Android 4.1.2 goes live, gives Nexus 7 owners landscape home screen
We’ve been seeing a mysterious Android 4.1.2 update mentioned in conjunction with a few unreleased devices in the past few hours, so it’s only fitting that we’re seeing the official release today. Google’s Android Open Source Project lead Jean-Baptiste Queru has posted word that the 4.1.2 release should be available on Tuesday for at least those relying on pure AOSP builds of the mobile OS. While we haven’t seen the update reach our own devices yet, some Nexus 7 owners already report getting 4.1.2 on their tablets with a pleasant surprise in store: in addition to the expected bug fixes and performance boosts, the software lets the home screen rotate to landscape mode on the smaller Jelly Bean slate. We’re keeping an eye out for when other hardware gets the patch, although it’s expected that the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S and Xoom will follow quickly enough.
10 inch Nexus ????
The next Nexus tablet will be 10-inch Samsung-made slate, according to tipsters, not aiming at the Google Nexus 7’s low end of the market.
Rather, an analyst told Cnet, the so-called Nexus 10 will be a “high end device” with a 2560×1600 display with a 299 ppi pixel density – that’s a higher resolution than the Retina display iPad.
Although there was no word of any potential Nexus 10 pricing, it’s likely to set you back a packet more than the cheap-and-cheerful Google Nexus 7.
Unfortunately analyst Richard Shim couldn’t give any details on what will be running the supposed new slate; although to keep a souped-up display happy we’ll be expecting some serious processing muscle and a decent battery too.
The news of the potential Google-Samsung tablet collaboration comes as talk of an LG-made Nexus smartphone grows harder to ignore.
Word of the Nexus 10 comes only from an analyst though, rather than an actual Samsung or Google insider; but with Android Jelly bean well and truly doing the rounds now, we’ll be looking out for a new Nexus device to showcase Key Lime Pie on – and this Nexus 10 could just fit the bill. Stay tuned.
Google Play developers can now offer free trials for in-app subscriptions
Google app developers can now give users a trial of subscription content (like additional game levels or video access), before they buy it. Google added in-app subscriptions in late May, but now users have the chance to test out subscription services for seven days or more at the discretion of the app’s developer — unlike Apple, who offers no trials of any kind in its apps. There is a catch, however: consumers have to enter their payment information in order to access the free trial, and will be automatically charged for the subscription should they not cancel before their trial is over. Also, the trial period ends immediately after cancellation, so no signing up and cancelling immediately for your peace of mind. The new service is another way for Google to help developers create better apps, and despite minor inconveniences, it’s great news for consumers who get to test drive app subscriptions before they pay up.
Wal-Mart aims to one-up Amazon with same-day delivery
The retail giant started testing the service in Northern Virginia, Philadelphia, and Minneapolis. Up next: San Francisco and San Jose.
Wal-Mart is testing a same-day delivery service in a bid to outmaneuver Amazon in the increasingly cutthroat retail world.
The Bentonville, Ark., retail giant began testing the service in Northern Virginina last and has expanded to Philadelphia and Minneapolis. It will next expand to San Francisco and San Jose.
The service, called Wal-Mart To Go, is a trial run for the holidays that lets customers order specific items and gifts, which can then be sent to their homes or offices that same day. Orders have to be made by noon, and there is a charge of $10 with no minimum order requirement.
“It’s part of our long-term vision to winning commerce,” said a Wal-Mart representative. “We can do that by building deeper relationships with customers.”
Wal-Mart didn’t give an end date for the pilot program but said it would run through the holiday season.
The service underscores the lengths that the traditional retailers must go to as Amazon steadily gnaws away at their underlying business. Consumers who are more willing than ever to shop online have already helped kill off brick-and-mortar stores such as Borders and Circuit City and have put intense pressure on Best Buy.
The Wal-Mart representative said it was less about pressure from Amazon and more about serving its customers.
Wal-Mart hasn’t felt the same pressure, largely because it provides so many different goods and has relatively competitive prices. That doesn’t mean it’s immune to the impact of online shopping, though.
The move essentially transforms Wal-Mart’s chain of stores into warehouses for distribution to consumers. In effect, Wal-Mart is betting it can turn its wide — but costly — retail presence to its advantage in the home-delivery wars.
