People seem rather divided over the look of Apple’s new iOS 7. But love it or hate it, iOS 7 is here to stay. That’s great for iPhone and iPad users excited for the new OS, but what about people using Android smartphones?
Fortunately, Android users who do want the iOS 7 experience are in luck because an intrepid Android developer has decided to copy it and create a theme for Android called “jbOS 7.” The theme, who’s full name is “Jelly Bean OS 7,” is compatible with handsets running Android 4.0 and later.
Once installed, the theme mimics the look and feel of many aspects of the iOS 7 interface including the lock screen, home screens, some apps and the new app icons. The photo above gives you an idea of how that looks.
There’s also a handy video as well, which we’ve included after the break. For more on “jbOS 7″ or to get the files needed to install the theme, head on over to the developer’s website.
In truth, we’re not entirely sure why someone using Android would want to do this, but heck, who are we to judge? People do love to modify their Android devices. Maybe the iOS 7 theme will actually catch on?
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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 though they denied its existence, it looks like HTC will release a ‘Nexus Experience’ version of their flagship HTC One device. The announcement and confirmation came today during the AllThingsD conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.
Google’s head of Android development, Sundar Pichai, personally confirmed the device on stage during the conference and said it will available through Google Play on June 26. It is also now up over at HTC’s website with the following specs:
32GB of storage, running stock Android 4.2.2, runs on T-Mobile and AT&T LTE, $599 through Google Play, unlockable bootloader. Now that’s a nice phone with great specs.
So tempting. If you’re an Android fan, will this be your new phone or will it be the ‘Nexus Experience’ Samsung Galaxy S4?
Are you a Gmail user? If you’re like most people, you probably are. In fact, you probably have multiple accounts that you check on a daily, hourly or even a minute by minute basis. Heck, we get it, you don’t want to miss anything important and Gmail is a great service.
Well, good news because it seems Google understands. Or, at least they’re trying to by continuously updating and refining the Gmail experience both on the desktop and via their mobile apps to make it even better.
Continuing the trend this week, Google has announced they are updating Gmail yet again for Android, iOS and the desktop. This time, the update will include features designed to help users unclutter their inboxes and deal with email in a more efficient way.
The redesign changes the layout of Gmail and separates messages into tabs. You can have up to five with each designed to group messages into categories that make it easier to process email. In addition to the main tab, which continues to be sorted by priority, the new tabs include social (messages from social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.), promotions (for Groupon, LivingSocial, etc.), updates (for confirmations, receipts, bills, etc.) and forums (messages from discussion boards, mailing lists, etc.).
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You have to imagine it’s been a bit difficult for Apple CEO Tim Cook. After all, nobody really wants to follow someone like Steve Jobs, under any circumstances. No matter how well you do, it’s hard to live up to that kind of unique genius.
Still, somebody has got to do it and that somebody is Tim Cook. Fortunately, Mr. Cook is no dummy either as he proved yesterday during his Q&A session at the AllThingD Conference . During an 81-minute interview on stage with AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, Cook discussed all manner of topics including taxes, TV, the idea of Apple making Android apps, Google Glass and wearable technology in general, Apple’s nine recent acquisitions, upcoming new iOS APIs and more.
In true Apple fashion he didn’t give out much in the way of detail, but he still managed to do an excellent job answering the questions. To show you what we mean, check out the full video of the interview after the break.
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With Google I/O last week, the company unveiled a brand new vision for mobile communication called Hangouts. A major component of Hangouts is the Google+ service, which is getting a major update today.
Among the many changes in Google+ are new photo features including auto backups, auto highlight of the best photos, auto enhance, and “Auto Awesome.” In addition, there is now a dedicated tab for “Locations.” This new feature enables users to see where friends are on a map so that you can set up places to meet. If you don’t want to take advantage of this feature, or are just wary of sharing your location, this can be turned off in location sharing.
There’s also a new card UI and exploring features taken from the Chrome version of Google+. Tags are shown at the top right of posts, so that you can easily browse by topic. Notifications have been updated as well and are “nicer to look at and use,” plus profile fields can be edited on the go.
The update is expected to hit today. Look for it in the Play Store.
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This has been a pretty big week for Google. They’ve announced quite a few new applications, feature enhancements and more during the Google I/O conference going on right now in San Francisco.
One of the new applications announced is called Hangouts, which seeks to unify the company’s existing chat and video services. The application was released for Gmail, Android, iOS and Chrome, and it supports Google Talk, Google+ Hangouts and Google Messenger.
But wait, it’s gonna do more even more. According to Dori Storbeck, community manager of Google+ Hangouts and Chat, SMS integration is also “coming soon,” noting that is it one of the company’s “most requested features.”
This will be the final addition that will make this app a worth competitor to Apple’s iMessage or other services like WhatsApp or the upcoming Messenger from Blackberry.
As far as online payment services go, if you want to send money to someone, you’re pretty much stuck using Paypal.
