Ice Cream Sandwich on the Galaxy Nexus

Beaming a video with a single tap or unlocking a device with only a smile sounds like science fiction. Now, you can actually do these things (and more) with a phone that fits in the palm of your hand.

Wednesday morning in Hong Kong—together with Samsung—we unveiled Galaxy Nexus, the first phone designed for the latest release of Android 4.0, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich.

With a super slim profile, Galaxy Nexus features a 4.65” Contour Display with true high definition (720p) resolution and a lightning-fast dual core 1.2ghz processor combined with 4G LTE or HSPA+ technology. Galaxy Nexus also features the latest in software: Ice Cream Sandwich makes Android simple and beautiful, and takes the smartphone to beyond smart.

Beauty and simplicity
With Ice Cream Sandwich, our mission was to build a mobile OS that works on both phones and tablets, and to make the power of Android enticing and intuitive. We created a new font that’s optimized for HD displays and eliminated all hardware buttons in favor of adaptable software buttons. We also dramatically improved the keyboard, made notifications more interactive and created resizable widgets.

The desktop-class browser is significantly faster, featuring a refined tab manager and the ability to sync your bookmarks with Google Chrome. Ice Cream Sandwich also features the best mobile Gmail experience to date, with a new design that lets you quickly swipe through your inbox and search messages even when you’re offline. Calendar boasts a clean new look and you can zoom into your schedule with a pinch.

Connect and share
People are at the heart of Ice Cream Sandwich. We rethought how you browse your contacts with the new People app, which combines high-resolution photos and updates from Google+ and other social services. It’s also easier to capture and share your life with family and friends. Galaxy Nexus sports a high-end camera with zero shutter lag, automatic focus, top notch low-light performance and a simple way to capture panoramic pictures. Shoot amazing photos or 1080p video, and then edit and share them directly from your phone.

Beyond smart
Galaxy Nexus isn’t just a smartphone—it’s beyond smart. Ice Cream Sandwich gives you complete control over the amount of mobile data you use by helping you better understand and manage it. We’re also introducing Android Beam, which uses near field communication (NFC) to instantly share webpages, YouTube videos, maps, directions and apps by simply tapping two phones together. Face Unlock uses state-of-the-art facial recognition technology to unlock your phone with nothing more than a smile.

This weekend marks the third birthday of the G1, the first-ever Android phone. Nine releases later, more than 550,000 Android devices are activated daily.

Starting in November, Galaxy Nexus will be available in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. Check out the Nexus website for a product tour and more info.

New Google Earth Imagery at the end of November

 

Google Earth has just rolled out some fresh imagery for us! Thanks to GEB reader ‘f00tix’ for being the first to let us know about it.

 

atlanta.jpg 

As is almost always the case, you can use Google Maps to determine for sure whether or not a specific area is fresh. This new imagery isn’t in Google Maps yet, so you can compare Earth vs. Maps to see what’s new; the fresh imagery is already in Google Earth, but the old imagery is still in Google Maps. If you compare the two side-by-side and they’re not identical, that means that you’ve found a freshly updated area in Google Earth!

[UPDATED -- 26-November, 3:22pm EST]

  • China: Various areas (see comments) — thanks ‘yuanhang’
  • Croatia: Daruvar — thanks ‘Andreas’
  • France: Auch, Bergerac, Billy — thanks ‘maarten’
  • Germany: Bad Oeynhausen, Dissen am Teutoburger Wald — thanks ‘Andreas’
  • Greece: Malia — thanks ‘Andreas’
  • India: Kalyan, Navi Mumbai — thanks ‘Munden’
  • Italy: Monopoli — thanks ‘Andreas’
  • Poland: Plock, Torun, Warsaw and others — thanks ‘f00tix’
  • Romania: Mihailesti, Ploiesti — thanks ‘cristi’
  • Spain: La Puebla de Montalban — thanks ‘Andreas’
  • Sweden: Hamneda — thanks ‘Andreas’
  • United States: Arkansas (Hot Springs, Okmulgee), California (Bishop, Lancaster, Merced, Redding), Colorado (Alamosa, Breckenridge, Las Animas), Georgia (Atlanta), Idaho (Mountain Home), Kansas (Great Bend), Missouri (Springfield), New Mexico (Clayton), New York (Albany, Binghamton, Jamestown, Oneonta), Oklahoma (Bartlesville, Boise City, Goodwell, Guymon, Lawton, Oklahoma City, McAlester), Oregon (Roseburg), Pennsylvania (Altoona, Erie, Indiana, Philadelphia, Scranton), South Carolina (Lake City), Texas (Fredericksburg, Texarkana) — thanks ‘Munden’ and ‘Steven’

