Tag - Android at Home
Google Music isn't generating the sales Google wanted, contacts uncovered Thursday. Although still in its first quarter, the Android-focused music store's sales were enough below estimates that CNET's music industry insiders had reason to be "concerned." There wasn't an immediate alarm as Google was hoping to "correct certain issues" and market Google Music more heavily, but it was undercutting low expectations.
An investigation into Google's public records has hinted that the company is planning large expansions that would be incubators for multiple secret projects. The Mercury News sleuthing found that Google was spending over $120 million in construction around its Montain Vew headquarters for both public and private work. Secret projects would reportedly play a part, including for the Android@Home wireless audio device and Google's well-known but still secretive Project X labs.
Google's apparent decision to make its own wireless audio system appears to have come after stopping at least some activity with accessory makers, according to Electronista sources. Now said to have based its work on the Android@Home technology shown at Google I/O last year, the company had been talking to accessory makers building up to the May event but grew silent not long after. The silence might not necessarily have been ubiquitous, but it suggested that Google had taken the reins to make a product of its own.
Google may be making its own wireless audio system and dipping into its own hardware, an apaprent leak uncovered Thursday. The unnamed system, purported by the Wall Street Journal to have been in the works for years, would share at least music throughout the home. It would be sold directly under Google's brand, including the speakers, but could talk to other hardware and could use a phone or tablet for control.
Apple tonight ran two new TV ads for the iPhone 4 (below), both of which focus on features that are genuinely rare on rival platforms. "AirPlay" shows its namesake wireless audio and video streaming to speakers as well as photos and videos. "FaceTime" demos two-way video calling between two iPhones, with a Mac, and with an iPad.
Both AirPlay and Thunderbolt may be prohibitively expensive for a large number of device makers for either to become mainstream in the near future, sources rumored Friday. AirPlay wireless audio streaming allegedly adds as much as $100 to the price of an audio system since it involves more than just introducing Wi-Fi. Costs were getting lower, iLounge heard, but even Philips' Fidelio system costs $230.
Google promised a major impact on technology at its initial Google I/O keynote with a new effort known as Android@Home. In tandem with Android Open Accessory, the push would encourage developing lighting, audio systems, refrigerators, and other appliances that talk wirelessly to phones and tablets. Users could control the whole home knowing that any Android app could speak to a device.
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Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive, Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN