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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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE