In October Google started a field trial that allowed users to peruse their Drive files and Calendar entries straight from the Gmail search box. Apparently the test was a rousing success, as the company is rolling the feature out to all US accounts, in English. The feature hasn't changed since it made its debut late last year -- simply start typing and your autocomplete results will include your next homebrew meeting, your epic beer inventory spreadsheet as well as emails from family members suggesting you seek help for your new "hobby." If you don't have access just yet, be patient, Google says it'll roll out slowly over the next week.
Source: Gmail Blog
(from Engadget RSS Feed http://www.engadget.com/2013/05/23/drive-and-calendar-search-in-gmail/?utm_medium=feed&utm_source=Feed_Classic&utm_campaign=Engadget)
(from BGR http://bgr.com/2013/05/24/verizon-fios-unlimited-data-limit/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheBoyGeniusReport+%28BGR+%7C+Boy+Genius+Report%29)
Latest IT problem for banking group sees customers getting error message when logging on through apps
Around two million NatWest, RBS and Ulster Bank customers found themselves unable to access their accounts via mobile apps for several hours on Friday in the latest in a series of glitches to hit the group's IT systems.
Problems were experienced by customers trying to use all three brands' apps across a range of platforms, who reported error messages when they tried to log in to check balances or arrange payments ahead of the bank holiday weekend. Some said they were being told that the app needed an internet connection to work, even though there was one in place.
The apps went wrong at 7.15am, with the group's user help Twitter accounts acknowledging that there were problems at 8am. By 1pm, RBS said that service via the apps was back to normal. A bank spokesman said the majority of customers had been unable to access the apps for less than two hours, with Android and BlackBerry customers the first to see the service returned.
He said RBS was looking into what had gone wrong, but that it was unlikely to have been caused by the volume of traffic to the apps, which cope with huge numbers of hits every morning.
The bank had similar problems with the app at the end of March, and has had a string of technical issues with other parts of its banking IT, including the meltdown in July 2012 which left some customers without proper access to their accounts for several weeks.
The consumer group Which? said customers would be seeking reassurance that their money was accessible and safe at all times. "These frequent glitches continue to raise questions about how robust and reliable banks' IT systems are," a spokesman added.
The problems came as RBS tries to persuade customers to use more mobile banking services and prepares to cut 1,400 jobs from its high-street banking arm. The NatWest homepage is dominated by an advert for its Pay Your Contacts service, where customers can use the app to transfer money to friends' and family members' mobile phone numbers.
(from Technology news, comment and analysis | guardian.co.uk http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2013/may/24/natwest-rbs-ulster-bank-apps)
During an I/O session called "Structure in Android App Design," Google leaked a new design for Gmail ahead of any official announcement. The slide shows a revamped navigation drawer and a conspicuous lack of the action bar on the bottom. Functions currently located at the bottom of the screen (like compose and search) have moved up, streamlining the inbox's vertical structure. Meanwhile, the new navigation drawer makes it easier to access features like the priority inbox and individual labels without having to open separate screens, as is the case on the current Gmail app. There are a few cosmetic changes as well, like the larger stars in the inbox. It's hard to tell from the image, but one might assume that the navigation bar scrolls down to reveal important functions like trash, spam, and drafts. It doesn't appear that the inclusion of the screenshot was given much thought -- indeed, presenter Jens Nagel left in his personal Gmail address, now blurred out. Stay tuned -- we'll update you as official word on a redesign comes in.
Source: Android Police
(from Engadget RSS Feed http://www.engadget.com/2013/05/24/gmail-redesign-leaks-at-io/?utm_medium=feed&utm_source=Feed_Classic&utm_campaign=Engadget)
I've tried WhatsApp, GroupMe, Kik, Google Voice, LINE, Trillian, and basically every other messaging app you can think of — I've even tried using Skype as an IM service, because at least my parents know what Skype is. I'd given up on finding an app that had all three things I need: cross-platform, useful online and off, and accessible enough that I could convince everyone I know to use it. But Google's new Hangouts app is all that and more.
There are Hangouts apps for iOS and Android, plus Gmail and Chrome. You can message with one person or a hundred, either via text and emoji or on a video call, and if you're offline your messages wait for you to get back on. Hangouts is already baked into your Gmail — there's nothing new to...
