Google is hosting an Android and Chrome event next Wednesday, July 24 hosted by OS honcho Sundar Pichar. Very little is being revealed right now, but the timing is rather interesting in light of the Google I/O event in May and Apple's WWDC event in June. But sure enough, Android will get some much needed attention this time around as it's upgraded to 4.3 (or straight to version 5.0.) Hopefully, it will get some legit support for Bluetooth 4.0 along with the expected new features and UI tweaks. The event kicks off at 12PM EST (that's 9:00 AM for you folks in the west coast.) It will also be live-streamed on YouTube. Stay tuned here at Gear Live as we analyze, synthesize, and slice up the Key Lime Pie.
Looks like Google's goals for the Majel project is coming to full fruition with a Star Trek-like Always Listening mode on the upcoming Moto X smartphone. In a leaked video from Canadian wireless carrier, Rogers, we see that the passive voice command feature added allows Google Now use without the user having to press a button in order to prompt a request--all you have to do is say "Ok Google Now," to get the phone to listen up and do your bidding. Yep, just like Google Glass. In the video, the Moto X has an additional buttonless feature that allows a user to open the phone's camera with two flicks of the wrist. Additionally, we see that you can tap anywhere on the screen to snap a photo instead of just a specific UI button. The Moto X is expected to go on sale this summer. Check out the video after the break.
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If you own an Android phone, you can now get in on the Vine action that iPhone users have had access to for over four months now. The app is Twitter's answer to video sharing, allowing users to share six-second video snippets with each other. Interestingly, the iOS version and Android versions each have features that the other doesn't. For example, the iOS version includes support for the front-facing camera, mentions, hashtags, and search. The Android version doesn't--but it does have a zoom feature, something that's not found in iOS.
Vine for Android works with any device running Android 4.0 or higher, and you can download it now from the Google Play Store.
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The HTC One is a highly impressive Android device, but many users wish that they could get the beautiful hardware with stock Android Jelly Bean software. Luckily, that wish is becoming reality, as Android head Sundar Pichai announced during his D11 talk that the HTC One with Nexus UI will go on sale on June 26th on the Google Play store, and will work on both AT&T and T-Mobile.
Be sure to check out our HTC One review as well.
The LG Nexus 4 is arguably the best Android phone on the market right now (if you don't care about LTE,) but if you were bored by the black hue, you can now get it on the Google Play store and T-Mobile in white. In fact, if you buy it from Google Play directly, you also get a free bumper case thrown in for good measure. It should be stated, though, that the only difference here is the color--otherwise, it's the same Nexus 4 that was released over six months ago, running the latest version of Android, Jelly Bean 4.2.2.
Read More | Google Play Store
Today Samsung announced the Galaxy S4 Mini, a smaller take on its flagship Galaxy S4 Android smartphone. The Galaxy S4 Mini isn't really that "mini," though, since it ships with a 4.3-inch display that is larger than that of the iPhone 5--we'd say this is more of a mid-range display size, but, hey, to each their own. Additionally, it's not as powerful as the full-sized S4, as the Mini has a 1.7GHz dual-core processor and 1.5GB RAM. An 8-megapixel rear camera is paired with a 1.9-megapixel front shooter, and on the inside you get 8GB of storage (which you can expand with a microSD card.) Once nicety is that the Galaxy S4 Mini ships with Android 4.2.2, which means you get the latest and greatest right out of the gate. Pricing and availability has yet to be announced, but we're that that we'll find out next month. In the meantime, let us know if you're going for this one in the comments.
Read More | Samsung
Yesterday evening, Apple CEO Tim Cook took the state at the 11th annual D: All Things Digital conference, and spoke about many topics relating to Apple. During the D11 interview, Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher hit Cook with tough questions, most of which were answered with just enough information so as not to give away specific future plans. Talking points include wearable computing, changes coming to iOS, Apple stock price, taxes, and more. We've got the full 90-minute interview video for you after the break--check it out.
Google is making the practice of sending money to friends as easy as attaching a document to an email. Using Gmail, you'll be able to attach cash money to your emails using your Google Wallet account, for free. The nice thing is that you don't have to have funds on your account to do this--you can just have a bank account attached to your Wallet account. Recipients of your paper won't need to have a Gmail account, which is one more thing you don't need to worry about, and anyone you send money to can return it to you as well. Google is rolling out the feature now to Gmail users over the age of 18. Check out a video that explains it all, after the break.
The new Google Hangouts has arrived, bringing together Google's Talk, Hangouts, Voice, and Google+ Messenger under one app and umbrella. Google Hangouts offers unified, synchronized chat that retains history across all devices, allowing you to dig into your history wherever you are, delete messages, and check out files, photos, etc. Hangouts naturally includes the previous Google Hangouts video chat features, which allows multiple people to video chat with each other, again, from a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Hangouts it now available on iOS, Android, Chrome, and within the Gmail web client. Get a look at the video promo after the break.
Google Play Music All Access is now live and official. Just head on over to Google Music and you can sign up for the absolutely free 30-day trial. Remember, if you sign up before June 30th, you lock in $7.99 per month pricing. After that, it jumps to $9.99 per month.
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