The next Android operating system for smartphones will include some features that were previously exclusive to Android tablets, Google announced Tuesday.
Dubbed “Ice Cream Sandwich,” the platform will debut some time in the fourth quarter of 2011, Google officials said during the company’s I/O developer conference.
“We want one OS that runs everywhere,” Android engineer Mike Claren said at the conference.
Ice Cream Sandwich-powered smartphones will ship with enhancements introduced in Android Honeycomb, Google’s operating system for tablets. Some of these new features include a holographic user interface, enhanced multitasking abilities and the ability to connect the smartphone with a USB device, such as a mouse or an Xbox controller.
The release of Ice Cream Sandwich has been highly anticipated by the Android developer community. Android version 3.0 (Honeycomb) first debuted on Motorola’s Xoom tablet in February, touting a host of enhancements and features new to the Android platform. Developers have been waiting for Google to release the Honeycomb source code, in order to bring some of these features to smartphones.
So far, Google has refused to do so. After a long period of silence and a whole lot of fear, uncertainty and doubt, Google issued a statement to members of the press in March: “While we’re excited to offer these new features to Android tablets, we have more work to do before we can deliver them to other device types including phones. Until then, we’ve decided not to release Honeycomb to open source.”
Google’s Android operating system may have been created for phones and refined for tablets, but the OS is set to move beyond the bounds of mobile devices.
Today, Google announced a new class of Android devices for the home during the opening keynote at its annual I/O developer’s conference in San Francisco. These devices—dubbed “Tungstens”—act as an intermediary between an Android phone or tablet and a suitably enabled home appliance. They would allow users to remotely control everything from lighting to refrigerators.
The company demonstrated how a Tungsten could make playing a game on an Android tablet more immersive: explosions and gunfire set the special lights in the room flickering with every blast. New software that makes it easier for Android devices and their apps to interface with other devices and objects, including home automation equipment, was also demonstrated.
In its long-anticipated effort to bring music storage to the cloud, Google debuted its own streaming music service at its I/O developer conference on Tuesday morning.
Dubbed “Music Beta by Google,” the service will act as a “digital locker,” where users can store their music in the cloud instead of on their local hard drives or mobile devices.
After uploading your existing music library to a remote server, you’ll be able to stream your music to your Android phone or web-connected PC. As long as you’re connected to the internet, you’ll be able to access your music wherever you go.
You’ll be able to add up to 20,000 songs, and it’s free while it’s in beta mode.
So Microsoft is buying Skype for $8.5 billion, its biggest deal ever. It’s too soon to make a pronouncement on whether the purchase is an idiot move, a brilliant one or just something in between. All the geniuses who ripped the investors who bought Skype from eBay in 2009 don’t look so smart now.
It was almost Google who owned Skype.
Here’s more detail on the story:
In 2009 a brilliant product manager named Wesley Chan was in charge of Google Voice, which was still in development. It was Google’s revamp of Grand Central, which Chan had snared in an acquisition the year before. When some Google executives heard that eBay was selling Skype, they jumped on the opportunity and began negotiating.
As Chan helped with due diligence, even going to Europe to see Skype firsthand, he became convinced that the purchase was a bad idea for Google. He concluded that one of Skype’s key assets — its peer-to-peer technology — was a mismatch for Google, which worked on the newer paradigm of cloud computing.
Read more at Wired
The article first appeared on Wired
Facebook’s large user base will make it the world’s largest online display advertising company by revenue this year, overtaking the comparable businesses of Google and Yahoo, according to analysis published on Tuesday.
Enders Analysis, based in London, in a report on Tuesday, forecasts that Facebook will lift its advertising revenues from $1.8bn to $3.5bn in 2011, a rise of 95 per cent. At the same time, Google’s display business – which includes YouTube, the video site, and DoubleClick, its banner network – is expected to rise from $2bn last year to $2.6bn this year, with Facebook extending its lead in 2012.
Display advertising includes text, images and video shown on a standard web page, although it excludes search, from which Google derives significantly larger revenues.
