Google unveils Android M with Android Pay, new features in tow

May 30, 15 Google unveils Android M with Android Pay, new features in tow

Posted by in OS and Apps

The next Android version will soon be available, as Google took the wraps on a Dev Preview version of the new OS currently known as ‘M’ at this year’s i/O conference. The new major update presents key elements focuses on “quality end-to-end” with core user experience improvement, along with six new features to accompany it. One of them is the launch of Android Pay on the OS, replacing Google Wallet as the standard for all Android devices. It will use NFC and host card emulation, touting “simplicity, security and choice.” It will support major cards such as MasterCard, Visa, and American Express, and will roll out on over 700,000 merchants in the US. Another is the reinvention of app permissions, where the OS now utilizes a smaller set and asks for your permission when a certain feature of your device is used, like what they do on iOS. For example, A pop-up permission dialog box will appear when Whatsapp wants to use your microphone, and the same when Viber wants to gain access to your camera. Android M also brings other nifty features for applications. The new version allows to have Chrome custom Tabs in any app, allowing you to have autofill passwords and such. App Links, on the other hand, saves you the trouble of ‘open with’ dialog boxes and directly go to the app needed. Last but not the least,  Google never stopped developing battery and power improvements, as seen on the new version as well. A “Doze” feature promises a smarter battery management by checking if your device is put in a stationary mode and will “exponentially back off background activity to go into a deeper sleep state” based on information acquired. Real time alarms or respond to chat requests will still pass through, but most of its background apps will slow down or stopped. Google also expanded its compatibility with Android M, adding USB-C to its support list. Shall we see more Android devices sporting the new USB standard soon? What sweet confectionery will be the highlight of...

read more

LG Nexus 5 is now available exclusively on Smart, free on Unli Data Plan 1500

Smart and LG recently launched the latest Google Phone, the Nexus 5, which is now available exclusively on Smart Postpaid and Prepaid. The LG Nexus 5 16GB (32GB not available), which comes in black and white, will be available in different Smart postpaid plans but becomes free starting at Smart Unli Data Plan 1500. With this plan, you’ll get 120 free SMS, 60 minutes worth of free calls to all networks, and unlimited LTE (where applicable). If you want it on a more flexible plan, it’s also free on Smart’s All In Plan 1800. For those who want it on prepaid, it’s priced at Php22,500. Yes I know, it’s a bit high for a Google-branded device considering you can get it for $350 (prior to tax) on Google Play if you’re in the US. The Nexus 5 is the first smartphone to run on Google’s Android KitKat which gives you smoother performance and better voice-command integration as demoed during the launch. It has a 4.95-inch Full HD display, and runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 2.26GHz quad-core processor with 2GB RAM, and a 16GB storage with no microSD slot. The back has a matte finish and houses the 8-megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilization. It supports LTE, comes with built-in wireless charging and has a non-removable 2300mAh battery to round up its specs. It’s a a powerful device and should appeal those who want their Android phones as bare and basic as they can get but with the benefit of being able to update as quickly as Google can release them. Related posts: Smart Gold offers Unlimited Data Plans Smart’s Netphone 701 turns out to be Smart’s bestselling handset Important things you need to know about the Smart Sun Dual Plan 549 Smart’s ‘Tri-net’ prepaid offer lets you play more with Smart, Sun, and Talk ‘N Text subscribers Smart to offer the BlackBerry Z10 for free on Unli Data Plan 2000 Samsung Galaxy S4 is free on Smart’s Unli Data Plan 1500 for...

