadata–the logs that determine how and when ordinary citizens contact each other.

The letter says that mass surveillance must end, and that a revised bill must contain mechanisms to ensure that future government surveillance is both transparent and accountable …  expand full story

United States Stories February 10, 2015

health-info-animated

Google’s Knowledge Graph–which highlights fact-checked info at the top of certain types of search results–is being expanded to include health-related searches. So next time you want to check whether you have the common cold or a rare strain of Ebola, Google should provide the necessary reassurance.

Starting in the next few days, when you ask Google about common health conditions, you’ll start getting relevant medical facts right up front from the Knowledge Graph. We’ll show you typical symptoms and treatments, as well as details on how common the condition is—whether it’s critical, if it’s contagious, what ages it affects, and more. For some conditions you’ll also see high-quality illustrations from licensed medical illustrators.

Google says that the information is pulled from “high-quality medical sources across the web” and then checked by both its own doctors and others from the Mayo Clinic …  expand full story

United States Stories January 13, 2015

Google Domains public beta now available in United States

Following an invite-only rollout last June, Google Domains on Tuesday became available as a public beta in the United States. Google Domains is a domain name service, similar to GoDaddy or NameCheap, that enables users to search for, register and manage domain names. Alongside the public beta, Google has announced a number of new features to the service.

United States Stories November 27, 2014

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A European Parliament motion calling for the breakup of Google, separating out the search business from the company’s other activities, has been overwhelmingly approved, reports the WSJ.

In a vote in Strasbourg, 384 legislators voted in favor of the controversial initiative, with 174 against and 56 abstentions […]

“Clear adoption by the EP of Digital Single Market motion, including unbundling for search engine if needed,” tweeted Ramon Tremosa I Balcells, a lawmaker from Spain who backed the proposal.

The vote comes just a day after a separate European call for the controversial ‘right to be forgotten‘ ruling to be extended to google.com as well as the European versions of its sites …  expand full story

United States Stories November 14, 2014

Reminder: Samsung’s Galaxy Note Edge is available in the US from today, from $399.99

If you’ve been waiting to get your hands on Samsung’s quirky variant on the Note 4, the Note Edge is available today from AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and U.S. Cellular – as well as through the Samsung experience stores within Best Buy stores. Best Buy pricing starts at $399.99 on a new 2-year contract with AT&T, up to $1,599 for an unlocked model without contract.

While we found the device interesting during our hands-on test, the consensus view seems to be that the novelty of the wrap-around screen probably doesn’t justify the extra $100 over the standard Note 4, which our own Dom Esposito described as “the best phablet on the block.”

The Note Edge is also due to roll out in at least 22 other countries, though probably not until sometime next month.

United States Stories November 5, 2014

Samsung Gear Circle now available in United States at select T-Mobile stores

Samsung on Wednesday announced that the Gear Circle is now available in the United States at select T-Mobile stores nationwide, with an expanded rollout of the device at AT&T, Amazon and Samsung’s online store to take place later this month. Samsung’s Gear Circle will also be available in white exclusively from Best Buy locations in the future.

United States Stories October 30, 2014

Samsung Gear SSamsung on Thursday announced that it will be launching the Gear S smartwatch in the United States on next Friday, November 7th. The first 3G-connected smartwatch was originally announced in August and features a 2-inch curved Super AMOLED display, 1.0 GHz dual-core processor, network connectivity, 300 mAh battery and more.

The Gear S essentially doubles as a fitness tracker, with a myriad of sensors including an accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, heart rate monitor, ambient light sensor, UV sensor and barometer. The smartwatch is based on Samsung’s own Tizen software platform, a clear differentiation over Samsung’s other smartwatches and Android Wear. expand full story

United States Stories October 20, 2014

Spotify Family to offer half-price Premium subscriptions for additional family members

Anyone who has ever shared a Spotify Premium account with a partner or – worse – their kids will know the problems: arguments over who gets to use it when, and your playlists and recommendations polluted by the likes of Jason Mraz or the soundtrack from The Lego Movie.

Spotify Family will soon allow you to purchase additional Premium subscriptions for up to four family members for half-price. The first family member will continue to pay $10/month, but additional family members pay just $5/month.

Your account. Your music. With Spotify Family, everyone gets their very own account. Enjoy separate playlists and recommendations and play your music whenever you like.

Premium for everyone. Everyone on the plan gets the full Spotify Premium experience. Listen offline. Play any song, anytime, on any device. No restrictions. No ads.

The more the merrier. Having a family can be expensive. But music doesn’t have to be. With Spotify Family, you can add up to four family members to your account, and each additional user gets 50% off Spotify Premium.