Although Facebook’s advertising revenues remain a fraction of Google’s search business, the social network’s 500m users and the volume of ads it shows those users has enabled it to lift revenues rapidly.
To read in depth head over to FT.com
The Indian government said Tuesday that new rules allowing it to access personal information available with Internet companies have inherent checks and balances against misuse.
The rules under section 43A of the Information Technology Act were enacted last month and reflect the government’s perception that security threats to the country can be countered by better access to online information.
The country is, for example, locked in a dispute with Research In Motion, demanding access to e-mails and other communications on RIM’s corporate service, called BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
Privacy groups and lawyers have described the rules as draconian and said they infringe Indians’ fundamental rights. “These are arbitrary powers that are being given to government, without any checks and balances,” said Pavan Dugga, a cyberlaw consultant and advocate in India’s Supreme Court.
The rules place controls on the gathering and use of personal data by Internet companies, including requiring permission from the provider of information for sharing such data. But the rules cite the government as an exception in this regard.
This article first appeared on The PC World
If you wondered how Google protects the data in its data centers the here’s is a cool video released by Google itself. This video contains never seen before every single details of all the security aspects of Google data centers.
The video starts with describing physical security measures like restricted barriers, security fencing, video cameras, security guards and biometric scanners in the data centers. It also explains how Google engineers itself assembles the servers and use Linux based OS for the security of data centers.
Check out this cool video to know more about the Google Data Centers:
Google plans to introduce its long-awaited service to allow people to upload and store their music collections on the Web and listen to their songs on Android phones or tablets and on computers.
The announcement of the new service, a so-called cloud-based music player, will be made on Tuesday at Google I/O, the company’s developers conference here, which will run through Wednesday.
The service, to be called Music Beta by Google, is similar to one introduced by Amazon in March, although it will store considerably more music. And like Amazon, Google does not have the cooperation of music labels, which means that users cannot do certain things that would legally require licenses, like sharing songs with friends and buying songs from Google.
But Google’s announcement at this time was unexpected because it has been negotiating with the music labels for months to try to make a deal to team with them on a cloud music service.
originally from: The NY Times
Image source: Maximumpc.com
The lightening fast search is now faster with its latest avatar known as Google Instant. Supported by Chrome v5/6, Firefox v3, Safari v5 for Mac and Internet Explorer v8 Google Instant helps you search faster by displaying the results as you type.
The most obvious change is that you get to the right content much faster than before because you don’t have to finish typing your full search term, or even press “search.” Another shift is that seeing results as you type helps you formulate a better search term by providing instant feedback. You can now adapt your search on the fly until the results match exactly what you want. In time, we may wonder how search ever worked in any other way.
Faster Searches: By predicting your search and showing results before you finish typing, Google Instant can save 2-5 seconds per search.
Smarter Predictions: Even when you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, predictions help guide your search. The top prediction is shown in grey text directly in the search box, so you can stop typing as soon as you see what you need.
Instant Results: Start typing and results appear right before your eyes. Until now, you had to type a full search term, hit return, and hope for the right results. Now results appear instantly as you type, helping you see where you’re headed, every step of the way.
Personal Opinion: I just loved Google Instant as it at times showed the results that interested me. And at times its just fun to stumble. It definitely saves time and I have always been a fan of things that help me save time.
Would like to know you opinions too on Google Instant.
Millions of people search Google Maps every day. A free listing on Google Maps makes it easy for them to find you.
Google Places can be used to create your free listing. When potential customers search Maps for local information, they’ll find your business: your address, hours of operation, even photos of your storefront or products. It’s easy, free, and you don’t need a website of your own.
Reach new customers on Google Maps and Google.com: Local customers are already searching for the products and services you offer. Why not make it easy for them to find you on Google search and on Google Maps
Works great for businesses of any size: Whether you run a office or dozens of shops, manage all your listings from a single account.
Update your listing at any time: Use Google Places to edit your listing whenever and however you like. Your Google Maps results will be updated in a few weeks, not next year.