While we’ve seen the Google TV platform spread to additional manufacturers and some new lower-priced form factors, LG Uplus (not the same as LG Electronics) is the first we’ve seen offering a set-top box for its IPTV service based on it. new and existing customers alike can opt for the U+TV G, which will blend live TV streams, video on-demand and Google TV apps. Rapper Psy will be playing a large part in a national campaign to promote the offering, and after making Korea the tenth country Google TV is available in, Google says it will continue to work with providers around the world. Jumping inside the cable box is a notable move for the project, however at home hasn’t significantly improved integration beyond that originally offered by Dish Network, and it’s not even built into the Google Fiber set-top box.
Earlier this morning, Google did the iOS crowd a generous favor by flipping the switch on its Street View service to help alleviate some of those Maps troubles, so it’s only natural to take care of the Android faithful as well. With that in mind, Google has updated its Gesture Search to be fully compatible with the ASUS-built Nexus 7, as well as improving the application’s UI, boosting search performance, adding support for more languages and allowing contacts without digits to now be searchable. The new version of Gesture Search can be downloaded now via Google Play, straight from your device or by simply using the link down below.
All signs point toward the impending general availability of Windows 8, what with the upcoming OS launch event, the Surface RT finally hitting the FCC, and Paul Allen letting the world knows what he thinks of it. In light of this, the Redmond company has announced a final update push to the built-in apps you’ll find in Windows 8. The Bing update will be first out the gate tomorrow — it promises richer search results for local content — with the rest rolling out through October 26th. Also of note is Music, which touts “expanded music services” as an update (Xbox Music, anyone?). If you’re itching to know what built-in apps will be updated, you can get the full and extensive list after the break.
Over the next few weeks, we can surely expect iOS developers from all over the globe to start pushing out updates to make their applications better interact with Apple’s iOS 6 and that all-new screen found on the iPhone 5. And, because we know some of you choose Chrome over Cupertino’s built-in Safari browser, we thought we’d single out the fact that Google has outed a new version of the app which makes it friendly with the new iPhone’s larger display as well as the most recent variant of iOS. Aside from the iPhone 5 / iOS 6 compatibility, though, Mountain View also bundled in some undisclosed stability and security improvements in version 21.0.1180.82 (!) of the web browsing application. As is usually the case, you’ll find the updated Chrome goods in the App Store — link for that is just down below.
The march to the launch of Windows 8 soldiers on, as Microsoft has now opened the Windows Store for submissions from individuals in anticipation of the grand OS launch on October 26th. Previously, only those with company accounts were able to submit their applications for consideration in the Windows Store. The big news doesn’t end there, however, as Microsoft has also added 82 new markets for app submission, which means that in total, developers from 120 markets may now publish their applications to the Windows Store.
In additional news, Microsoft has also revealed that many MSDN subscribers will receive a free, one-year developer account to the Windows Store — eligible subscription levels include Visual Studio Professional, Test Professional, Premium, Ultimate, and BizSpark. Similarly, students that take part in Microsoft’s DreamSpark program will have their subscription fees waived. As it stands, both Windows 8 apps and traditional applications may be submitted for inclusion in the Windows Store, however in the case of applications for the desktop environment, purchasers will be re-routed to individual developer sites to make their purchase and grab the download.
The mobile Google Drive app just keeps getting better and better. Are we ready to ditch the desktop web app for its iOS and Android package? Hardly, but with ever decimal point upgrade the disparity between the two keeps getting smaller. The latest round of updates finally delivers document editing to your iPad and iPhone, including the ability to format text and see live changes made by your collaborators. You can also now view presentations, including speaker notes. The Android version also got a few nice tweaks today, most notable being the ability to see and reply to comments on docs. Google is also promising that real-time updates will be coming to spreadsheets very soon — which should excite on-the-go number crunchers. Check out the video after the break.
In case you didn’t notice, Microsoft and Nokia are holding a pretty major press event right now, and while we’ve mainly been waiting for some shiny new hardware, a few fresh apps never hurt either. Nokia just made a joint announcement with AOL, unveiling an entertainment hub called Entrance, which will be available only on Nokia’s Windows Phone devices. AOL (which happens to be Engadget’s parent company) naturally used the app as a way to highlight its various properties, including Moviefone, AOL Music and Huffington Post Entertainment. So, for example, you might watch trailers or buy tickets on Moviefone, or read news from HuffPo. Like its various Android apps, it includes Shoutcast Radio integration with streaming from over 55,000 radio stations worldwide. Perhaps the most compelling bit, though, is an augmented reality feature with overlays for movie posters and show times. The app’s free and available for download at the source link below, and we’ve also got some screenshots to help give you a sense for the look and feel.
