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Google Buzz, Integrate With Your Surroundings

Posted on Feb 10, 2010 in Android News | comment

Google Buzz is a new way to share updates, photos, videos, and more. And start conversations about the things you find interesting.”  Now get connected to your surroundings even more closely.  The integration with Google Maps is nothing short of amazing.  You’ll be using this feature wherever you go, especially if you’re looking for something fun or interesting to do.  (Update: the webpage is now available  for all Android devices!).  A nice feature comes with the newest update to Google Maps 4.0 where you can view and post current buzzes.

Here are two great intro videos provided by Google themselves.  The first is a general Google Buzz overview, the second specific to Google Buzz for Mobile.

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Introducing Google’s "Near Me Now" Feature

Posted on Jan 9, 2010 in Android News | comment

Google has just announced their latest addition, the “Near Me Now” feature.  Currently it is only available to Android (2.0.1+) and iPhone users.  The “Near Me Now” feature offers you extremely quick access to search results based on your GPS location.

This addition makes searching for places in your immediate vicinity almost instant.  The YouTube video below shows how the new feature would be used to determine whether or not a restaurant would be good to try.  Because your phone knows your location, the “Near Me Now” feature can quickly provide you with reviews and information on the place right in front of you.  This is similar to Google Maps “We’re a Favorite Location” stickers that are posted in business windows to allow people easy access to their information by just scanning a QR code.  Now Google has taken this to the next level and cut out the intermediate steps.  Just a couple clicks and you have the information you were after in the first place.  This feature will get endless use I’m sure of it.

Do you think this feature will have implications for apps like Sherpa that find nearby shops/restaurants/etc.?  The “Near Me Now” feature seems more pinpointed to your immediate position, so it might not replace dedicated apps that offer more search power for larger areas.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

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Video of Adobe Flash on Google Nexus One

Posted on Jan 6, 2010 in Android News | comment

This is extremely exciting for us and hopefully for all Android users.  Here is a new video showing the newly released Google Nexus One using Adobe Flash 10.1 which is currently in development.

I’m sure this goes for you too, but I’m very eager to start playing flash games in the browser and start viewing sites that are based on Flash or have major Flash components.  The synergy between Google, Adobe, HTC, and Qualcomm to develop this app is impressive and a great display of the collaborative effort that is Android.

Are you as excited as we are?

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Google Maps: We’re A Favorite Place Stickers

Posted on Dec 31, 2009 in Android News | comment

I was excited to see the first Google sticker in a storefront window today.  Earlier, Google distributed 100,000 stickers to the most popular businesses in Google’s Local Business Center.  With this they are now targeting the more localized ad market by putting ads directly in storefront windows.  Now you’ll know what to expect before stepping foot inside.

When you scan the QR code you can look up the Google listing for that restaurant, business, etc. and get all the pertinent information then and there.  This new campaign is what the smartphone and mobile browsing are all about; getting location based information on the go without the use of a normal computer.  Also, Google says the QR codes should be compatible with Android, Iphones, and BlackBerrys.
If you’ve found one of these stickers or used it before to make a decision, share it with us!

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T-mobile Top Picks Brands the Android Market, Good or Bad?

Posted on Dec 16, 2009 in Android News, App News | comment

Today we found out that T-mobile is introducing the Top Picks section of the Android Market.  When you open the Android Market, you’ll still find the sections “Apps” and “Games” to select, but you won’t find “Downloads.” Instead, this is being replaced by “T-mobile” as the update rolls out.  (Note: to access the “Downloads” section, hit menu).  When you select “T-mobile” you will get the Android apps that are recommended by T-mobile.  This is similar to the App Pack that was released with the MyTouch3G but instead of being an app that contains apps within it, now you have an entire spot dedicated to T-mobile’s recommendations. The Android Market won’t be updated immediately for all users and I’m sure it’ll take some time for everyone to see the changes.

I have a couple of concerns about this new Android Market update.  For one, the “Downloads” tab is my most often used tab as I look for apps that I have already downloaded to my phone.  Second, what doors does this open for other mobile carriers like Verizon to bring on their own branding and alter the Android Market how they like it.  Where does this branding stop?  Is this creating a slippery slope where each carrier will now work to add their own flare and opinions in the Android Market?

I am also wondering how other users are feeling about this and where they think changes like this are headed?  Does this add functionality and appeal to the Android Market, or does it detract from it?

Here is an image of what the new Android Market will look like for T-mobile.

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