No tantrums. No more fighting over what to listen to, and no more interruptions when someone else logs in and starts playing.

Spotify said a family membership has been one of its most requested features, and that the package will roll-out globally in the coming weeks.

Spotify apps are available for both Android and Windows, as well OS X and iOS. Spotify also made it to the Amazon Fire TV box last month.

United States Stories September 5, 2014

Sprint

U.S. national carrier Sprint announced today that it has signed 15 additional agreements with rural and regional carriers to cover 4G LTE roaming on its network. Rural and regional carriers participating with Sprint in the new agreements including New York and Pennsylvania’s Blue Wireless, Kentucky’s Bluegrass Wireless, Alabama’s Pine Belt Wireless, Idaho’s Syringa Wireless, and more including members and partners of the Rural independent Network Alliance.

With the 15 additional regional and rural partners announced today, Sprint says it not has 27 regional carrier partners across the United States. The announcement comes just one month after Sprint abandoned plans to acquire wireless carrier competitor T-Mobile and appointed a new CEO to lead the company. You can view a full list of Sprint’s newly announced additional 4G LTE roaming partners below and Sprint’s list of supported LTE locations here.

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United States Stories August 18, 2014

A mid-range phone powered by a Snapdragon 400 processor isn’t going to excite many people, but the Sharp Aquos Crystal coming later this year to Sprint does have one very appealing feature: a near-invisible bezel …  expand full story

United States Stories August 5, 2014

Photo: ibtimes.com

Photo: ibtimes.com

Samsung and Apple just announced that they have agreed to drop all patent suits against each other in countries outside the United States, Bloomberg reports. The two companies will drop suits against each other in Australia, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Netherlands, the U.K., France and Italy. This agreement does not include any licensing agreements, though. This has no effect on United States battles either.

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United States Stories July 28, 2014

New NPR One app curates stories and creates a personalized stream of content

NPR today released a new app for Android to the Google Play Store. The app, called NPR One, curates all public radio stations in the United States and creates a stream of stories you’ll want to listen to. NPR says that it’s “public radio made personal.

United States Stories July 25, 2014

 

First announced last month at a ceremony on June 9th, Samsung has shared some information about its new Samsung Tech Institute in Queretaro, Mexico near Mexico City. The company says representatives from the National Employment Service Delegation Queretaro attended that ceremony alongside corporate managers from Samsung.

The main objective of this program is to train technicians to address the importance and the needs of the production in order to improve living conditions and to provide employment opportunities for recent graduates, who constantly struggle to find job opportunities.

Below Samsung outlines the benefits of its program: expand full story

OECD data reveals one mobile Internet connection for every person in the U.S.

Data released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development reveals that there are now as many mobile Internet connections as there are people in the USA. While not everyone has a mobile data SIM or dongle, those with multiple devices make up for those left out, taking the average to a fraction over 100 percent.

Six other countries also manage to have more mobile data subscriptions than people, Finland topping the list with an average of 1.25 connections per person. The overall average across the 34 countries within the OECD grouping was 72.4 percent.

Via The Register

United States Stories July 18, 2014

Following a leaked image of the supposed NVIDIA Shield tablet yesterday, more details have emerged regarding the company’s future plans. According to information obtained by video game website “Video Cardz,” NVIDIA has a new lineup of devices called the “Shield Family” planned. Included in this line-up is the Shield gaming tablet, as well as a Shield Controller.

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United States Stories July 2, 2014

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Google today appears to be rolling out much wider support for its “Ok Google” command within Search. This update pertains solely to the ability to say “Ok Google” within Google Now and the search box to activate a command or search and have Google automatically detect when you say it. Previously, this feature was supported only in the US, Canada, France, and Germany. Today’s update adds support for 7 new language locales, including Italian, Portuguese, and Japanese. Google’s been testing these languages in these regions for a little while now, so it’s possible that you could have been one of the lucky testers.

  • English (now supports all accents / dialects)
  • Spanish (Spain and Mexico only)
  • Italian
  • Portuguese (Brazilian only)
  • Russian
  • Korean
  • Japanese

The update appears to be rolling out gradually, so it may take a little while to hit your device. You also need to be on the most recent version of the Google Search

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United States Stories June 23, 2014

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Update: Google Glass is now available on the Play Store in the UK for £1,000 and is available in black, red, white, charcoal and blue. Google says the device will ship from its warehouse in one or two business days. Glass still carries the Explorer tag and does not appear to be any different than the U.S. variant. You can view Glass on the Play Store here.

