Google unveils latest ‘Android Kitkat’ after Nestle tie-up

reportedly named the latest version of its mobile operating system ‘Android KitKat’ in a tie-up with chocolate manufacturer Nestle.

Director of Android marketing Marc Vanlerberghe, said that they couldn’t imagine a better name for Android K release than the tasty chocolate that’s been a favourite among the team since the early days of Android.

While Nestle’s head of marketing, Patrice Bula, said that they were excited to announce this partnership with Android, the world’s most popular mobile platform, which will help them to enable even more KitKat fans to enjoy their break, Mirror reports.

Bula added that KitKat is one of the world’s top 10 fast-moving consumer goods brands in social media in terms of fan numbers and engagement and they continue to build on its strong digital presence with interactive, creative branding campaigns.

According to the report, the release of the new OS will be marked with a competition to win prizes including 1,000 Google Nexus 7 tablets through more than 50 million specially-branded KitKat bars.

Google servers go down for 5 minutes, web traffic falls 40 percent

For five minutes early on Saturday morning, the Internet stood still as all Google services including Gmail, Drive, Maps and Chat suffered an outage and didn’t function.

The Google App Dashboard documented this brief outage as all apps provided by the search giant went down for around 5 minutes.

The app dashboard for Gmail had the following message for users:

We’re aware of a problem with Gmail affecting a significant subset of users. The affected users are able to access Gmail, but are seeing error messages and/or other unexpected behavior. 

A similar message was visible for all other apps that were down.

No search for five minutes? AFP

No search for five minutes? AFP

In India the outage took place on Saturday morning around 5:07 am and unless you were checking your email or getting directions that early in the morning, its unlikely you would have noticed.

However, reports pointed out that internet traffic crashed for the five minutes that all Google services were down.

CNET reported that according to web analytics firm GoSquared, traffic on the internet dropped around 40 percent during those five minutes and perhaps only highlights the reliance of internet users on the search giant.

After Google returned to normal, internet traffic did as well and asCNET points out search engines like Yahoo! and Bing weren’t able to capitalise on Google’s outage, only highlighting our dependence on services Google provides.

Google hasn’t made any statement yet on what cause the outage.

Android 4.3 Jelly Bean: Google Speeds up Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 Update in India

With the announcement of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, Google informed that the update will hit the Nexus devices globally very soon. Now since the starting of this week, it seems LG Nexus 4 and Asus Nexus 7 devices in India have also started receiving the update.

Android 4.3 Jelly Bean: Google Speeds up Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 Update

The Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update is around 157.7MB and it will be available as an over the air (OTA) update. It is better suggested to use a WiFi network for faster downloading. GizBot finally received both the updates today and hence it cab be said that more and more users in India will be receiving the new OS in the coming days.

Talking about the awesome features that Android 4.3 Jelly Bean will bring about in the device will be better performance, multi-user support which means now there will be a restriction on profiles that allows content limitations to specific users.

In simple terms the users can now make contents private. While other features will include Bluetooth Smart, and the ability to project movies etc from the device to the big screen. The Bluetooth Smart feature allows users to connect to other Bluetooth devices such as the Heart Beat Sensor, Fuelband, and Smartwatch and share data between them.

Not only that but a new game center and a whole new suite of Android apps will be coming to the platform. Google Play Games is also added into the mix so the user can more easily beat your friends down when playing multiplayer titles. There are several more features that comes inside the package. Thus stay tuned to GizBot for more updates on Android 4.3 updates and much more. Also take a detailed look at the features of Android 4.3.

Google kicks off Start Searching India campaign

Tuesday introduced its ‘Start Searching India’ campaign here to help internet users get the most out of the web with its search tool.

“Internet is no longer restricted to the domain of working professionals and is fast emerging as a life enriching tool catering to the varied needs of the people from all walks of life,” Google India’s Director Marketing, Sandeep Menon said on the occasion.

The objective of the campaign is to help Indian users save time, by showing how they can get instant and to-the-point answers to their most common queries, he said.

Presenting the top search trends that the people of Bhopal search for most using using Google Trends (www.google.com/trends), he said that e-governance is doing well in Madhya Pradesh with ‘mponline.com and vyapam.com’ figuring in the top five web searches.

He said that Google’s mission has always been to make search into an ideal assistant: a search engine that understands exactly what you mean and gives you back exactly what you need.

