According to a recent article on the Wall Street Journal, Google is seriously wooing old media publishers looking to reach out to their readers on digital media with a new “digital newsstand” subscription service that will let these publishers make money from their readers on Android platform.
While the proposal may sound pretty similar to what Apple has been trying to do with the iOS platform, Google appears to be more aggressive. The company has offered additional benefits to publishers that include sharing valuable demographic data of what kind of users download the apps. This information is likely to help the publishers plan their marketing efforts in a better way. Also, Google has proposed to take a smaller cut on revenues compared to the 30% that Apple has traditionally charged publishers.
For what it’s worth, Apple too is learned to be gearing up for the challenges. The company has also offered to share user information to publishers though at the moment, this feature is likely to be opt-in instead of the opt-out functionality that publishers demand.
In case you have not been following this space much, the next version of the Android operating system is called Honeycomb and is likely to be Android 3.0. This version of the Android OS is said to be the first version that is optimized for tablet computers (Galaxy Tab is actually considered a phone).
Though we are yet to hear anything substantial from Google regarding this new launch, recent word doing the rounds is that Honeycomb shall not release until March of next year. This is courtesy a report on Taiwanese website Digitimes. The author had stated,
“MSI is set to display its 10-inch Wintel-based tablet PC as well as engineering samples of its ARM-based Google Android model. MSI is also prepared to sell an Nvidia Tegra 2-based model in April or May after Google releases Android 3.0 in March.”
What this means is that the highly anticipated iPad rivals from the likes of Motorola are not expected to launch until then. Incidentally, Motorola had recently unveiled a teaser for their Honeycomb-based tablet that they are showcasing during CES 2011. Now that we hear that the launch of the platform may not happen until March, does that mean the Motorola Tablet may only launch along iPad 2 or later than that? That’s disappointing.
Google TV has not had it easy over the past few weeks. Recently, Viacom blocked support to full episode streaming which meant users can no longer watch episodes from popular channels like MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central. As Google stumbles upon one roadblock after another in the internet-connected TV segment, it looks like its partners have decided to drop support till the tide turn back in their favor.
According to reports, Logitech has instructed its manufacturer Gigabyte to halt production of its Revue set-top boxes until January 2011. The reason, it is told, is because of the unimpressive reception that Google TV has received so far in the market. The production can resume once again after January but that is depending on how Google sorts out its issues with content partners. Also, Logitech is learned to be awaiting a massive upgrade of the Google TV software that could make it a lot more appealing.
You can still buy a Revue from the stores as of now. There is still plenty of inventory that retailers can sell to you.
Looks like Carphone Warehouse hasn’t got enough units of Nexus S stocked in their stores yet. It has been announced that the shipping of the Nexus S has been delayed and the new Android 3.0 phones will now be available only from December 22. This is an issue that has affected not just online orders. Even retail purchases are likely to stay limited to only “key stores” of Carphone.
Having said that, the delay should not come as a surprise anymore considering that Carphone Warehouse had only recently announced a massive slashing of the Nexus S prices. You should be aware that the SIM-free version of the device will now cost users £429.99 instead of £549.99. Also, those users buying the phone on contract will now be allowed to sign up for contracts as low as £30 per month.
Have you got your shipment notification yet? Tell us your experience in the comments.
Google introduced the highly disruptive free voice calling feature on Gmail to customers in the United States and Canada earlier this year. The service lets users to simply pick a contact or dial a number to start talking to them like they would with any regular phone. In addition to voice calling, the feature also allowed for video chatting and international calling at nominal rates.
The deal breaker was though that the free service was expected to expire by the end of this year. No longer. Google has revealed that they planned to extend the free voice calling functionality until the end of next year. In a recently published blog post, a Google spokesperson has written,
“When we launched calling in Gmail back in August, we wanted it to be easy and affordable, so we made calls to the U.S. and Canada free for the rest of 2010. In the spirit of holiday giving and to help people keep in touch in the new year, we’re extending free calling for all of 2011.”
Google Nexus S launches in the UK today and you should already know, this will be the first smartphone to sport the new Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS. If you haven’t purchased a Nexus S and are contemplating a buy, you should do it soon.
Carphone Warehouse, Google’s retail partner in the UK has announced that they are dropping the price of the Nexus S. The phone, which was earlier available SIM-free at a price of £549.99 can now be purchased for just £429.99. Also, if you are one looking for contracts, you still get it for free as you did earlier. However, the minimum data package plan that one required to sign up with has been changed from the £35 package to the £30 plan.
But do remember that new purchases shall be back-ordered which means it can take them a little while before the device is shipped to your address. In any case, if you are interested to make a purchase, head over to the Carphone website and pre-order now.
Google has introduced a new functionality to their search engine results that will tell visitors if a site has been hacked. Starting now, any search result from a website that Google detects as hacked will display a message that reads, “This site may be compromised“. Clicking on the link will take the visitor to a Help Center article.
So how does Google know if a website has been hacked? According to their blog posting, the search engine makes use of a number of automated tools to check for the common signs of a hacked site. Once this is done, the engine shall automatically add the notification to the search results apart from informing the website owner about it on the Webmaster Tools.
Of course, since this is automated, there are bound to be occasions when Google might get it wrong that could impact the traffic to any website adversely. Google has noted that affected users could request a review from their website that will ensure speedy rectification of any issue.
Google Nexus S, the latest Android smartphone from Google is the only one in the market to be running the latest Gingerbread OS. While other Android users continue to wait for Android 2.3 to be made available to them officially from their carriers, at least Galaxy S users have something to cheer about. Folks at XDA have managed to port the Android 2.3 Gingerbread platform from Nexus S to Galaxy S.
From what we hear, this is a near-perfect porting with few performance related issues. However do note that some features on the Galaxy S could be disabled after the update. Users have reported issues with accessing Wi-Fi, GPS and Google Voice after porting to the new Gingerbread OS.
That could be a huge deal breaker for many. But if you are one who would rather update to the latest OS than access these features from a FroYo handset, be sure to dive into this thread for instructions on the upgrade. Also, check the videos embedded below for an idea on how this works.
Software giant Microsoft could well become the first company to have social games running on their search engine. Their search engine Bing would soon be hosting the social game “Happy Island” and from doing this the company thinks that it will be proving its innovative talent in the sector.
The company apparently came up with the idea to incorporate social games on their search engine when their biggest rival Google came up with a fully fledged application and gaming store for its Google Chrome OS. Speaking about the launch, Parri Munsell, executive producer of Gaming on Bing has said,
“We believe this launch brings several important innovations to the social gaming industry, starting with the ability to experience great gameplay before being required to sign in,”
As per Microsoft’s press release there is a 100 percent possibility of other games like “Zuma`s Revenge” and “Bubble Town” to making in into the search engine soon. As for “Happy Island”, the game already has its presence on Facebook, iPhone and Android devices.
It has hardly been a day since the Google Nexus S arrived in the American stores and the device has already been rooted. XDA hacker Koush has announced that the Gingerbread running Google Android phone can now be rooted and put in recovery.
The instructions for this hack are pretty straightforward – that is if you are already well versed in the rooting procedure. Otherwise, there is no reason why you should risk bricking your day old phone that could also void its warranty.
To get started, you will need to download a few files and then run a few commands on the ADB (Android Debug Bridge) command shell. That should complete the process. Get the complete how-to guide here. As always do let us know how it works in the comments below.