Google unveils Chromebit, full Chrome-on-a-stick computer under $100, and other new Chromebooks

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 31, 2015

If you need an on-the-fly computer or cannot afford a traditional desktop or notebook, Google may have just the right answer for you.

Unveiled Tuesday, the new Chromebit is a whole new kind of Chrome OS computer on a stick that plugs right into your TV or any HDMI-enabled display.

Similar to a plethora of inexpensive Android computers on HDMI-enabled thumb sticks, the Chromebit is just as portable as it is functional. It comes in your choice of three colors and is priced under $100. Read More

 

Google+ Photos now appear in Drive, Auto Backup for images and videos available in iOS app

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 31, 2015

The search giant Google announced yesterday it is adding support for Google+ Photos to the Drive app on iOS, Android and the web. “Starting today, the photos and videos you keep in Google+ Photos will also be available in Google Drive,” said the company.

In addition to storing your photos and files together in Drive, the refreshed Google Drive for iOS app has introduced a new Auto Backup feature to ensure that your Camera Roll photos and videos are safely backed up in the Google cloud. Read More

 

Google to take on Twitch with own game streaming video service

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 25, 2015

Google is going to announce a new YouTube-branded live video streaming service with an emphasis on gaming, according to the British newspaper The Guardian on Wednesday citing a scoop by tech blog The Daily Dot.

The Internet giant is reportedly prepping to introduce its live-streaming service under the YouTube Live moniker. YouTube Live will apparently relaunch later this year, re-focused on game streaming and e-sports.

Such turn of events wasn’t entirely unexpected. A year ago, Google wanted to buy Twitch but has failed to seal the deal and got outbid by Amazon, which paid a cool $1 billion for the popular game-streaming service. Read More

 

Google working to let you pay bills from directly within Gmail

By Jake Smith on Mar 25, 2015

Google is working on a new service that will allow you to pay your bills from directly within your Gmail email inbox, ridding of the need to visit multiple websites every time you pay your bills each month.

Recode was able to get its hands on all the details for the secret project, dubbed “Pony Express”. Internally, it’s being called “the future of paper mail” and is expected to roll out in the fourth quarter of 2015. Read More

 

Eric Schmidt: Google Glass isn’t dead, being ‘made ready for users’

By Jake Smith on Mar 23, 2015

Following the shut down of the Google Glass Explorer program and the reorganization of the Google Glass team, some theorized Google Glass may be dead. However Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, says the Google Glass technology is too fundamental for Google to end the project.  Read More

 

TAG Heuer teams up with Google and Intel to produce luxury smartwatch

By Cody Lee on Mar 19, 2015

Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer, a luxury watch brand owned by LVMH, announced today that it’s partnering with Google and Intel to create a smartwatch. TAG will design the device, Intel will supply the microprocessor, and Google of course will handle the software with Android Wear.

In his announcement, quoted by Bloomberg, at the Baselworld watch expo today, LVMH’s Jean-Claude Biver said this was his “biggest announcement ever” in his 40 years of working in the industry. He believes that the device will go on to be the “greatest connected watch” on the market. Read More

 

Google Maps gains full-screen mode, transit line colors, voice search improvements and more

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 19, 2015

Google Maps last evening received another update which has brought out a couple noteworthy new features.

The application can now render maps in full-screen mode to maximize screen real estate and provide colored transit lines when retrieving transit directions. To access maps in full-screen mode, just tap an empty spot on the map. Read More

 

Unofficial solution allows Android Wear to accept incoming iPhone calls

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 17, 2015

Back in February, Cydia developer Mohammad Abu-Garbeyyeh, the brains behind jailbreak tweaks like DoubleTapToSleep and SpotlightSiri, showed off proof-of-concept which lets the stock iOS Messages app notification to be sent directly to a flagship Android Wear device, Motorola’s Moto 360.

He’s been since exploring ways to add more functionality to the app and this morning posted a new intriguing video depicting an Android Wear watch accepting an incoming call from an iPhone. Read More

 

Apple named as potential tech company to buy Boeing internet satellite

By Jake Smith on Mar 16, 2015

Apple is among technology companies who Boeing is looking to strike a deal with this year to build a high-throughput communications satellite, according to Reuters. Read More

 

YouTube introduces Cards feature, starts accepting 360-degree video uploads

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 16, 2015

Google has announced a new interactive Cards feature to improve annotations while also adding support for 360-degree video uploads.

