Google announced a number of new partner apps today on stage at Google I/O during the “Developing for Glass” session. Facebook and Twitter were the highlights of the list, which also included Evernote, Tumblr, Elle and CNN, in addition to the previously announced NYT and Path apps.
The CNN app sends video to Glass via updates, and streams news to a browsable feed. The Twitter app provides your stream, as well as posting capabilities and the power to snap photos from Glass and post them direct to your stream. On stage, Glass developer evangelist Timothy Jordan emphasized the DM capabilities on Twitter for Glass and how the messages add to a thread that becomes a bundle on Glass.
Evernote on Glass holds true to its note-taking roll, giving users the ability to have their notes shared to Glass from the web or mobile apps. Content is translated to simple text by the Glass service and displayed as simple short paginated messages.
Facebook on Glass essentially acts as a new photo sharing tool, giving users a chance to immediately post pics to their FB timeline, and to then add captions and descriptions to those images via voice input once they’re posted. The pics can be deleted immediately if added by accident, and also shared either privately or with friends and the public. Jordan described the simple sharing and annotation features as exemplary of how a Glass experience should work.
Elle provides snippets in the form of headlines to make it easy to browse through at a glance, and you can also add things to reading lists, or have articles read aloud. For Elle, Jordan said it’s a good way to funnel users to the main website later, and also a means of providing them with info about what articles are proving most interesting to users.
All the apps are available today if you’re lucky enough to be an Explorer or a developer with access to the hardware.
Aereo users, listen up.
The company that has been bringing you access to 30 over-the-air broadcast channels on the cheap is switching up its pricing structure a bit to make things less complicated. Unfortunately, this switch also makes things slightly more expensive, but still highly competitive in today’s content streaming landscape.
Starting on May 15, the original five-tier structure will be boiled down into two options: The base $8/month fee will offer 20 hours of DVR storage, and a $12/month fee will get you 60 hours of DVR storage. Neither service requires a long-term commitment.
However, it’s worth noting that the $8/month plan changes the way you can record on Aereo’s DVR service, only letting users record from one channel at a time. At the same time, the $12 plan actually offers more than it used to, bumping up storage from 40 hours to 60 hours.
When Aereo first launched, it offered more levels of service, including a $1/day deal. This was a unique option for the service, as it let users tune into huge, national events without forcing them to buy into the service on a monthly basis. Events like the Superbowl, presidential election, or the Academy Awards instantly became accessible to people without cable, and also offered an easy, painless way to taste the Aereo service without making a commitment.
While dropping that plan may remove that taste-test-ability, in the end Aereo believes that simplifying the options will be a better experience for customers.
Here’s what founder Chet Kanojia had to say in a prepared statement:
We looked at our data and it was clear, consumers want a more simple approach to pricing. With our new pricing structure, consumers begin with one base plan and then have the ability to upgrade their membership to triple their DVR storage capacity. We want to make it simple and easy for consumers to access our technology and we believe this updated pricing plan accomplishes just that.
For current users of Aereo, your plan will remain the same until the end of your current membership period. For those on the $12/month payment plan, you will be automatically upgraded to 60 hours of storage.
Right now the service is only available in New York, but Aereo has plans to expand into new territories very soon.
Happy TV viewing, everyone!
View original post here: Aereo Switches Up Pricing: $8/Month For 20 Hours Of DVR, $12/Month For 60 Hours Starting May 15
One of the hacks at Disrupt NY’s Hackathon this year employed hardware startup Leap Motion’s new 3D gesture controller, which unfortunately just ran into a delay. Leap Motion’s issues aside, this project, the combined effort of Chao Huang, Cedrich Pinson and Jorge Martinez, brings a Facebook Home-style experience to the desktop.
With “Leap in Time,” Leap Motion is used to navigate through a Facebook timeline via hand gestures that are intended to be as natural and intuitive as possible. You swipe left and right to go through photos and posts, and there’s inertia built-in to make it feel even more immersive. Then there’s a motion to pause and focus on a particular piece of content, with a palm outward gesture, and you can simply make a thumbs up to like a post.
Working with the Leap Motion was fairly simple, the team said, but does seem to experience difficulty with some environment issues like changing lighting conditions. It’s also crucial to maker sure that the Leap Motion app you’re building is cued to pay attention to certain things at certain times and to ignore specific motions in different settings. You have to cue the app to not pay attention to sideways hand waving when you want it to be able to recognize the thumbs up, for instance.
The hack was surprisingly smooth given that it was built in fewer than 24 hours, and Huang said there’s plenty more they could do given more time, but they wanted to focus on what they considered the core Facebook experience. The project is also reminiscent of a recent concept design making the rounds of a Facebook Home app for Windows 8.
Leap in Time is a simple enough implementation of Leap Motion, but it does act as a pretty solid example of how gesture control might actually work well for navigating apps and software that we use every day. I know that Leap Motion is eager to get as much software as possible into Airspace, the app store for the controller, but this team said they weren’t sure whether they’d actually pursue this any further.
See original here: Leap Motion Hack Brings A Facebook Home Experience To The Desktop
It was just seven months ago that intelligent photo aggregator app Pixable sold to SingTel, the Singaporean telecom giant, in a $26.5 million deal. It was a very nice exit for the startup, and it would be understandable for its founders to take a well-deserved breather afterward. But it turns out, Pixable’s co-founder and CEO Iñaki Berenguer isn’t one to rest and vest.
