Items tagged with NASDAQ:GOOG

It's been a little over a year since Google's original Nexus 7 tablet introduced Jelly Bean to the market, and though it was initially slow to roll out to more device, it's now found on nearly half of all Android devices around the world, according to Google's Developers Dashboard. Unfortunately, the bulk of those installations are Android 4.1.x, the original version of Jelly Bean that's now found on 36.5 percent of Android devices, versus the latest build, Android 4.3, which is found on only 1.5 percent of Android gadgets. Sitting in between is Android 4.2.x with a 10.6 percent share of the Android market. That means that the vast majority of Android users, including those on Jelly Bean, are... Read more...
The future of computing may very well lie in gesture control, hence the popularity of platforms like Microsoft's Kinect sensor and growing interest in devices like the Leap Motion controller. Not to be left behind, search giant Google has gone and scooped up Flutter, a San Francisco-based startup that develops hand gesture recognition technology. According to a statement on Flutter's website by company CEO Naveet Dalal, the firm will continue its gesture recognition research at Google, though it's not clear if the entire staff will be retained or not. Dalal likened Google's acquisition to adding "rocket fuel" to its journey, and Google sounds equally excited about the deal. "We're really impressed... Read more...
There was already a lot to like about Google's Chromecast device (check out our review), a $35 dongle that you plug into your big screen TV's HDMI port for streaming fun, and now it's even better. That's because Google and Hulu have been working together to build a Hulu Plus app for Chromecast, and that app is now available to download from Google Play (Android) and iTunes (iOS), Hulu announced in a blog post. "For owners of a Chromecast device, the Hulu Plus app on your phone or tablet makes it easy to control Hulu Plus on your TV. Just fire up the Hulu Plus app on your mobile device, connect to Chromecast and start watching," Hulu said. "A simple tap on your mobile device screen allows you... Read more...
Gmail for Android has been ad-free up to this point, but it appears as though that’s changing. In an APK teardown of the latest version of Gmail for Android (4.6), Artem Russakovskii of the Android Police noted that there are chunks of code that point strongly to ads. (click to enlarge) One bit of code appears to allow users to save ads as messages, so if you see something you like, you can essentially save it to your inbox and chew on it later. If not, you can dismiss it. This feature would make sense if, for example, you get ads for sales at your favorite retail stores and want to pull up the promotion when you’re out shopping. Save ads as messages, ad library (Credit: Android Police)... Read more...
Wearable computing is a burgeoning market, as smartwatches proliferate like rabbits and a consumer release of Google Glass looms on the horizon, and Intel is officially getting in on the action. Intel Capital, the chipmaker’s investment wing, has made a “significant investment” in Recon Instruments, a company that makes HUDs (heads up displays). The amount of the investment was not disclosed, but Intel did say that it’s involvement would go towards product development as well as marketing and sales. Intel’s technology will find its way into Recon products, and the latter will benefit enormously from the former’s manufacturing and operations expertise, as well.... Read more...
Given that Halloween is upon us, it seems quite fitting that Dead of Arrival 2 has landed on a platform that could be very near and dear to your heart. And your limbs, for that matter. DoA has become something of an icon in the PC gaming world, and as the universe shifts and mobile gaming platforms become more crucial, the game's second iteration has been ported to Google Play. In other words, those with an Android phone or slate can hop over to the Play store right now and install the game. It'll work on some older devices, but it's clearly built for the latest and greatest, including NVIDIA's Tegra 4. Also, if you're a lucky owner of an NVIDIA Shield, you'll be delighted to know that DoA 2... Read more...
In celebration of its 15th birthday, Google announced that it has overhauled its search algorithm. The new tool is called Hummingbird, and its chief feature is conversational search; in other words, when you make a search query, instead of merely looking at keywords and popping out results that seem to match them the best, Hummingbird is designed to employ a higher level of understanding. For instance, if you say or type “What’s the best place to buy a TV near my house?”, the new algorithm might understand that by “place” you mean a physical store location, recognize that a “TV” is most typically sold in an electronics store, and try and pull up a store... Read more...
