During the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco today, Google discussed the future of its “Chrome OS” platform, as well as some future products that will soon hit the market. Google has improved the performance of Adobe Flash playback within the browser, and the OS will now recognize I/O devices — such as cameras — when they’re plugged into the computer. Other new features include Google Music integration, a new photo manager that allows you to send directly to Picasa, and an option to upload files directly to Box.net. Google’s bread and butter, Gmail, Calendar, and Docs are all now accessible while offline. Hackers will also appreciate a new built-in jailbreaking feature. Samsung and Acer will both introduce “Chromebooks” on June 15th for $429 and $399, respectively. Samsung will also sell a 3G version of its Chromebook for $499. Those prices sound a bit high to us considering that you can get a full-fledged Windows 7 netbook for that price, but we’ll see if the market agrees.
Today, Panasonic announced that they will add Twitter to the list of built-in web entertainment technologies on their VIERA CAST enabled HDTVs and Blu-ray disc players. The company already offers Skype, Netflix, Pandora, Fox Sports, Amazon Video-On-Demand, YouTube, Picasa, Bloomberg, and weather services on VIERA televisions with the IPTV functionality built-in. Panasonic’s VP of corporate development had this to say:
Since we introduced Panasonic VIERA CAST IPTVs three years ago we have added more and more of the top entertainment and social networking sites in the world. The addition of Twitter to VIERA CASTfurther strengthens the interactive options Panasonic VIERA HDTV owners can now use to communicate with family and friends worldwide. Consumers with VIERA CAST-enabled HDTVS can now tweet on Twitter, video chat via Skype, share videos on YouTube and digital photos via Google Picasa right from the comfort of their living rooms.”
Maybe the future of HDTV isn’t in 3D and ridiculous refresh rates… maybe it’s applications? We’ve got the full press release for you after the break. Let us know if functionality like this is something that interests you, or if you think it is just something that will get in the way of your television-viewing enjoyment. More →
We’ve been hearing about Samsung introducing a 12 megapixel camera phone since the beginning of this year and this morning the device that many of you have been praying for has been announced in the M8910 Pixon12. With specs that include a 3.1-inch AMOLED touchscreen display (Samsung claims it has a contrast ratio of 10,000:1), quad-band GSM/EDGE / dual-band HSPA (900/2100MHz), Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth 2.1, FM tuner with RDS and 150MB of internal memory that’s expandable to 16GB via microSD, it appears that the Pixon12 is by no means a one trick pony. It has pretty much all of the features that are expected from a high-end phone these days. Back to that 12 megapixel shooter…
If Samsung’s claims are right, it’s able to take a new pic after a 2 second respite while it saves the large image file and can shoot 720 x 480 videos at up to 30 fps. Other than that, features like Smart Auto and Touch Auto-Focus as well as easy uploading to Facebook, Picasa, Flickr, MySpace, Photobucket and Friendster through Samsung’s Share Pix make up the big selling points for the device. Pricing for the Pixon12 has yet to be announced, but we do know that it will be available in Europe come the end of June before it begins to make its way to other markets in August. Say what, Satio? Yeah, that’s right.
You Google-loving BlackBerry users have a new app to install on your handset as Google has officially launched its Google Mobile App for BlackBerry. More or less an aggregator/launcher, the app bundles Google search together with Google’s other BlackBerry apps and its online mobile services. Integrated within a single interface is Google Mail for BlackBerry, Google Maps for BlackBerry, and Google Sync for BlackBerry. If you setup your Google username and password, you can also get one-click access to Google News, Google Reader, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Picasa Web albums and Google notebook. Finally, no more annoying login screens (yay!) which may be the most compelling reason to download this simple launcher masquerading as a full fledged app.