Apple Drops Their Preloaded YouTube App Leaving Google To Finally Bring Their Own YouTube Experience To iOS

As many of you know already, Apple has just announced that they would not include their 1st-party YouTube app in the next iteration of iOS. Plenty of sites have taken this opportunity to show the fact that Apple and Google are opposing forces, and with that comes a dissociation of products and services. However, this can actually be a very good thing for Apple, Google, and all iOS users.

Up until the release of Google’s new version of Google+ for iOS, almost every single app Google put into the App Store sucked. For instance, Gmail. But after we got a glimpse of Google’s beautiful work on the new Google+ app, many became believers. If Apple had announced their dropping of the YouTube app before we saw Google+ for iOS’s makeover this reaction would have been a completely different story, but because of Google’s latest efforts, I am a believer.

Apple’s move to drop their 1st-party YouTube app leaves Google in a position with two possible outcomes: develop a YouTube app for iOS or let iOS users deal with the mobile site. Now that Google has decided they would like to make quality apps for iOS, it doesn’t worry me that they will have to develop their own app, and leads me to believe that they will. And this will be a good thing for iOS users, because the YouTube app Apple was supplying was pretty bare. You could watch videos and leave comments, and that’s about as far as it went. Sure, there were a few other features, but it was nowhere near as robust and Google’s YouTube app for Android. This means that if Google follows their recent iOS app development patterns (and I mean very recent), the iOS community should be anxiously awaiting a beautifully developed YouTube app.

Google hasn’t actually said they will develop an iOS app yet though, and if they don’t many iOS users will be hurting for a native app. But Google knows how big YouTube is, and even if they were so blind as to say a native app isn’t necessary, the community will make sure El Goog knows its mistake. This also will relieve the duty of developing a third-party app for a service they don’t actually own, much like they’ve done with Google Maps. Now all we can do is wait to see if Google can bring us the YouTube app that we want to see, and if they do, the world of iOS will be ready to finally get a proper YouTube experience.

Twitter Updates Android And iOS Apps, Our Review Is Here

Yesterday Twitter updated both their Android and iPhone clients to a new version (Android’s version 3.3, iOS’s version 4.3). In this update, just like the previous, they are trying to bring a cohesive, unified feel to Twitter that is more welcome than what used to be a jumble of tweets, mentions, DM’s/Messages and all kinds of hidden secrets. To a new user, Old Twitter could be a scary place, but to power users that have been on board since the start, we already knew exactly what we were doing and knew just how to do it (which usually meant to not even use the official Twitter client, actually). The thing that Twitter sees though, is that power users will find other apps to suit their needs when it comes to the heavy tweeting, but new users will almost always opt for the official client, because it’s, well, official. This is how they justify meeting the needs of the noobs before the hardcore Twitter buffs.

Still, this update, which is pretty much the same across the board from Android to iOS, is pretty solid. They didn’t remove many things, and after using it on both platforms for a full day now, I can say things definitely feel snappier and smoother. The big hitter for this update is what Twitter is dubbing “expanded tweets”, which allows partnered sites’ content to be displayed in the actual tweet viewer. Photos, url links, and even videos can now be seen native in the app. However, this feature is still rolling out according to Twitter, so don’t fret if you’re not seeing it just yet. They’ve also revamped how we get to user profiles, just tapping the icon can take you straight there now, and other than that our profiles remain virtually the same. Another big feature that they have rolled out in this version is push notifications for users’ tweets. This means now you can receive a notification of a tweet from a person that you see important anytime they tweet, as opposed to when it’s directed solely at you. Pretty cool in my opinion, and it’s something many have been doing via text notification for a while now. In iOS, ambient notifications are finally there, so instead of being an annoying middle-of-the-screen intrusion, your notifications can create a nice little banner replacing the notification bar.

