Google Makes Push for Android Smartphones in the Workplace

Since last summer, Google has been improving the technology behind Android for Work, an initiative to push the company’s mobile operating system in the workplace. Google wants to encourage employees to use their Android phones as both personal and work devices. To do so, Google built Android for Work to support personal and work profiles autonomously on a single device. The company also launched Google Play for Work, which lets companies manage their very own app stores. Continue reading Google Makes Push for Android Smartphones in the Workplace

Two Full-Sized Tablets Priced to Compete at Under $300

Apple’s iPad is now three years old. Since it hit the market in 2010, it has sold more than 120 million units and basically launched the tablet industry as a whole. But pricing remains an issue for those consumers considering making a purchase, as many name-brand tablets start as high as $499. And even lower-priced, full-sized tablets sell for between $300 and $400. However, this is about to change. Continue reading Two Full-Sized Tablets Priced to Compete at Under $300

Google Android 4.0 Phone Set for Launch: Ice Cream Sandwich, Anyone?

  • Google’s third-generation Nexus Prime smartphone will reportedly arrive in October running the Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” OS (in time to compete with Apple’s rumored iPhone 5 release).
  • The device is expected to feature a 720p Super AMOLED HD display, a 4G LTE radio and front/rear-facing cameras, powered by a 1.5GHz processor.
  • The display will reportedly include a 4.5-inch panel with a PenTile layout.
  • According to Digital Trends: “Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) is said to be not just a simple update from the current version of Android. Instead, ICS is intended to be a multi-device OS, which created a unified user experience across Android tablets, phones and Google TV. This could help solve some of the fragmentation problems that Google has with Android, and is one of the primary weak points in its battle with Apple’s seamless iOS.”

Google News: Updated OS, New Google TV Partners, Cloud Music Service

Google has been making headlines the last few days as product and service announcements continue to emerge from the Google I/O 2011 conference in San Francisco (live streaming, photos, announcements and a Twitter feed are available on the Google I/O site).

Much of the news is surrounding OS changes, the availability of cloud-based Music Beta, and a potential revitalization of Google TV.

Gizmodo reports that the Android Marketplace may have the greatest impact on Google TV when it launches later this summer: “At first, it’ll just be apps from Google-approved developers to set standards. The most awesome kind of app we’re going to see are multi-screen apps — apps specifically designed to span your Android phone/tablet to the TV. Google’s going to pushing them totally hard as a huge part of what makes Google TV special. Think things like poker games on the big screen, with individual controls on your own phone/tablet. And other crazy ways to control Google TV from your phone from app developers.”

Some of the recent Google announcements include:

  • The anticipated Google TV update to Android 3.1 will be available this summer.
  • There are new hardware partners for Google TV (for example, Samsung and Vizio are joining Logitech and Sony as hardware vendors).
  • Google has added movie rentals to the Android Market, accessible from Android devices and the Internet (similar to YouTube’s new rental service).
  • Android@Home framework for home automation is a future platform that will enable interaction with home media equipment, dishwashers, cars, lights, security systems and more via any connected device.
  • The next version of Google’s Android operating system, codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich, will merge the phone and tablet versions of the OS.
  • The beta version of Google’s cloud music service is now available (and like Amazon’s earlier launch of a similar cloud service, Google is forging ahead without approval of the major music labels).

Check out the posts below for more details…

Related Engadget post: “Google announces Android@Home framework for home automation” (5/10/11)

Related Ars Technica post: “Google announces Android Ice Cream Sandwich will merge phone and tablet OSes” (5/10/11)

Related ZDNet post: “Google TV getting update to Android 3.1, access to Android Market this summer. Will it be enough?” (5/11/11)

Related Gizmodo post and video: “Google Music: Upload and Stream All Your Tunes From the Cloud” (5/10/11)

Related All Things Digital article: “Google Launching Its Cloud Service Tomorrow, Without Big Music’s Approval” (5/9/11)

Related GigaOM post and video: “Google Forces Roku to Take Down Its YouTube Channel” (4/21/11)

Related WSJ article about gathering info from mobile phones: “Apple, Google Take Heat” (5/11/11)

Related Engadget post: “Google TV shows off new Honeycomb UI, plans for Market, SDK; opens up remote app source code” (5/11/11)

Related New York Times article: “Google’s Digital Music Service Falls Short of Ambition” (5/10/11)