Google I/O showcased some fantastic new apps and features. Take a look as we round-up the news regarding Play Music All Access, Hangout, Play Games and the Galaxy S4 running stock Android.
If you managed to sit through the entire Google I/O keynote yesterday, then hats off to you. The event showcased Google’s plans for the year ahead and there’s never been a better time to be involved in the tech industry. But what does the event mean for the Android platform? We’ve put together a quick guide to everything new and exciting that will appear on your phone soon enough.Play Music All Access
As well as having a complete redesign, the Play Music app will now include its very own streaming service to rival that of Spotify. Although the All Access service will only be initially launched in the U.S for $9.99 per month, or $7.99 for early adopters, it’ll enable users to gather their various music playlists in one place. Google has been quick off the mark getting many big name publishers onboard to make it something that both Spotify and Rdio will really need to keep an eye on.Hangouts
Another area in which Google has looked to make big changes to is with its various messaging platforms. Hangouts looks to bring all these together, providing a single place to stay in contact with everyone. The app itself lets people share messages, photos, videos and video chats across Android and iOS devices. The downside to the app is that it doesn’t support SMS messaging, as of yet, but it’s an area which Google are looking to cover soon enough.
What can we expect from this year’s Google I/O event?
It’s that time of year where everyone starts getting excited about what Google has planned for the year ahead. The Google I/O event never disappoints and we’re expecting an even better event this time around. As expected, the rumour mill is rife with speculation so we’ve put together a few things we’re more than likely to see at Google I/O 2013.Android 4.3 or Android 5.0?
We’re almost guaranteed to see a new installment of the Android OS announced at Google I/O 2013, but no-one is sure on what version will be announced. Some predict a large update entitled Android 5.0 with the code name of Key Lime Pie, while others see Google announcing a small incremental update sticking with the code name of Jelly Bean.Google Babel
The rumours surrounding Google’s fabled messaging platform, Babel, have been getting more common in the past week, with many now believing the new messaging platform will simply be incorporated in to Google+ Hangouts, rather than a standalone app available for download.
The S Planner will be a featured app on the Galaxy S4, but it isn’t without its problems. Here are some essential S Planner tips and tricks that should help with a few problems.
“I’m a regular user of the S Planner app, but I can’t seem to look at all the past and future events without having to go through several menus to find the monthly and yearly view options. Is there a quicker way to do this?”
While on your home calendar screen use two fingers to swipe left. This will open up a side menu which will include tabs enabling you to select between weekly, monthly and yearly views.
“I’ve created a Facebook calendar, and although it was easy enough to sync with my Gmail calendar, I can’t figure out how to sync it with S Planner. Is it possible?”
We put the best Android and iOS phones head-to-head to see which one of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5 comes out on top.
The recently announced Samsung Galaxy S4 is by far the most powerful device we’ve seen running the Android OS, but how does it compare to Apple’s best offering, the iPhone 5?Samsung Galaxy S4 design vs iPhone 5 design
The first thing you’ll notice about the Samsung Galaxy S4 is that it’s near identical to the Galaxy S3, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The design is easily recognisable, if a little boring, but the curved edges and overall thinness compensate for it. Samsung like to coat their devices in plastic and that’s exactly what you get here. Compared to the metallic feel of both the iPhone 5 and the HTC One, the Galaxy S4 doesn’t compete. With the iPhone series you know you’re getting a quality built device and the iPhone 5 sticks to that pattern well, offering users a great looking device that also feels premium.Samsung Galaxy S4 display vs iPhone 5 display
Both devices have to be commended here for having top quality displays that offer pixel perfect experiences. The S4 includes a five inch Super AMOLED HD display with 441ppi, which makes colours really stand out and icons and text look amazing. Despite the smaller four inch screen, the 326ppi display on the iPhone 5 makes everything on iOS look fantastic. There’s little to choose between them in terms of display quality, but if you want a bigger screen with arguably better colours, then the Galaxy S4 is the device for you.
On the eve of the Galaxy S4 launch we ask whether Samsung is about to tighten its grip on Android?
On the face of it, all is rosy in the Android garden. According to analysts, Gartner, Android increased its market share by almost 20% in the last quarter, compared to same period last year, to 122,480,000 units sold, capturing a world-wide market share of 72.4%.
Market leader within the pack of attendant manufacturers is Samsung, selling almost 987 million devices in the same period to effect 22.9% of the worldwide market, gaining the No 1 spot in the market share league table.
If you dig a little deeper into the figures, however, there are worrying concerns.