Overall, this was a solid necessary update. I mean, we finally got the batman-looking new icon (see below). Power users will most likely still go for a third-party client until Twitter finally does something with that TweetDeck acquisition, but new users will feel right at home with the improvements. The update is available now in both the Play Store and the App Store

AT&T Branded Galaxy Note And Galaxy S II Skyrocket Are Receiving ICS Today

AT&T Galaxy users shall be rejoicing as of today, because Samsung announced that both the Galaxy Note and the Galaxy S II Skyrocket will be receiving Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Now, ICS isn’t even the newest version of Android anymore, and the devices will only be getting 4.0.4 and won’t get the upgrade to the newest version of TouchWiz, but it’s still ICS. Android 4.0 will bring a slew of improvements from lessened visual lag to ICS-only apps and app updates.

The Note and the GSII Skyrocket have been some of AT&T’s best devices to offer for quite a while, and really have only been best by the HTC One X and of course, the Galaxy S III. The Note will be receiving a better deal from this upgrade than the Skyrocket though, with its “premium suite” of apps. A specialized S Memo and S Note app will be coming, both updated to newer versions, My Story will be receiving an upgrade as well. It’s good to see Samsung still supporting these devices after the launch of their new flagship phone, and users can grab the update today via the Samsung Kies desktop application.

Apple Fixes Issue With App Store That Caused Thousands Of Apps To Crash

Apple is a company that usually doesn’t have very many issues when it comes to iTunes or the App Store–at least as far as malware and large coding errors are concerned. However, this week has been a tough one for Apple, users, and developers alike as one of Apple’s servers had an issue delivering DRM code to the apps updated or downloaded. This faulty coding caused apps to misbehave and crash upon opening in many cases–nearly thousands in the App Store were affected. While this was just for a very brief period of time, a lot of uneasy customers were afraid their iPhone was either being attacked by malware or completely malfunctioning when it came to third-party apps.

The company issued a fix today however, that took care of most of the issues that we know of, and a few we didn’t. First, Apple fixed all of the apps added to the App Store or updated, and then pushed an update to apps that were affected for users to download. They also took care of the developers as well, by reviewing not just 1-star reviews, but all reviews published about an app that was affected. Ensuring that both users and developers have been taken care of, Apple again shows why they have the reputation of some of the best customer service around. If you have an iDevice that was suffering from any of these crashes or issues, be sure to check the App Store and  receive the necessary updates.

[UPDATE] Google Assures Us That The Galaxy Nexus Will Be Shipping Again Next Week

The Galaxy Nexus sold directly from Google Play was moved from “In Stock” to “Coming Soon” due to a preliminary injunction filed against it by Apple. Because Apple holds so many vague patents, judges will often do things such as suspend sales (like we saw with the Tab 10.1) because Apple feels there are infringements in products from Samsung and Google. Of course, the Android community was either infuriated or just disappointed by a somewhat broken patent system that allows this, and Apple fanboys either don’t care or are rejoicing over their “victory.” Either way this smartphone war has proved to be as bitter as ever, without showing any signs of less aggression.

Google said they had a fix though, through software, that would allow them to get the Galaxy Nexus shipping again without any ridiculous delays. They have just told ABC that they will resume sales and shipping next week. This is very good for both Google and the image of Android, as this is the flagship “Pure Google” experience device that is available other than the Nexus 7. At only $349 from the Play Store (GSM HSPA+ only), it’s nothing shy of a great deal either.

Specifically, the patent Apple has seen as infringed upon is its “Siri patent” that patents a single interface searching multiple sources and   delivering those results back to the user in a “common sense” fashion. Again, this is a pretty vague patent, and really presses on what Google is all about: search. So whether they will change or even remove Google’s search bar and Google Now service is unknown, but El Goog has assured us things will be back in full swing shortly. Let’s hope they’re right.

UPDATE: Sales have been resumed by allowance of a federal appeals court until July 12. “Coming Soon” is still posted on the Play Store to purchase a Nexus, but we expect that to change soon.

Verizon Wireless Getting The HTC DROID Incredible 4G LTE July 5

HTC showed the DROID Incredible 4G LTE (yes, it really has that long of a name) at CTIA this past year, and while it isn’t technically part of the One series of devices, it definitely is worthy to be. The Incredible 4G LTE is just as much of a beast as any one of the One series devices or the Evo 4G LTE, who, like this device, has very similar specs but doesn’t carry the name.

