That’s right, it’s apparently time for an all-new episode of The Flickcast. Apologies for being late, but at least you have something to entertain you on a Monday.
On this week’s show Chris and Joe talk about all sorts of stuff including podcasting coming to Google Play (here’s a link to The Flickcast, btw), the future of public transport, the upcoming new Star Trek series, James Cameron’s latest plans for Avatar sequels, the Defenders series on Netflix, Mr. Robot, Hollywood’s latest horrible thing and assholes who talk or text in movie theaters. Plus, there’s the usual more, more, more.
Picks this week include Chris’ pick of Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight and Joe’s pick of the band The Dan Reed Network.
As always, if you have comments, questions, critiques, offers of sponsorship, or whatever, feel free to hit us up in the comments, on Twitter, at Facebook, Google+ or via email.
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If you want the latest news about updates and improvements to Google services, you won’t find a much better source than Vic Gundotra. As Senior VP of Engineering for Google, he’s privy to pretty much everything that happens at the company. And he likes to share.
So, when he touts a new update for Google+, we listen. In fact, that’s just what he did this morning. According to his post, the update introduces a new navigation drawer that is “more consistent with other Google apps.” In addition, notifications will now sync across devices so you no longer have to see the same notifications from device to device if you’ve already dismissed them.
You also get a new notifications tray with a bell icon that lets you know if there’s something for you to see as well as unread and read trays. So, some nice improvements. This update should start being availbe today for Android and the web with iOS update to follow.
Here’s what the changelog says about the update:
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Even though Google is pretty much the king of maps and traffic avoidance these days, it would seem the company wants to do it even better. So, with that in mind, today Google announced they are buying Waze, the GPS social traffic app that updates routes and drive information in real-time as users post updates.
The app has voice navigation, shows community-contributed road alerts, learns from your frequently traveled routes, and can even find the cheapest gas station near you, all based on community interaction with other users. With over 10 million downloads via the Google Play store and at least as many in iTunes, Waze has quite a large user base. With this, Google is hoping to further improve the ability for its Maps app to help drivers avoid those pesky long commute times.
According to the company, they are “excited” about the prospect of “enhancing Google Maps with some of the traffic update features” already used by Waze. They are hoping to “outsmart traffic together.”
Let’s hope they can. We, like everyone else in the world, hates traffic.
If you haven’t already heard the news, the email wars are over and Google won. Gmail is the dominate email address and platform that most people use. In fact, we’re not sure we know anyone who doesn’t have a Gmail account.
Fortunately, those who do don’t usually have to decide between using an iOS or Android-powered smartphone to get their email on the go. There’s plenty of other reasons for the debate between Android and iOS, but thankfully Google doesn’t make you choose — at least where email is concerned.
Today the Gmail apps for both iOS and Android got an update. Both updates feature the new “Categories” tabs as well as the usual bug fixes and performance improvements.
Here’s what you specifically get in the new iOS version:
• New notifications options: Get notified for all messages, only important messages, or none at all, on a per account basis. Customize these settings from the in-app settings page.
• Meet the new inbox: If you’ve enabled the new inbox, your mail is now grouped into categories so that you can see what’s new at a glance and decide which emails you want to read when. Primary mail is shown first and it’s easy to access and keep track of email in other categories by opening the menu. Configure this feature by going to Gmail.com on your computer.
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Rejoice Android-using fans of short videos, your iOS-using friends no longer have a reason to gloat. Well, one less reason at least.
That’s right, Twitter’s popular Vine application, that was previously an iOS-only exclusive, has arrived for Android. For those not familiar (and it could be a few of you), Vine allows users to record 6 seconds of video with sound and then share it with the world, much like you do with a Tweet on Twitter.
Once the video is posted, others can view it as it loops continuously. The app has become pretty popular and has spawned some very inventive videos that utilize the 6 second time limit as part of the piece and not a hindrance.
Now that Android users can join the fun, it will be interesting to see what new videos pop up. To get the app now, head over to the Play Store.
Even if you’re a fan of Apple or the iPhone and iPad, that doesn’t mean everyone is. In fact, Google’s Android OS is also very popular and powers many devices people use every day.
One thing that’s been a bit lacking on the Android front is the amount of movie and TV content available from Google’s Play store. Well, thanks to a deal Google just finalized with 20th Century Fox, that’s about to get a lot better.
