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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

Gadgets-Updates

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Google developing a smartphone personalization service
AFP
August 05, 2014
First Published: 10:35 IST(5/8/2014)
Last Updated: 10:47 IST(5/8/2014)

Google Workshop is a new tool that could offer consumers the chance to get creative with their phone's design, if the company decides to roll it out.

Motorola's Moto X is a very good phone, but as well as a clever combination of internal components and intuitive features, the thing that has made it so popular with consumers and helped it stand out from a host of competing handsets is the fact that it can be customized. Using the Moto Maker site, prospective owners can specify the phone's background wallpaper and its casing from a host of colors and material finishes from molded plastic to wood.

Now leaked documents uncovered by Android Police suggest that Motorola's erstwhile parent, Google, is developing a tool that will offer Nexus 5 owners the same customization choices.

Called Google Workshop, it lets people take customizations to the next level by using a geographic location to create a case or a live wallpaper. You can pick a place on a map to generate a design and it can be augmented with splashes of color and text. The feature is currently called MapMe and when used to create a live homescreen wallpaper will also automatically integrate live weather data and tweets relating to the location.

The other customization service is called Moments and lets potential Nexus 5 buyers upload images that can be incorporated in the wallpaper or in the phone's case design. As such it could be a very popular tool for techy couples during the holiday season or around Valentine's Day.

Android Police is quick to point out that Google Workshop is still a work in progress. The files and screen shots it's seen show that it currently only works with the Nexus 5 but there's every possibility that once the project moves forward it could also support Google Play editions of other Android smartphones.

But of course, being Google, there's also every possibility that the project is mothballed before it ever launches.


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