Gmail Chicken, A Very Risky Game

This is why I love Reddit. It’s home to some of the smartest, yet most insane minds on the planet. Today I stumbled across Gmail Chicken, a game thought up by Reddit user  _SynthesizerPatel_. The game combines the usually harmless idea of ‘chicken’ with the terrifying concept of offending a superior or family member.

Gmail Chicken: The Rules

1. On Gmail, go to settings and turn on ‘Undo Send’, setting it to 30 seconds.

2. Write a verbal assault directed towards a person in your contact list.

3. Send it.

4. See how close to the 30 second mark you can get without cancelling the send.

I’m not sure if this is an already known game, although a quick Google search hasn’t returned any results. It’s certainly a game you should play with your friends.

Source: Reddit

 

Google Now on Ice Cream Sandwich, Download!

Google Now is arguably one of the most exciting features of Jelly Bean. It’s hard to resist the idea of an Android Siri alternative which, according to early reviews, blows Apple’s voice assistant out of the water. Luckily, developers are already hard at work to port Google Now to devices running Ice Cream Sandwich, and the early attempts are available to download now.

None of the ports have functioning voice recognition, obviously one of the main features which makes Google Now so exciting. However some results and user configuration options are working quite well.

It’s nowhere near the final product in Jelly Bean, but it’s a good idea as to what sort of thing you can expect. There are several problems which include network errors, force closures and trouble with the install.

Unfortunately, Jelly Bean looks set for a very slow roll out, meaning that many people will not get it for a very long time, if at all. Especially as it was revealed today that Ice Cream Sandwich is currently only on 10% of devices after almost 9 months on the market.  So if you are eager to get your hands on the goodies that come with Android 4.1, then you should definitely keep an eye on the XDA thread below.

To download, visit the link below and follow the download instructions. There have already been, and will continue to be updates each and every day. So be sure to read through the thread to make sure you have the most up-to-date version. I’ll be sure to write a new post when (if) a fully functioning port becomes available.

Source: XDA Developers

Easter Egg: Nexus Q Magic 8 Ball

Google recently revealed the Nexus Q, a social streaming device which allows you to purchase a product on your phone, and view it on your tablet and T.V. But what they didn’t announce, was the Easter egg which comes with it.

The hidden feature begins when the user taps the Nexus Q image on the Android app repeatedly. Eventually, a screen pops up, “Have a dilemma? Ask the Q”.

Using Google’s accurate voice recognition, the user can then ask the Q a question resulting in a random response, much like the old magic 8 ball toys.

Google often hide Easter eggs within their products, a good example being the image hidden behind each Android Version in the settings menu.

Source: Adrian Perez

Android Jelly Bean Overview

Wednesday marked the first day of Google I/O 2012, and the announcement of Android Jelly Bean, version 4.1 of the Android operating system.

Being 4.1 rather than 5.0, many people (including myself) expected Android Jelly Bean to only be a slight upgrade to it’s previous version. We knew that their would be slight changes to the UI, having seen blurry pictures of a white/grey search bar, however as far as new features go we were completely left in the dark. Google really did a pretty great job of hiding their new features.

Below is a small rundown of the Android enhancements coming in Jelly Bean.

Project Butter

Android Jelly Bean is faster and smoother than any other Android version. By boosting CPU and other technology mumbo jumbo, 4.1 has graphics, animations and transitions which are buttery smooth. See the connection?

Notifications

Before iOS 5, iPads and iPhones had a very poor notification system. That’s why they decided to use a drop down notification system, with no care in the world that it was a blatant copy of Google’s idea, used since the first Android phone, the G1. So, Google need a new notification update to blow Apple out of the water, and they have done just that.

Android Jelly Bean has an updated notification drop down menu which lets you interact with the notifications without even opening the dedicated applications. The windows are bigger, meaning if you have an alarm, you can snooze or disable it right from the drop down. If you’re late for a meeting, you can e-mail all of the attendees informing them, directly from notifications.

All this, and it looks incredible.

Widgets

According to the Android website, ‘Widgets work like magic’. This is quite an overstatement, in fact it seems like something Steve Jobs would say about the iPad. But the new widget system is pretty cool. Now, instead of having to make sure you have enough space on a home screen before moving a widget, you can just go ahead and drag it there. The icons that you have on that current page will move around so that you can fit the widget there, and if there isn’t enough space, it will make the widget smaller.

Camera and Gallery

Android Jelly Bean brings the same speedy update to the gallery, that Ice Cream Sandwich brought to taking photos. Now, after taking a very speedy snap, you can view the recently taken photos by swiping to the side. From here, you can edit the photo as well as share it via e-mail, social networks, messaging, bluetooth etc.

Keyboard

Poor SwiftKey. Just a matter of days after releasing the public version of SwiftKey 3, Google announce that their new default keyboard will feature similar abilities. One of the best features in SwiftKey is the prediction system, which basically guesses the rest of your sentence after you have typed the first word. Now, Android Jelly Bean has this as the default feature. Awesome for beginners who aren’t aware of other keyboards, but it’s probably bad news for SwiftKey.

Google Search, Voice

Android Jelly Bean sees a complete overhaul to how Google wants it’s users to search for content and information. Search has always been one of the primary features of Android since the very beginning, and it’s always done it very well. However, being several years since the last revolutionary update, Google have addressed this in Jelly Bean. Search is now done in the same way as it has always been done, tapping the microphone icon on the search bar and now dragging up the app drawer icon.

