One of the UK’s largest supermarkets, Tesco, has today announced the Hudl, a 7″ Android tablet priced at just £119 (US$190). In a range of four colours, the Hudl is aimed squarely at families, and this could be the tablet to take on the Nexus 7 in the UK.
The Hudl comes with a 1440 x 900 HD screen and runs on a 1.5 GHz quad core processor. Storage-wise, there’s 16 GB RAM plus a microSD slot to boost space. The screenshots suggest that it’s largely vanilla Android with the addition of Tesco’s services such as online grocery shopping, blinkbox and banking. Crucially, it also comes with access to the Google Play, which means purchasers will get everything that Google has plus Tesco’s offerings. Wi-fi only (no 3G), this is a home entertainment device, not for out and about, although it does come with GPS. The pictures suggest both front and rear facing cameras but there’s no detail in the announcement.
There’s a selection of accessories too – headphones for children, a range of three different types of case, car chargers and so on.
Interestingly, one of the screenshots suggests that Hudl will support multiple profiles, which I think makes this the first tablet after the Nexus to do so (correct me if I’m wrong), and it looks like there’s some kind of content filtering to protect children. Again, important for the family market.
At £119 the Hudl is cheaper than both the Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire HD, and it’s unlikely that many customers will actually pay the full £119. The press release says that the Hudl will be included in their Clubcard Boost loyalty scheme, meaning that loyalty vouchers can be doubled in value and many will pay less than £100 for the Hudl.
Launching a the end of the month, I think is going to be massive seller coming up to Christmas.
Yesterday on the Chrome blog, Google announced that new Chromebooks from Acer, Asus, HP and Toshiba were on their way. Arriving in the next few months the new Chromebooks are based on Intel’s Haswell chips rather than the current ARM processors and the chip’s low power consumption will double the battery life.
These new Chromebooks are (roughly) the third iteration of the laptops and it’s great to see new entrants, Asus and Toshiba, joining the party. HP’s new Chromebook 14 will be out before the holiday season, cost $300 and come in a range of colours. Although Acer will be bringing out a new model as well, there’s no news on whether Samsung will be refreshing its line-up. The eye-wateringly expensive Pixel seems to remain the only touch-screen model in the range but that could change as details emerge on the new models.
Google quotes that in the sub-$300 computer segment, Chromebooks have taken a little less than a quarter of the market and around 5,000 US schools have also provided Chromebooks to students. For a product that’s just 2 years old, it’s pretty impressive.
I’m looking forward to the new models as I’m currently using a Samsung Chromebook to write this article and I’m bought into a web and cloud-centric view, especially for people who actually want to get stuff done wherever they are. Neat, low-cost, instant-on devices with a keyboard make Chromebooks very handy to have around. More apps are appearing, particularly business ones and if you haven’t considered a Chromebook in the past, you might want to consider one.
The Clash did not start the Punk music movement, but the band helped define it in conjunction with others such as The Jam, Sex Pistols and The Damned. More than 30 years later, much of this music has survived the test of time and today Google Play is commemorating one of the most popular bands of the era.
As Google points out, “from the reggae-inspired social commentary of tracks like “White Man in Hammersmith Palais,” to hip-hop infused cuts like “Magnificent Seven” and even Top 40 hits such as “Rock the Casbah,” their songs gave a generation a lifelong connection not just to the Clash, but to music in general”.
In celebration of the re-release of some of The Clash’s most popular work, Google Play has teamed with the surviving members (Joe Strummer passed away in 2002) to produce a series titled Audio Ammunition and featuring unseen footage of the late Joe Strummer discussing the arc of the band’s career.
Part one of this five-part series can been seen on Google Play, and you can check out the other four parts on Play YouTube channel at youtube.com/googleplay. Digging out your London Calling album is optional.
The upcoming version of Android (4.4) will be called KitKat. Yes, it really is named after the popular candy bar that is made by Nestle. This is the first time a version of Android was named after a particular brand. Typically, they have used names that were more generalized.
We all know that the different versions of Android have been named after sweet foods that most people would consider to be a dessert. Android 1.5 was called Cupcake. This was followed by Donut (1.6), Eclair (2.0), Froyo (2.2), and Gingerbread (2.3).
Honeycomb (3.0) refers to the type of Honeycomb that is created by bees (and not Honeycomb cereal). It was followed by Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0), Jelly Bean (4.1), and now, KitKat.
It turns out that Google and Nestle are in a partnership. The Google Android announcement starts with a cute Android figure that has been made out of a KitKat bar.
The announcement notes that KitKat is giving people the chance to win a Nexis 7 or Google Play Credit. Next time you want a snack, visit a store and look for a package of KitKat that has an image of the iconic green Android figure who is trying to eat a KitKat bar. Somewhere inside the package, the label may say that you have won.