read more

Google Maps for mobile gets turn-by-turn navigation in the Philippines

If you’re an avid use of Google Maps on your mobile device, you’ll be happy to know that turn-by-turn navigation is already available for the country. It’s still in beta though so don’t expect accurate and up-to-date navigation just yet. This turn-by-turn navigation feature has been officially announced for Android devices brought by the localization efforts by Google for Philippines. If you’re on Android, updating your Google Maps should give you this feature. No word yet for Google Maps for the iOS as the app has been removed from the local App Store when iOS 6 came out along with Apple Maps. However, if you have Google Maps installed in your iOS device, the turn-by-turn local navigation will already be a part of the app. I tried it out earlier heading to the office from home and for the most part, navigation is good with fast rerouting if you choose not to follow it. There are also voice overs which include street names (Pa-Sei-Yow Dei Rowk-sas anyone?) so that’s a plus compared to your regular GPS devices and local navigation apps. Clicking the Car icon will show you available routes you can choose from. It wasn’t able to recognize the shortcut roads Waze taught me but one-way street recognition seem to work here in Makati. It did instruct me to turn left on a “no left turn” street though so just ignore obvious violations and let the app reroute you. Oh, and it didn’t recognize which side of the building I should approach unlike with Waze, it directed me at the back where the parking entrance and lobby are located. Still, Google Maps local navigation feature looks already polished for a beta release and it’s just a matter of time for Google map-makers to make it more accurate. Related posts: Google finally sets up shop in the Philippines Google buys Waze social mapping and nagivation app for $1...

read more

Google buys Waze social mapping and nagivation app for $1 billion

Earlier this week, Google Inc. completed a deal that brings Israel-based crowd-sourced mapping and navigation app, Waze, to their fold for $1 billion, away from rivals Apple and Facebook. What makes Waze a unique navigation app is that real-time traffic and road status information is possible since it is crowd-sourced from the Waze community in the area. Once you start using Waze for your turn-by-turn navigation, you already contribute to the traffic situation in your area based on the speed you are going. It’s a very useful tool especially here in Manila where roads are often congested from traffic or road works. It’s also a powerful navigation tool since locations and points of interests are gathered from various sources including Foursquare, another crowd-sourced location app. According to Google’s Vice President for Geo, Brian McClendon, this acquisition aims to enhance Google Maps with some of the traffic update features provided by Waze, and in turn, enhance Waze with Google’s search capabilities. Waze CEO, Noam Bardin, assures the Waze community that the brand, service and organization, responsibilities, and processes will remain the same. It’s still unclear whether Google plans to fully absorb Waze into its own mapping service or keep it as a separate product. Waze is a free app that works on both Android and iOS. Related posts: No related...

read more

Play Atari’s Breakout on Google’s image search

To commemorate the 37th year of Atari’s Breakout, Google create a little easter egg on their image search that will surely take a few minutes of your time. If you don’t know the game Breakout, it’s a game inspired by Pong, then in turn inspired the game called Arkanoid which you probably know. The object of the game is to clear all bricks by bouncing a ball off your paddle. Of course Breakout is the most simplest form of the game without any power-ups or anything to slow down the ball, or make your paddle longer… you know what I mean if you’re a fan of such games. To play Breakout in Google, simply go to image search and type in “atari breakout.” The image results will turn into blocks which you have to break through. Related posts: No related...

read more

Google Translate now handles Cebuano

Sa unsa nga paagi ang imong buhaton? Sounds right? Or no? That’s how Google translates “how do you do” in Cebuano. If you find yourself traveling in Central Visayas or some parts of Mindanao and need to communicate in Cebuano, Google Translate can now help you somehow. The translation above may seem a bit off, but it’s still in the “alpha stage” and is expected to be improved over time. Google Translate has recently added Cebuano to its list of languages along with four others (Bosnian, Hmong, Javanese, and Marathi) bumping its hosted language to 70. “Familiarizing ourselves with other languages broadens our comprehension for information. It adds more meaning and sincerity in a conversation, too. Cebuano is an important language to us and we hope to have helped ease the language barrier with Google Translate,” said Gail Tan, Google Philippines Communications Manager. You can access Google Translate via your web browser at https://translate.google.com; on Android or iOS devices; via Google Chrome, and on Gmail. Related posts: Google PH launches local elections-related resource...