Imagine complaining to Cathy in accounting about what a jerk your boss Bob has been lately, but instead of Cathy receiving the inflammatory message on Google Talk, it gets delivered to Bob instead. Situations like that are why you should always double and even triple check the intended recipient. Unfortunately, a bug in Google's GTalk service could render all your careful planning moot. There have been several reports of GTalk delivering messages to the wrong person. In some cases, messages are being delivered to people who aren't even on the sender's contacts list, and sometimes to multiple unintended recipients at once. We suppose that's one way for Google to encourage users to drop its free... Read more...
Microsoft recently unveiled its Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro products, both of which feel like premium upgrades over the original (we were on hand at the event and got to play with these devices). They're leaner, faster, and generally better equipped than the original Surface tablets, but if there's one area consumers will inevitably knock, it's the price tag. The Surface 2 starts at $449, and with the plethora of Android tablets selling for hundreds less, that could become a hurdle. One solution is to release a smaller version of Surface. It's been rumored before and it's happening again. Rhoda Alexander, director of Tablet and Monitor Research at IHS iSuppli, tells CNET that Microsoft is considering... Read more...
Microsoft's Corporate VP of Surface, Panos Panay had his work cut out for him at the company's Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 launch event on Monday. Microsoft needed compelling product demos to showcase their new hardware against the current backdrop of stiff competition of alternative platforms and products from Google and Apple.  So, obviously, the first thing they did was call upon their old friend Intel way back at the design stage, empowering their Surface Pro 2 slate with a dual-core Haswell 4th generation Core i5-4200U processor. The Surface 2 Pro is essentially a hybrid tablet-notebook device, weighing in at 2 lbs. with a 10.6-inch full HD display and starting at $899 with 64GB of... Read more...
Good news, soccer fans -- you can practice your "Gooooooooooaaaaal!" celebration because FIFA 14 from Electronic Arts is now available for iOS and Android devices. Even better, it's a free download, though if you're insistent on lighting the load in your wallet, you can make in-app purchases for FIFA points. One thing to keep in mind is that you'll need at least 1.35GB of free space available, so check your storage beforehand and make any necessary adjustments. Once installed, you'll have access to 33 leagues, over 600 licensed teams, and more than 16,000 players. "From the English Premier League and La Liga to the German Bundesliga and beyond. March toward glory in 34 authentic stadiums. Plus,... Read more...
We're not sure if misery truly loves company, but if you found that your Gmail accounts weren't working yesterday, take solace in the fact that the problem probably wasn't something on your end. Apparently someone at Google tripped over the power cord (our unofficial diagnosis), because Gmail went down pretty hard yesterday. "Between 0554 and 1530 Pacific Time today, 29.1 percent of messages received by Gmail users were delayed," Google said on its Gmail status page. "The average (median) delay was just 2.6 seconds, but some mail was more severely delayed. However, this issue did not affect users’ access to the Gmail page or other functionality." In a previous status update, Google said... Read more...
There aren't too many software sectors that are changing, tweaking, and innovating as fast as the browser sector. Mozilla's Firefox is fighting for mindshare and marketshare against the likes of Safari, Internet Explorer and Google's Chrome, and given that the true future of the Web is likely on the mobile, it's hardly a surprise to see a lot of new changes coming to Firefox's mobile counterpart. The beta build of Firefox 25 has been announced, and it's going to be quite an improvement once it hits the masses. The major add is a Guest Browsing mode, which will allow you to hand your smartphone to a friend and let them hit the 'net without fear of them logging in via any of your account passwords.... Read more...
BlackBerry has a problem: it just can't get enough attention from the consumer market. In fact, it's actually planning an exit from selling smartphones primarily to consumers in order to focus on lucrative enterprise contracts. But oddly enough, BlackBerry's latest problem has nothing to do with being unable to get attention; in fact, it's quite the opposite. Prior to launching BBM for Android, an unreleased version of the BBM for Android app was posted online. The "leaked" build, according to BlackBerry, was downloaded over a million times in just eight hours. Of course, since the build wasn't final, it's causing some issues across Android phones. So, because it simply has too much attention... Read more...
Motorola announced that the Moto X Developer Edition (for GSM networks, i.e. AT&T and T-Mobile) is now available. The phone’s unlocked bootloader is the prime feature here, and having that luxury will cost you a cool $649. The device sports 32GB of memory and features a two-tone design with a white woven back and a black front; the back bears a “Developer Edition” stamp so others can know what’s up. Unlike the Verizon edition of the Moto X Developer Edition, the GSM version doesn’t come with a SIM card, so you’ll have to provide that on your own. Speaking of the unlocked Verizon version, it’s already out of stock; certainly, that’s due to surprising... Read more...
