All About Android 153

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All About Android
Episode 153

All About Android 153: Too Close to the Sun



Android Wear is Google's answer to Android for Wearables, with a developer preview of the SDK available today. It's not just watches, but all wearables, though what we've seen today has been limited to watches. We'll get to those watches in a bit, but first, what can we expect from Android Wear?
Google Now card interface and voice search
Contextual notifications
Voice entry ala Google Now
Fitness and Health integration with "a wide range of sensors"
Multiscreen capabilities (cast to TV, manage music playlist, etc)
Notifications are sync between device and watch. Any action on the phone or watch dismisses the other.
Notifications that make a sound or vibrate on your phone will vibrate the Wear device.
Moto 360:
Circular display
Twist of the wrist will bring certain actions
Available this Summer in the US, then later globally
Available in a variety of styles
LG G Watch:
LG is quiet on the specs
Engadget picture reveals how Google Now appears on the device
LG wants this to have a "low barrier to entry" for developers.
Should arrive next quarter with aggressive pricing
Fossil Watch:
No details as of yet, other than announced partnership
Also listed as partners: Samsung/HTC/ASUS listed as partners
And as for competitors? Pebble founder Eric Migicovsky has already told Android Central that they are excited about the announcement: "It’s exciting to see this market grow so quickly -- enabling more interesting use cases and keeping all of us laser-focused on creating the very best user experiences we can."
As for Samsung? Well, they unveiled information for the Tizen SDK for Wearable that enables developers to get in on their Gear line, starting yesterday. Unfortunate timing for Samsung.



I know you are going to cover Android Wear, and I am so anxious to hear everyone's view. (I hope Ron is there given how much love he has for a future Google Smartwatch.)  I hope you hit on three things:

1.  Are we still a way off from having a good form factor?  The Moto 360 looks good, but is is still TOO THICK?  Is Apple's secret weapon a leap in streamlined design.

2. Given that the partner list includes Samsung, does everyone thing this is why they renamed Samsung Gear to not have ""Galaxy"" in it, to save that for Android Gear compatible model with a similar form factor?

3. All watches appear to focus on Fitness, and Google Gear appears to have the standard basic set.  With everyone in the game, is Apple's other's secret weapon sensors that will leaprfrog what other fitness mobile hardware can do.  Below is a link from Gizmodo from yesterday?  Given Google's experimentation with sensor technology, do the group think think that sensor may be the next arms race for mobile?

Todd Poulson



Amazon's video streaming device is getting a lot of attention lately:
First, Wall Street Journal reports people familiar with the plans as saying that the device will ship early April, selling through its site as well as Best Buy. Price incentives will be given to Prime members, though no pricing revealed.
TechCrunch is reporting that we can expect something more akin to the Chromecast than an Apple TV… so a dongle form factor. Game streaming would happen in a way similar to OnLive in that 30 frames per second games will stream to the device from Amazon's servers.
Zatz Not Funny posted images of the supposed Amazon bluetooth Gaming controller, complete with media control buttons alongside the usual selection of gaming controllers.
If you were hoping to run Windows 8.1 and Android on the new ASUS Transformer Book Duet TD300 that was shown off at CES in January, sorry to say: you're gonna have a bad day. Sources told the Wall Street Journal that Asustek faced serious pushback from both Google and Microsoft that ultimately resulted in the company scrapping its plans to release the device to the public. It was originally scheduled to go on sale during the first half of the year. This device had a new feature called Instant Switch that would allow the user to switch between OSs with a single click.
Also, Asustek will stop selling the previously released Transformer AiO P1801 and P1802 all-in-one PCs due to Microsoft's "new policy" regarding dual-OS devices.
Google just announced that Chromecast will be available for customers in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland starting today, cost is 30 euros. (converts to $42 right now)



Hey Crew and especially Ron,

A gentle reminder: for those of us who are blind and depend on text-to-speech to use our smart phones, upgrading the tts can be very important.  Good clear text-to-speech makes using a phone more pleasurable and there will be fewer mistakes or lack of clarity. Try using Talkback for a few hours and you'll see, I mean hear, what I'm speaking about.  You can enable Talkback in Accessibility under Settings.

I am particularly interested to follow the Samsung Galaxy Core Advance since Samsung is releasing accessories aimed at the vi (visually impaired)  community.

And, while I'm writing, to all Twit hosts, I'm a grandmother who uses a smart phone and programs on a Raspberry Pi.  Some of us old folks know our way around.

Rill from Wisconsin



In a new version of Play Games Services, cross-platform multiplayer support will enable Android and iOS players the ability to sync together, meaning developers don't have to rely on their own servers to do this.
Also announced: Updates to Unity plugin that supports these changes, a new Play Games C++ SDK that should help with the cross-platform development, new game categories (from 6-18), more analytics, and Game gifts of virtual in-game objects.
9to5Google says that the word is that Google Voice, the app, will soon be integrated into Hangouts. This isn't surprising as we've seen the trend of folding apps like Messenger, Talk and Messaging into Hangouts already. That and we've already heard from Google that the plan is to integrate Voice into Hangouts in the future. Well, apparently, that time is near and possibly word could be revealed at Google IO in June. It's important to note that this doesn't necessarily mean that Google Voice, the service, is going away. Just that the app is likely becoming a piece of Hangouts.
New update to the Play Store app that addresses one of our topics from last week. Version 4.6.16 introduces a new option to the "require password" behavior: Always (which should have been there from the beginning) means that a password will be required with every single purchase. Still possible to set it to never, and once every 30 minutes.
Other notable changes: Batch install in My Apps tab and removing apps from My Apps no longer takes you all the way to the top after each time you do it.

Android Arena!



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