Google Search is now a true competitor to Siri. It’s done with cards of information. You ask it something, it responds (astonishingly quickly) with the information you need in the form of a card. Be it weather, sports, film times, news, information about random topics, Google will show you the information you need very fast.

Google now even predicts what you are going to do. For example if you follow the same route to a destination at a certain time or day each week. Eventually Jelly Bean will set a reminder for you automatically, as well as give you a route and get traffic reports.

What are your opinions of Android Jelly Bean? Personally I think it’s an incredible update, especially when compared to the very underwhelming iOS 6 update. Google’s new update make everything look better, and much easier to use., while still using the amazing holo theme that i’m sure nobody is tired of yet.

Google Chrome for iPad and iPhone

Google Chrome is the world’s most popular desktop web browser. It recently launched on Android tablets and phones leading iOS owners to ask the question, ‘what about us?’.

Well, Google Chrome will launch on iOS today as announced at Google I/O today. The new browser will look and work the same as the Android counterpart, including incognito mode.

Finally, I can include my iPad in the web browsing sync I have going between my phone and laptop.

Update: I type this update from Chrome on iPad, available in iTunes with a quick search for ‘chrome’. Just as expected, it’s brilliant.

Jellybean Google Play Store?

A very low amount of devices run Ice Cream Sandwich, and already 4.1, jellybean is being leaked and debated. Not being a completely new operating system, there are only minor changes compared to the difference between Gingerbread and ICS. One of these minor changes could very well be an update to the Google Play Store.

The Play Store was revamped not very long ago, gaining a new name and a UI change, but a recently leaked photo would appear to show that Google are happy returning to their old style of interface.

Posted on Google +, a photo showing a Galaxy SIII running an unknown version of the Google Play store looks like it could be legit. The design looks similar to the old Android Market, with a scroll wheel at the top to showcase the featured applications, with a small list below it. However, it’s been updated with the new Holo theme.

Bare in mind that this could just as easily be photoshopped, but sure enough, we’ll find out in the coming weeks.

Source: Android and Me

Track Employees With Google Coordinate

Google Coordinate is a new add-on to Google Maps which can track employees, designed to help businesses work as a team even when they are in different parts of the world.

The example the trailer shows is an energy company which has several wind turbines set up in multiple locations. One of the heads of the operations gets to the office one day to find that a wind turbine somewhere has had a fault and needs to be fixed. He then uses Google Coordinate to set which employee he wants to fix the problem. He can then track that employee as he accepts the task and travels towards the troubled wind turbine.

It’s a very interesting feature which comes in the form of a web app and an application for Android and iOS. Presumably, there is a way of limiting which hours of the day the employees can be tracked, otherwise this could be seen as a pretty major invasion of privacy.

Google Collectibles Week on Android

Google Collectibles Week has just kicked off for Android users, following an announcement on the Play Store’s Google Plus page.

Google Collectibles Week features a whole week of exclusive in game purchases available for games on Android. Most of the in-game content is Android related, with some bits being seemingly off topic.

“Get your SIMS a new patio set this summer or add a Magic Store for your Dream Tower. You’ll also find items like Andro the Heroic in Tap Dragon Park, Android Monster in Monster Park, or a cool Android tee in Stardom.”

U.S: Link
Non-US: Link
Source: Google Play

Google Employees Hike Through Wilderness For Street View

Street View has always been an innovative product, capturing just about every street in the world for viewing from the comfort of your own home. But there is still a vast amount of locations which aren’t available on the website, mainly because they are too tricky for the Street View cars to drive through.

That’s where the Street View Trekker comes in. Google employees, armed with a huge backpack containing a rotating Android powered camera, hike through the wilderness battling all kinds of weather conditions, to bring you accurate maps of places where no vehicle can go.

Chrome OS Receives Big Update

Google’s attempt to take on the PC market hasn’t been great. The launch of the Chromebook has been met with a pretty underwhelming response, and the general opinion is that they can do pretty much everything a normal laptop can do, with added limitations.

Google have clearly tried to end these thoughts in the latest update of the Chrome Operating System, but they might not have done themselves any favours.

Included in the update is the inclusion of customizable wallpapers. This shouldn’t have been a feature worth mentioning, wallpapers have been customizable on other platforms for over a decade now. Wallpapers should have been included in the original Chrome OS, or at least silently added through an update rather than expressing it as a ‘new’ feature in the video above.

Another new feature is the taskbar at the bottom, where you can pin your favourite applications and launch them quicker from other windows. Chrome OS now also allows you to have two windows open side by side, so you can type a document and watch a Youtube clip at the same time.

The features I have mentioned so far are not new, and not revolutionary. It looks like Google have backed down to the pressure of what people are already used to, and attempted to replicate that. The taskbar at the bottom is something that has been in Windows since almost the beginning, with the pinning made available in Windows 7, while the Aero Snap feature has also been around for a number of years.

At heart, a Chromebook is still a Chromebook. It runs the successful web browser, Google Chrome, which uses a number of cloud based applications such as document creators, image viewers and games to replicate the standard PC experience, only quicker. However the new features which Google have introduced this week shows that there currently isn’t a web browser, no matter how fast and efficient, that can offer the same capabilities as a standard PC or Mac, and the Chromebook is slowly starting to shift.