(from The Verge - All Posts http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/23/4359324/best-new-apps-google-hangouts)
Google new Hangouts messaging service is quite impressive — it takes Google's old and neglected Talk service and upgrades it with always-on communication, support for images, video calling, and much more. But for all of the improved service that Hangouts offers, if you upgrade the Google Talk service within Gmail to Hangouts (by selecting the "Try the new Hangouts" option in Talk's menu), you lose some significant features — namely the ability to set your availability status and, more importantly, the ability to place or receive Google Voice calls from within Gmail. Essentially, the new Hangouts removes the option to host a Google Voice call on your computer, something that many users find convenient and necessary in their day to day...
(from The Verge - All Posts http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/19/4346910/google-hangouts-upgrade-removes-host-google-voice-calls-gmail)
An iOS feature you may not know about is one where you can have your notifications spoken to you. It’s not Siri EyesFree, which is a mode designed to be integrated with cars. But it does use the same Siri voice to speak to you.
Spoken notifications can come in handy when using your iOS device while working out at the gym, riding a bicycle or attached to your car’s hands-free audio system via Bluetooth. No need to actually look at the screen and read the message you just received. All you need to do is listen. Here is how to set it up.
Enable the VoiceOver Accessibility setting
The iOS setting that you need to enable is actually an accessibility feature called VoiceOver. This feature can be used to read all aspects of the screen using Siri’s voice, including notifications that pop up on the screen. The following steps will also allow you to easily turn on and off the VoiceOver setting, as it may not be a feature that you want enabled all of the time.
- Open the Settings App and navigate to the Accessibility setting located within the General settings.
- Select the VoiceOver settings located at the top of the list, but do not turn it on just yet. Instead scroll down to the bottom of the VoiceOver settings and turn on Speak Notifications.
- Navigate back to the list of all Accessibility settings and scroll down to the bottom of the list.
- Set the Triple-click Home Button setting to turn on VoiceOver and exit out of the Settings app.
That’s it. Now every time the Home button is triple-clicked, the device will enter into VoiceOver mode. Once in VoiceOver mode, Siri’s voice will read aloud all of the information on the screen, including notifications. To turn off VoiceOver, simply triple-click the Home button again.
Works with any Notifications-capable app
This VoiceOver feature as configured above will work with any app that takes advantage of iOS’s notification system. Just be sure to configure the notification setting so that the app you are interested in can display an alert on the lock screen. Using VoiceOver this way will respect your Do Not Disturb settings.
One app in particular that is useful to use in association with this feature is Twitter. I have enabled certain news accounts that I follow on Twitter to be able to send me notifications. With VoiceOver feature enabled, Siri will speak over the music that I am listening to and read the tweet to me. It’s like adding your own custom news service to your favorite music stream, which I have found to be a very useful feature.
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(from GigaOM http://gigaom.com/2013/05/17/ios-quick-tip-turn-on-spoken-notifications/)
Uh oh. Looks like a bit more evidence that Mac's are not safe from malware has emerged again.
- Blurring objects you want to hide in iMovie '11
- Apple seeks Liquidmetal expert, reignites iPhone, MacBook Liquidmetal speculation
- Apple and Lenovo grow, but European PC market suffers
- Apple and the file system: Skating to where the puck might go
- Apple's Cook defends tax practices and reveals of 'made in USA' Mac
(from Macworld News http://www.macworld.co.uk/mac/news/?newsid=3447899&olo=rss)
Google entered a crowded space when it launched its own music subscription service this week: Google Play Music All Access competes head-on with Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody, Muve Music and a handful of other offerings, all of which offer more or less the same catalog for the same price.
How can Google stand out from the crowd, and convince millions of consumers who haven’t warmed up to access models that they don’t need to own music to enjoy it? To find out, I’ve both tested the service since its launch Wednesday and met up with Paul Joyce, Lead Product Manager for Google Play Music on the sidelines of the Google I/O developers conference where the service was launched. Joyce politely declined to answer some of my questions, but the conversation gave me a good idea of what’s in store for the music service with the confusingly long name.
Right now, it’s more or less like all the others
Google’s premise for Play Music All Access is simple, and you’ve heard it before: Play millions of songs, on your desktop and on the go, for one low monthly fee. That’s what Spotify and all of its competitors have been offering for some time now, and Google doesn’t mess with the basic recipe. All Access costs $9.99 ($7.99 if you sign up before the end of June), and it offers streaming access to songs from all three majors and most significant indie labels.
However, there’s one big difference: Google’s subscription music catalog seamlessly integrates with the company’s music locker, with which users can store up to 20,000 songs for free. That’s an interesting combination, and it hasn’t been offered by any of the other major subscription players before. It makes it possible to have Google generate smart radio stations based on your own music collection, or mix subscription tracks and CDs you ripped in custom playlists, and then access these on the go without having to worry that some of the tracks won’t be available.
