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Google Play unites all Google services under one umbrella

These days, many people have multiple cloud-connected devices. A smartphone, a tablet, a computer or two...the list goes on. The trouble is getting all these items to sync and communicate with each other. Apple's been trying to solve that for its own devices with iCloud, and now Google die-hards are in luck as well. Google has combined all of its various online stores and marketplaces (Google Music, Android Market, Google eBookstore, etc.) into one service called Google Play.

To kick off Google Play, Google is offering select full albums at 25 cents each, movie rentals at 99 cents, popular apps at 49 cents, and many books for $2.99 in its “7 Days to Play” sale. Apart from the sale, Google Play offers Google users to store up to 20,000 songs for free and allows them to access their music remotely from the cloud. For those that just can’t wait to get to the nearest RedBox, you’re also able to download new releases via Google Play. You also have the option to rent thousands of moives and HD titles at your leisure. And don’t forget that you can browse the largest selection of eBooks. The video above explains it all.

Read More | Google

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Bleeding Edge TV 431: Vonage Mobile vs. Skype

We compare the new Vonage Mobile free calling and free texting app against the Skype app for iOS and Android in this episode. Both Vonage and Skype offer apps for smartphones that enable you to communicate with others using voice or text for free, yet the apps also have some key differences. For example, Vonage Mobile uses your existing contacts and address book, rather than requiring you to set up a new username, get a new phone number, and set up a whole new buddy list like Skype requires you to do. Also, Vonage Mobile doesn't require you to set up an account with them to pay for any off-network minutes like Skype, instead you just add your minutes right from the App Store or Android Market! Another big difference is that Skype offers video chat, while Vonage Mobile is strictly for free phone calls and free texts in its current form. Check out the video for the full comparison and rundown!

Big thank you to MozyPro and JackThreads for sponsoring the show - be sure to check them out! MozyPro provides simple, automatic, and secure data backup. As for JackThreads, we've got exclusive invite codes that give you $5 to use towards anything you'd like on the site.


Bleeding Edge TV 429: Vonage Mobile review

We give you a look at Vonage Mobile and explain how you can win one of twenty $25 iTunes gift cards in this episode! Vonage Mobile allows you to make free phone calls to other users of the app (which is currently available for iOS and Android.) In addition, you can also send free text messages as well to other users of the app, cross platform. Even better, you can call any phone number, the rate is much lower than what your mobile carrier would charge, and is even 30% less than what Skype would charge you as well.

The app works over both Wi-Fi and cell service (3G and 4G) and it uses your existing contacts and address book, rather than requiring you to set up a new username, get a new phone number, etc. Even cooler, you don't need a Vonage account to pay for your calls - instead, you just add your minutes right from the App Store or Android Market! As we said, the video also explain how you can win one of the 20 $25 iTunes gift cards we will be giving away as well!

Big thank you to MozyPro and JackThreads for sponsoring the show - be sure to check them out! MozyPro provides simple, automatic, and secure data backup. As for JackThreads, we've got exclusive invite codes that give you $5 to use towards anything you'd like on the site.


Enter to win 1 of 20 $25 iTunes gift cards in our Vonage Mobile giveaway!

Vonage Mobile review

Vonage Mobile has launched, and we're giving away 20 iTunes gift cards to our readers to celebrate! In case you're unaware, Vonage Mobile allows you to make free phone calls to other users of the app (which is currently available for iOS and Android,) anywhere in the world. In addition, you can also send free text messages as well to other users of the app, cross platform, anywhere in the world. Even better, you can call any phone number, and if that other person doesn't have Vonage Mobile, then the rate is much lower than what your mobile carrier would charge, and is even 30% less than what Skype would charge you as well.

The app works over both Wi-Fi and cell service (3G and 4G) and it uses your existing contacts and address book, rather than requiring you to set up a new username, get a new phone number, etc. Even cooler, you don't need a Vonage account to pay for your calls - instead, you just add your minutes right from the App Store or Android Market!

So, how do you enter to win one of the $25 iTunes credits? We've got a few different ways for you to enter. You only need to enter once, but for each method of entry, you gain an additional entry in the contest. Here's how you enter:

That's it! Again, there is no requirement for you to perform all three methods of entry, but you do get a point for each entry that you do. At the end of the week, we'll choose twenty winners at random who followed the rules!

Click to continue reading Enter to win 1 of 20 $25 iTunes gift cards in our Vonage Mobile giveaway!


Google offering 10-cent apps to celebrate 10 billion Android Market downloads

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Google, Hot Deals, Software

Google said Tuesday that customers had downloaded more than 10 billion apps in the Android Market. To celebrate, Android users will be able to download 10-cent apps over the next 10 days.

Google, whose name implies a fixation on exponents of 10, didn't say whether 10 10-cent apps will be offered for 10 days. But on Tuesday—yes, Google will sell 10 apps for the 10-cent price: Asphalt 6 HD, Color & Draw for Kids, Endomondo Sports Tracker Pro, Fieldrunners HD, Great Little War Game, Minecraft, Paper Camera, Sketchbook Mobile, Soundhound Infinity, and Swiftkey X.

Android downloads have grown from 1 billion total in July 2010 to 10 billion seventeen months later.