While the financials for Mark Zuckerberg and his minions hasn’t been the best of late, Facebook got some good news today when the FTC closed its investigation of the social network’s acquisition of Instagram. That means that the merger now has the green light to be completed, and filtered photographs will be joining all those pokes, likes and Spotify songs in Timelines sooner rather than later. You can get the good news straight from the government’s mouth at the source below.
If your company doesn’t have a camera with WiFi sharing somewhere in your lineup, many will say you’re not even in the photography game. Fujifilm is definitely playing: welcome the FinePix F800EXR, its first camera with wireless sharing as part and parcel of the experience. Its centerpiece is a free Photo Receiver app for Android and iOS devices that will catch as many 30 images at a time from an ad hoc WiFi camera link. The matching (if unceremoniously named) Camera Application can return the gesture by geotagging shots as well as finding existing photos on the map. Fujifilm will even pre-Instagram the photos through six new on-camera filters for those who can’t stand posting images online without at least some Lomo or tilt-shift effects thrown in.
As for the actual camera part of the camera, Fujifilm is keeping afloat in the competitive waters with a 16-megapixel, CMOS-based EXR sensor that can widen the dynamic range or lower the noise if sheer resolution isn’t all that vital. An equally noteworthy 20x (25-500mm equivalent) lens out in front will zoom in a lot closer than any phone camera — well, most of them. We’re otherwise looking at the technology we’d expect in a point-and-shoot of this class, such as full-resolution burst shooting at up to eight frames per second, 1080p video and a RAW mode for image quality sticklers. Stores should have the F800EXR in August for about $350, or about as much as the Galaxy Nexus that just might serve as its companion.
It looks like some of the apps in Apple’s App Store, which have been updated over the last couple of days are causing problems with users of the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
The issue was first spotted by the developer of the Instapaper app, when an update to their app was released, which was working fine, but when users downloaded the app it started crashing.
Last night, within minutes of Apple approving the Instapaper 4.2.3 update, I was deluged by support email and Twitter messages from customers saying that it crashed immediately on launch, even with a clean install.
This didn’t make sense — obviously, Apple had reviewed it, and it worked for them. My submitted archive from Xcode worked perfectly. But every time I downloaded the update from the App Store, clean or not, it crashed instantly.
Lots of anxiety and research led me to the problem: a seemingly corrupt update being distributed by the App Store in many or possibly all regions.
And this is happening to other apps, not just Instapaper, updated in the last few days.
It looks like quite a few apps have been affected by the issue, Apple has yet to announce what the issue is and when it will be fixed.
Here’s a bit of a surprise that slipped under the radar during the Google I/O keynote: Google Earth for Android has been updated to 7.0 to take advantage of the new 3D map technology it unveiled at another special event just a few weeks ago. As a refresher, the visuals are automatically created from 45-degree aerial imagery and can pick up 3D elements as subtle as trees. Before you go racing to your hometown to see how it looks in 3D, be aware that just a handful of cities and regions exploit that dimension. Besides San Francisco Bay, the full coverage extends to Boulder, Boston, Charlotte, Lawrence, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Portland, San Antonio, San Diego, Santa Cruz and Tampa in the US, with Rome being the lone international hotspot. If that’s too few places to visit, there’s always the addition of guided tours. Android users can head over Google Play to get the update today; iOS users shouldn’t fret, as they’ll get the new maps soon.
After a brief stretch in beta followed by some vague teasing, Firefox’s native Android app update is finally set to hit Google Play. While there are a raft of bells and whistles — a new welcome page, curvy Australis tabs, Flash and HTML5 support, for starters — it’s the browser’s newfound speed that is getting the MVP treatment. That rapidity is as good a place as any to start a quick hands-on, especially since the native browser lag on one of our older handsets, a Galaxy S, often makes us want to hurl it through a pane of glass. Mozilla claims it built Firefox to a new benchmark it developed called Eideticker, resulting in an overall browser experience twice as fast as the stock Android one. As advertised, initial loading is quasi-instant, and navigation, zooming and tab switching seemed smooth as well, even on the two-gen-old phone.
