Yelp wants your help testing out their next Android app update. Before releasing their next update to their Android app in the Google Play Store, Yelp has opened a beta test program. Beta testers will need to request access to the Yelp Android Beta Testers community on Google+ to get started, then be ready to be awesome! It’s a requirement.
Interested in receiving the latest version of the Yelp Android app before everyone else? You’re in the right place!
So far, there is no actual beta app build to test, but signing up ensures that you get in when it does become available.
Yelp is a business directory built on community reviews, 53 million reviews and counting. They cover many business categories, but are best known for their shopping and restaurant reviews; in-fact, they just announced their top 100 list of best rated places to eat in the US. Spoiler alert: top honors went to a shack in Hawaii.
Apple’s iOS in the Car is reportedly set to launch next week. The bi-directional feature that will let you bean select elements of your iPhone’s interface — like Maps, iMessage, and music — to your in-vehicule display will initially roll out in partnership with Ferrari, Mercedes Benz, and Volvo. That’s according to Henry Foy and Daniel Thomas of the Financial Times:
The official announcement of Apple’s deal will be made at next week’s Geneva Motor Show, sources told the Financial Times. A number of other manufacturers are expected to incorporate it into models in 2014. Apple, and the carmakers declined to comment
Even though I won’t be buying a new Ferrari any time soon I’m incredibly excited by iOS in the Car because I believe it will one day lead to iOS everywhere, and person-centric computing beyond that.
Since Apple won’t be making their own cars any time soon — sorry Tesla rumor-mongers — nor anything outside their narrow focus, nor will they be licensing their operating system to other manufacturers to load into their cameras, fridges, or other electronics, this feels like a way to get the best of both. To own the experience without having to become a sprawling conglomerate or barely-debugged stack of drivers.
But that’s then, this is now. If the reports are accurate, anyone considering a new car and soon?
Here’s a nice piece of news for those of you out there frustrated with the file size transfer limit being set at 6MB over BBM. In discussions with Jeff Gadway, part the BBM Product Marketing team, he let it be known that the BBM team has heard customers loud and clear and are looking to adjust or remove the limit with the next build of BBM.
Hey @Bla1ze@thelink74 happy to say we’re addressing the 6MB file transfer limit in the next v. of @BBM. Have heard users loud and clear!
When exactly that next build will arrive remains a mystery but either way, it’s nice to hear that it’s finally going to be addressed. Also, don’t forget the next BBM update will bring even more BBM emojis as well so with this news, there’s plenty to look forward to already in the next update for BBM.
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Yesterday we learned that Google will hold its first Project Ara developers conference on April 15-16 in Mountain View. The idea of a smartphone that can be continually upgraded as new parts arrive might sound like nothing more than a geek’s dream, but it’s about way more than that.
According to Google’s official Ara page, their goal with Ara is to ultimately make modern smartphone technology more accessible for the masses. In order to reach this lofty goal, Google’s Ara project head Paul Eremenko says that the device could go on sale sometime next year for as little as .
Consumers could save up and slowly start add expanded functionality to Ara
Obviously a start-price comes with a few caveats. First, the ‘phone’ would be extremely basic with only Wi-Fi and extremely minimal storage and processing options, just to get it into the hands of consumers that can’t afford a high price tag. The idea is that the buyer could then save up and slowly start adding expanded functionality to the device such as cellular connectivity, an improved camera, more storage and a faster CPU/GPU.
Aside from revealing Google’s plans to make the barrier of entry as low as possible, Eremenko also reveals that Ara will hopefully be no more than 10mm thick (with modules attached) and will come in at least three different sizes: mini, medium and jumbo.
For those wondering how exactly the modules will stay in place so they don’t fall off in your pocket or right while your using the device, Google plans to lock front modules through latches and back ones through electropermanent magnets. Unlocking a module requires you to use a special app within the phone, however.