It only has a 4-inch screen just like the Incredible 2 before it, but that’s what differentiates it from the rest of the 4.3-inch and higher devices. Under the hood you’ll find a 1.2 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor and up to 32 GB of expandable memory. 8MP is the pixel count for the rear camera, and a front-facing camera is present as well for all of your video chatting needs. Beats audio will ensure that the listening experience meets the standards of today’s high-quality music and picky ears, and that’s the case whether you’re playing through headphones (providing you have a decent set, of course) or the stereo speakers. The DROID Incredible 4G LTE will also come with Android 4.0 ICS with Sense 4 over top, and a promised Jelly Bean upgrade in the future.

This device will hit Verizon Wireless July 5 for $149.99 after-rebate, on contract of course. For anyone looking for a device with a smaller screen but very competitive specs on Verizon Wireless, the DROID Incredible 4G LTE may be for you.

Comscore Study Shows While Android And Samsung Hold The Most Market Share, Apple Is Growing The Fastest

We’ve known that Android was ahead of iOS in market share and have for some time, but today a more recent Comscore study shows just by how much. Android has 50.9% of mobile subscribers worldwide, and has a pretty large margin between itself and Apple who is at 31.9%. Windows Phone still only has 4%, which shows that after months of marketing and a partnership with Nokia, they’re still not gaining much ground on the two giants. While Android has the most market share however, Apple is growing the fastest with a 1.7% jump in percentages from February to May.

Samsung is also still the largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world, with 25.7% market share. LG is second with 19.1% and Apple is third with a solid 15%. Apple was also the growth leader again in this category, with a gain of 1.7% since February. With two of Android’s manufacturers at the top of their charts as well, it’s no wonder that Android is the top OS in the world today.

Google Adds Payment Card And Offers Support To Google Wallet

It’s no secret that Google Wallet hasn’t hit the masses the way that Google wanted it too. First they had to get NFC-enabled devices on the market, but now that those are here other, bigger problems have arisen. Nobody but Google and Sprint are really pushing it, and most of the carriers are working on their own alternatives. However, Google has found a way to get Google Wallet to the masses by adding some new features that may lure users to actually using it, if they can of course.

Google will be adding Offers and payment cards support to Google Wallet soon, meaning now users will be able to save offers and cards to their Wallet. Offers will remind users when they can use their offer and when it will expire, and payment cards being added is something that Apple really focused on with Passbook, so it was only a matter of time before Google added something similar. The Wallet API’s will also allow companies to add buttons to their sites that will give users the option to easily add offers and cards amounts to their Wallet account as well. Overall, this is a pretty good direction for Google Wallet to be heading, and over time will help the usage grow if it is marketed correctly.


iOS Users Get To Use Google Chrome Before 90% Of Android Users Do

Today was the second day of I/O, and Google announced that they would be delivering Google Chrome to iOS users. That’s great news at first. Mac, PC, Android–they all have Chrome, it’s just second nature to think that iOS has to be next on the list. They were, and Chrome was released today in the App Store and quickly rose to the #1 spot in the store. This is because, well, it’s Chrome and Chrome is awesome. While Google usually doesn’t release the most polished apps on iOS (Gmail was pretty embarrassing to say the least), they really seemed to take the time to not only make Chrome work properly, but really come out polished and beautiful.

Chrome for iOS will sync all of your settings and bookmarks with your Mac or PC’s Chrome settings, and tabs will sync seamlessly from device to device. I know myself and a lot of others are huge desktop Google Chrome fans because of its sleek, lightweight design, and that factor definitely remains constant in the iOS iteration. Chrome is as reserved as it needs to be, and really only shows your tabs above and nothing else unless a menu is opened. Plenty of options are available to play with, and you can even have an unlimited number of tabs. Chrome for iOS is a fantastic app.