Also, recent improvements to Google Search have drawn the company closer to that vision, he added.

First look: Google’s new tablet Nexus 7

When it comes to technology, we’ve been trained to expect more for less.

When it comes to technology, we’ve been trained to expect more for less. Devices get more powerful each year, as prices stay the same or drop. With the new Nexus 7tablet, Google hopes we’re willing to pay more for more.

The new tablet comes with a $30 price increase over last year’s model. At $229 for the base model, it is still a bargain – and 30 per cent cheaper than Apple’s $329 iPad Mini. The display is sharper and the sound is richer than the old model. There’s now a rear camera for taking snapshots. The new Nexus 7 is the first device to ship with Android 4.3, which lets you create profiles to limit what your curious and nosy kids can do on your tablet when you’re not around.

Amazon.com’s $199 Kindle Fire HD is cheaper, but it doesn’t give you full access to the growing library of Android apps for playing games, checking the weather, tracking flights, reading the news, getting coupons from your favorite stores and more. The Nexus 7 does.

It’s a fine complement to your smartphone if it’s running Google’s Android, the dominant operating system on phones these days – even as Apple commands the market for tablet computers with its full-size iPad and iPad Mini. Unless you tell it not to, apps you use on the phone will automatically appear on the Nexus 7, so you can switch from device to device seamlessly. When you are signed in, bookmarks will also transfer over Google’s Chrome Web browser, as will favorite places on Google Maps.

If you were already eyeing last year’s Nexus 7 model, then go ahead and pay $30 more for the latest.

Although screen dimensions are identical, the new Nexus 7 has a higher pixel density, at 323 pixels per inch compared with 216 on the old model. Trees and other objects in the movie “Life of Pi” look sharper, as do the movie title and credits on the screen.

Sound is much better with speakers on the left and the right side of the tablet, held horizontally. Although they are technically back facing, the speakers are placed along a curved edge in such a way that sound seems to project outward and not away from you. On the old Nexus 7, I can’t even tell where the speakers are.

The new Nexus 7 also feels more comfortable in my hands. It’s 17 per cent thinner and 5 per cent narrower when held like a portrait. The old model was a tad too wide to grip comfortably in the palm of my hands. The new device is also 15 per cent lighter, at 10.2 ounces. And the rubbery back feels smoother on the new tablet.

The new Nexus ships with a camera app, something last year’s model didn’t really need because it had only a front-facing camera, for videoconferencing. With the new rear, 5-megapixel camera, you can take photos and video of what’s in front of you. Expect to be ridiculed, though, if I see you doing that. Still, it’s not as bad as blocking someone’s view with a full-size tablet.

As for the restricted profiles that come with Android 4.3, it’s a good idea, though it still has kinks. When you set up a profile for your kid, you pick which apps to enable. Don’t want your kid to be surfing the Web unrestricted? Then keep the Chrome browser disabled. Don’t want him or her on Facebook? Keep that app disabled, too. The app store is also disabled, so Junior can’t go on a download spree. If you do allow access to a particular app, though, then it’s full access. There’s no filtering to block porn and other questionable material, for instance.

I found that some apps won’t work with restricted profiles at all, including those for Gmail and other email accounts. If you want your kids to have access to email, then you have to give them full access or enable the browser to check email over the Web. You can’t turn on just the email app.

And although the new tablet is the first to ship with Android 4.3, it’s available to download on other devices, including last year’s Nexus 7.

What the new tablet does offer is the promise of a longer battery life – up to 10 hours for Web surfing and nine hours for video streaming. Last year’s model was rated at eight hours.

There’s no question the new model is better and worth the price increase.

Choosing between the new Nexus 7 and the iPad Mini is tougher.

If you already have an iPhone, the iPad Mini will be a nice complement. You won’t have to buy music, video and apps twice, for instance. You might want to wait until this fall, though, to see whether Apple comes out with a new model.

It’s a tougher call if you have an Android phone.

By volume, the two systems have a comparable number of apps. But I’ve found that many larger app developers have made versions only for the iPhone and the iPad. The American Museum of Natural History in New York has six that work on iPads but only one on Android devices. An app to watch full episodes of CBS television shows is for Apple and Windows devices only, not Android. Meanwhile, the iDonatedIt app for tracking tax deductions has more features for Apple devices, while features that are supposed to work on Android often don’t.