In the time since then he’s worked 50 percent of his time on further developing Pixable, and also founded and led the development of Contactive, a brand new SingTel subsidiary that aims to redefine the concept of telephone caller ID for the modern world. Contactive, which Berenguer began working on in October 2012, launches today for the Android, and the app is available here.
Contactive’s proposition is simple: It unifies all the contact information from social media networks with your personal address book. So when your friend John is calling you, you don’t just see his photo and email address — you also have the ability to see his latest Tweet, current LinkedIn job role, Facebook updates, and the like.
But the really interesting part here is that Contactive does not just do this for people you already know. It also scans the entire web to connect phone numbers with the social network profiles they are likely to be affiliated with. This works for individuals, but a big value proposition is for businesses.
How many times have you seen an unknown number show up on your mobile phone and not answered it, assuming that it’s a telemarketer — and found after listening to the voicemail or Googling the number that it was actually a call from your dentist confirming an appointment, a potential business contact who is not yet in your phone book confirming a meeting, or the bank calling with a time-sensitive question about your account? (All of these have happened to me more often than I’d like.) Contactive acts as a new kind of caller ID, presenting the social network information connected to that phone number — businesses often have their numbers on their Facebook and Yelp profiles — as your phone is ringing.
From a technical perspective, this is no small feat, Berenguer tells me. There are seven billion telephone numbers in the world, and a massive amount of web content to crawl, to match each phone number with social network identities — and return that information within seconds so that it can be relevant from the time the phone rings to the time you decide whether to answer. “This is where machine learning, big data, and probabalistic modeling and analysis all come in,” he says. Contactive has assembled a team of 10 full-time staff, several of whom hold PhDs from the likes of MIT, to construct this technology. It is running like a startup fully funded by SingTel, with its own office in New York City, Berenguer says.
So why is it coming to Android first? Berenguer says that it’s simply one of those things that can’t be done yet by an outside app on iOS. “With Android, when you have an incoming call you can capture the call management of the telephone and let the user decide which phone applicatoin to open [in this case, Contactive will intercept the call to assess the data]. With iPhone, only its own application can open the call and there is no option for another app,” he said.
It’s a very simple proposition, but a useful one that seems like its time has come — as evidenced by competition in the space. It’s similar to Rapportive, but for the phone rather than email. It also seems similar to CallApp, a New York-based startup that was a finalist at Disrupt NYC last year and is available on the Android. Voicemail app Youmail also has social-powered caller ID features.
Ultimately, Berenguer says he is looking for Contactive to take on in the mainstream. “We’re disrupting the concept of caller ID, which has been around for 20 to 30 years. It is something very simple from a user’s perspective, and it’s simple enough for people to say ‘I want that.’” Its affiliation with SingTel, which already has a user base of millions, could certainly help provide a boost in that department, and it’ll be interesting to see how it grows in the months ahead.
Here are some screenshots of Contactive:
If it gets it, Google wants to turn .search into a “dotless domain,” the company told ICANN a few days ago. Last year, Google applied to manage the .app, .blog, .cloud and .search generic top-level domain (gTLD) names as part of a major expansion of the domain-name system.
ICANN, which is managing this expansion, hasn’t awarded any of the gTLDs yet, and the whole program remains controversial. But in May, Google sent a letter to ICANN telling the organization that it would soon provide some specific details about its plans for these top-level domain names. Now, Google has done so through its Charleston Road Registry subsidiary (we have embedded the full letter below).
At the time, it looked like Google was ready to open up these gTLDs to the public and wasn’t just planning on using them for its own services. In its letter to ICANN, Google now confirms that it is working with “the relevant communities related to .blog and .cloud to develop technical standards relating to the operation of those top-level domains.”
The most interesting plan here is to use .search to operate a redirect service on the “on the ‘dotless’ .search domain (http://search/) that, combined with a simple technical standard, will allow a consistent query interface across firms that provide search functionality, and will enable users to easily conduct searches with firms that provide the search functionality that they designate as their preference.”
Dotless domains (think http://example and email addresses like mail@example) are something ICANN has discussed for a while now and that security experts are not in favor of. Google plans to run http://search/ as a redirect service that “allows for registration by any search website providing a simple query interface.”
“The mission of the proposed gTLD, .search, is to provide a domain name space that makes it easier for Internet users to locate and make use of the search functionality of their choice,” Google writes in its amended application.
What exactly this will look like in practice remains to be seen, however. It’s definitely a novel use of the domain system, and judging from the amended application, Google will open this functionality up to third-party developers and its direct competitors.
Of course, it remains to be seen who will actually get to manage .search. Besides Google, Amazon, dot Now Limited, and Donuts.co have also applied for this gTLD.
The .blog TLD, Google says, “should be simple and easy for .blog registrants to associate their second-level domain with their blog on the blogging platform of their choice.” New .cloud domains, too, should have a direct association with “projects hosted in cloud platforms.” While it’s not clear how Google plans to do this, the letter notes that the company is working on a set of technical standards that will “allow users to automatically link their domain name to their blog at the time of registration.”
As for .app, Google plans to restrict this TLD to use by “relevant developer communities” without restricting it to a specific platform.