YouTube stops using Adobe Flash, now defaults to HTML5 video player

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 27, 2015

When Steve Jobs was challenged on the iPad’s lack of support for Adobe’s Flash runtime for web video, manifested at the time as black rectangles on websites in place of Flash video, he said that “those holes are getting plugged real fast”.

And guess what? He was damn right.

It was a time of the prevalence of Flash and web developers had only begun experimenting with HTML5 for online video delivery, but boy what a difference a few years make.

As reported by VentureBeat, YouTube announced today that it’s ditched Flash for HTML5 video by default. “Other content providers like Netflix and Vimeo, as well as companies like Microsoft and Apple have embraced HTML5 and been key contributors to its success,” YouTube said in a statement. Read More

 

You’ll never guess whom Google’s Chairman Eric Schmidt named his personal hero… or will you?

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 27, 2015

Google’s former CEO and Chairman, Eric Schmidt, has a penchant for exaggeration. Not just infamous for telling bad jokes, Eric is known for going into a sputter when pressed on Google’s privacy practices and making platitudinous statements on Android and rivalry with Apple that earn him headlines.

The iPhone 6, for example, he dissed by stating that “Samsung had these products a year ago”. Sometimes, he can’t control himself to the point of risking public ridicule over claims like “Android is more secure than the iPhone”.

No doubt a talented technology executive, he’s such a multi-layered personality and it’s therefore perfectly fine to ask ourselves what principles guide Schmidt’s thinking. Does he have a personal hero he looks up to, both in tech and outside of the technology industry? Read More

 

Google Play Newsstand gets Handoff & offline support and other goodies

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 27, 2015

Google’s Play Newsstand iOS app (formerly Google Currents) was updated Tuesday with a few new features and several bug fixes.

The software now implements support for Handoff, a technology Apple built into iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite to make it easy to seamlessly transition between Macs and iPhones/iPads in apps.

With Handoff support in Google Play Newsstand, it’s now easy to resume reading on your Mac running OS X Yosemite or an iPhone or iPad running iOS 8. Jump past the fold for other changes in Google Play Newsstand 3.1. Read More

 

Google’s wireless service will reportedly switch between carriers for best connection

By Jake Smith on Jan 26, 2015

The Wall Street Journal reports Google’s upcoming and rumored wireless service won’t rely on one single carrier, and instead will switch between networks to give customers the best wireless signal.

The service will feature new technology that would hunt through cellular connections provided by Sprint and T-Mobile and Wi-Fi hotspots, picking whichever offers the best signal to route calls, texts and data, the newspaper’s sources said.  Read More

 

Google reportedly plans to become wireless carrier, will offer phone plans to customers

By Jake Smith on Jan 21, 2015

Google has plans to be a wireless carrier, selling mobile phone plans directly to customers, reports The Information. The company is looking at ways to change itself from its core businesses.

The new service is said to run on Sprint and T-Mobile’s networks. Google is expected to reach deals to buy wholesale access to those carriers’ mobile voice and data networks, making it a mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO, according to the publication’s sources. Read More

 

Google Docs, Sheets and Slides gain Touch ID support and other new features

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 21, 2015

After adding a new Incoming section to Docs, Sheets and Slides iOS apps which lets you see all of the files that have been shared with you, Google on Wednesday issued another refresh to its trio of productivity applications for the iPhone and iPad.

Google Docs, Sheets and Slides now feature Touch ID support for passcode lock to keep your documents, app settings and more safe from prying eyes.

In addition to that, each app has gained a few noteworthy enhancements such as a brand new spell-checker in Docs, mentioned after the break. Read More

 

Chrome for iOS refreshed with Material Design, Handoff, iPhone 6 support and more

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 20, 2015

Google on Tuesday issued a much appreciated refresh to its Chrome mobile browser for the iPhone and iPad. Chrome version 40 brings out a reworked appearance built around Material Design, Google’s guidelines for the look and feel of software across mobile, desktop and the web.

Material Design in Chrome brings “bold graphics, fluid motion and tactile surfaces,” as per release notes accompanying the 58-megabyte download.

In addition to Material Design, the new Chrome also supports Handoff, an iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite feature allowing you to start browsing on your iPhone or iPad and pick up on your Mac’s default browser right where you left off. Read More

 

Google reportedly investing in SpaceX for Internet-beaming satellites

By Jake Smith on Jan 19, 2015

Search giant Google is in early talks to invest in SpaceX, tech titan Elon Musk’s space transport services company that is looking at putting more technology in space. The Information reports Google wants an edge in Silicon Valley’s space race for the next frontier. Read More

 

Apple SVP Phil Schiller tears Google Glass to shreds in email exchange

By Jake Smith on Jan 19, 2015

Phil Schiller, Apple Senior Vice President of Marketing, didn’t have kind words to share when emailed about Google Glass, the search giant’s experimental wearable that’s about to be mass produced for consumers in 2015. Read More

 

Leaked images show upcoming Google Calendar iOS app with embedded photos and maps

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 19, 2015

Monday has brought us our first glimpses into Google’s standalone Calendar app for the iPhone, courtesy of leaked screenshots via The Next Web.