Joyce told me that the locker is especially good for tracks that aren’t available through the subscription offering, or even as MP3 sales – mashups, imports and other kinds of rarities.
In the future, All Access will be a lot more social
But All Access isn’t just about filling the gaps left by other services. It also wants to be better at engaging you – which has been one of the problems of existing services. “People sign up, and then they don’t know what to do afterwards,” Joyce said. Having millions of songs at your disposal doesn’t exactly make choice easy, and there is some evidence that a good chunk of users simply tune out.
How does Google want to address this issue? Joyce gave me one hint: “There is more we can do to innovate in social,” he said.
And we are not talking here’s a list of the unfortunate music choices of all the people you didn’t really care about in high school social, which has been Spotify’s original model of social discovery. “If you treat all your recommendations of all your friends the same, then that is a problem,” Joyce argued. However, he wasn’t convinced that the Rdio model – which is very much like Twitter in that it offers you to follow tastemakers – is the right approach either. It’s simply too much work to find the people who can give you good recommendations, he argued.
So how is Google Music’s approach to social going to look? Joyce didn’t go into details, only telling me that the goal was to give you “the right music from the right people at the right time.” However, one has to assume that it would be powered by Google+, which gives us some idea of how it could work: You could get music recommendations from circles and communities, with the ability to share circles of influencers with others. Instead of just curating albums, Google Music’s editors could curate circles of influencers, and users could simply follow the 50 most influential indie rock bloggers with one click.
What else does Google have up its sleeve?
There have been ongoing reports that Google is going to launch a separate music subscription service on YouTube, which makes about as much sense as having four separate messaging apps from the same company (but that didn’t really stop Google, either). Joyce didn’t want to go into any specifics. “YouTube is a great asset for Google,” he told me, and then added: “We will find exciting things to do together.” Maybe it won’t be two separate services, after all?
Google also plans to bring Play Music All Access to other countries “soon,” said Joyce. Countries that already have Google’s music cloud locker will be first on the list for an international expansion, and currently include the UK, France, Germany and Spain.
And finally, there is iOS. Joyce’s lips were sealed when I asked him about the potential of bringing the service to the competing mobile platform, but it would make a lot of sense, and follow Google’s overall theme of unification across mobile and desktop platforms. Of course, this would be the first time that any Play service was available on iOS – but I predict that Google will have to take that step if it wants to seriously compete with Spotify and Co.
Related research and analysis from GigaOM Pro:
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- How social discovery is transforming entertainment
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(from GigaOM http://paidcontent.org/2013/05/16/how-google-music-wants-to-take-on-spotify-rdio-and-rhapsody/)
Despite being officially unveiled at Google I/O, the stock Android version of the Samsung Galaxy S 4 has remained the unicorn of the show, seldom seen by anyone not closely associated with the company's top brass. We ran into Android VP Hugo Barra at the show, who was happy to give us a few brief moments with the upcoming device. There is still a lot of mystery around the $649 phone ahead of its June 26th launch, but we've been able to glean a few additional details nonetheless.
While the model in Hugo's hand was a pre-release model and therefore subject to change between now and the official release, the hardware and overall design are identical to what we'd find on AT&T or T-Mobile's model: it sports a Snapdragon 600 chipset, 13MP camera, 16GB of internal storage, a 1080p display and LTE support (a perk for stock fans who were disappointed that the Nexus 4 came without it). Google isn't officially declaring this a Nexus device (not yet, at least), but the GS4 at least exhibits many of the same qualities, including an unlocked bootloader and the promise of prompt system updates.
The firmware is pristine as well: it's Android 4.2.2 in exactly the same form it would take on a run-of-the-mill Nexus. Samsung's onslaught of smart features -- the S-branding, Air Gestures, special camera modes and the like -- are all absent here, leaving the user with an experience completely untouched by the manufacturer. The phone appears to respond a tad faster without the TouchWiz experience, but we'll need to spend more time with it before coming to any solid conclusions. Sound like the perfect phone for you? Make sure you're in the Google Play Store on June 26th so you can grab one for yourself. In the meantime, enjoy our gallery of images below!
(from Engadget RSS Feed http://www.engadget.com/2013/05/16/samsung-galaxy-s-4-stock-google-io/?utm_medium=feed&utm_source=Feed_Classic&utm_campaign=Engadget)