Articles about Google

Google might launch two new Nexus phones in 2015, but no tablet

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Google revealed lower revenue from its Nexus devices last year, putting some pressure on the low-cost, high performance program’s future. Fortunately, it sounds like Google is planning to give the Nexus smartphone another try in 2015, according to Android Police.

Instead of having a single mobile, Google is planning two Nexus devices this year. One will feature a 5.2-inch display, the other a 5.7-inch display. LG will work on the smaller device, while Huawei will take its first role in the Nexus program with the 5.7-inch model.

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Google revamps age rating system for Android apps in Play Store

Google revamps age rating system for Android apps in Play Store

Google's system of rating apps and games in the Play Store has been relatively simple up to now. A rudimentary high, medium, and low labelling format has been used to give a rough indication of the age a particular title is suitable for, but things are about to get a lot more complicated. Developers are now required to answer a questionnaire about their apps so they can be assigned movie-style age ratings.

Sounds simple enough, but this is not a global system; different parts of the world have different views of what is suitable for different age groups. What is deemed acceptable for 15-year-olds in one country might be thought suitable only for over 18s somewhere else. Any app that does not receive an age rating will simply not appear in Google Play.

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LG and Sony partner with Microsoft to save their Android devices

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There is something happening in the Android world -- consumers just aren't caring about the latest and greatest flagships like they used to. Even Samsung, once thought to be unstoppable, is facing declining sales. It almost seems as if consumers are fatigued to the upgrade cycle. While a new iPhone is a magical annual affair, the market is flooded with so many Android phones, it is hard to differentiate one from another. The major manufacturers are even starting to feel pressure from smaller companies such as OnePlus.

What are manufacturers such as Sony and LG supposed to do to make their smartphones stand out? Turn to Microsoft, apparently. Yes, both of those aforementioned manufacturers, plus a bunch of others, are turning to the Windows-maker in an effort to get Skype, Office and more pre-loaded on their devices. In other words, maybe Microsoft can save their device's from Google's perception-stranglehold and overall monotonous Android sales environment.

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Google starts to show tweets in search results

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Twitter has become more than just a soundboard for those looking to voice an opinion -- although obviously it is still that. It has morphed into a valuable resource for delivering information in real time. This is particularly useful when it comes to keeping up to date with breaking news.

Starting today Google will tap into this wealth of information for its search results. The feature is starting life in Google apps on iOS and Android mobile devices, but will spread its way around the world and to the desktop soon.

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Google Doodle salutes Sally Ride -- first LGBT astronaut and American woman in space

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When celebrating people's accomplishments, I try to look beyond their gender. With that said, when it comes to overcoming gender discrimination, the fact that they are man or woman is valid to the discussion. Sally Ride was not the first person into space, but she was the first-ever American woman to do so. This is an important accomplishment, as women in America were long held back by an oppressive society. Remember, women could not vote in the USA until 1920. Yes that is 1920 and not 1820!

In 1983, Sally Ride went into space, showing America that not only could a woman be an astronaut, but a woman could be anything. Women going from not being able to vote, to traveling to space in 63 years is rather impressive. While 63 years may seem like a long time, in the grand scheme, it is hardly any time at all. Today, Google celebrates the deceased Ms. Ride with five Doodles.

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Amazon decides to start paying tax in the UK

Amazon decides to start paying tax in the UK

The issues of big companies paying enough taxes is something that has a lot of people talking at the moment -- governments in particular. Many companies -- including Microsoft, Apple, Google, and others -- take advantage of financial schemes that funnel money through other countries. Now Amazon has announced that it is to start paying corporation tax on sales made in the UK.

Using a scheme similar to the so-called Double Irish, Amazon had been routing transactions for UK-based sales through offices in Luxembourg. The decision to move these sales to the UK means that the company will be able to avoid the possibility of being hit with a hefty bill if the UK government clamps down on the use of such tax avoidance schemes.

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Google finds security questions are crap because your answers are fake

Google finds security questions are crap because your answers are fake

Apple and other handset manufacturers might be trying to push users to securing their data with biometrics, but the vast majority of services still rely on the good old password. Lots of sites use the idea of memorable data either as a means of locking down accounts, or as a way to gain access to a forgotten password -- the likes of your mother's maiden name, town of birth, favorite color of underwear, and so on.

Research by Google shows that the security question system is failing, and it should come as no surprise that the blame is laid firmly at the door of the likes of you and I. We already know that people are rubbish at picking passwords, but there is also a problem with the answers they provide to security questions. Answers are either too easy for others to guess, or they are made up -- and people are forgetful buggers prone to failing to remember the answers they dreamt up.

