Google continues to slowly-but-surely make Google Glass more widely available. Now, anyone willing to put down $1,500 can head to the Google Play store and grab the Google Glass “Explorer Edition,” previously only available to those who'd scored an exclusive invitation. Yep, here at the end of 2014 Google still hasn't been able to get a mass consumer version of Glass out the door, so the expensive beta developer product is all you can get for now. Alongside Glass, buyers can also pick up accessories like frames, a custom earpiece, and shades.
The Glass Explorer Edition was originally announced in February 2013, with many predicting that a cheaper consumer version would follow in late 2013 or early 2014. Over a year-and-a-half later there still seems to be no sign of it on the horizon. At Google I/O 2014, Google's biggest event of the year, Glass didn't get a mention at all.
Read More | Google Glass
Here's how this is gonna go down: The grand prize winner will talk away with $150 in Google Play store credit. Second place gets $100. 15 other winners will each get $50 in credit. Ready to enter? Go get it:
Gramofon might be named after the 19th century sound system, but it's as modern as it gets. It's a wireless jukebox that streams music from cloud services like Spotify.
It's the latest brainchild of Fon, the crowdsourced W-iFi network. You connect the Gramofon to your speakers and your Wi-Fi network, and it acts as a Wi-Fi booster and gives off a signal that mobile devices can connect to. Those devices can be used to manipulate playlists.
Now, if you are thinking “so how is this any different than plugging speakers into my iPhone?”, well, with the Gramofon you can make music more social, as anyone on your network is able to use it. You and your friends can share music, create and modify playlists and otherwise get your groove on.
At first, Gramofon will stream from Spotify and Rhapsody. However, the company plans to add other services like Rdio, Grooveshark, SoundCloud, Pandora, Google Play, Songza, and more. If you're interested, check it out on Kickstarter. Fon has stated that the first batch of Gramofons are ready to ship in July. You can get yourself one by backing it for $50. Check out video of the project after the jump.
Read More | Gramofon on Kickstarter
With Apple expected to release the lower-cost iPhone 5C next month, Google has just cut the price of the Nexus 4, dropping it to $199 for the 8GB model without contract--that's $100 less than it cost just a day ago. If you prefer the 16GB version, you can get that one for $249. These prices are a steal for the Nexus 4, which is widely seen as the best current Android smartphone, even thought it lacks LTE. This is a much more inexpensive way to get the pure Google experience in a smartphone than it would be to buy the Google Play editions of the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S 4. The price cut is now live in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Korea, the United States, and the UK.
Read More | Google Nexus 4
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
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.
Google has announced a new version of the Samsung Galaxy S 4 during the opening day Google I/O keynote, which runs the latest stock version of Android Jelly Bean. This means that the specialized smartphone sports the Nexus experience. It's compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile LTE networks, completely unlocked. The bootloader is unlocked as well, and the device sports 16GB of on-board storage, expandable with a microSD card. One major benefit is the promise of immediate system updates to newer Android versions, thanks to the stock Android being used. Since the phone has no contract, it won't be cheap. The stock Android Jelly Bean version of the Galaxy S 4 will go on sale on Google Play on June 26th for $649.
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
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