Items tagged with Google

Back in late November, Netflix brought offline playback to mobile customers thanks to updated iOS and Android apps. Offline downloads had been a long-requested feature from subscribers, and similar functionality is available with the competing Amazon Prime Video streaming service. Today, we’re learning that Netflix is extending this offline download support for Android users. You can now save downloaded TV shows and movies directly to a microSD card. This is definitely welcome news for users that have limited onboard storage, especially given that large-capacity microSD cards are relatively cheap... Read more...
Maybe I am in the minority, but whenever I encounter an application in Windows that runs without first needing to be installed (CPU-Z, for example) I get a cheap thrill. These programs are not planting their hooks in Windows or littering the registry with entries that will never be fully cleaned up, nor is a reboot required. I like that. A similar experience is currently being tested on Android in the form of Instant Apps. This is something that Google previewed at Google I/O last year. It is a new way to run Android apps, one that does not require any installation, but are still immersive. They... Read more...
If you’re a Raspberry Pi developer that is at all interested in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, we’ve got a treat in store for you. Google is looking to bring its AI and machine learning tools to the Raspberry Pi starting this year, but it wants your help and input to make it happen. Google has launched a survey that includes questions about how often developers spend working on software and hardware projects, and if they are interested in fields ranging from wearables to drones to IoT to robotics to 3D printing. It will use input gained from this survey to narrow its focus on... Read more...
If you think your Pattern Lock system is keeping your Android safe, guess again. Researchers from Lancaster University, Northwest University in China, and the University of Bath have demonstrated that attackers could easily unlock a phone in less than five attempts. First off, what is Pattern Lock? In order to unlock a device’s content or functions, users must draw a pattern on a grid of dots. Users typically have five chances to get it right before they are locked out. 40% of Android users utilize Pattern Lock and prefer it over using a PIN or password. Researchers took video of owners unlocking... Read more...
If you have felt that the Google Voice app was both antiquated and lacking in features, you are not alone. Google Voice has at times seemed like the red-headed stepchild of the Google family, but the company today is taking steps to enhance the calling and messaging experience. For starters, the Google Voice app has received a complete top-to-bottom visual overhaul that is much appreciated after years of stagnation. Both the iOS and Android apps — along with the web version of Google Voice — now used the Material Design aesthetic through. Navigating the Google Voice UI is also a lot more streamlined,... Read more...
If you're in a situation where your phone has data, but your tablet doesn't, and Wi-Fi isn't an immediate option, things can get frustrating pretty quickly. Consider checking into a hotel, for example, which only allows one or two devices to connect to the Wi-Fi - that's a major roadblock for those with their families, or those with multiple devices. While your smartphone is charging, you could be kicking back using the tablet, for example. That assumes that the hotel's Internet service allows you access without dinging you again for another device. Situations like those or similar will be less... Read more...
When Google set out to develop and market its first Phone by Google branded device - not co-branded with a partner - and spiritual successors to its legacy Nexus brand, the company drew a line in the sand. Not only was the target to develop smartphones that demonstrated best of breed functionality and performance for the Android platform, but these devices would have features and capabilities not found in other Android devices on the market. To date, very few other smartphones, save for the LG V20 for example, are running Android 7 Nougat and there are only a handful of phones on the... Read more...
Google has not only changed the company behind its self-driving vehicles, but its accident-reporting methods. The newly-named Waymo has removed the monthly incident and accident reports page from its website. A Waymo spokesperson stated, “We’ve replaced our PDF reports with a new blog and website that continues to give insights into our technology”. The accident reports page now redirects viewers to Waymo’s general website. The reports, however, will not be completely be disappearing. The reports will now be on the California Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) website and will detail, “safety-related... Read more...
Google's attempt to flood emerging markets with low-cost Android One smartphones has been met with limited success since launching the initiative two years ago. The idea was to partner with local manufacturers to build affordable handsets and then commit to supporting them with updates for 18 months. Google is not giving up on that goal, but with an eye towards expanding into program into the United States, it might be shifting its focus a bit. Inside sources at Google told The Information about Google's plan, which includes the launch of its first Android One smartphone in the U.S. sometime before... Read more...
Early adopters who pounced on the Daydream View VR headset at launch for $79 should hightail it out of here, you will not want to read this next bit. Now just over a month later, Google has taken a chainsaw to the price of the Daydream View and shredded it down to $49. That's roughly a not-so-insignificant 38 percent price reduction, though for existing Daydream View who disregarded our warning, at least the initial selling price was far from being a king's ransom, especially in the VR space. By comparison (and this is by no means apples to apples, it's more like apples to a field of apple trees),... Read more...
It often seems as though Google has its hands in an endless stream of projects, many times not being able to keep a focus on what’s truly important to its core. Google’s wandering eye is what led the company to spin off its self-driving car project into a separate company, Waymo, and now the company appears to be poised to use its newfound focus to take on the likes of Uber and Lyft. A new patent filing that has been uncovered describes the company’s efforts to deftly (and autonomously) navigate certain pickup and drop-off scenarios that could be handled with aplomb by human drivers, but could... Read more...
In early 2014, both Google and Facebook battled to acquire Titan Aerospace in an attempt to use its technologies to beam the Internet from the sky through the use of aerial drones. Ultimately, Google won, and has since worked hard to accomplish its initial goal. However, as we now learn, Google apparently doesn't see much success in the immediate future with this particular take on things, so it's pulling the plug on the entire project. While this could be disappointing news, what makes it interesting is the fact that the project had actually been canned for a while. According to an Alphabet spokeswoman,... Read more...
Late last year, Alphabet (Google’s parent company) spun off its self-driving car division into a new company: Waymo. As the year came to a close, we learned more details about its self-driving fleet, which has grown to include 100 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans. These newer vehicles join Waymo’s existing fleet of autonomous Lexus RX 450h Hybrids. Google this week announced that the sensor suite used on the Pacifica Hybrids has been completely designed in-house. That means that the cameras, sensors and software used to power the self-driving vehicles have Google’s Waymo’s fingerprints all... Read more...
The self-driving car evolution is coming and we had better be prepared for it. Google/Alphabet has formed a new company, Waymo, which will plot a course forward for autonomous vehicle operations. The company already has a fleet of 100 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans coming online, and it is currently in talks with Honda to add even more vehicles to the fray. This is in addition to Google’s existing fleet of Lexus and Toyota hybrid vehicles and efforts from other tech companies like NVIDIA, which just got authorization for testing for its Drive PX2 systems in California, various auto manufacturers... Read more...
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