This may leave Android users a little sore, however. While Chrome has been on Android in beta for quite sometime (and saw its first stable release yesterday), over 90% of Android users can’t even download and install it. Only Android 4.0 and higher has access to the app, so even phones with ridiculous specs that are limited by Gingerbread or older can’t even view Chrome in the Play Store. This has got to change. Google can not continue to let  Android is so fragmented that iOS devices from 2 years ago can use Google Chrome when a 2 month old Android device still can’t.

Google Updates Maps With Offline Use, Chrome Comes Out Of Beta, And Google+ Gets Tablet Support

At Google I/O today after announcing Android 4.1 Jellybean and the Nexus 7 tablet, the Google team also went ahead and updated a few of their apps as well. First, Google Chrome has finally come out of beta and is hitting the Play Store today. It is still only available to devices running Android 4.0 and higher, but it is out of beta and ready to roll in full. Google Maps has also been updated to finally support offline Maps, something they announced would be the “next dimension of Maps.” This will make it much easier for users to navigate with a bad data connection, and those without one at all can download certain maps and use them without any type of connection at all. This version of Google Maps is in the Play Store now and available for download for all users with Android 2.2 and higher.

Google+ finally has a tablet version as well, and an iPad version is on its way according to the Google+ team. This new tablet version is what Google calls  the best Google+ experience they have created yet, and it incorporates the newly added events feature as well. Android users have access to this newly optimized app today, and iPad users will get it “soon.” Google+ for Android and iOS recently got a complete UI overhaul and now tablets can have an optimized version so the new UI can properly come to light on the big(er) screen.

Android 4.1 Jellybean Offers A Smoother, More Fluid UI And Rolls Out Mid-July To Galaxy Nexus And Nexus S

Today at Google I/O the Android team got to finally let Jellybean out of the bag (while they did actually “spill the beans” on the front lawn yesterday). Android 4.1 Jellybean will look very similar to Ice Cream Sandwich, but their “Project Butter” objective will allow them to make it much more fluid than before, and Google is calling the UI  “fast, fluid and smooth.” Android has always had a little bit of lag to it, and one of the developers stated that with this iteration they were “declaring a war on lag” which is something we always love to hear.

Jellybean will have a much faster frame rate, and has triple buffering graphics making everything the OS does smoother and easier to look at. Responsiveness will also be heightened due to this, and it will make the entire experience, whether native software or not, much smoother. Another big addition to Android 4.1 Jellybean is Google Now, which allows the search function to be more in-depth than ever before. It updates information in real time, responds to voice typing (which is finally offline in Android 4.1), and is aware of things like location and time of day. This is definitely a step in the right direction for search on Android, and making the experience easier to get through is always welcome. Android will now allow the homescreen more leniency to change, as widgets and apps can now push each other out of the way to make room for everything you want on your homescreen. The keyboard has also seen an update, with more predictability and voice typing enhancements as well.

Google is also adding magazines and TV shows to the Play Store, which inceases the amount of content available to include just about everything you could want. Google now boasts 20 billion app installs with 600,000 games and apps now available to Android users. The Play Store unification is bringing Android users everything they want in one, simple media provider, and now we also have TV shows and magazines to choose from.

Android 4.1 Jellybean will be rolling out to the Galaxy Nexus, the Nexus S, and the Motorola Xoom mid-July. This is a very timely update schedule and many users will rejoice to hear it, though with carrier variants of the G-Nex these times could change at a whim. Because Verizon and Sprint have CDMA Nexus’s, their updates can’t be controlled directly by Google, though this OTA update may reach these devices as well. We will be sure to keep you updated on the roll out process and let you know how Jellybean feels to use when we get our hands on a Nexus 7 tablet.

Google Nexus 7 Tablet Ships Mid-July For $199 With Android 4.1 Jellybean

We’ve known for a while now that Google would be announcing their own Nexus tablet and that it would be made by Asus. Google wouldn’t be going after the iPad with this tablet though, they would be opting for a cheaper, smaller solution that still delivers an amazing experience. Much like the Kindle Fire, a $199 price tag and 7-inch screen will definitely be some of the major attractions for this device, and Google’s first official tablet, the Nexus 7, may finally be the Android tablet that gives Android a solid hold in the tablet market.