There’s no denying that the idea of Project Ara still sounds a little impractical and out of reach, even if it is also really cool at the same time. Of course, with Google behind it, we suppose just about anything is possible. We are certainly intrigued by the project and will continue to keep an eye out on this one. What do you think, impressed by Ara? Or do you feel its nothing more than a pipedream that won’t work out as well as we hope?
A new report claims that Google’s head of Android [sic] is a favorite candidate for the position of Microsoft CEO.
The report comes from Silicon Angle, which claims that negotiations with the Google executive are “in full swing.” Editor-in-Chief of the publication John Furrier said on Twitter that talks with Pichai “are so under wraps,” which, if true, could explain why we haven’t heard Pichai’s name in connection with Microsoft before now.
The most recent reports from publications including Bloomberg, Re/code, and The New York Times say that Microsoft executive Satya Nadella is the current front-runner for the Microsoft CEO position. Others in the running have included Ford CEO Alan Mulally, former CEO of Nokia (and former/future Microsoft employee) Stephen Elop, and Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg. Mulally and Vestberg recently their respective boards they have no intention of leaving their positions, and it appears Elop is no longer a lead candidate.
Microsoft could really move the ball down the field with Sundar Pichai
“Microsoft could really move the ball down the field with Sundar Pichai in creating a new open operating system model for cloud, mobile, and social,” chief analyst at Wikibon Dave Vellante said in a statement to Silicon Angle. “The market has been looking for a CEO who can balance the role of leading the enterprise transformation while keeping that consumer momentum with xBox [sic] and reboot mobile. Pichai is the total package of technology leadership and business acumen.”
This isn’t the first time Pichai has been rumored to leave Google. He was once reportedly courted by Twitter, but stayed on with Google after the company paid him million to stay.
Pichai joined Google in April 2004, and has headed up many divisions in the company from Chrome and Chrome OS to Gmail and Maps. He’s also credited as a driving force behind Google Drive.
Most notable, though, is that Pichai is currently the senior vice president of Android, Chrome, and Apps. It’s hard to imagine that, given the recent moves by Google to strengthen Android, Pichai would step away to head up another company. The new agreement with Samsung could mean Google, and therefore Pichai, will have a greater influence over the future of the mobile platform. It’s hard to imagine anyone stepping away with such an exciting opportunity before them.
when’s the last time you were excited by Windows Phone?
Pichai would be leaving Google and all of its Googliness behind for a completely different corporate culture in Microsoft. Even from just the product side he’d move from heading up two ostensibly open-source projects in Android and Chrome to the locked-down Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox.
Perhaps a person like Pichai is what Microsoft needs to inject new life into the company. With the exception of the Xbox, few recent Microsoft products really resonate with users. When’s the last time you heard anyone get excited over using Word or Excel? And with the exception of Nokia’s excellent hardware, when’s the last time you were excited by Windows Phone?
With everything he’s learned at Google, Pichai has the potential to make Microsoft exciting again. But Android and Chrome are already interesting, with some exciting possibilities in the future.
Not to mention the fact that Google has plenty of money to offer Pichai to stay if it comes down to that again. Microsoft has deep pockets, too, so it’s hard to say what the outcome will be if the two companies start a bidding war for the executive.
With all the reports floating around, we’ll probably find out who the next Microsoft CEO is within the next few weeks. There’s only one thing we know for sure about the position: whoever takes over has a huge battle ahead of them in mobile with Android and iOS dominating the market.
Do you think it makes sense for Pichai to move take over as Microsoft CEO?
A new commit in AOSP indicates that the Android runtime (ART) could become default in the next version of Android.
When Android 4.4 KitKat was first announced there were quite a few new features brought to the table including a redesigned dialer, improved Google Now integration and the list goes on. KitKat also brought us our first taste of ART, a hidden Android runtime that could easily be enabled via Developer options.
