Google reports 70 million Android tablet activations as it confirms app downloads have passed the 50 billion mark (Original)
It seems like just 10 weeks ago that Google was reporting a total of 900 million Android activations. Well, now the company's back, once again outdoing itself with some fresh figures. Today, we're hearing that more than 70 million Android tablets have been activated to date. Meanwhile, Google has surpassed 50 billion app downloads in the Google Play Store across all Android devices, and there are now more than a million applications available in the store. Additionally, the company claims that in the first half of this year, one in two tablets sold worldwide was an Android product. With no way of confirming that figure ourselves, we'll stand on that tablet activation figure, as it represents a pretty sizable jump for Google: at the end of 2012, tablet activations were still somewhere below 40 million. That's all for now as far as stats go. We'll leave you to gawk at that super tempting new Nexus 7.
Google Serves 25 Percent of North American Internet Traffic (Original)
Everyone knows Google is big. But the truth is that it's huge. On an average day, Google accounts for about 25 percent of all consumer internet traffic running through North American ISPs. That's a far larger slice of than previously thought, and it means that with so many consumer devices connecting to Google each day, it's ...
Google in talks over online TV service (Original)
According to a Wall Street Journal report, Google has made “made overtures to some programmers in recent months” about the initiative, and is looking to license linear channels – most likely in the standard programming bundles taken by cable and satellite operators.
The search giant is reportedly looking to go up against other new entrants in the space like Intel – which is preparing a subscription set-top service that is expected to deliver live TV, catch-up and additional content over the web and roll out later this year.
Sony is also said to be looking at entering this space, offering content to Sony devices like PlayStation games consoles, TV sets and Blu-ray players.
Google Explains Why Its Cloud Service Is Different When It Comes To Lock-In (Original)
A Google engineer concluded on his Google+ page last week that a cloud platform can’t be built without some form of lock-in. That’s evidently true but there really is one main reason for making such a point. Google wants to show that it is not much different from its competitors when it comes to this hot topic with cloud customers.
The post by Google Engineering Director Peter Magnusson has to be read with a dash of skepticism. Magnusson does focus on the lock-in issue with Google App Engine (GAE), but he also uses the topic to show the difference between its managed services and the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) from a provider like AWS. He says without restrictions Google could not offer the service that it does. What they do try to do is offer alternatives such as from services like AppScale.
Reading into what Magnusson says, it appears that some customers are not accustomed to the restrictions that come with Google App Engine: The run-time environment is different and customers can’t make systems calls, write directly to the file system, or choose their own operating system.
In the end, Magnusson says that lock-in is inevitable for Google to offer the service that it does with GAE:
You can’t build an innovative platform without some measure of lock-in.
Google Brings Voice Calling Back to Gmail, Now Under Hangouts (Original)
Gmail users who upgraded Google Talk to Hangouts back in May were up in arms after discovering that doing so removed the ability to make voice calls. Google addressed this issue on Tuesday after it finally introduced voice calls to Hangouts.
"For those of you who have taken the plunge and are using desktop Hangouts in Gmail, Google+ and the Chrome extension, we've heard loud and clear that you miss the ability to make calls from Gmail, so today, we're happy to announce it's back," Alex Wiesen, a senior software engineer, wrote in a blog post.
Citing new features such as adding multiple phone numbers and video participants to the same call, as well as playing sound effects with the Google Effect app, Wiesen said the newly dubbed "Hangouts calling" is "better than before." He added that calls to the U.S. and Canada are free from countries where Hangouts calling is available, while international rates are reasonably priced Read more...More about Google, Gmail, Voice Calling, Voice Calls, and Google Hangouts
The Asus Cube Isn’t Enough to Save Google TV (Original)
Let's get the bad news out of the way first: The Asus Cube with Google TV is not the savior Google TV was hoping for. In fact, while the device is an improvement over earlier Google TV products, the $140 Asus Cube can't compete with existing devices such as the Apple TV, Roku or the Xbox 360.
The overarching promise of Google TV from the beginning was that it would bring over-the-top (OTT) and over-the-air (OTA) content together in one box and in one interface. Three years later, that promise is still reliant on too many trade-offs, bugs and frustrations. Read more...More about Reviews, Set Top Box, Google Tv, Connected Devices, and Tech
Google App Engine Gets New Release, No Signs Of Slowing Cloud Push (Original)
Google just launched Google App Engine 1.8.1 with a host of new features, most notable among them a long-awaited search API and push-to-deploy feature similar to pushing code to a Git repository.
The new features follow a busy Google I/O that witnessed the company showing its strongest push ever into the cloud services market. Until the announcements, Google had been quiet about Google Cloud Platform. But now with general availability, the team is pushing out new features weekly and connecting different parts of the organization in a way it had not done before.
Today was similar with a number of new updates to Google App Engine:
Search API: About a year since the Search API release, Google has moved it to the preview stage — general availability. The Search API allows a developer to integrate Google-like searches over structured data such as plain text, HTML, atom, numbers, dates, and geographic locations. As we reported last week, Google will begin charging for operations and storage. Pricing details can be found here. Prices may change up to general availability.
Source Push-to-Deploy: App Engine now supports deployment of Python and PHP applications via the Git tool. The promise is that developers can deploy apps with the same ease as pushing to a git repository.…
Google reportedly closing in on $1.3 billion deal for Waze traffic app (updated) (Original)
Last month news leaked that Facebook might acquire crowdsourced navigation / traffic / mapping app Waze, but now two papers in Israel say Google is about to close the deal. Globes and Calcalist both peg the potential sale price at $1.3 billion US, with the company's development team remaining in Israel after the sale and not moving to the US. Where they will work from is cited by Globes as one reason why negotiations may not have worked out with Facebook, along with the price tag. For those unfamiliar with Waze, the app generates mapping data in real-time based on its nearly 50 million users and reports of accidents or traffic jams.
Update: Not to be left out, the Wall Street Journal also claims that Google is near buying Waze. The newspaper hears that the Waze app could soldier on while Google beefs up its own mapping app with data from its reported target. Likewise, Google Maps information could slip into Waze.