- Google introduces cross-platform goo.gl URLs for deep linking inside of apps
- Ads on Google Search will soon have a “buy” button for easy purchasing
- Verizon LG G4 up for pre-order tomorrow, arrives in-store June 4th – LG G Pad X8.3 available tomorrow as well
- We’re here: Google IO 2015!
- Android 5.1 for the Samsung Galaxy S6 will bring super easy exposure controls
- US Cellular’s 2nd gen Moto X and Moto E get Android 5.1 Lollipop
- ASUS ZenPad leaked ahead of Computex 2015 reveal, 4:3 aspect ratio confirmed
- Samsung’s idea for a dual-OS smartphone laptop dock includes using your phone as a track pad
- You can now upgrade your device with Verizon Edge as soon as it’s paid in full
- Motorola might be using Snapdragon 808 and 810 in latest flagships
- Groupon To Go is an upcoming online ordering platform that looks to give GrubHub, OrderUp a run for their money
- LG trademark suggests they may have acquired Meerkat
- Download: T-Mobile’ Android 5.1.1 update and factory image for Nexus 6, WiFi Calling included
- Deal: Get over $500 worth of Arduino goodies for just $75
- Nexus Player sees price drop on Google Store, now only $80 with free shipping
Google is supercharging their goo.gl short URLs with the ability to deep link into apps. Developers that have taken advantage of Google's new App Indexing -- available on both Android and iOS -- can create goo.gl URLs that take users to specific places inside their app, or by default, their website. For instance, clicking on one of these new goo.gl URLs will auto-detect the specific platform (either Android or iOS) and whether or not they have a specific app installed. If the app is installed, the app will open directly to the content. If the app isn't installed, the user will simply be directed to the website. Simple. Google says the new feature actually works retroactively, so any old goo.gl URLs will still work by linking users to an app. To get started, developers will need to integrate Google's new URL Shortener API into their app's share flow. Here's are the steps needed to set everything up.
Set up app deep linking on goo.gl: * Complete the necessary steps to participate in App Indexing for Android and iOS at g.co/AppIndexing. Note that goo.gl deep links are open to all iOS developers, unlike deep links from Search currently. After this step, existing goo.gl short links will start deep linking to your app. * Optionally integrate the URL Shortener API with your app’s share flow, your email campaigns, etc. to programmatically generate links that will deep link directly back to your app.When opened, the link auto-detects the user’s platform and if they have Maps installed. If the user has the app installed, the short link opens the content directly in the Android or iOS Maps app. If the user doesn’t have the app installed or is on desktop, the short link opens the page on the Maps website. [Google]
We're sure Google has a ton of new developments in store for this year's Google I/O developers conference, but they're already spilling the beans on one new feature that will help them drive business to their customers and better compete with Facebook and Amazon's ad business. Speaking in an interview with _Re/code_, Google Chief Business Officer Omid Kordestani revealed that a "buy" button would soon be making its way to ads featured in Google Search. According to Kordestani, Google realizes that 90% of commerce is still done offline, and they're looking to change that. With a buy button prominently displayed in Google ads, it'll help eliminate a few steps prospective buyers will likely have to go through just to buy something they see in an ad. That means more money for businesses and more money for Google. We're sure to learn more during this year's Google I/O kicking off tomorrow.