Feature-wise, preferences and other desktop settings imported easily with Firefox Sync’s shared password system, and the unfortunately named “Awesome Screen” is the new home page shown above, from which it’s fairly simple to launch your preferred sites. Flash and HTML5 generally displayed correctly despite a few minor rendering bugs, and the curved tabs and other design touches make it one of the more elegant Android browsers we’ve played with. Unfortunately, many sites display in full because they don’t yet detect Firefox as a mobile app, but the installation of the Phony 3.2 add-in lets it impersonate other smartphone browsers, and it seemed to work well. We also didn’t like that tabbed browsing now requires two taps to get to another page, unlike the previous version, but we imagine that was needed for the increased speed. Overall, Firefox is a welcome addition to the Android ecosystem — we bet you’re just as eager to start browsing as we are, so stay tuned for the app to hit Google Play later today, or jump past the break for a quick speed demo from the kind folks at Mozilla.
If you’re looking for something new to wrap around your noggin this coming season, then put it on your radar that Denon will be bringing 11 new sets of headphones to store shelves this August. That number might seem like quite a lot to digest, but it becomes a lot easier when broken down by category. First is the Exercise Freak lineup, a wrap-around earbud design that sells for $149 and will be available in black, blue and yellow. Beyond that, the company has three additional lineups — the Music Maniac, the Urban Raver and the Globe Cruiser — and each will be available in earbud and over-the-ear form factors. The Music Maniac headphones ($349 and $499) are designed to cater to audio purists with an acoustically flat signature. Most notable about the Music Maniac lineup is the top shelf Artisan model, which rings in at a healthy $1,199 and pits itself against other audiophile mainstays such as the Sennheiser HD800 and Audez’e LCD2. Meanwhile, the Urban Ravers ($249 and $399) place a heavy emphasis on bass, whereas the Globe Cruisers ($179 and $499) feature noise cancellation. As a nice touch, each of the models feature built-in microphones and volume controls.
Samsung has announced a new challenge in an attempt to get developers to create applications for Android tablets, called the Samsung Smart App Challenge 2012, the company is offering over $4 million in prizes.
Samsung is looking for developers to build applications for their Galaxy Note and Galaxy Tab Android devices, and prizes for the most popular applications will range from $30,000 to $200,000.
The prizes will be awarded for the most popular applications created for the Samsung Galaxy Tab range and the Samsung Galaxy Note, and their popularity will be judged by the amount of downloads.
The Samsung Smart App Challenge 2012 starts now and runs until the 30th of September, and Samsung will give out a total of $4,080,000 as prizes, you can find out more details over at Samsung.
Source The Verge
It’s taken a bit longer than we expected, but following Apple’s acquisition of app search engine Chomp, the Android option has now been cut out from its homepage. We’re now left with the choice between iPhone and iPad categories, alongside existing shortcuts for popular freebies and apps on sale, in a few efforts to cut through Cupertino’s 600,000-strong app selection. Hit up the source to give it a run for yourself.
Microsoft’s Windows Phone team is making a few changes to how users are able to acquire apps on their devices but luckily, they probably won’t affect most of you. Starting today, users can no longer get apps from the Zune desktop software (the app store will remain for the Zune HD, as shown above), so they’ll need to browse via the website or directly on their phones, which Microsoft says the majority of users were already doing. The other change is that in the next few weeks, any users who have not upgraded their handsets to Windows Phone 7.5 Mango will no longer be able to download, update or review apps. Since the update is available for all Windows Phones (Android, we’re mostly talking about you) this shouldn’t be too much of a problem, and any laggards will regain their access after upgrading.
On a final note, the developer blog mentions the software needed for hardware partners to create phones for Bahrain, Israel, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, UAE and Vietnam and that there will be more news on these storefronts “in the weeks ahead.” With these moves, the squad has culled any reason to open a heavy memory hungry desktop program just to install some new apps from a PC (iTunes, we’re completely talking about you) and devs can write off supporting users still running on old platforms guilt-free. All that in one day? We bet they didn’t even have to use their AK — those old zune:// links however, will be missed.