Similar to Google Now cards, YouTube Cards pop-up to deliver additional pieces of information while the video is playing. Google has said that YouTube Cards will “eventually replace annotations,” but only once they can do everything annotations can do today. Read More

 

Google releases Gmail 4.0 for iOS with new interactive actions, share sheet

By Jake Smith on Mar 5, 2015

Google has released version 4.0 of its Gmail for iOS app on Thursday, most notably bringing new actions for Notification Center and finally share sheet. Google is one of the few larger companies that has shown a devotion to keeping its iOS apps updated regularly, staying atop of new iOS features. Gmail for iOS can be a good alternative to Apple’s Mail.  Read More

 

Judge approves $415M payout in Apple, Google anti-poaching suit

By Cody Lee on Mar 4, 2015

US District Judge Lucy Koh granted preliminary approval on Wednesday for a settlement between Apple, Google, Adobe, and Intel and their former employees. The payout is said to be worth around $415 million, and would effectively end the long-running anti-poaching lawsuit. Read More

 

Waze is rolling out AMBER alerts in US

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 4, 2015

Waze, a popular crowdsourced GPS, maps and traffic service, announced on Wednesday that it’s rolling out AMBER alerts in the United States.

Realized through a partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the move brings AMBER alerts to Waze users when a child in their area has been abducted or gone missing. Read More

 

Google brings Material Design to Contacts on the web

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 3, 2015

Material Design, Google’s cross platform, responsive design system for mobile, desktop and the web, has now been applied to Google Contacts on the web.

Now available as a preview, the revamped Google Contacts can be checked out by visiting contacts.google.com/preview in your desktop web browser, the search firm said Tuesday. Read More

 

Google allegedly working on an iPhone app that’ll bring iOS compatibility to Android Wear

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 3, 2015

Google is ostensibly working on an iPhone app that will bring iOS compatibility to all Android Wear-driven smartwatches on the market. Google’s Android-powered software platform for wearable devices launched a year ago without official support for the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Mac devices. Word of a possible solution came Tuesday via 01Net and was passed along to us by French blog iPhon.fr.

Whichever way you look at it, making Android Wear compatible with the iPhone could help extend the market for Android-driven wearable devices to include Apple users, too.

About 720,000 Android Wear smartwatches were shipped in 2014, according to Canalys, the research firm. Various analysts estimate Apple’s Watch could sell about ten or more million devices in 2015. Read More

 

Google wants to one-up Apple’s iSpaceship with spectacular all-glass greenhouse-style Googleplex

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 27, 2015

Google on Friday submitted a proposal for a new campus to Mountain View’s outgoing City Council and boy does the new building look spectacular. Renderings of the project, shared with the public, reveal the scope of Google’s ambitiously conceived new project.

Seeking to redevelop part of its existing campus in North Bayshore, the new all-glass building could be more adaptable to a changing company, bring new life to the environment, save energy and create a sense of community with bike paths and space for local businesses. Read More

 

Google Maps update adds Local Guides, detailed POI/venue info and more

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 27, 2015

The Internet giant Google on Friday issued a refresh to its native mapping application for the iPhone and iPad, adding Local Guides and a couple other nice-to-haves.

A global community of the top reviewers on Google, Local Guides now appear in Google Maps 4.3 for iOS.

You can also add transit directions to your calendar.

Search has been improved, too, with the ability to search for event information for select venues, nearby businesses based on their address and even retrieve fun facts about popular points of interest. Read More

 

Apple grabs 89 percent of smartphone profits while Android captures record-low 11 percent

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 26, 2015

The latest indication that even with its minuscule share of smartphone units sold Apple is clobbering everyone when it comes to profits came Thursday via research firm Strategy Analytics. The research company reported that the Cupertino firm took home an astounding 88.7 percent of operating profit share in smartphones during the fourth quarter of last year.

This is no doubt the effect of strong sales of Apple’s well-received iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus handsets. Android, meanwhile, has fallen to a record-low eleven (11.3) percent. Read More

 

Android devs earned $7 billion in past 12 months, paid search ads coming to Play store

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 26, 2015

Google’s Play store has paid about seven billion dollars in revenue to Android app makers over the past 12 months, the company said Thursday. By comparison, Apple paid out ten billion dollars in 2014 App Store revenue to iPhone and iPad devs.

With more than 100 billion searches every month on Google.com, the company has now kicked off a pilot program designed to inject sponsored search results into the Play store apps. Read More

 

iOS activation in enterprise jumps to 73 percent, increasing Apple’s lead over Android

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 26, 2015

Thanks in no small part to strong sales of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones, Apple has been able to extend its enterprise lead over Android during the fourth quarter of last year.

According to the new Mobility Index Report data (PDF download) by research firm Good Technology, iOS activations in the enterprise market jumped from 69 percent in the third quarter of last year to 73 percent during the last three months of 2014, while Android activations fell from 29 percent to 25 percent. Read More

 
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