If you're on Verizon and can't wait to get your hands on the LG G4, you can get a head start tomorrow, May 28th. That's when pre-orders for the Verizon version will officially kick off (T-Mobile's has already begun shipping) and yes, it'll come with all those goodies we told you about. What are those exactly? Well, LG's promo -- which is only available until June 21st -- throws in a free spare battery, charging cradle, and micro SD card. For those that don't feel like pre-ordering, you'll be able to pick one up at your local Verizon store on June 4th for $550 or $22.91 a month for 2 years with Verizon Edge. Verizon customers also get exclusive access to the "Ceramic White" version of the phone with that snazzy 3D pattern in the back if the leather option isn't doing it for ya. If white isn't your style, there's still all the other colors like Metallic Gray and Genuine Black Leather. In other semi-related news, the LG G Pad X8.3 also goes on sale tomorrow. It's a pretty well-equipped tablet with a 8.3-inch full HD display, 16GB of internal storage, micro SD card slot, 8/2MP cameras, and a 4,800mAh battery for $300. [Verizon]
After making 22 bold predictions about Google IO 2015, we jumped on a plane, flew to San Francisco, and got in line with hoards of others to grab our passes for tomorrow's huge keynote presentation. You'll be able to watch streaming video of the Keynote on Phandroid and follow all the event coverage with our Google IO Guide. After waiting in line for about an hour we finally got into the belly of the beast where an awesomely decorated room awaited. There will undoubtedly be much more in store tomorrow when we're able to ascend two levels above, where various booths and stands showcase Google's latest offerings. For now, on the ground floor, attendees lounge around after getting their event badges, surrounded by several larger than life Android statues. Meanwhile, smaller than life Android statues await in the Google Store where 3 IO themed shirts designed by local artists were also being sold. Google staffers are hard at work preparing and setting up for two the company's most important days of the year. While our own hardworking Steve Albright works furiously on his swinging skills and pizza eating capabilities. Want to see more "behind the scenes" style stuff throughout Google IO? Let us know in the comments. Just want the breaking news? Follow our Google IO Guide.
Without question, the Samsung Galaxy S6 camera is one of the best we've ever used -- even when paired against the iPhone 6. We raved about it in our review. But no matter how amazing the quality of a smartphone's camera, there are those times when it just can't get some things right. Like the exposure. Whether it's a brightly lit background, or just simply too much direct sunlight, sometimes you need to be able to manually change the camera's exposure setting and diving into menus or settings isn't the most effective way to do this. Apple knows this and it's one of the reasons the iPhone 6 was one of the first to introduce super easy and quick exposure adjustments in their camera app. Recently, Motorola followed suit with an update to their camera app which added similar functionality on the Motorola Moto X (2014) and Motorola DROID Turbo. Today, the folks at _SamMobile_ have revealed a similar feature headed to the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, and arrives with the Android 5.1 update. The update is also said to bring other camera improvements like support for RAW shooting, and manual shutter controls while in Pro Mode. Android 5.1 is rumored to arrive for the Galaxy S6/Edge sometime in June for international models, although timing for carrier models remains to be seen.
Owners of the 2nd generation Moto X and the original Moto E 4G LTE on US Cellular are getting some Lollipop love today! That's Android 5.1 Lollipop to be specific, and it's rolling out over the air to both handsets as we speak. There won't be many surprises here if you're familiar with Motorola's software. They tend to stick to mostly stock Android, so aside from a few custom features and apps you can expect Lollipop as it was meant to be experienced by Google themselves. Getting the upgrade is fairly easy. You'll need to be on WiFi, but once you are all it takes is a quick trip to Settings > About Phone > System Updates. Those on the Moto X will be looking for build LPE23.32-21, while the Moto E is receiving LPI23.29-15. Be sure to let us know how it's treating you after you've gotten it downloaded! [via US Cellular]
ASUS is going to be waving their Taiwanese flag proudly at Computex next week, and the company is expected to introduce a new good-looking tablet to add to their ZenPad line. It'll simply be called "ASUS ZenPad," and the one thing you'll notice from this newly-leaked render of it is that it's sporting a screen ratio of 4:3. Such a ratio was seen as odd at one point, but the prominence of Apple's iPad seems to have gotten us used to it. In fact, perhaps we even prefer it. ASUS is said to be going with Intel processors again as part of their new partnership. We still don't know how we feel about that just yet as we have yet to put an Intel devices through its proper paces, but we'll keep an open mind for sure. One other detail suggests the company will introduce a 7-inch affordable model with 1024 x 600 resolution, while an 8-inch model will take things up a few notches with a resolution of 2048 x 1536. If ASUS can get these bad boys at or near that sweet spot of $200 we'd say there's reason to take notice. We'll have to wait until next week to find out more. [via AUSDroid]