Featuring Material Design, Google’s design language applied across mobile, desktop and the web, the forthcoming application puts photos and map information straight into your calendar, and more. Read More

 

iPod mastermind Tony Fadell now in charge of Google Glass

By Jake Smith on Jan 15, 2015

Google is graduating its Google Glass Explorer program from Google X and making it an actual division under Google, reports Fortune. Google is putting Nest co-founder and CEO Tony Fadell in charge of the Glass division, providing guidance to Ivy Ross who led the project from its experimental birth. Read More

 

Google Maps gains better restaurant search, enhanced weather info and more

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 15, 2015

Google has bumped its Maps for iOS app to version 4.2, bringing out a few new features and improvements that enhance your experience concerning searching for restaurants, retrieving weather information and more.

You can now find restaurants by cuisine type in Google Maps 4.2 for the iPhone and iPad and (at last) access weather information for other cities around the world, not just for your current location. Read More

 

Google Classroom app lands on iPhone and iPad

By Cody Lee on Jan 14, 2015

Google today launched mobile apps on iOS and Android for its Classroom initiative. The service, which has seen 30+ million assignments submitted since its debut last summer, aims to help teachers save time, paper, and improve communication with students.

The app adds even more efficiency, allowing teachers to issue and track assignments from their phone or tablet. Students will enjoy it as well, as it lets them view and work on homework, with the ability to import from other apps, and live chat with classmates. Read More

 

Apple, Google reach new deal to end employee poaching suit

By Cody Lee on Jan 14, 2015

Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe have reached an agreement that would settle their long-standing antitrust class action lawsuit with Silicon Valley employees, reports Reuters. The suit, filed in 2011, accused the 4 tech giants of conspiring to avoid poaching each other’s employees in an effort to keep a lid on salaries. Read More

 

Google Translate for iOS gains Word Lens translation, conversation tools

By Jake Smith on Jan 14, 2015

Google announced a significant update for the Google Translate app for iOS on Wednesday, adding technology from Word Lens after it was acquired by Google in May 2014. Read More

 

Google releases Chrome Remote Desktop app for iOS

By Cody Lee on Jan 12, 2015

Google released its long-rumored remote desktop app for iOS today. Dubbed Chrome Remote Desktop, it’s available now in the App Store for both the iPhone and iPad, allowing you to securely access your computers from either device.

Setup falls in line with other remote desktop applications. You’ll obviously need Chrome installed on your computer (PC, Mac and Linux), the desktop client, and the aforementioned iOS app, and then you simply follow the instructions. Read More

 

Apple ranked #11 among top patent recipients in 2014

By Cody Lee on Jan 12, 2015

Apple was awarded just over 2,000 patents by the US Patent and Trademark Office in 2014, according to data compiled by IFI Claims Patent Services. That amount is good for a 13% boost over 2013, and enough to rank it #11 among top patent recipients for the year.

A total of 19 US-based companies appear on the 2014 IFI Claims Top 50 list. IBM finished in first, with 7,534 patents awarded in 2014, keeping its 22-year streak alive. Samsung came in second with just under 5000 patents, followed by Canon, Sony and Microsoft. Read More

 

Smart driving assistant Automatic now connects your car and home with Nest

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 12, 2015

First preview at CES 2015 a week ago, Automatic, makers of the popular connected car adapter, today officially announced a new feature to connect your car and home with Nest, the smart thermostat from Google.

The integration enables communication between your car and home through intelligently chosen rules that give the Nest thermostat a more timely understanding of when heating or cooling is needed and more importantly, when it’s not. Read More

 

Google Hangouts gains smart location sharing, statuses, deeper Voice integration and more

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 6, 2015

Google on Tuesday added new features to its Hangouts app for the iPhone and iPad, namely deeper integration with its Voice telephony service, a pretty smart way to share your location with others, the ability to tell your friends what you’re up to via status messages and more.

Today’s refresh follows last month’s Android app update which introduced a similar set of enhancements. These newly introduced features are available on iOS right now so go ahead and download Hangouts free in the App Store and take the app for a spin. Read More

 

Google Cast can now stream music to wireless speakers, sound bars and receivers

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 5, 2015

Google on Monday made another effort to take on AirPlay, a wireless media streaming technology from Apple, with the introduction of Google Cast for audio, The Verge is reporting.

Basically an update to the Google Cast SDK, it lets you stream your music from mobile devices to Cast-ready speakers, sound bars and receivers, some of which are already on the way. Cast technology is already used in Chromecast, a $35 HDMI dongle available in 27 countries.

An accompanying Cast SDK allows programmers to create multi-screen experiences which let users send and control content like video from a smartphone, tablet or laptop to a display device such as a large screen television set. Read More

 
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