That’s right, Google Play will start selling and/or renting 600 titles from 20th Century Fox including Family Guy, Glee, Modern Family, Black Swan, X-Men and Ice Age. In addition, to help get the deal started off on the right virtual foot, Google Play will offer Ridley Scottt’s Prometheus 3 weeks ahead of its Blu-ray, DVD and video-on-demand release. In other words, today.
The rest of the content will be releasing during the coming weeks. Pretty cool. It’s always nice to have alternatives, especially if you’re already invested in the Android ecosystem as many are.
Even if you’re an iPhone and iOS user, you have to give props to Google and Android in at least some areas. One such area is Maps.
Google has been doing maps for a long time and has really gotten them right, especially in its more recent versions of its Maps application for Android. Now they’ve updated the app to version 6.10 and have included even more useful features including full schedules for more than 1 million transit stops across the globe.
In addition, the updated app now has a more polished UI for viewing transit schedules and a new Transit map layer so you can filter by bus, train, tram or subway. They also added more info to My Places, location history, and included area borders during searches.
This is a great update and makes the Maps app even more useful, especially to those on the go. It’s almost enough to make me regret not using an Android-powered smartphone as my primary device every day. Almost.
The update is now live so go forth and, well, update. Let us know if you find any other cool features.
If you’re even a casual gamer, chances are you’ve not only heard of Final Fantasy, the classic game from Square Enix now on its thirteenth chapter, you’ve played it as well. Well, if you’re an Android user and haven’t had the chance yet, your day has finally come as Final Fantasy is available today for Android through Google Play.
First released in 1987 for the NES (remember that?), the game’s Android version, like the version for iOS, includes a graphics update to the original 8-bit turn-based RPG and a touch-optimized control scheme. In truth, it actually looks pretty good and gameplay is not bad either.
According to the description over at Google Play “Players guide the Warriors of Light as they set out on a quest to restore the crystals to their former luster. Its side view battles, choice and promotion of character classes, and sprawling world explored with fantastic vehicles quickly became standards of the series. This game set the stage for all Final Fantasy games to come.”
It did indeed. Experience it again for the first time.
Final Fantasy is available for purchase now though Google Play for $6.99.
Great news for those of you who eagerly pre-ordered a Google Nexus 7 tablet when they were first announced because it loks like those orders are starting to ship. That’s right, according to the folks at Droid-Life (who should know) an automated recording that can be heard through Google’s Support line says that the first wave of Nexus 7 orders will ship today, with all pre-orders shipping within the next three business days.
The site also says that once your new hotness ships you should get an email confirmation from Google telling you the great news. At that point, calling them will tell you nothing and then you’ll have to start the waiting game and checking on your shipping status updates and tracking info.
It’s a fun way to spend some time but it’s, of course, not nearly as fun as when you have the device actually in hand. Our own Chris Ullrich pre-orderd one at launch, so expect some sort of hands-on report as soon as it arrives in his, um, hands.
Until then, if you ordered one yourself, listen to the recording in question by calling Google Support at 1-855-83-NEXUS. Expect a bit of a hold time on that number though. Lots of other eager folks probably doing the same thing right about now.
Let us know if you get your Nexus 7 and what you think!
This morning during the keynote event at Google’s I/O confrence in San Francisco, the company announced what many were expecting and many were looking forward to: a new Nexus 7 tablet, updated version of the Android OS and much more. Of course, the center of attention at the event was the new Asus-built Nexus 7 tablet.
Here’s what we know about the Nexus 7: The 7-inch tablet running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean will have a 1.3GHz quad-core Tegra 3 processor as well as 1280×800 IPS display with a 178-degree viewing angle. It will also have a 1.2-megapixel camera, 1GB of RAM, and a 4,235mAh battery that will get it 8 hours of battery life “during active use” or 9 hours of video playback.
The tablet weighs 340 grams, just shy of 12 ounces, and is 10.45mm thick. Both 8GB and 16GB configurations will be available. Bluetooth, WiFi, and NFC all come standard but there’s currently no version that works with 3G or 4G networks. Bummer that.
The Nexus 7 will cost $199 and will be available for pre-order in the Google Play Store today. It is expected to ship in mid-July.
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