Samsung is thinking about making a laptop dock where a smartphone can double as the processing power for a full blown computing experience. That much was revealed in their latest patent, and even in a few that they were granted in the past. The idea of laptop docks are nothing new -- Motorola was doing this as early on with the original Motorola Atrix -- but Samsung does stake claim to some interesting implementation details. The biggest is that the docking mechanism would allow you to use your phone as a trackpad for using a mouse, or as some sort of secondary display showing additional information. Samsung's patent specifies a scenario where Android would run on the smartphone device, while the laptop would run Windows while the phone is docked. That said, Samsung is only using those two operating systems as a mere example of a situation where one might use dual booting so that shouldn't be taken as a solid hint of future plans. In fact, the entirety of the patent shouldn't be taken as hint of any plans. We've seen time and again that patents don't always translate into actual products, so we'll just have to wait and see if Samsung likes this idea enough to make something tangible out of it. [via Patently Mobile]
Verizon has announced a small, yet key change to their EDGE upgrade program. The company now allows you to upgrade through EDGE as soon as your device is paid in full as opposed to having to wait a certain amount of time. This is great for folks who want a new phone with little upfront costs, but don't mind paying their current device off early for the privilege of doing so at their own pace. The change goes into effect May 31st, which is only a few days' wait if you're planning to take advantage. [via Verizon]
Say what you want about the Snapdragon 810's supposed overheating issues, but it seems more companies are going to use it in their 2015 flagships. One such company seems to be Motorola, with a trusted tipster leaking word that at least one of their latest devices will use the oft-maligned chipset. That particular phone would be the XT1585, which is said to be a Verizon device with QHD resolution and 640 DPI (codenamed Kinzie). Meanwhile, the XT1578 or XT1097 -- both codenamed "Clark," with the former being Verizon-specific -- will look to run a Snapdragon 808. Those will also enjoy QHD resolution (albeit it at a slightly lower DPI of 560). There isn't much other new information about these devices so we're still not exactly sure what Motorola's plans for 2015 look like. For what it's worth Motorola has seemingly started to mask the codenames of their devices using model numbers of phones that already exist. Evidence that the leakster is hot on the trail? Perhaps, but we suppose that means little in the end -- we know Motorola is going to be bringing some heat later this summer, and we hope official word about their plans isn't far off. [via Reddit]
Groupon was all the rage when it launched back in 2008, one of the internet's first daily deals sites that offered up discounted gift certificates on local food or activities. A few years later, the company began to fizzle out, reporting quarterly losses in the millions of dollars range. Recently, we've seen Groupon branch out its business into new areas with a new app called Snap by Groupon that rewards shoppers with real cash instead of coupons. But it appears that's not all Groupon has up their sleeve, with a new online ordering platform called "Groupon To Go" set to kick off sometime in the near future. It doesn't appear Groupon has made anything official yet, but the landing site is already live. There aren't any deals populating it quite yet, but we discovered Groupon is already hiring To Go management positions in the Chicago area and recently picked up a trademark for their service so we'd imagine it's coming _very_ soon. Once launched, Groupon To Go will let users search for local businesses offering up delivery in their area. It's not too unlike services like GrubHub or OrderUp with Groupon acting as the middle man by digitizing participating restaurants' menus and giving them their own business page on Groupon.com. Once orders are received, Groupon will send them to businesses either by fax, email, or through their online merchant center. If restaurants want to further drive business, they can even create deals that will be broadcasted across Groupon's online site, email news letters, and mobile apps. It's an interesting entry into the food delivery market and with Groupon's already huge user base, should be enticing to both customers and businesses alike. We expect to learn more once the service officially launches, but in the meantime, you can watch their promo video for business on Vimeo.
