Google Play Music finally arrived for iOS. I was happy with Apple’s iTunes Match and the features it provided but not the price.
iTunes Match ($24.99/ per year) allows access to your music library from iTunes on your computer or in the Music app on your iOS device. After using iTunes Match for a year, I found that I didn’t take advantage of the service enough to justify the expense. When it was time to renew I went back to manually syncing music from my computer.
I decided to give Google Play Music a shot, mostly because it is free and provided some great features. Right after installing I was impressed with the user interface and the layout of the app. Read more
Following is a hilarious video demonstrating the pitfalls of being a photographer using Google Glass.
T-Mobile officially started offering the white Nexus 4 along with its availability on the Google Play Store. T-Mobile is offering it for $19.99 down and $17 a month for 24 months ($427.99)
Google is offering the same device direct for a one time payment of $349 plus tax. Google is defiantly the cheaper route if you don’t mind paying for the device upfront.
The Nexus 4 in white has no change in specs from the original Nexus 4.
You can view the device at T-Mobile via this link and at the Google Play Store via this link.
Vic Gundotra who runs Engineering at Google started the event off with welcoming 6,000 attendees to the 6th annual Google I/O event in San Francisco, California. He also took the time to thank developers for building great applications.
Sundar Pichair who heads both Android and Chrome followed Vic Gundotra and shared a video with talking about the number of activations Android is experiencing. In 2012 they activated over 400 million Android devices, bring the total number today to 900 million.
Continuing with numbers, Hugo Barra took the stage to talk Android application development and downloads. Google Play has had over 48 billion apps installed with 2.5 billion being installed in the last month alone.
Google also announced they will have a Samsung Galaxy S4, Google Edition. The smartphone will be going on sale in the Google Play store on June 26th. The handset will be running Android 4.2.2. This will be a true Android experience without all the overlays and bloatware many manufactures install.
Google’s version of the Galaxy S4 will be an unlocked GSM model that works on AT&T and T-Mobile and will cost consumers $649.
Google also unveiled their music subscription service for $10 a month. There is a 30-day trail to give it a test drive. If Google Play Music All Access sounds like your cup of tea and you subscribe to this service before June 30th it will only cost $7.99 a month. Consider it a gift for being an early adopter.
Towards the end of the event keynote, Google showed off their next major version of Maps for Android. The new look will have a bigger search bar and has a much smoother look to it. There will also be Google Offers built into the redesigned app. This will allow for offers to be saved right from the Maps app and redeemed at the destination. The new Google Maps is set to arrive this summer.
Also announced was Goggle Hangouts for iOS, look for an individual write-up on that.
Today Google released Google Now on iOS. “The right information at just the right time”, states the demo video. From our experience with the Android version this is going to be a welcome addition to iOS.
Google Now gives you information at your fingertips, before you even ask for it. Google Now also gives you weather, traffic alerts, as well as live updates on sport scores, news, and updates on stories that you have been following. The more you use Google Now, the more relevant information it provides to you.
Google Now is built into the Google Search app update and is available via this link from the app store.
Below is a video of Google Now and you can follow this link to download the app.
Andy Rubin, founder of Android has decided that he is going to leave the Android team and start a “new chapter at Google”.
Android has a global partnership of over 60 manufactures, over 750 million devices activated (globally) and about 25 billion applications have been downloaded from the Google Play Store, under Rubin’s leadership.
Taking his place will be Sundar Pichai, who currently works with Chrome and Apps.
Larry Page, CEO stated in their Official Blog:
“So while Andy’s a really hard act to follow, I know Sundar will do a tremendous job doubling down on Android as we work to push the ecosystem forward”.
Happy First Birthday Google Play! A year ago today Google rebranded their Android Market to the Google Play Store, which offers more than just apps. Celebrating their birthday, Google is going to be offering discounts on their music, books, magazines, TV shows and exclusive gaming offers.
This celebration will carry on throughout the week. Check out the goodie bags and discount offers they are running via this link.
Google’s Senior Vice President of Engineering posted on his Google+ that he was packing for a trip to the mountains and was unsure which type of camera equipment to bring. “Obviously taking my Android phone and Google Glass,” he stated.
As comments started following one users wrote, “I hope that someday we will just carry our future Nexus and we won’t worry about any heavy camera (smiley face) is that possible +Vic Gundotra any way thank you for all the efforts you have already done”.
Gundotra replied, “We are committed to making Nexus phones insanely great cameras. Just wait and see.”
As phones become more and more apart of our lives, the camera quality on a smartphone has become more of a focus. Lets see if the next Nexus lives up to the Gundotra’s comment.
The Nexus 4 was first released by T-Mobile last year and the device became so popular that T-Mobile’s stock quickly ran out and the stock hadn’t been replenished until now. If you are in the market for the Nexus 4 on T-Mobile you better act fast before this batch of devices is gone too.
As with all providers T-Mobile is selling the Nexus 4 for $199 with a new two-year contract or if you don’t have an upgrade or would rather not extend your contract you can by the device out right for $599. T-Mobile is currently the only way to get the Nexus 4, if you are interested in the Nexus 4 and would like to check it out here is a link to the device’s page on T-Mobile’s website.
If what the Wall Street Journal is reporting is true, Apple is scrambling to remain a leader in the smartphone industry. The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple has cut component order by as much as 50%. This would be a huge indicator that iOS devices are not selling at the levels Apple expected.
There is no doubt Apple has been hurting in the last six months. Between a horrid Maps experience, a shake-up of executives, a falling stock price and loyal iPhone users looking over the fence at the greener grass on Google’s lawn. Android has defiantly taken a huge bite out of Apple and Apple has been slow to respond to the increased competition. Loyal users will only get you so far when your innovations slow down. You will hold them for a few product cycles but they will eventually move on if you can’t give them a device that outshines all others. Apple has to address the the number one thing said by Android users “Android already does that”.
During CES in Las Vegas last week I asked many diehard iOS users how they felt about the Apple ecosystem in general. The responses shocked me because the users all said the same basic thing that I have struggled with.
It boiled down to:
1. iOS is aging and needs a refresh with state of the art technology we have come to expect from Apple.
2. Apple needs to loosen up the strangle hold on developers and what is allowed in the app store. There should be no need for a jailbreak app store. Imagine a community where developers have much more control of their app. It wont happen but at least imagine it.
3. Investment, the iOS users I spoke to have huge investments like I do in Apple products and want that seamless functionality they have come to expect between Apple products. They also don’t want to have to reinvest in another OS.
4. Hope for iOS 7 and iPhone 6, These will be the devices and OS that either keep people with Apple and attract new users or push the loyal users away.
I am not an analyst looking at figures, graphs, stock prices and polls. I am the guy who talks to users everyday and count some of the most influential people in the smartphone industry as friends. Apple is far from being the next Nokia or RIM but there is no time like the present to take a stand and get things back in order before you start seeing articles that Ubuntu is now the second best selling device behind Android. It could happen.