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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If you’re a geek, at one time or another, you’ve likely played Dungeons & Dragons. Heck, you may be playing this week or even while you’re reading this very article. It’s a great way to pass the time and something we love to do sitting around a table with some of your best friends.
But wouldn’t it be cool to be able to take those fun times on the road with you? Well, if you’ve always wanted a mobile version of D&D, you’re in luck because Wizards of the Coast and DeNA have partnered together to do just that.
That’s right, the two companies will soon bring Dungeons & Dragons: Arena of War, the first ever D&D mobile game, to an iOS or Android device near you.
According to the official press release for the game: “Arena of War puts players in the Forgotten Realms for a battle roleplaying game that combines questing, character leveling, and small team collaboration with the most engaging mobile game mechanics on the market, such as in-game events and massive multiplayer competitions.”
It will be available later this year. For more info on the game, or to pre-register, head on over to the game’s official site.
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.
We know it’s sometimes hard to be an Android user in what must seem like an iOS-dominated world — at least where new apps, or updates to current ones, are concerned. Yes, most new apps and updates appear for iOS first. But at some point, and that gap is narrowing all the time, the app or update comes to Android.
Case in point today is the extremely fun and useful app Flipboard. We use it all the time on our iPhones and iPads and have even gone so far as to create a few magazines to highlight our interests. And now Anrdoid users can get in on that fun with the latest update to Flipboard for their OS.
In addition to the magazine feature, the app also had several other updates including the following:
• Integrated Android share: add content from the Gallery & other apps to your magazines
• Bookmarklet to add items to your magazines from a browser
• Get notifications when people like, comment or subscribe to your magazines
• Share magazines via email or social networks
• Personalized recommendations for more to read
• Search is now front & center, with improved results
Get the brand new Flipboard for Android over at Google Play.