If you travel, you’re probably already familiar with Google Translate, an app that can come in very handy when you’re abroad. Type “That’s not my monkey,” into the app, select the language you need, and you just might get through customs after all. Google updated its app yesterday with a new feature that makes it even easier to translate your way out of (or into) trouble: handwriting recognition. Why does handwriting recognition matter if you’re already comfortable typing on your smartphone or tablet? Because you may find yourself needing to translate a language for which it would be easier for you to write by hand. (Restaurant menus come to mind.) The update... Read more...
YouTube announced that this November, it will launch an offline viewing option for mobile that will allow users to stash a video for later. Simply put, if you’re in the middle of watching a video on your mobile device and are going to lose your Internet (or just need to do something else for the moment and want to finish the video later), you can add the video to your device. The video will be available on that device, whether or not it’s connected to the Internet, for up to 48 hours. After that it’s gone, but at any time during that window, you can pull it up on your device and watch away. There’s no indication as to how much content a user will be able to park on a device--images... Read more...
News from Intel (and Google) today includes an announcement that more Chromebooks on on their way to market packing Intel’s Haswell processors. The new chips are designed to consume less power, thus preserving battery life for an all-day charge, while still offering better overall performance. Google notes that there are schools in over 20% of school districts across the country that now use Chromebooks, and with prices for some of the machines dipping as low as $199, deploying fleets of these machines in academia is an attractive option. Partners including Acer, ASUS, HP, and Toshiba will be rolling out Chromebooks based on Haswell soon, and they’ll collectively be sporting more... Read more...
Last week, Samsung and Qualcomm both launched their own smartwatch products -- Samsung with its Galaxy Gear, and Qualcomm with the Toq. Early coverage on the hardware has been mixed, but that hasn't stopped an explosion of hyperbole, including the laughable idea that smart watches are going to replace smartphones. At first glance, there seems to be some historical parallel here: Desktops have been largely replaced by laptops, laptops have been chewed into by tablets, and smartphones ate the PDA business of yesteryear. There are people working hard to build smartphones that effectively turn into laptops. What can stop the smartwatch? The simplest reason? Ergonomics. Consider the humble wristwatch.... Read more...
Free phones are everywhere, really. For years now, downmarket handsets have been given away for $0.00 with a new two-year agreement, as a means to milk customers for subscription fees while enticing them with a gratis handset. Even smartphones, if aged enough, can fall to that magical free price point, but this is different. A new report suggests that Amazon could be building a high-end phone that it would give away for free. Of course, Amazon is unique in the technology industry. It barely turns a profit, yet its stock price is crushing it, customers love it, and it's expanding like crazy. Amazon has tried unconventional pricing methods before, most recently with its ad-supported Kindle sales.... Read more...
Following up on the Chrome browser's 5th birthday celebration, Google announced a new kind of Chrome app, which the company says "brings together the speed, security, and flexibility of the modern web with the powerful functionality previously only available with software installed on your devices." Put another away, these apps run in a Chrome browser session but look and act like regular applications you'd install and run on your PC or tablet. In an interview with Time, Google's product lead on Chrome Apps, Erik Kay, said the company's hope is to "dispel the notion that Chrome OS is just a web browser." He admitted that there are "legitimate uses" that aren't possible on today's Chromebooks,... Read more...
As if things weren't buzzing enough out in Berlin this week, the folks at NVIDIA continue the relentless barrage of announcements in the mobile arena, with a joint unveiling and some kudos by way of a design win for their new Tegra 4 SoC. Tegra 4 is destined for devices well beyond NVIDIA's own SHIELD gaming handheld.  In fact, ASUS stepped out with the Tegra 4-powered Transformer Pad TF701T just yesterday and today Xiaomi steps out with the 5-inch Mi3 (MiPhone 3) Android smartphone.  Here in the US Xiaomi might not roll right off the tongue but the Chinese manufacturer is making some serious inroads as of late and attracting top talent to boot. Xiaomi Mi3 Smartphones with NVIDIA's... Read more...
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