Crowdfunding of new tech products through sites like Kickstarter and indiegogo has become the go-to method for anyone with a brilliant idea, but little cash to get things up and running. We have probably covered dozens of projects over the last couple of years (some good, some not-so-good), as many of these ideas are amazing concepts that have the chance at becoming a reality thanks to enthusiasts like you and I. One of those ideas from the last year was the Misfit Shine, an activity tracker similar to the Nike Fuelband or Fitbit, only it carries a much simpler, minimal-yet-beautiful, and less intrusive design. It won awards at CES, bragged about its awesome mode of syncing, and attracted almost 8,000 backers before closing as one of indiegogo’s most successful campaigns ever with a closing goal of $846,675.
But where it stood out to Android users, was the fact that its creators were willing to support Android from the beginning, something that even Nike wasn’t able to do after leading us on for months. Just before the campaign closed, they went as far as to show off their Android app, or at least the first render of it. This looked to be one of coolest, most attractive, and well-thought-out fitness trackers to date. Well, that was the case until today. (more…)
Heard of Mailbox? It’s an iOS app that was such a massive success as an email replacement at launch, that Dropbox bought it within a couple of months of its existence. Today, the company launched an iPad version of its popular app, but that’s not what Android users care about. In a sitdown with Read Write, Mailbox’s founder Gentry Underwood said that a presence on Android is next on their list of things to do. He wouldn’t specify a time frame, only that it’s on their radar now that the iPad app is out. (more…)
We were the first to report the codename of “Babel” as Google’s new unified messaging service, which ended up as Hangouts at public launch, but if you needed actual proof that Babel was around for some time, we thought we’d share this screenshot. It’s taken from my Google Dashboard listing of sites authorized to access my account. You can see that the Hangouts app for iOS is indeed referred to as “iOS Babel App.” (It’s on an iPod Touch that I use for work purposes, don’t kill me.)
You can also hear Google’s director of product management, real-time communications mention it in this video at the 1:40 mark.
Google tipped us off early this morning, aside from the leaks we saw previously, that Google Maps might be getting some love at this year’s I/O. A preview build of the new Maps was shown on iOS and Android. It featured a new slimmed down look with a search bar that took you into a revamped reviews section that has a 5 star scale instead of the previous 4. Google Offers was also worked into this same space to make finding food and deals easy. (more…)
We’re at the Google I/O keynote and Google just announced their new Google Play game services which include cloud save, achievements, and leaderboards. They also announced that it will be cross platform, so that iOS users can take advantage. As if those new, awesome features weren’t enough, Google+ sign-in has been integrated into this service and once games are installed with this API you can invite friends from your circles on G+ and they will receive notifications to join directly into your game. We’ll be sure to keep you updated as we learn more about this new awesome service.
If you are not there already, join us in our liveblog to watch the event!
Our inbox indicates that many of you are aware that Google released Google Now to iOS this morning. This comes as no surprise, nor does it interest us one bit. Good for iOS users. Welcome to the fun that is Google Now! Well, sort of. The Google Now for iOS will never be as powerful as the version on Android because Apple won’t allow it to be.
For now though, you can open up the iOS Google Search app and find some cards for flights or restaurants or routes home from work and even track packages and flight info from Gmail. But from what we can tell, it may not be able to update in the background at full capacity like the Android version does, which means no ongoing notifications for card updates. You’ll have to consciously open up the app to get Now goodies rather than have it dictate your life for you. You also can’t access Google Now through a shortcut like swiping up or long-pressing navigation buttons. You’ll have to open the Search app and then swipe up the Now cards to view them.
It’s really just an add-on to Google Search, not really the semi-stand-alone, ultra-powerful service that it is on Android. Well, until Google makes it that way – take the iOS Gmail app for example.
But again, enjoy, iOS users.
Twitter made their new music service official this morning with an announcement and then release on…iOS. As you can tell, and should be no surprise if you look at Vine, Twitter still doesn’t realize that Android is just as, if not more important than iOS in the mobile game these days. Then again, with iOS you don’t have as many devices to develop for and should be easier to launch with, but I digress. (more…)
Whenever Google Babel does arrive for public consumption, we’re starting to believe it will be everything we have ever asked for in a unified messenger service. We’re talking synced notifications, cross-platform conversation experiences, a new UI, photo sharing, quick access to live video chats, and on-the-record chat history viewing from anywhere. According to sources of ours who have shared new information with us (including a feature list), we’re getting all of this and more. (more…)