Original post: Ahead of Google I/O this week, Google Glass is now listed as being available in the United Kingdom on the Play Store support page. When the Nest Thermostat became available on Google Play, it too was prematurely posted on the Play Store support page for country availability. Should the support page be correct, the UK would be the first country besides the United States in which you can purchase Glass.

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United States Stories June 6, 2014

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Google has created a new Cultural Institute collection to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings that were instrumental in the allies winning World War 2.

The massive collection of hundreds of photos, letters and documents helps bring to life the largest seaborne invasion in history, with 130,000 British, American and Canadian troops landing on the beaches of Normandy, France. Almost one in ten of them were killed.

The collection includes Franklin D. Roosevelt’s prayer, complete with handwritten amendments, and top-secret progress reports from Eisenhower to Marshall …  expand full story

United States Stories June 4, 2014

After several months of rumors, Sprint is reportedly finally nearing a deal to acquire T-Mobile USA. The two have reportedly been in negotiations for awhile now, but they have apparently finally reached an agreeable number. The deal, as it stands now, would have Sprint acquiring the Uncarrier for $31.3 billion. T-Mobile currently has about $15 billion in debt and $5 billion in cash. Sprint is valuing the company at roughly $40 a share.

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United States Stories May 29, 2014

Crowd-sourced crime-reporting and safety app Tapshield goes public

A crowd-sourced crime-reporting and safety app trialled on selected university campuses has now been rolled out to everyone. Tapshield allows real-time viewing of crime stats and suspicious activity in an area, and allows you to summon help when in trouble.

An award-winning mobile safety app and response dashboard, TapShield uses collaboration and crowd-sourcing to build safer communities & improve response times. Think of TapShield as your social safety network with you wherever you want to go.

The way the app works is that users can report crimes in progress and anything else they spot that concerns them, and those locations and incidents are then automatically shown to other Tapshield users in the area.

When a crime is reported, Tapshield sends a message to campus security when used within one of the participating colleges, and dials 911 when used elsewhere. You also have the option of sending a non-emergency alert to police when you see something that concerns you but which doesn’t justify an immediate emergency response – such as a bunch of street lights out, leaving a path in darkness.

If you have to make a journey that concerns you, you can specify your route and ETA and allow family and friends to follow your journey remotely, raising the alarm if you go off-route or don’t reach your destination when expected.

Finally, the app has a ‘yank’ mode, which automatically sends an alert if headphones are forcibly pulled from the device, such as when your phone is snatched by a thief.

Tapshield is a free download from Google Play.

Via TheNextWeb

United States Stories May 26, 2014

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A ruling by Europe’s top court that individuals have a right to require Google to remove sensitive information from search results is unlikely to apply in the USA, according to a number of commentators quoted in an Associated Press piece.

But across the Atlantic, the idea that users should be able to edit Google search results in the name of privacy is being slammed as weird and difficult to enforce at best and a crackdown on free speech at worst …

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United States Stories May 19, 2014

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There is a United States federal agency that specializes in collecting and cataloguing scientific research papers of all kinds. The NTIS — National Technical Information Service — will serve up files or paper copies of these records for $25 or $73, respectively. The issue, as pointed out by NPR, is that most of these records are available for free elsewhere, and are easier to find with Google than with the NTIS’ outdated website. And so, ever the enemy of a wasteful budget, Tom Coburn has introduced the Let Me Google That For You Act of 2014 to abolish the NTIS. expand full story

United States Stories May 16, 2014

The four largest carriers now support texting 911, but most emergency call centres don’t

When the FCC set a voluntary deadline of yesterday for putting in place technology to allow people to text 911, all four of the main national carriers complied. But since most emergency call centres aren’t yet equipped to receive texts, don’t expect to be using it any time soon.

The FCC said that the ability to text 911 could be a life-saver for those with hearing or speech impairments, as well as in situations where it might be dangerous to make a phone call – while a crime is in progress and the perpetrator within earshot, for example.

But the wireless trade association, the CTIA, warned that even where 911 texting is supported, it’s still impossible to guarantee immediate delivery of texts. We’ve all experienced examples of texts that arrive the next day, so the advice remains to make a voice call wherever possible.

The FCC has uploaded a list of emergency call centres accepting 911 texts. If you attempt to text 911 in an area where the service is not supported, you’ll get a text bounce-back. Needless to say, please do not test the service.

United States Stories May 12, 2014

After watching a mother’s day video shot entirely on Google Glass and designed to bring a lump to the throat of even the most hardened viewer, we noticed it followed a video posted a week or so ago celebrating the work of teachers, with some not too in-your-face plugs for Google products …  expand full story

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