The Nexus 7 has a 7-inch screen with 1280 x 800 resolution, and a quad-core Tegra 3 processor with 1GB of RAM. Another huge selling point for the Nexus 7 is that it will be the first device to ship with Android 4.1 Jellybean, and will be very media-driven. There is only one camera, a 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera for video chats and self portraits, and an NFC chip is on board as well. The tablet is Wi-Fi only with no 3G/4G options, and the battery is 4325 mAh for 8 hours of HD video playback and 300 hours of standby. The Nexus 7  should last just as long as anyone would expect another Android tablet to, and maybe even a bit longer due to the absence of a constant carrier data connection.

The Nexus 7 will ship mid-July for $199 with 8GB of storage and $249 for a 16GB model. The tablet is actually up for preorder right now at the Google Play Store, and for the low price is pretty good deal for anyone looking for a true, pure Android experience on a tablet. The link for the pre-order is below, and we will be sure to share our thoughts on the device as soon as we get our hands on one.

Play Store link

Google Slashes API Usage Cost By 8X And Plans To Deliver “Amazing Maps Experience” To iOS

It’s no secret that Apple’s new Maps app coming in iOS 6 has left Google a little uneasy. It started with Google announcing “The next dimension of maps” just a few days before Apple’s WWDC keynote, and now they have decided to do a little price-cutting to keep developers on board. Back when Google announced that they would be charging developers who pulled large amounts of page loads for their apps and services, and now they seem to be retracting that move a little. Or a lot. Google has cut the price they began charging by 8X, now only charging 50 cents for 1,000 map loads as opposed to the previous $4. This is a pretty big price cut to say that it just came from nowhere.

Google obviously feels threatened by Apple Maps, and they have reason to be only because of the huge amount of iOS devices there are. Sure, Maps in iOS 6 will have fly-over and some pretty animations, but where are the necessary features like transit directions. Google definitely has a pretty solid lead from the start over Apple Maps when it comes to the amount of features and quality, but a lot of iOS users won’t care. There will be some who opt for other maps options, but a majority of the average consumers won’t see much of a difference, let alone enough to find a new solution.

Google isn’t giving up that easily though. In a Google+ comment Jeff Huber, Google’s Senior Vice President of Commerce and Local, stated that they are planning to bring “amazing Google Maps experiences on iOS.” This could mean they will be launching Google Maps into the App Store (hopefully), or that they may be pushing for a web-based client (no so hopeful). Either way, Google is planning on finding a way to compete with Apple’s new Maps solution, and it’ll be exciting to see what they have in store.

Flipboard Finally Released To Google Play Store Complete With Google+ And YouTube Integration

The developers of Flipboard announced months back that they would be releasing their app for Android at some point. They included one detail though, that it would have exclusivity to the Galaxy S III at launch, and the launch has finally come and gone. The developers now have expressed that Flipboard has had a succesful trial period in its beta and launch with the GSIII and is ready for a full-scale Android launch.

This past week Google announced that it would be opening its Google+ API’s to Flipboard (something that Google has not made a habit of whatsoever) and allowing tight integration with the service. Google still has yet to give all or even most third-party developers access to its API’s for Google+, which is opposed to the way that Twitter and Facebook do their dealings. Flipboard was one of only a handful of companies to receive this special access, and hopefully this means Google is closer to finally making its API’s public to all.

With all of this news past, Flipboard has finally published their app to the Play Store in its full version complete with Google+ integration and all. This update will allow users to share Flipboard articles to Google+ as well and +1-ing them, and YouTube integrations is here in this version as well so users can view their subscribed videos right in Flipboard. Not only is Flipboard available in the Play Store, but it has also been published to the Amazon App Store and Nook Store as well. We have the link below and be sure to check it out if you already haven’t.


Play link