When Meerkat launched back in February for iOS, nobody could have predicted it would have been as popular as it was. Countless apps have -- and still do -- allow for anyone to live stream whatever it is they like using a smartphone. Whatever the reason behind its success, it didn't take long before rumors of big named tech companies swooping in to buy them up began circulating around the net. The most likely (and fitting) prospect was social media giant Facebook, who could use Meerkat to bolster their growing portfolio of social media apps. But after looking through recent trademark filings, is it possible a popular Android manufacturer snatched them up before anyone else? We managed to dig up a trademark LG recently acquired for the name "Meerkat." While that doesn't let us know if that is the _same_ live streaming app that's become so popular in recent months, the description certainly sounds like it. According to the trademark, LG's "Meerkat" sounds eerily similar to the live streaming functionality of the already available Meerkat app. Here's what LG says _their_ Meerkat app will do:
IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: IP camera; Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) Cameras; Cameras for surveillance; Photographic apparatus and instruments; Cameras; Webcams; Mobile phones; Smart phones; Application software for smart phones; Application software for smart phone camerasWith so many resources at their disposal, it's entirely possible LG will acquire Meerkat, building its live streaming features into its full-line of devices. In the event that LG _isn't_ looking to buy Meerkat and is actually looking to build their own live streaming app of the same name, that would be weird and the trademark will likely be appealed and thrown out. In either event, we're pretty left guessing as to what LG has up their sleeve and have already reached out to the company for comment. We'll let you know if we hear more.
In case you missed, T-Mobile began pushing out Android 5.1.1 to the Nexus 6 this weekend. This flavor of Android -- build LYZ28E -- was built especially for the Nexus 6 on T-Mobile and features the long awaited WiFi Calling feature baked right in. With WiFi calling, Nexus 6 owners can make calls and send text messages even in places where they have zero bars. You gotta admit, that's pretty handy especially if you live up in the mountains or other areas where T-Mobile's towers have trouble reaching. Because the update is rolling out in stages, some of you may not have gotten the update quite yet. Don't worry, you'll get it soon. For those that don't feel like waiting, here's the OTA link for manual flashing (if you're into that sort of thing). For anyone else looking to download the full factory image -- which will restore your device to its full factory settings -- you can now find that on Google's Nexus factory images page down below. This is great for those that Have at it. [via Nexus Factory images]
If you're someone who likes to tinker with computers and mod your own devices you've probably heard about Arduino. Arduino is a company that designs and manufactures kits for building digital devices and interactive objects that can sense and control the physical world. The kits can be configured to do many different things, but that is up to your imagination. Getting started with Arduino can be a little daunting. After all, there is a lot you can do with it. We've got a great deal that will get you the hardware you need, plus a lot of valuable help. For a limited time you can get over $500 worth of Arduino goodies for just $75 from AndroidArea.com. Here's what you'll get: * Arduino Starter Kit ($70 value) * Arduino Step-by-Step 'Your Guide to the Internet of Things' Course ($200 value) * Arduino 'Make a Remote-Controlled Car' Course ($150 value) * Beginning Arduino 'Make Your Own Environment Monitor System' Course ($100 value) That's a pretty insane deal. If you're interested in getting started with Arduino this is a great time to do it. The deal ends in 6 days, so don't wait too long to snag it. DEAL: Complete Arduino Starter Kit & Course Bundle
We're barely a few days away from Google I/O and related or not, the ASUS-made Nexus player is now officially been marked down to $80 in the Google Store (that's about $20 off from the original price). It's not a bad deal, but still about $5 more expensive than the recent markdown on Amazon. Of course, the Nexus Player on the Google Store comes with free shipping, so that's something you may want to factor into pricing. Not sure how long this will last (it very well could be permanent), but if you prefer to make your purchases with Google, have at it. [Nexus Player $80 on Google Store]