Not because it’s a great service (ask anyone who’s ever needed support or had to dispute an arbitrary Paypal decision) but because there’s pretty much no other choice. Well, that’s not good enough. We like competition and we think competition is good.
Enter Google. Today at their I/O conference Google announced a new featuring coming to its existing Google Wallet and Gmail services. That feature? Payments.
Put simply, once this feature goes live, you will be able to send and receive money via your Gmail account.
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During a keynote presentation for Google I/O at San Francisco’s Moscone Center this morning, Google announced several new services and technologies including a new music service called Google Play Music “All Access” and a pure Android Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone.
Google Play Music “All Access” gives users the ability to search through Google’s huge amount of songs and the ability to play them instantly. An all new UI allows you to swipe away songs if you don’t want them and the ability to make radio stations instantly based on one song.
The price of this new streaming service is $9.99 per month, but everyone gets a 30 free trial. If you are an early adopter and sign up before June however, your price is only $7.99 per month.
Google also announced they will sell a Samsung Galaxy S4 directly through Google Play with a stock Android experience, LTE support, connectivity on AT&T and T-Mobile. It will aos feature an unlocked bootloader, will receive updates promptly and offer the full “Nexus experience.”
The device will launch June 26 on Google Play for $649. Yeah, that’s a bit steep. Although, they’ll probably sell a ton of ‘em.
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Not that long ago RIM’s BlackBerry was the most popular smartphone in the world. It’s a bit hard to believe now, with the immense popularity of the iPhone and Android devices, but at one time the BlackBerry was the king of the mobile world. I had several, and I loved them.
One of the features that made BlackBerry so popular, other than how well it handled email, was BlackBerry Messenger. In case you’re not familiar, BBM is a service that allows BlackBerry users to send direct messages, chat in real time and more. It works pretty much like Apple’s iMessage and FaceTime do in iOS or OS X.
Like iMessage and FaceTime, which are only available on Apple devices, BBM has always been BlackBerry-only. That is, until now.
RIM announced today that BBM will launch this Summer for Apple’s iPhone and for Android devices. The announcement came during the company’s BlackBerry Live conference, which is going on this week.
While I believe this will be a welcome development for some people still stuck in 2005, I need to ask this question: Who cares?
With other messaging services like iMessage, WhatsApp and Google’s upcoming Hangouts, this announcement isn’t going to make much of a difference to anyone. I don’t think it’s BBM on iOS or Android that’s going to bring people back to the BlackBerry in droves.
Sadly, at this point, I don’t think much of anything will.
Even though Google occasionally does things people don’t like (killing Google Reader comes to mind), they stil offer a host of great services that millions of people rely on each and every day. Last year, Google launched Google Drive, storage for your data in the cloud.
One thing that was odd about the service was how items and the storage in your Google Drive was separate from what you had in Gmail and in Google+. However, that’s all going to change as of today as Google announced that they are combining all the separate storage space and making it into one complete storage solution. All Google users now have a free 15GB of storage space across the three applications and Google Apps users will receive 30GB of space.
Google has also launched a new page to help you keep track of all your storage and what you’re suing it for. A pie chart will show you just how much space you are using in each app and how much that eats into your overall space. The options to upgrade to more storage are the same as they have always been, so if you see that you need more you can purchase it right there. This change will be rolling out over the next couple of weeks.
Well, well, how things are changing. Not to be left behind as the paradigm shifts from traditional cable and satellite networks towards what paid subscription services like Apple, Hulu and Netflix are doing, YouTube today announced the first channels that it will offer via monthly subscriptions.
Following a 14-day free trial period, channels such as Sesame Street, Baby First Plus, Cars.tv, HD Net, Coreman’s Drive-In and UFC Select will be available for monthly fees raging from $2.99/Month to as little as $.99/Month. Payment will be accepted via credit card or Google Wallet.
According to the announcement, some of the programs will feature ads, but a majority won’t, with most of the content being available as on-demand. Google will reportedly collect about 45% of the subscription ad revenue.
While this list of channels and programming is not that extensive yet, Google expects other channels and networks to launch subscription services on YouTube soon and will roll them out over the coming months. For the full list of content available now, go here.
With the current amount and diversity of content, it will be very interesting to see if people actually decide to subscribe to some of these channels or wait until there’s more to choose from. Will this development end up being the digital straw that breaks the virtual camels back and starts the mass exodus from more traditional cable and satellite providers? It just might be.
Even though a majority of us here at The Flickcast use smartphones made by Apple, that doesn’t mean we only care about iOS or things from Cupertino. We also like Android quite a bit too. And when a new smartphone is reportedly ready to be announced by Google itself, we pay particular attention.
That phone is the much-discussed “X Phone.” And now we’ve got a picture (or two) of it, curtesy of gadget blog Tinthe.tn, so you can see exactly what it’s all about.
From the pics we can say that the device does look a lot like other Android smartphones, particularly those from Samsung. Not that that’s a bad thing. In addition to the pics, there’s also info about the internals of the device.
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