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Android 5.1.1 now available for Nexus 4, 5, cellular 7 and 9 -- here's how you can install it

Android 5.1 Lollipop announcement image

You might think that Google will quickly update its supported Nexus devices to the latest version of Android, after releasing it. After all, the search giant controls the development of the mobile operating system and Nexus software updates. But that is not exactly the case.

Some Nexus devices -- like the second-generation Nexus 7 -- got Android 5.1.1 Lollipop last month, while other handsets -- like the 4G LTE version of Nexus 9 -- are only now receiving the software upgrade. Not a level playing field it would seem.

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Google launches artist-inspired 'Editions' Android phone cases -- Skrillex goes first

Skrillex Live Case

One of the major reasons I choose Android over iOS is freedom. Not only am I free to set a default browser and default email client, but I am free to install different "launchers" to customize the experience. Manufacturers are even free to make phones of various sizes and shapes, which in turn means consumers can find the right device to meet their needs.

Following that trend of freedom and customization, Google today launches "Editions", which are artist-inspired cases for Android phones. Not only will they offer a fun and unique way to show-off your phone, but they will also grant access to exclusive artist content. The first artist is the king of dubstep, Skrillex.

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My four months with Nexus 9 [Review]

Nexus 9 and Friend

I want to love Google-branded, HTC-manufactured Nexus 9. But ours is a contentious relationship. N9 is not a bad tablet; others offer better value and performance for the price (or less), with Apple iPad mini being high among them. That said, if pure (aka stock) Android is your thing, there is no worthy alternative. Just prepare for a few compromises, particularly if moving up from Nexus 7.

In his November 2014 review, my colleague Brian Fagioli calls Nexus 9 "magical". I can't agree. During my four months using the tablet, response occasionally hesitates and WiFi too often disconnects. Last week, my N9 received the newest Android update, which somewhat resolves both problems. I purposely delayed this review, waiting for v5.1.1.

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Google Chrome 43 adds web MIDI hardware support, improves permissions API

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Google has unveiled Chrome 43 FINAL for Windows, Mac and Linux. Version 43’s main new feature is support for hardware MIDI instruments.

Chrome 43 also implements a couple of behind-the-scenes tweaks for developers that will help benefit end users through reducing the number of unnecessary prompts for action without compromising security.

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Ban on YouTube's controversial anti-Islam film finally lifted

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In 2012 a controversial video went viral on YouTube that angered Muslims across the Middle East, sparking riots and leading to several deaths. The Innocence of Muslims is a 74 minute piece of junk (that I watched), which shows the prophet Muhammad as a fool, a fraud, insane, and a sexual deviant. Unsurprisingly it was blocked in numerous countries, including Libya, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Russia. Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, even went so far as to ban YouTube entirely.

Despite mounting pressure, including from the White House, Google refused to remove the film from YouTube, because it didn’t violate its policies. However, The Innocence of Muslims fell victim to a specious copyright claim, and ended up being removed anyway.

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Google slashes prices to attract the enterprise to its Cloud Platform

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They say the key to a man's heart is his stomach, and for me, that is probably true -- feel free to put fat jokes in the comments. But what is the key to a company's heart? Money. Yes, cost savings is an easy way to make a company take notice in your solution.

Today, Google is aiming to attract the enterprise to its Cloud Platform using this practice. You see, the search giant is dramatically slashing prices, and quite frankly, businesses should take notice.

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Streaming video subscriptions will quadruple by 2019

Streaming video subscriptions will quadruple by 2019

Online video services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are undeniably popular, but they are set to explode in the next few years. A study published by Juniper Research suggests that in a period of just five years (2014-2019) the number of people subscribing to streaming video services will rocket from 92.1 million to 332.2 million.

Despite what many people may have thought, it is not growing use of mobile devices for entertainment that will be responsible for the increase. The nearly fourfold growth will be driven by the success of the likes of Google's Chromecast and Amazon's Fire TV Stick.

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No more waiting for carriers -- Microsoft will push out Windows 10 Mobile updates

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One of the frustrations facing Windows Phone users -- much like Android fans -- is that when an OS update is announced it can be difficult to find out when, or indeed if, a particular handset will receive it. Carriers can take an age to release update to their customers.

With Windows 10 Mobile, Microsoft is making things much simpler by taking over the task of pushing out updates. This means users will no longer have to wait for their mobile carrier to get around to it. It's something that will help not only to ensure that as many people as possible are using the very latest version of the operating system, but will also help to stamp out a serious problem: fragmentation.

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