"One billion is a pretty big number by any measurement," Eric Chu, director of the Android Ecosystem, said in a blog post. "However, when it's describing the speed at which something is growing, it's simply amazing. This past weekend, thanks to Android users around the world, Android Market exceeded 10 billion app downloads—with a growth rate of one billion app downloads per month. We can't wait to see where this accelerating growth takes us in 2012."

Click to continue reading Google offering 10-cent apps to celebrate 10 billion Android Market downloads


Google Music brings MP3 store, free cloud storage for your tracks

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Corporate News, Google, Music, Storage

Google on Wednesday officially unveiled its music product, dubbed Google Music, which will let users store songs in the cloud for free and buy tracks directly from the Android Market.

Google's Jamie Rosenberg, director of digital content for Android, said Google Music is an expansion of Google Music Beta, introduced earlier this year, making it a "full end-to-end service."

"It's about the cloud, about the Web and about mobile," he said.

Google Music, accessible via music.google.com, is open to everyone in the U.S. now on the Web and will roll out to mobile users in the coming days. Users can store and stream up to 20,000 songs in the Google cloud for free, and add any selections they don't have by buying them from the Google Music store.

Google Music will allow users to share songs with friends, who will be able to play that song in its entirety once.

Google said it has sealed deals with more than 1,000 music labels, including Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and EMI, as well as indie labels, like those from Merlin. In all, Google promised access to 13 million tracks, 8 million of which are available now.

Click to continue reading Google Music brings MP3 store, free cloud storage for your tracks


Google closing Google Labs to streamline product lines

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Corporate News, Google, Internet

Google Labs closingGoogle is shutting down its Google Labs experimental project incubator as part of an effort at "simplifying and streamlining" the company's product lines, the search giant revealed on its official blog Wednesday.

Referencing Google CEO Larry Page's recent memo to employees explaining the company's decision to retire its Google Health and PowerMeter services, Bill Coughran, a Google senior vice president for research and systems infrastructure, wrote that shuttering Google Labs was also part of the company's new agenda of "prioritizing our product efforts."

"While we've learned a huge amount by launching very early prototypes in Labs, we believe that greater focus is crucial if we're to make the most of the extraordinary opportunities ahead," Coughran wrote in a blog post titled "More wood behind fewer arrows."

"In many cases," he wrote, "this will mean ending Labs experiments—in others we'll incorporate Labs products and technologies into different product areas. And many of the Labs products that are Android apps today will continue to be available on Android Market."

Click to continue reading Google closing Google Labs to streamline product lines


The Definitive Guide to Watching the Royal Wedding Online

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Editorial, Features, Internet, Software

If you're just planning to turn on the telly and tune in the Royal Wedding, you'll be missing out. It's 2011, folks! There are a host of online destinations, social media tools and mobile apps that can truly help you experience the full scope of this 21st century event.

All of the major broadcasters will be airing the Royal Wedding on live TV Friday morning, but so will several online venues. YouTube will be streaming the entire event live at The Royal Channel, built specifically for Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding. Livestream is also streaming the AP Live feed of the day's events, plus more coverage from CBS News, ET and the UK Press Association. And you can watch full streaming BBC coverage at BBC News' dedicated wedding site.

You can also watch the event live on a smartphone or other Internet device on the Sprint TV ABC News Channel, which is part of the carrier's basic Sprint TV channel package. T-Mobile TV will only carry pre- and post-wedding coverage but start-to-finish coverage is available through Xfinity.tv, which has apps available on the Android Market and on iTunes.

In most cases, live-anchored coverage begins at 5 a.m. Eastern Time(2 a.m. Pacific) and live coverage of the ceremony starts at around 6 a.m. ET (3 a.m. PT). That's pretty early for most people, so what to do if you don't want to wake up hours before dawn?

Click to continue reading The Definitive Guide to Watching the Royal Wedding Online


App Store coming to Google TV

A version of the Android Market for the Google TV platform is due "very short term," the general manager overseeing Google TV products for Logitech said Tuesday.

Speaking at the OTTCon here on Tuesday, Ashish Arora, the vice president and general manager for Logitech's Digital Home Group, was asked on a panel discussion whether Google TV owners would be able to take advantage of other Android apps soon.

Arora answered in the affirmative, although his answers didn't quite nail down the timeframe. "It will happen shortly," he said. "It's a given that it will happen this year, 100 percent," he said.

"We're talking about a very short term," he said.

Although Arora does not work for Google, Logitech was one of the key launch partners for the Google TV platform, with Sony. Logitech launched its Logitech Revue in October. At the time, some of the personalization aspects from other Google services were missing, part of Google's practice of launching a product and adding functionality over time.

Click to continue reading App Store coming to Google TV


Android Market gets a facelift

Posted by Patrick Lambert Categories: Cell Phones, Google, Software

  

One common source of complaints from Android users is how the Market app can be somewhat tricky to use. I've always found the user experience to be not that great compared with the Apple App Store, for example. Thankfully, Android developers have been hard at work, and have launched a new version of the Market app. They are adding a new 'carousel' in the home screen which will make discoverability of apps easier. They are also adding some categories for Widgets and Live Wallpapers, and promising to add more in the weeks ahead for popular apps and games. The way information is shown about each app is also changed, with everything being shown on a single page. Finally, the refund window will drop from 24h to 15 minutes, since apparently people typically uninstall applications they don't like only minutes after installing them. The update will be rolled out over the next two weeks to devices running Android 1.6 or above.

Read More | Android Blog

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