Question of the Day: Has Hardware Design Reached a Plateau?

In a recent discussion posted online between Vodafone and Warren Saunders, Sony’s UK and Ireland Sales Director, Saunders talks about the new Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact. Early in the talks, Saunders states that when it comes down to a buyer deciding between the larger Xperia Z3 and the smaller Z3 Compact, it’s simply, “a choice thing.” With almost identical internal specs, the question is, do buyers want a big phone or a not-so-big phone?

But more importantly, and the actual reason for this post, is that Saunders alludes to one very important theory within this discussion. To him, it appears that hardware/design innovations have essentially reached a plateau, and companies like Sony, will begin to focus more on a cohesive package across multiple devices.  (more…)

Report: Android Silver Program Placed on Hold

Android Silver, Google’s rumored high-end device brand that would bring pure Google experiences to the main stream and in carrier stores, has been put on hold, according to The Information. With the departure of Nikesh Arora from Google, one of the program’s leads, the future of Android Silver is in doubt, especially with Google now pushing Android One across the globe.  (more…)

Google Maps Engine Lite Becomes My Maps, Gains Upgrade Option for Old My Maps Creations

Last year in March, Google introduced Maps Engine Lite, a free and publicly available version of the search giant’s custom map creation tools for enterprise. It stood alone from Google’s My Maps, a simpler service, but the company promised the two services would eventually merge. A few months more than a year to the day, Google has finally delivered on that pledge. (more…)

Google Launches Android One Initiative, for the Next 5 Billion People Without a Smartphone

Back at Google I/O, Google announced an upcoming initiative titled Android One. Its purpose, albeit an aggressive one, is to get a smartphone into the hands of every human on Earth, allowing everyone on this planet the same access to the Internet’s full resources of information.

This week, Google has officially launched the platform, complete with affordable hardware and carrier partnerships based in India, with even more to come in the Philippines, Indonesia, and South Asia (Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) by the end of the year.  (more…)

Tip: Send SMS and MMS in Gmail or the Chrome Hangouts Extension Using Your Google Voice Number

With the Google Voice and Hangouts merger in full swing (again), most of you who use a combination of the service are now noticing an added benefit – SMS and MMS through both Gmail and the Chrome extension for Hangouts. If you have a Google Voice number that has now been associated with Hangouts, you can choose to send an SMS to contacts, assuming you have attached a number to their contact information.  (more…)

Don’t Stress if You Didn’t Get Asked to Merge Hangouts and Google Voice

Yesterday, we talked a lot about the new Hangouts update that added in the ability to make voice calls. We also talked even more about how the service had finally merged with Google Voice. At least we thought it had.

The night before the Hangouts update arrived, a number of users (us included) received a message in Hangouts and Google Voice, asking us to merge our experiences together. So, we did. Voicemails started arriving in Hangouts, as did our texting experience with a Google Voice number, along with semi-MMS support. It was a glorious time.  (more…)