When ART first surfaced, it was noted that it performed faster than the existing Dalvik, but there were also noted compatibility issues with some apps. While some of these issues still exist, many app developers have since updated their apps to better work with the currently optional run-time. Still, ART isn’t quite ready for primetime — or is it? A new commit to the Android Open Source Project hints that ART may be made default with the next version of Android.
The change is basically just a minor revision in the code that sets ART to default, and leaves Dalvik as an option that you can fall back to in the event something goes wrong. At the moment, this change is live in the master branch, but it’s important to note that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll see it pushed out with the next version of Android. Code changes happen often throughout the development process, and the developers could simply have added the change for testing purposes. Bottom-line, take the possibility with a grain of salt.
What do you think of ART so far? Do you think it’s ready to replace Dalvik by default or is Google better off waiting a bit longer?
Today Todoist received a pretty significant update that the company is officially referring to as “Todoist Next”, though the Google Play store listing simply refers to it as version 3.0 of the app.
So what’s so different here that the folks behind the app feel they need to market it under a new name? At least for the Android app, the interface remains largely the same actually, though there are several improvements designed to make it easier to work with others on tasks. There’s also a visual scheduler that is designed to make daily planning a hassle-free experience.
One of the most welcome changes however, is that automatic data syncing between the 13 different supported platforms is now available for free users. The Todoist collaboration tool will also allow up to six free users to work on a project, though you’ll need a premium account for larger projects of up to 26 users.
To get the full list of premium features you’ll need to pay a year, though that’s not really too bad when compared to somewhat similar offerings like Wunderlist cost about a year. For more details or to grab the updated version of Todoist, you’ll want to head on over to Google Play.
The CES 2014 event may be over, but that doesn’t mean we’re done with new product announcements, as HP is rumored once again to launch its first Android phone soon.
This time around it appears that sources within HP have talked to 9to5Google telling the publication that an HP Android handset that will resemble Samsung’s Galaxy Note will be launched “as soon as next week” with a price of around 0 – that’s the unlocked price of the handset.
The device will be primarily aimed at prepaid and emerging markets, although the publication isn’t actually mentioning any specific countries at this time. The phone reportedly looks like the 5.5-inch Galaxy Note “with obvious cost cutting measures to get the device down to the 0 price point.”
That said, we’ll be looking forward to seeing HP’s first budget Android smartphone become reality. We already know the company wants to make smartphones of its own, and we already know it can sells affordable tablets.
Anyone excited to see an affordable Galaxy Note rival made by HP?
However, the OmniROM team did not further elaborate what those privacy and security features will be, or what will make them unique. OmniROM is not the only custom ROM out there that will bring more privacy and security features to users interested in such powers for their phones, with the CyanogenMod team having some similar initiatives in mind for its current and future builds.
Other future features include increase device support, UI/UX enhancements and “dancing penguins doing the ‘robot.’”
In addition to plans for next year, the team revealed that in just three months from launch it has received contributions from more than 90 developers, deployed over 30 nightly builds, brought new features to the community and saw over 650,000 unique visitors check out its website and other resources.
OmniROM nightlies downloads in 2013 | Image credit: OmniROM
The team has also provided a spreadsheet showing the number of nightly downloads for the device currently supported, with Samsung devices taking four of the first five spots.
An online university will start a free online Android programming course next month, offering interested applicants the first notions needed to create apps for smartphones and tablets running Google’s mobile operating system.
Spotted by a reddit user, the eight-week long course offered by the University of Maryland is directed to Sophomore- or Junior-level undergraduate students who already have some Java knowledge. However, this is a course for beginners, as the students are “not expected to have studied mobile application development.”
In order to attend it, students will need an Internet connection, a computers and “time to read, write and discuss.” An Android device is not required, as all the graded exercises will be done using the Android Emulator.
Each lesson will be comprised of video presentations and lab exercises that will help students practice what they learn. At the end of the course, students will be given a more complex final project. The students who will complete the course will receive a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructor of the course.
In case you’re looking forward to learning how to build your own Android apps, you should at least check out this apparently free resource to get you started.