Android is good in that many apps designed for a phone’s smaller screen are automatically adapted to take advantage of a tablet’s larger screen. On the iPad, apps that aren’t optimized for it are squeezed into a smaller window the size of an iPhone. Blow it up to full screen, and it looks distorted. But that’s not as glaring on the Mini as it is on the full-size iPad. And having apps automatically change their layout isn’t the same as designing them for the tablet from scratch, as is the case with the hundreds of thousands of apps optimized for the iPad.

The Nexus 7’s screen is much sharper than that on the iPad Mini, which has the non-HD display technology of the iPad 2 from 2011 – ancient in the world of mobile gadgets. The Nexus 7 is also a tad lighter, by 6 per cent.

That said, the iPad Mini has a larger screen, measuring 7.9 inches diagonally compared with 7 inches on the Nexus. And the iPad Mini has had a rear camera from the start. The iPad Mini also has Siri, a voice assistant that is feistier than Google Now on the Nexus. If you prefer Google Now for its ability to give you information you need to know without even asking, you can download it on the Mini. You can’t get Siri on the Nexus.

If you do get the Nexus 7, it supports wireless charging, so you can get rid of the messy wiring. The device comes only with a standard microUSB charger to plug in, so you’ll have to buy a Qi-compatible wireless charger yourself.

The $229 base model comes with 16 gigabytes of storage. For $40 more, or $269, you get twice the storage. Both will go on sale in the US next Tuesday. A 32-gigabyte model with 4G cellular capability will cost $349. By contrast, the iPad Mini starts at $329. A 32-gigabyte version with 4G costs $559.

Even with the price increase, Google has Apple beaten on price. The Nexus 7 may lack the cachet and many of the apps that the iPad Mini has, but you’ll be able to do a lot with it. I hope technology companies won’t make price hikes a habit, but this one is made palatable by the device’s richer display, sound and camera.

Asus Google Nexus 7 unveiled with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean

Google along with ASUS has announced the new thinner, lighter and full 1080p HD resolution display bearing Nexus 7 tablet with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean running on it.

Google and ASUS have formally announced the much awaited new Nexus 7 tablet with full 1080p HD display. The new ASUS Google Nexus 7 tablet also is the first device with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update running on it out of the box. The new Nexus 7 tablet is significant improvement over the first Nexus 7 in terms of core hardware, camera, weight and mobile operating system entirely.

Google-ASUS team worked together to bring a 8.45 mm thin new Nexus 7 tablet weighing just 290 grams. This tablet will feature 7-inch touchscreen display with 1080p HD resolution natively. The Nexus 7 (2012 model) featured 1280×800 pixel resolution natively with pixel density of 216 pixels per inch. That has been bumped to 1920×1200 pixel resolution natively with pixel density of 323 pixels per inch.

Asus Google Nexus 7 unveiled

ASUS has housed a quad-core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon Pro along with 2 GB RAM. This is a major change over the NVIDIA Tegra 3 chipset with 1 GB RAM in the Nexus 7 (2012).

Asus Google Nexus 7 unveiled

Google’s new Nexus 7 (2013) will feature dual-band WiFi support which was really expected since even Kindle Fire HD models have dual-band WiFi support. Google has provided the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update running out of the box with several new features such as multi-user restricted profiles, Bluetooth Low Energy support, Hindi language support and several features mostly catering to overall performance improvement.

Asus Google Nexus 7 unveiled

The tablet features the new Bluetooth 4.0 LE that will work nicely with the Bluetooth Smart support in the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. Apart from that, there is HDMI output for connecting the tablet directly with a HD display. There will be near field communication support as well. Most importantly there will be wireless charging support.

Asus Google Nexus 7 unveiled

Google has not revealed the actual battery capacity but mentioned that it can now support playback of HD video for 9 hours and 10 hours worth of web browsing.

Asus Google Nexus 7 unveiled

The new Nexus 7 (2013) has the same 1.2 megapixel camera in the front for video chat and also a new 5 megapixel camera at the back for imaging. It also features SlimPort technology support that allow connecting the tablet to a larger display via HDMI, VGA or DisplayPort connectors.

Google will start selling the Nexus 7 (2013) from next week onwards starting $229 (Rs 13,750 approx.) for 16 GB Wi-Fi only model, $269 (Rs 16150 approx.) for 32 GB Wi-Fi model and $349 (Rs 20,950 approx.) for 32 GB 4G LTE supporting model for the US region.