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.
Now AAPL Stock: 100.35 ( -0.06 )
Trade-up program expands in Europe
Smartphone users in France, Italy, and Spain will have until at least August of this year to trade in old iPhone, Windows Phone, or Android models at Apple Stores, and put the reward towards a new iPhone -- thanks to an expansion of Apple's trade-in program into those countries. The money given for the trade-in must be applied towards a new iPhone on a two-year payment plane, and traders must qualify under a credit check as part of the program. Interested customers can apply for the trade-in at their nearest Apple Store. http://bit.ly/1qPsldD
NBCUniversal adds Bravo, Syfy, E! to Apple TV
NBCUniversal has launched three new apps channels for Apple TV users. Bravo Now, Syfy Now and E! Now brings users access full seasons of current and past episodes of most of NBCUniversal's catalog. The Bravo Now app includes shows like "The Real Housewives of New York Cit," "Below Deck Mediterranean," comedy "Odd Mom Out" and "Top Chef." The Syfy Now app offers up shows like "The Magicians," thriller "12 Monkeys" and the reality show "Face Off." The E! Now app serves up shows like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," "Botched," "#RichKids of Beverly Hills," Caitlyn Jenner's "I Am Cait," and "WAGS." While some content is free, most content requires users to authenticate via their cable satellite or telco TV provider. http://bit.ly/20K4Pea
Apple rolls out Arabic version of Apple.com
Apple has rolled out a new version of its Apple.com website for Arabic language users in the United Arab Emirates. The site utilizes a right-to-left reading format where it has been updated, although the upgrade is still in progress with a number of page links still in the original English language left-to-right format. Of particular note is that the site debuts an all-new custom Arabic font created by the Tarek Atrissi Design agency, giving it a highly contemporary look and feel. The new support for Arabic on its host website follows the introduction of full support for right-to-left languages in iOS 9, and the addition of Arabic support to Siri late last year. http://apple.co/20JHGIM
Adobe previews Photoshop content-aware crop
Adobe has previewed a new 'content-aware crop' feature from the next version of its Photoshop CC. The new feature is similar to its 'content-aware fill' from the current version of Photoshop CC, and potentially saves users time when cropping photos in a way that might otherwise leave blank white space in the frame. Adobe's 'content-aware' tech automatically assesses the blank space and seamlessly fills the blank space with the nearest related content in the space when a photo is expanded or rotated without the need to manually clone that part of the image. The feature allows users to move a horizon by adding more sky or ground, change the aspect ratio by adding content around the edges of the image and fill in the corners of an image when rotated during a crop. Adobe says the feature is coming soon and will be automatically available to Creative Cloud subscribers. http://adobe.ly/20JDFEu
Markzware updates Q2ID for QuarkXPress 12 files
Graphic design file conversion tool maker Markzware has launched a new version of its Q2ID tool. The InDesign plugin enables users to open QuarkXPress files within a new InDesign (INDD) document, without rebuilding the QXP document from scratch -- the new version includes support for QuarkXPress 12 files. Q2ID Subscription members can download the new version as part of their annual plan. A single-user can purchase the plugin for $200, with other licensing options available. http://bit.ly/1Z4dS9t
PopChar X 7.5 arrives
Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 7.5, an improved version of the company's tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts. PopChar X 7.5 adds support for combined emojis in the Apple Color Emoji font, enhances the "Font Info" view, and adds many further enhancements that improve overall speed and stability. PopChar X 7.5 retails for €30 ($34), and is free for anyone who owns a license for PopChar X 7 or purchased a license for PopChar X 6 on or after March 1, 2014 [4.5MB]
Safari Technology Preview release 5 arrives