When I went to L.A. in July, I used Uber to travel back to the Airport. Of course, that was during rush hour, which is not a smart move. But the driver – an L.A. native – knew the shortcuts to get me from Venice Beach to LAX in a faster time.
So how would a driverless car do it?
Local independent transportation company Uber announced today they want to invest up to $375 million for 2,500 driverless cars from Google when they become available toward the end of the year. Their investment also included a commitment to share data with Google for the trips.
Google – who has been developing driverless cars since 2008 – just showed the GX3200 earlier this year at the Detroit Auto Show. The GX3200 is a four-person, 3 suitcase car with built-in Wifi and a charge that can get up to 750 miles.
For Uber, this could mean faster rollouts in cities they never planned to be a part of. Having 1-2 cars in towns with populations less than 10,000 is a reality. You don’t even a dispatcher living there, since the app takes care of the process.
Uber is in 24 cities in the U.S. – Just adding Honolulu last week – and 18 worldwide locations. Of course, major hurdles in some areas as labor unions petition this service and new regulations trying to shut down the Uber Taxi service.
Still, the question begs – do you want a driverless car? I would be more happy to have a car show up for me to get in and drive to my desired location. Having some control at this stage in the autonomous car period will make me feel safer.
With newer Google Maps – including the recently purchased and implemented Waze software (predictive software that finds alternate routes) – I could see a driverless car act just like my Uber driver from July.
Would you get into a driverless car?
If you like to follow the ever-growing integration between computers and home theater, then the recent innovations have been a welcome, and quickly, growing surprise. Boxes like Roku, Apple TV, Google TV and others have made life much easier than the days when I built my first HTPC and looked for the best ways to stream my home media to it.
Then Google unveiled Chromecast, a surprise, as it came at an event where everyone expected only the new Nexus 7 to be unveiled. The tiny stick plugs into a spare HDMI port and allows customers to “cast” media to their TV from compatible web sites, as well as Android tablets and phones.
But what about your home media — all of those ripped DVD’s and music that you have stored on your home network. That too is easy enough, though you need to be using the Chrome web browser.
- Open a new tab
- Press Ctrl + O
- Open a file (video or audio) that Chrome can play
- Click the cast button
That is all there is to it to get your own media up and playing on your big screen.
Have you found the TARDIS yet on Google Maps? You’ll have to go to England, first!.
The Google maps easter egg is on Earl’s Court Rd in London, England. If you look at the directions, you will see a double arrow pointing to the police box sitting next to the kiosk. When you select that arrow, you enter in the TARDIS to explore.
The TARDIS is an iconic ship on the popular TV show Dr. Who. TARDIS stands for “Time and Relative Dimension in Space”. The story of the TARDIS is has a chameleon-cloaking device that can blend in with the environment, but this feature is broken and can only project a police box. The TARDIS also is bigger on the inside than the out.
Unfortunately, we can only explore the main room of the TARDIS. You can move around that main room – climb the stairs and see the console from multiple angles. You can also belly up to the main navigation console and get a first-hand look at the gadgets and gizmos of the TARDIS.
When done, make sure the door is closed and head back down Earl’s Court Rd.
Just a quickie….Samsung UK have an offer on at the moment that if you buy one of their Chromebooks during August, you can claim a free smartphone. Don’t get too excited as the phone is only a Galaxy Mini but it’s better than nothing and you can always flog it on ebay. There are further goodies if you buy a 3G Chromebook.
Pay attention to the small print as you have to wait 14 days from the date of purchase before you can apply for the phone.
Great news for people who love to hang out in Starbucks, or who are using the local Starbucks as their “office”! Google has teamed up with Starbucks in order to bring a faster WiFi connection to all 7,000 company owned Starbucks stores that are located in the United States. Best of all, you will be able to use the newer, faster, WiFi at Starbucks for free!
According to Google, soon you will be able to visit Starbucks and surf the web at speeds that are up to 10 times faster than before. Do you live in a Google Fiber city? If so, Google is hoping to be able to make the WiFi connection at your local Starbucks to be up to 100 times faster than it used to be.
Of course, there is a bigger, more altruistic reason for offering faster, free, WiFi at Starbucks than to make things a bit easier for freelancers who use the coffee shop as an “office”. In times of trouble, such as in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, people went to a Starbucks so they could use the store’s WiFi and connect to their loved ones. The upgrades to the WiFi will make that easier.
Google says that they will start rolling out the new, faster, WiFi starting this month. You will be able to tell when your local Starbucks has had the WiFi upgraded when you visit the store and notice you can log into the “Google Starbucks” SSID.