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Our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide is in full swing - we are adding our recommendations daily, aimed at men, women, teens, families, techies, and more. If you need help figuring out what to get the people in your life, head on over to our Guide for some ideas. We’ll even be giving away some of the items featured this year!
Google is giving out a few dozen Google Glass Explorer Edition units each day, rolling them out to developers as they are being made, rather than waiting until all are done to get them out at the same time. The result? A bunch of excited devs getting their hands on Glass, and giving their opinions on the future tech. We're already seen images of the Google Glass box contents, and now Brandon Allgood gives a great first impression on his Google+ account. Here's a snippet:
I wore Glass all day today. It was light and didn't bother me to do so. The battery truly lasted all day. I didn't however take long videos or hangout for very long. I am also not very popular on G+ and most of my email goes to my business account so I didn't mind the "ding" when I got an email or G+ comment. Most of my co-workers were excited about seeing Glass. Some were a little uncomfortable about it. Overall the reaction has been positive and people aren't bothered by me wearing it in meetings and such. I do live in Silicon Valley, so your experience may differ. I found that my habits will nee to be modified. For example I just need to tint my head back (which turns on the display) and I can see the time. No more looking for a clock or pulling out my phone. I also don't need to check my email on my phone or computer. I found myself from time to time hearing the chime and then pulling my email up on my computer and not Glass. I am over that now.
Hit the link below to head on over to Brandon's Google+ post for the rest. It's a good read on what it's like when you first get Glass, and the process of getting used to using it, the expected, and the unexpected.
Read More | Brandon Allgood Google+
Google Glass units are starting to land in the hands of developers who've signed up for the early Explorer Edition of the device, and images and videos are making their way to the Internet with the quickness. For example, Brandon Allgood posted an image of Glass unboxed to his Google+ page, showing everything it comes with. If you're curious, along with Glass, Explorers also get two different visor lenses (clear and shaded,) a carrying bag with a hard plastic area, AC adapter, and a USB cable for charging all in a Nexus-like box. Hard to believe that Google Glass is finally here, but the units are making their way out into the wild. Google says that it hopes to release Glass to the masses before the end of the year.
Read More | Google+
Google confirmed today that Google Glass units are rolling off the production line, with paying Explorer Edition members set to start receiving their devices in the coming weeks. The expectation was that the Google Glass Explorer Edition would begin to ship at the beginning of next month, and it appears that Google is right on track. The Explorer Edition of Google Glass is an early-access model that allows developers to get their hands on the device and API, readying Google Glass experiences for customers when Glass goes on sale publicly near the end of the year.
Read More | Google
Facebook Home is now available for download on Google Play, as promised last week at the Facebook Home announcement event. If you're the owner of an HTC One X, HTC One X+, Samsung Galaxy S III, or Samsung Galaxy Note II, you are good to go and can download and apply Facebook's launcher right away. You can also pick up the HTC First, which ships with Facebook Home built right in. The HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S 4 will also be capable of running Facebook Home.
As a reminder, Facebook Home is a replacement lock screen, home screen, and chat experience for compatible Android smartphones, bringing pictures feeds to the forefront, and the new Chat Heads feature that will allow you to stay manage Facebook messages in a much more efficient way.
Read More | Facebook Home
"It's important that Apple not be the developer for the world. We can't take all of our energy, and all of our care, and finish the painting and have someone else put their name on it." - Tim Cook, Apple CEO
The same statement rings true for Google. If others are reaping the rewards, and little to nothing is left for oneself, then what's the point? If a product does not meet the expectations set before it, then developing for it doesn't make much sense. If any given product is not self-sustainable, then it is not cost effective and eventually becomes a burden to the maker--even if users appear to enjoy using it. Make no mistake about it, Google is in the business of making money, and everything else is secondary (including good will.)
Google's co-founder and now recently-minted CEO, Larry Page, bought Android in 2005. He also brought along Andy Rubin, one of its creators, over to Google, who recently renounced his post as Senior Vice President of mobile Digital Content. Basically, the guy who was leading Android. It has been said that Sergey Brin, the other tandem co-founder, was not enthusiastic about the purchase. Former Google CEO at the time, Eric Schmidt, now Chairman at Google had a similar reaction. These somewhat pessimistic receptions were also shared by Vic Gundotra, Senior Vice President of Engineering. However, he recanted these thoughts at Google I/O 2010.
The Google Play Store is getting a fresh coat of paint beginning today with the release of the official 4.0 update. What's so great about Google Play 4.0? Well, for starters, the images are larger, making it easier to see what exactly your about to download. Content grouping has also been improved, providing better recommendations of other items you might be interested in, and the checkout process also sees a slight overhaul as well. Google Play 4.0 starts worldwide rollout today, and may take a couple of weeks before hitting your particular device. It'll run on any smartphone or tablet running Android 2.2 or later.
Read More | Android Blog
Google Fiber is officially coming to Austin, Texas, giving people yet another reason to want to live in the edgy city. Google has not yet revealed the rollout schedule, but don't let that fool you--they'll likely be splitting the city up into different "Fiberhoods" like what happened in Kansas City, Kansas and Missouri in order to gauge the areas of highest interest. Google Fiber offers 1 Gbps broadband Internet, television service, and phone service through a direct fiber to the home connection. This marks the thirs city that Google Fiber is making an appearance in, as Google's Eric Schmidt recently said that Fiber is a "real business"--here's hoping we see quick expansion to additional neighborhoods in the US.
Read More | Gig-U
During today's Facebook Home announcement, HTC and AT&T announced the HTC First, a new smartphone set to launch in just over a week that was built from the ground up to run Facebook Home as its main interface. Aside from being the, um, first phone to launch with Facebook Home built-in, it'll also be the first smartphone to ship with Instagram pre-installed (although the Samsung Galaxy Camera does, too, but it isn't technically a phone.) The phone itself is a beautifully simple device from a design perspective, and on the inside runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor keeping things humming along, and status updates flowing across the 4.3-inch display. It also runs on AT&T's 4G LTE network, which Ralph de la Vega made sure to pimp as the fastest LTE network in the country. You'll be able to pick up the HTC First on April 12 (hey, the same day that the iPhone 5 hits T-Mobile!) for $99.99 in the US, and you'll have a choice of four colors: black, white, sky blue, or red.
Read More | HTC First
Ever heard of the new Goophone i5S? Well, it looks awfully like the iPhone 5, yet it runs Android and costs $149.99. Shameless? Nah, this is the only natural way to do a smartphone nowadays. Hopefully you have your sarcasm meter set to "On." Of course the Goophone doesn't doesn't run iOS natively. It's in fact Android but with an iOS skin. A welled deserved cease and desist is in order in 3…2…1.
Read More | Android Sale
Samsung made the Galaxy S 4 official at an event held at Radio City Music Hall. Led by JK Shin, head of Samsung mobile, the company showed off its new flagship smartphone--and it's exactly what we've already seen in the multiple leaks.
Front and center on the Galaxy S 4 is the 5-inch Super AMOLED 1080p display, using the new Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and sporting a whopping 441 pixels per inch. Stunning, to be sure. Additionally, this smartphone is the first to sport 802.11ac Wi-Fi support, the fastest you'll be able to find in any home at this point--also compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n as well, alongside Bluetooth 4.0. An IR blaster is included, similar to the one found on the HTC One, and you also get a removable 2,600 mAh battery. Other important specs include 2 GB of RAM, and the choice between 16, 32, and 64 GB of built-in storage. Naturally, the phone supports LTE.
Read More | Galaxy S 4