As a result, customers in those select areas have to create a separate Wal-Mart To Go account, where they will be given a specific list of items. Because Wal-Mart uses different stores to fulfill the orders, the items can vary depending on location. Wal-Mart is working with UPS to ship the orders, which will be delivered between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. that day.
TA Plays: ‘Crazy Taxi’ – Sega’s Classic Arcade Game Makes Its Way to iOS
Today Brad and I buckle up and take the classic arcade game Crazy Taxi for a spin, a game we just learned was coming to iOS earlier this week. Crazy Taxi was one of those games that back in 1999, when 3D games were still fairly new in arcades and on consoles, was impressive for not just its visuals but its over-the-top style and driving mechanics.
Your goal was to pick up passengers and zip them to their desired location as quickly as possible at all costs. That means that any pedestrians or traffic that happen to be in your path better watch out, because the slower you are at shuttling passengers around the less money you’ll earn for your fare.
Crazy Taxi on iOS is a fairly straight port of the game that came to consoles beginning with the Dreamcast in 2000. You have the original Arcade level to play as well as an additional Original level that was part of the home console releases. Both environments look about the same, with similarities to San Francisco and Southern California, but each has slightly different layouts. You also get the Crazy Box mode which is a set of challenges to complete to break up the normal fare-toting play of the main mode.
If you have warm fuzzy feelings towards the original Crazy Taxi then this iOS version should make you feel right at home. It even features the soundtrack from the original game, which was strangely absent from the most recent re-releases of the game. Crazy Taxi should be hitting the US App Store along with the rest of this week’s scheduled releases tomorrow night, so keep your eyes peeled for it.
Geek This Week:
Aaron: Revolution on NBC.
Gozer: Lasertime “ Time travel “ & HT guys podcasts
The Geek’s Choice:
2013 Cadillac SRX Goes for Home-Theater Vibe
Just the Facts:
- The 2013 Cadillac SRX promises to be one of the cool-tech leaders, with lots of optional gear to give the crossover the feel of a home theater.
- A $1,595 rear-seat entertainment package debuts on SRX Luxury packages with navigation, along with Performance and Premium trim models.
- The package gets a new cordless remote control designed with kids in mind and shaped like a video-game controller.
DETROIT — The 2013 Cadillac SRX promises to be one of the cool-tech leaders, with lots of optional gear to give the crossover the feel of a home theater.
A $1,595 rear-seat entertainment package debuts on SRX Luxury packages with navigation, along with Performance and Premium trim models.
The package gets a new cordless remote control designed with kids in mind and shaped like a video-game controller.
The package also features a Blu-Ray DVD player linked to Cadillac’s CUE infotainment system. The package includes two 8-inch flip-up rear screens. GM says that with CUE, users in the 2013 SRX can pair up to 10 Bluetooth-enabled devices at once, including mobile phones, SD cards, USBs and MP3 players.
“For the first time, rear-seat passengers can connect to and manage their own music players and playlists,” GM said. “The addition of Blu-Ray allows families the same video quality on the road as they’re accustomed to at home.”
It added: “The SRX becomes a home theater on wheels.”
GM said it used a focus group of “kids to test and interact with the new rear-seat entertainment features.”
Featured Segment: Remembering Steve 1 year later
1. “What a computer is to me is the most remarkable tool that we have ever come up with. It’s the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.” (film “Memory & Imagination,” 1990)
2. “I end up not buying a lot of things, because I find them ridiculous.” (The Independent, 2005)
3. “I think death is the most wonderful invention of life. It purges the system of these old models that are obsolete.” (Playboy, 1985)
4. “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.” (Apple Worldwide Developers’ Conference, 1997)
10 things Steve Jobs taught us
5. “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful — that’s what matters to me.” (CNNMoney/Fortune, 1993)
6. “My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to make them better.” (CNNMoney/Fortune, 2008)
7. “If you want to live your life in a creative way, as an artist, you have to not look back too much. You have to be willing to take whatever you’ve done and whoever you were and throw them away.” (Playboy, 1985)
8. “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” (“The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs,” 2001)
9. “My model for business is the Beatles. They were four guys who kept each other’s kind of negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other, and the total was greater than the sum of the parts. That’s how I see business: Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” (“60 Minutes,” 2003)
10. “I would trade all my technology for an afternoon with Socrates.” (Newsweek, 2001)
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