Mapping the football searches

Fall means lots of things in the United States: leaves changing colors, apple picking, back to school and…football. This weekend, the National Football League (NFL) starts its season with a bang, with 15 games on Sunday and Monday. College and high school football are already underway and fans all across the country are tuning in, getting excited and rooting for their teams—in person, on television and online. As a Notre Dame alum (class of ‘87), the ups (and the recent downs) of Fighting Irish football are always a big part of my fall weekends. Regardless of your alma mater or hometown team, one thing is certain: American football is a big deal across the United States. Ahead of most of this week’s kickoffs, we thought it would be fun to take a peek at some of the football search trends from around the country.

There’s some debate as to what is more popular: professional (NFL) football or college football. Search queries make it clear that in spite of the [nfl lockout], the pro game and [nfl] is consistently more popular for U.S. searchers than all of [college football].

That doesn’t mean that the college game isn’t extraordinarily popular. Right now, we’re seeing the highest level of search queries for [college football] since 2004. In certain regions, college football appears to be king over even the NFL. The states with the most searches for [college football] are mostly in the southern part of the country, with the notable exception of the rabid fans of the Nebraska Cornhuskers. That’s no wonder—on Saturdays, when the Huskers are playing at home, their Memorial Stadium becomes the third largest “city” in the state.

We can also conduct a little popularity contest among players in college football. The Heisman Trophy, awarded annually to the top college player, is usually correlated to spikes in search query volume. This year, the early favorites for the Heisman are beginning to take shape. Stanford’s quarterback [andrew luck], who opted to play his senior year in college instead of heading to the pros, is out front in terms of searches, but fans should also watch out for Robert Griffin III from the Baylor Bears program. [rg3], as he’s known, had the game of his career in week one and might be the national breakout star of the first few weeks of the season.

Over on the NFL side, it appears that winning the big game has little relation to how often people search for their favorite player. In the past month, the most searched for player in the NFL is [peyton manning] of the Indianapolis Colts, who last won the Super Bowl in 2007. He’s currently sidelined with a neck injury, so his status is likely driving much of the current search queries. Meanwhile, the quarterbacks from the past two Super Bowl winners, [drew brees] from the New Orleans Saints and [aaron rodgers] of the Green Bay Packers, come in behind a player who isn’t even his team’s starter: Denver Broncos QB and former Florida Gators star [tim tebow].

The old saying goes, “on any given Sunday,” meaning that every team has a chance to win each time they hit the field. The adage manifests itself in typically balanced standings that last throughout the season and into the playoffs. But when it comes to search, we’re not quite so fair and balanced. In fact, there’s a clear favorite, and by this measure they really are “America’s Team”: the [dallas cowboys]. In the U.S., the Cowboys lead all other teams in search query volume, followed by the [chicago bears] and the [green bay packers].

No examination of football search trends would be complete without mentioning Fantasy Football. Millions of fans participate in their own drafts and watch their league’s waiver wires as they serve as coach and general manager for their own fantasy team. The enthusiasm is so fevered that, in the U.S. right now, more people are interested in [fantasy football] than President [obama].

Finally, for spectators, football isn’t just about teams and players. It’s also about the game day food. [Tailgating] searches peak every fall as folks turn to the web to discover new recipes and ideas for pre-game parking lot cookouts. The Super Bowl in February really drives gameday recipe searches, but tailgating staples like [guacamole], [wings] and [brats] all rank high in terms of search quantity every fall, with the king of all tailgating recipe-related searches being [dip].

Whether you’re an NFL fan, an NCAA nut or just someone who likes hot wings, here’s to a great season.