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
Samsung will be formally announcing and unveiling the Galaxy S IV later tonight, the follow-up to the massively popular Galaxy S III. As has pretty much become typical in the consumer electronics world, we are seeing info leaking all over the place. We already got teasers of the Galaxy S IV from Samsung, but here you can see the device in full view. We've got a couple more pictures after the break as well. Excited? Here are the specs:
- 1080p 4.99-inch screen
- 1.8GHz 8-core chip
- 2 GB RAM
- 16 GB storage
- MicroSD slot
- 2600mAh battery
- 7.7mm thick
- 138 grams
Also expect eye-tracking technology that will do things like scroll content for you automatically, and pause video if you happen to look away.
As we know, Samsung is set to announce the Galaxy S IV on March 14. Today, the company released a teaser image of what is sure to be its next big success. Above, you see an outline and just a bit of the Samsung Galaxy S IV. Of course, we'll get the whole reveal this Thursday.
Read More | Samsung Twitter
After Google released it's latest video highlighting Project Glass, many were left salivating for when they'd be able to buy a pair of their own. Google launched the #IfIHadGlass contest to allow a number of people the ability to be the first purchasers of the "Explorer" edition of the ambitious headset, but even though the price there is $1500, you need to be one of a selected few. Today, The Verge got info direct from Google that it hopes to get Google Glass on the market for all consumers to by before the end of 2013. The price? "Less than $1,500." Pretty vague, but we are still a full 10 months away from the end of the year, and there's still much work to be done.
What price are you hoping to see Google Glass launch at? Any predictions?
Read More | The Verge