Items tagged with Google

If you’ve been patiently awaiting the final "official" release of Google’s sweet, chewy Android 7.0 Nougat goodness, the wait will soon be over. Google released the final developer preview of Nougat earlier this month and is confident enough in its stability and completeness to move forward with an official launch in August. The always reliable Evan Blass confirmed the news via Twitter, along with the sad news that the beloved Nexus 5, which as released way back in 2013, won’t be receiving Nougat:Android 7.0 releases next month, with the 8/5 security patch. Sorry Nexus 5 owners, no Nougat for you... Read more...
Google Play is trying to become more family-friendly. Most families have multiple devices in their households and it can be frustrating attempting to share media between family members. Google just released Google Play Family Library which allows up to six family members to share purchases on Google Play. Customers can now buy eligible apps, games, movies, TV shows, and books in the Play Store, which can now be shared across multiple devices for no additional fee. Customers need to simply add their purchases to their “Family Library”. All purchases added to Family Library are supported in all Android... Read more...
A new smartwatch has just entered a very competitive market. Google partner Mobvoi has just released a Kickstarter campaign for the Ticwatch 2, the second generation version of a smartwatch that is currently only available in China. The product claims to be the “most interactive smartwatch” with “intuitive interaction” and “lifestyle convenience”. The Ticwatch 2 runs a version of the Android operating system (but not Android Wear) and incorporates features such as voice activation and interchangeable watch faces. Users can flip their wrist to make a phone call or activate voice interaction... Read more...
Google Maps is an indispensable tool for Android (and iOS) users, and it just received some very useful updates. The app now warns users when there are huge mass transit delays and offers the option to restrict data usage to only Wi-Fi. The new features are currently only available on select phones and will be launched in staged rollouts.In order to activate the Wi-Fi feature, go to your Settings on Google Maps. It should be the second line under settings. If you are one of the few that has access to the new feature, the line will read “Wi-Fi only”. If not, the line will read “Offline areas”.... Read more...
The San Diego Comic-Con is not usually known for tech announcements, but a preview of this cool new Google Play feature may be the exception. Google just announced Bubble Zoom which makes the text bubbles in comic books leap off the page. Google can identify speech bubbles and enlarge them on the page thanks to machine learning and image recognition technology. Blobs of text are identified and popup when a user presses the volume button or taps the bottom-right of their screen. This magnification makes it easier to read the comic and even adds a little more action to the reading experience. Bubble... Read more...
Google’s powerful DeepMind AI is saving the company a lot of dough. The technology has resulted in a 15 percent improvement in power usage efficiency (PUE). Get your calculators out. Google said it used 4,402,836 MWh of electricity in 2014 which is the equivalent to 366,903 family homes in the United States. The average American family paid between $25 to $40 USD per MWh in 2014. If we split this difference, we can theorize that Google spent at least $140,890,752 just on its 2014 electric bill. A fifteen percent improvement means a little over $21 million in savings. Most of Google’s electric... Read more...
Google has just reported that there were over 40,000 request for user data from the government between June and December 2015. Requests for user data has steadily increased since 2009, however this was the highest number yet. Google admitted that this number was not comprehensive. For example, the same Gmail account may be specified in several different requests for user information. Google also might receive a request for a user for account that does not exist at all.   It believes that these discrepancies do balance out. The statistics do cover all government entities that request user data.... Read more...
Edge is the Internet Explorer replacement that Microsoft has been increasingly trying to promote as an alternative to competing browsers on the market (i.e., Google Chrome, Firefox and Opera). Microsoft has been especially adamant about vilifying Chrome, continually pointing out the browser’s well-known pennant for chewing through laptop batteries at an incredible clip. Microsoft came out swinging in late June, showing Chrome coming in dead last in battery tests (by a large margin). Microsoft struck again last week with benchmarks showing that Edge far outpaced Chrome in Netflix streaming... Read more...
Google is just about finished preparing Nougat for insatiable Android uses who've had their fill of Marshmallow, Lollipop, and every other flavor of the world's most popular mobile operating system. In the meantime, those who want to catch a sneak peek of what Android 7.0 will bring to the table can download the final developer preview now. It's the fifth developer preview since Google began working on Android 7.0 and the last milestone in the series before Nougat is thrust onto devices later this summer. Adding to the previous developer preview, which included the final APIs for Android 7.0, this... Read more...
While there are a number of different VR solutions on the market today, the main competition really boils down to Oculus, with its Rift, and HTC, with its Vive. As we now learn, there could have very well been a third competitor in this small group: Google. The fact that a company like Google was working on a VR headset probably won't strike many as a surprise. After all, Google has an unbelievable amount of resources to throw behind interesting new products, and as we've seen proven time and time again, it can end up dominating certain markets (especially thanks to its acquisition prowess). Interestingly,... Read more...
If Google had been hoping that the European Union would back off on its pursuit of proving that it's anti-competitive, it appears that the company hasn't been hoping hard enough. Today, the EU shot another set of charges at Google for anti-competitive practices, this time squarely targeting its AdSense for Search platform. Previous antitrust charges against Google have involved Android, search, and shopping, with this third set expanding on the latter two. Anyone who's ever browsed the internet will have likely passed by an AdSense advertisement, as they're simply everywhere. We reinforce Google... Read more...
Google is really starting to make some inroads with its Fiber high-speed internet service, and the latest city to “see the light” is Charlotte, North Carolina. Google announced this week that residents in the Highland Creek neighborhood will be the first residents eligible to sign up for one of three plans: Fiber 1000 + TV, Fiber 1000, or the entry-level Fiber 100 (priced at $130/month, $70/month, and $50/month respectively). And in an effort to bring high-speed internet to the “most digitally divided areas,” Google will offer a 25 Mbps version of its service for $15 a month. Residents that live... Read more...
Google’s Project Fi Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) service has been an intriguing value proposition for smartphone users since its introduction over a year ago. Project Fi allows you to use Wi-Fi (whenever possible) for data and calls and can switch to cellular carriers (selected based on signal strength) when out of Wi-Fi range. When Project Fi launched, it did so with carrier support from T-Mobile and Sprint in the United States. Last month, Google brought on U.S. Cellular to further expand coverage so that “users have a connection nearly 99% of the time, and spend about 95% of cellular... Read more...
If you're a cable-cutter who's hated to lose some key channels by dropping cable TV, you might just be in luck when YouTube rolls out what's in effect a replacement later this year. It's been rumored for quite some time that the company has wanted to offer a subscription-based service that would include a number of common channels - it'd benefit not just YouTube, but the channel owners, and of course, consumers, who'd end up getting a better deal than going with a traditional cable TV service. That price has been pegged at "under" $35/mo, which might seem a bit high, but the value will really come... Read more...
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