read more

Google PH launches local elections-related resource page

Google Philippines, along with various local media outlets, collaborated to bring Filipino voters a one-stop online hub for local elections-related news and information. Google.com.ph/elections curates stories from broadcast networks such as ABS-CBN, GMA, PTV, and SOLARtv, as well as online news portal Rappler, Philstar.com, Inquirer.net, and Interaksyon.com so Filipino voters local and abroad can stay updated about the coming polls. The Election page also hosts up-to-date broadcast coverage and live-streamed debates from the networks’ YouTube channels. Elections-related incidents provided by the online news collaborators are also plotted on Google Maps embedded on the page to inform the public about events taking place in different parts of the country. This will help election watchers focus on hotspots and monitor how events are unfolding in these areas. “Through the different components we included on the page, Filipinos can discuss issues with the candidates, or exchange views with reporters or other citizens on Google+ Hangouts. There’s a lot of information on it, from political party backgrounds to list of candidates, so there’s less reason for voters not to be updated with the daily grind of the election season,” said Ryan Morales, Google Philippines Head of Marketing. Another key component of the page is the Precinct Finder, which makes voting centers easy to find based on city, region and the voter’s precinct number. Precinct locations are currently being plotted on Google Maps by volunteers and will be available on the page before May 13, 2013. The Philippine Elections page is the first online initiative to bring together multimedia content from the country’s large media outfits. This collaboration between the networks and Google aims to encourage people to be more participative and critical of what candidates aspire for the nation. It also allows voters to have a deeper understanding of politics and governance through engagement with the candidates. Google created its first elections page five years ago when its engineers noticed a huge increase in search traffic around the election period in the United States. Today, 16 countries including...

read more

Google to shut down Google Reader

If you’re one of the users of Google Reader, like me, then it’s time to looks for a new feed subscription reader. Google just announced that they are retiring their Google Reader service which will have its last of duty on July 1, 2013. They stated two reasons for doing so: declining usage activity and to pour their resources into fewer products. If you want to retain your Reader data, including subscriptions, you can do so through Google Takeout. It’s not just Google Reader that is getting the ax though. Included in their spring cleaning are Building Maker, BlackBerry support for Google Voice app, Cloud Connect, Apps Script’s GUI builder and UiApp widgets, Search API for shopping and the CalDAV API unless you’re a whitelisted developer. So what reader will you be using next to replace Google Reader? Or what service would you suggest for those look for an alternative? [via Google Reader Blog] Related posts: No related...

read more

Google finally sets up shop in the Philippines

For the longest time, local Google initiatives usually stem out from Google Singapore but now, the company realized the need to invest on a Manila office to initiate efforts that will improve services to address the needs specific to the Filipino market. “The Philippines is a key country in Southeast Asia in terms of its digital economy and tech-savvy population. This new office will allow us better engage with our local users, partners and advertisers. Over 33 million Filipinos access the Internet regularly to study, shop, search for ideas, opportunities, create news businesses, and connect to each other. And Internet use in the Philippines is set to grow exponentially. Research indicates that the number of Filipinos online will have nearly doubled by 2016!” said Julian Persaud, Managing Director of Google in Southeast Asia. Yesterday, Google formally announced the opening of their Manila office which is headed by freshly-appointed country manager, Narciso Reyes, who brings to his role over 16 years of digital marketing and finance experience in Asia and the US. “We’re excited to be deepening our investment in the Philippines with the opening of our office here in Manila. Our local team will be committed to providing better services to our Filipino users and to helping businesses — large and small — grow locally and globally, contributing to the growth of the Philippine economy. We envision Google as part of everyday Filipino lives and as a partner in the development of local communities, culture and business,” said Narciso Reyes. If you want to join the Google Manila team, they are currently hiring although job openings can be viewed on its website, www.google.com.ph/jobs, in the coming days. Related posts: No related...

read more

Google bares Nexus 7 with HSPA+, brings down 16GB WiFi to $199

Planning to make your iPad Mini vs Nexus 7 decision much harder, Google recently bared a few interesting developments to their 7-inch Google Nexus 7 tablet. First is a Google Nexus 7 version with HSPA+ that comes in 32GB version only. This one already comes with the latest Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update which has a few new features on its own – multiple user support, 360-degree panoramic shooting mode called Photo Sphere, Google Now and Gesture Typing. The unlocked version of the Nexus 7 with HSPA+ will retail for just $299. This is way cheaper than Apple’s iPad mini with LTE that starts at $459 for the 16GB model. You’ve probably heard that Google already phased out the 8GB model of the Nexus 7. With this, the 16GB WiFi version now retails for $199 and Google introduced a 32GB WiFi version for only $249. So what do you think? Is the Google Nexus 7 turning out to be your 7-inch tablet of choice? Related posts: Google unveils the Nexus 7, 7-inch Android 4.1 tablet for $199 First Impressions: Google Nexus 7 Google Nexus 7 or Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0? Google Nexus 7 arriving late October with a sub-P14k...

read more
Page 1 of 3123