If you’re a Starbucks coffee addict, this app is for you. Starbucks Malaysia has finally released its official app where you can make payments and check for existing rewards from your mobile device. All you’ll need to do is to login using your Starbucks account and payment is done through bar code scanning. If you are low on credit, you can top up from the app using Credit Card or Direct Debit with a minimum denomination of RM30.
As a limited time offer, Starbucks is offering a Buy 1 Free 1 Dark Caramel drink through the mobile app which is located under What’s New. The promo is valid from today 26 June until 13 July 2014.
Samsung too has joined the Android Wear bandwagon with the release of its new Gear Live smart watch. It looks identical with its current Gear 2/Gear 2 neo but it runs on Google’s Android Wear instead of Tizen OS.
Spec wise, it gets the same 1.63″ Super AMOLED display that does 320×320 pixels resolution and runs on a 1.2GHz processor with 512MB RAM and 4GB of storage. Just like its Gear 2 line up, it is also dust and water resistant with IP67 rating. With a 300mAh capacity battery, it weighs 59 grams (Gear 2: 68g, Gear 2 Neo: 55g) and it is even slimmer at 8.9mm. Standing out from the rest is a heart rate sensor located at the back which opens up fitness and health monitoring possibilities.
While the current Samsung Gear smart watches are limited to Samsung Galaxy devices only, the Gear Live will be compatible with all Android devices running 4.3 and above. The Gear Live will be available in either Black or Wine Red colours through Google Play Store. It will also be available through Samsung Retail Stores later on albeit in selected markets. In terms of pricing, it is listed at US$199 which is about RM640 when converted directly.
Being an Android Wear device, it centres around Google Now services where most commands are voice activated. During Google I/O, they had showcased a couple of interesting features where the watch works together with your Google powered devices. One example is the proximity detection where your Chromebook or Android smart phone can be unlocked without a password when your watch is near. Apart from the Samsung Gear Live, there are other Android Wear devices such as the LG G Watch and the Moto 360. The G Watch is also available now but at a higher price of US$229 (about RM737).
Check out more images of the Gear Live smart watch after the break.
At Google I/O 2014, they had announced Drive for Work. A business centric Google Drive which not only provides seamless cloud storage across multiple device but also an incredible unlimited storage for just US$10 per user per month.
As dependency for cloud storage increases while the cost per TB goes down, Google wants businesses to stop worrying about storage cost and scalability. Designed for enterprise users, Drive for Work is secured with encryption not only between devices but also in between Google data centres and the servers itself. Not only the storage is limitless but each individual file can go up to 5TB in size, which should be future proof for most business needs.
Apart from having a massive storage, it also gets additional file audit and admin controls for greater control of your valuable data. You can set specific rights for individual users including whether or not they are allowed to install the desktop Drive application as well as monitoring file access and whether or not it has been viewed or shared outside the company. With the recent acquisition of QuickOffice, you are also able to edit popular Microsoft Office files seamlessly direct from Google Drive.
It is available now and the unlimited storage appears to be application for accounts with a minimum of 6 users. For companies with 5 or fewer users, the storage is limited to 1TB per user. For more information, head over to Drive to Work or watch the intro video after the break.
Apart from the Moto 360 and LG G Watch, a Samsung Smart Watch had appeared at Google I/O 2014 with the Gear Live. Looking like its current Gear 2 Neo, the Gear Live runs on Google’s new Android Wear smart watch platform instead of its current Tizen OS.
The specs of the Samsung Gear Live isn’t official yet but earlier leaks suggest a similar 1.63″ 320×320 display, a faster 1.2GHz processor with just 512MB RAM and 4GB of storage. The battery is the same size at 300mAh.
Both the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live will be going on sale on the Google Play Store which obviously isn’t available for us folks in Malaysia. Meanwhile the round Moto 360 smart watch will be released sometime later during Summer.
At Google I/O 2014, they didn’t announce the name of the upcoming Android OS that comes after KitKat. Tentatively called as Android L, it offers a new design approach that’s called Material Design. Following the current trend of flat designs, the upcoming Android interface is focused at having a seamless experience whether you are on a smart phone, tablet or even desktop. One of the major change is the on-screen Android icons has been refreshed with a simpler look.
It is not just the looks but the way the interface responds to touches. The consistency of colours, fonts, layout and interaction has been thought out properly which is somewhat similar to the recent flat UI approach including the latest LG G3. Before Android L gets out, they have released a design guide which outlines the design specification for developers.
Watch the Material Design video after the break.