Google Earth has reached version 6.2 and with it come several improvements, the best of which is the improved rendering. It does away with the poor stitching that spoiled the viewing experience in previous versions.
The new version also adds a quick way to share a screenshot on Google+, improves searching and adds waling, biking and transit directions. The updates are coming to both the desktop and the Android version. Read more »
When Google launched the Galaxy Nexus along with Ice Cream Sandwich, they removed the ubiquitous menu button that was found on all the previous Android devices. Instead, they incorporated the functionality of the menu button inside an action bar that appeared on top of the screen. If there were additional options that need not be immediately shown to the user, they were hidden inside a drop down menu signified by a Windows Phone-style vertical ellipsis.
However, this change was only visible inside the native apps in Ice Cream Sandwich whereas the third party apps continued to use a standard menu button functionality, which was replicated on the Galaxy Nexus by displaying the vertical ellipsis in the bar at the bottom of the screen.
It’s obvious that this is not a very elegant solution so now Google is urging everyone to ditch the menu button and incorporate the action bar in their application interface, which as it demonstrated on its site, is not difficult at all. Read more »
Steam has released a new companion application for the iOS and Android platforms. This app lets you browse all the Steam games, see if there are new offers and chat with your Steam friends. Unfortunately, it seems you can’t buy any games through the app for now but you can add it to your cart so you can purchase it through the desktop client.
But what’s worse is that the app will only let you use it if you’re part of the beta program. Steam has restricted access to a few accounts and you have to sign in to request an invite. After that you wait for the invite to arrive so you can use the app, which let’s face it, doesn’t let you do much. Read more »
Last month, HP announced its intentions to make webOS open source, however, they provided little in terms of details as to when this will actually happen. Today, they have announced the schedule, which details how the process will take place over the course of the year and then finally, in September, the OS source code, now named Open webOS, will be released.
Starting today, HP is releasing the Enyo 2.0 framework that will allow the developers to create applications for the platform. Unlike the previous version, 2.0 supports browsers other than those using the WebKit engine for creating apps. HP will also be using a standard Linux kernel, like on Android, that should allow the OS to run on a wider range of hardware. Read more »
CyanogenMod is working on releasing their very own application store for Android. The idea was originally by one of CyanogenMod team members Koushik Dutta, who wanted to create an application store that would host applications that were removed from Android Market for some reason. This would include stuff like one click root apps, game emulators, tether apps, visual voicemail apps, etc. Although Google’s Market is open, some of these apps do get removed from time to time when they don’t meet Google’s or the carrier’s terms and conditions.
The other reason to have their own application store is so that they could use a small portion of the money coming in from app sales to fund the CyanogenMod project, which has been made available to users for no cost at all. Read more »
Motorola has started rolling out an OTA Ice Cream Sandwich software update to its Xoom Wi-Fi tablet but sadly only users in the US can take advantage so far.
Among the new features are a faster, updated browser, swipe to dismiss notifications, tasks, browsers tabs, the new app launcher, resizable widgets and more. Read more »
Microsoft has been using data from Navteq for their Bing Maps since the beginning, a subsidiary owned by Nokia and has also allowed the use of Nokia Maps on Nokia’s Lumia phones. Now, they will be making this partnership more visible to the user.
Microsoft will now be displaying Nokia’s name within Bing Maps. And this applies to every device that runs Bing Maps and not just Nokia’s. Read more »
When the whole Carrier IQ fiasco happened, Sprint was found to be one of the key offenders who sneaked in Carrier IQ software in their phones. After they were caught in the act, they promised to remove the offending software from their devices soon.
The first Sprint phone to be relieved of its Carrier IQ duties was the HTC EVO 3D through a firmware update and also added some security enhancements and bug fixes along the way. Now three more Sprint devices have joined the Anti-Carrier IQ squad. These include the HTC EVO 4G, the EVO Design 4G and the Samsung Epic 4G. Read more »
Just as expected, Apple made three important education-related announcements at their event in New York today. The company unveiled the next version of iBooks for iPad – iBooks 2, which now features interactive textbooks.
Apple also unveiled iBooks Author – a Mac OS X application that should greatly facilitate the creation of those textbooks (or other interactive books) and iTunes U iOS app, which lets you access complete courses from leading universities and plenty of free educational content. Read more »
Kindle Fire users are reporting that an OTA update is rolling out, bringing the Kindle Fire software version up to v6.2.2. Amazon still hasn’t officially announced it though.
The most notable feature of the update is full-screen mode for the web browser of the Kindle Fire. Read more »
With a loyal following numbering north of a million users, there is no doubt that CyanogenMod is among the premier aftermarket Android ROMs out there. One of the latest ideas regarding the future of the project is likely to make it even more attractive as it involves a proprietary store for root apps.
According to the CyanogeMod team member Koush, a proprietary app store would enable the CM team to take a small cut from developers who showcase their apps there, which will be used for paying for server and hardware maintenance. Read more »
With all the new gadgets at CES taking our attention, we missed a nice little update for Android that Google unveiled. Google Search received an update yesterday that brings some speed improvements and novelties to Android 2.2 (Froyo), 2.3 (Gingerbread) and 3.x (Honeycomb).
The new features include search suggestions (where Google completes your search with logical results), a refreshed look, suggestions grouping by type and local-specific results for countries with Google domains. Read more »
The OnLive Desktop app is now available for download over at the App Store for free. The app is an iPad exclusive and gives you access to a copy of Windows 7 with Word, Excel and PowerPoint plus 2 GB of free cloud storage.
If you’re really into the whole using-iPad-as-a-desktop solution you could opt for the Pro version of OnLive Desktop. Read more »
We’ve got some great news for those of you eager to get a feel for what your Galaxy S II running the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich build. A new ROM for the international version of the Galaxy S II just leaked from the Samsung R&D center and you can give it a try if you want.
Better yet, we installed the leaked Android 4.0.3-based ROM on a Galaxy S II we had at hand and prepared a quick video for you to show you what it feels like. Read more »
Google has just released an update to its Maps app for Android. The update brings more indoor floor plans and should prevent you from getting lost at CES or some of the other famous venues in Vegas.
The list of new places includes famous casinos and venues from the Las Vegas strip as well as Las Vegas McCarran International Airport. The most interesting addition, however, is the new Google Maps game for Google+. Read more »