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Posts tagged Google

App Review: Google Play Books for Android
June 17, 2014 | 12:19 pm

Screenshot_2014-06-17-10-57-52I hadn’t paid much attention to Google Play Books before. I’d installed and even paid for readers like Aldiko and Moon+ (TeleRead review), and snagged a couple freeish ones like UB Reader, but Play Books just sat in my app drawer, unused, like most of the pack-in Google apps. But when I came across this Lifehacker piece calling it “the best e-reader for Android,” I figured it was worth trying out. And darned if I don’t by and large agree. Offering a simple and easy-to-use reading interface and cloud reading-position sync with all books, Google Play Books is...

comScore U.S. rankings give Android OS lead, Apple still leading devices
June 5, 2014 | 3:11 pm

The latest numbers from comScore, Inc., "a global leader in digital measurement and analytics," showing U.S. mobile phone market share for April 2014, reveal that Android is now well entrenched as the Number One smartphone OS, with 52.5 percent of market share by platform, followed by Apple with 41.4 percent. Apple, however, continues to hold the lead in market share by device manufacturer, with 41.4 percent of the market, while Samsung comes in second at 27.7 percent....

Apple, eat this: Google snatches BrandZ brand crown
May 22, 2014 | 10:25 am

I'm an Android fanboy. You noticed? I just can't resist the urge to knock holes in the brickwork of walled gardens, and short-circuit reality distortion fields. Not to mention losing trust over anti-trust convictions. So when I see news that Google has knocked Apple off the top slot in the Millward Brown BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking, it makes me come over all warm and fuzzy. According to Millward Brown's own communication on the subject, "Google has overtaken Apple to become the world’s most valuable global brand in the 2014 BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brand ranking,...

Republic Wireless offers affordable hybrid VOIP/cell smartphone service
April 18, 2014 | 3:06 am

20140418_003539_HDRI’d previously mentioned switching to an Android smartphone with Virgin Mobile, and enjoying it as far as it went. However, lately my Virgin Mobile phone went belly-up. I’d already promised myself that when I got my new full-time job I would be switching to Republic Wireless, so this was a good opportunity. I’ve only had my new Motorola Moto X for a day or so, but I’m already pretty pleased with the phone and the service so far. If you’ve never heard of Republic Wireless, it’s a small no-contract smartphone startup based on a clever idea. If you’re like...

Two cheers for Chromecast?
April 14, 2014 | 10:32 am

As TeleRead readers will be well aware, Chromecast, Google's neat HDMI-compatible AV streaming dongle and its associated programs,  has been around for a while now; but it's only just made it to certain European markets, and courtesy of my parents, I may still be Hungary's pioneering Chromecast owner. And though I love the technology, my first impressions are mixed - in a way that might be down to the usual Big Media interference in simple user-friendly propositions. Yes, it's straightforward no-brain plug-and-play. Yes, it streams content to your TV screen or HDMI-compatible monitor over your WiFi network - (mostly) pretty seamlessly....

New Android Developer numbers confirm disappearance of older Androids
April 2, 2014 | 2:31 pm

The newest figures from the Android Developers Dashboards, released on April 1st but apparently no kind of April Fool's Day joke, confirm that KitKat, Google's latest version of its Android OS, is steadily carving out a bigger and bigger slice of the Android market pie, now at 5.3 percent of the total user base, compared to only 1.8 percent in early February. Meanwhile, the different versions of Jelly Bean now occupy 61.4 percent in all of the user base, with Ice Cream Sandwich at another 14.3 percent, yielding a total uptake of Android OS 4+ versions of 81 percent. The demise...

Android’s Lloyd looks set to bite into Apple right down to the core
March 29, 2014 | 6:25 pm

Research firm Gartner Inc.'s latest prognostication on sales of combined digital devices of all formats and operating systems, "Forecast: PCs, Ultramobiles, and Mobile Phones, Worldwide, 2011-2018, 1Q14 Update," has some pretty uncomfortable reading for Apple execs, or fanboys. For it found that worldwide device shipments of all kinds running Android OS, currently around one third of digital device shipments overall, are likely to rise to around half of all shipments of all OS types by 2015. The overall numbers of all types, and of Apple devices, though, are likely to grow only incrementally. "Google’s objective is to increase Android’s footprint, and...

Android Wear rollout secures smartwatch space for Google
March 19, 2014 | 12:30 pm

The full-force all-channel multi-announcement multi-product rollout of Android Wear and its supporting devices looks to have conquered the emerging smartwatch product category. Chris Meadows tagged the emerging Google smartwatch platform as the one to watch in this space a while back, and it looks like his call has been vindicated. And meanwhile, the much-vaunted iWatch is nowhere. " Today we’re announcing Android Wear, a project that extends Android to wearables," announced Sundar Pichai, SVP for Android, Chrome & Apps, on the official Google blog. "And we’re starting with the most familiar wearable—watches." Google already has a developer preview up and running with...

Google continues working on Ara modular smartphone project
February 27, 2014 | 11:42 am

arabackGoogle might have sold Motorola, but it turns out it hung onto the part of the company that’s been working on its Project Ara modular smartphone design. Time has an extensive feature about the project: turns out that Google is looking at creating a bare-bones design that would sell for as little as $50 for the base unit—possibly something that could be sold in convenience stores, much like pre-paid phones are now. The base unit would be little more than a screen, a frame, and a wi-fi radio; about like a low-end iPod Touch I suppose. You’d have to...

Google releases Chromecast SDK
February 4, 2014 | 3:56 am

CAM00395-1 Ars Technica reports that Google has finally issued a public SDKpublic SDK (software development kit) for its Chromecast HDMI TV dongle, meaning that for the first time, coders of random audio and video playing apps for Android, iOS, or the Chrome browser will be able to incorporate Chromecasting into their apps without having to work closely with Google to do it. Who knows what kind of apps we’ll get? Might there be a Chromecast e-reader app? It seems kind of unlikely. Due to the restrictions on the user interface, such an app might throw text up...

Google sells Motorola phone business, keeps patent portfolio
January 30, 2014 | 3:23 am

Motorola_logo26Well, there’s an example of comedic timing for you. Just the other day, Gizmodo speculated that Google might kill off the Nexus line of tablets and phones in favor of “Google Play Edition” devices from other hardware manufacturers—including, notably, Motorola, who Google owns. But today, news came out that had Gizmodo saying, “What?!” Turns out Google is selling Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for $2.91 billion. The deal includes all Motorola’s phone hardware, but Google is keeping most of Motorola’s patents. Google already sold Motorola’s set-top box unit to Arris for $2.35 billion. It only just bought Motorola in 2011...

Review: Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution
December 22, 2013 | 11:11 am

coverI finished reading Fred Vogelstein’s book Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution, which I mentioned in my post yesterday. I quite enjoyed it. Even though I read the news reports of the events it describes as they happened, you don’t get the big picture until you read a book like this, that looks back and puts everything together in the proper context. The book covers the development of the iPhone and Android phones, touches on the iPad and what it meant, goes over the Apple vs. Samsung patent lawsuit, and then wraps up...