Articles about Google

Chrome has a hidden tab discard option that could solve your memory problems


For many people Google Chrome is their browser of choice. It may be popular, but most users would concede that Chrome has something of a memory problem -- it will gobble up resources like they are going out of fashion. To get around this issue, all manner of extensions have sprung up offering tab suspension -- but there's a hidden Tab Discarding option built in that does the same job.

As revealed by Google's François Beaufort, the Chrome development team is working on bringing the feature, which is already used by Chrome OS users, to the Windows, Linux and Mac versions of the browser. The Discarded Tabs feature works by unloading tabs from memory when resources are running low, and reloading them if and when they are next clicked. If you install the latest nightly builds, this is already available to you -- here’s how to use it.

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Silent Circle's ultra-secure Blackphone 2 joins Google's Android for Work program


The security of mobile communications is of paramount importance to many people, but it is particularly high on the list of priorities for business and enterprise customers. Silent Circle is a company that caters to those concerned with privacy and security, billing its work as the 'world's first enterprise privacy platform'.

The company's original Blackphone generated some interest, and earlier in the year we learned about the follow-up -- the Blackphone 2. Kitted out with a customized version of Android, the security-focused handset is the latest addition to Android for Work, Google's own security-focused program.

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Google Translate triples the languages it understands


Do you speak a foreign language? If not then Google Translate becomes your friend while travelling and today it's getting a bit better. Actually a lot better, going from seven languages to 27, which triples the amount it could handle -- okay that math is slightly off, but it's close enough.

Google announces the update to the app, which can be pointed at a foreign language and read the words in your native tongue. That's pretty essential for traveling. While it's good to know the language in any nation you're visiting, it's not always possible.

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Dmail brings self-destructing emails to Gmail

Self-destruct button

Following the release of the Undo Send option last month, Gmail users can now also delete sent emails.

Through a new Chrome extension called Dmail, users will be able to use a self-destruct option, which deletes sent mails after a stipulated period of time.

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Google explains the future of Google+ and improves YouTube comments

Google+ logo

Since the beginning, Google+ has been seen as a mess. It has been dismissed as the social network for people who don’t actually like to be very social, and Google is only too aware that it needs to step up its game. You may well have wondered if the company knew what it was doing… today Google shares details of what it has planned.

Several months ago, Google announced that it was going to split up Google+ into a number of separate projects -- Hangouts, Photos, and Streams. We've already seen the arrival of Google Photos to replace Google+ Photos (you keeping up?) and now, as well as admitting that it made mistakes, Google gives a taste of what’s to come in the months ahead.

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IFTTT joins the open source community


It's not that we're (necessarily) lazy, but technology entices us all to find quicker ways of doing things. The internet is something of a behemoth and there are plenty of tools out there that aim to tame it -- one of which is automation service IFTTT.

Harnessing the power of apps, devices, and the cloud, IFTTT has just unveiled five open source projects. Now available on GitHub, the projects can be used by anyone to integrate IFTTT automation in their apps and services.

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Chromecast is 2 years old -- Google giving away free movie rentals to owners!

Chromecast 2nd Bday

While Google's Chromecast is impossibly small physically, it is absolutely enormous in its usefulness. The search giant successfully bridged the gap between device and television with a cute little HDMI dongle. Originally, the selling point was its low price, but as more and more companies choose to leverage the cute hardware, it becomes more than a simple value purchase.

The dongle is apparently celebrating a second birthday. While it is weird to celebrate the "birth" of an inanimate object, the tech community has normalized the practice to become acceptable. After all, we tech nerds love our devices like family, right? While the birthday boy or girl is usually the one receiving gifts, this time, Chromecast owners are getting the present. What is it, you ask? A free movie rental! What will you rent this weekend?

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Google offers lots of free cloud storage to take on Amazon Web Services

Cloud storage

The launch of Cloud Storage Nearline brings Google firmly into the battle against Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and all the other cloud platforms currently available, but, unlike search, Google is way behind the competition.

To gain some early customers, Google is offering an enormous 100 petabytes (100 million gigabytes) of storage for free. To a single customer, that is enough to last a lifetime, but for a medium sized business it may last a few months.

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Huge improvements made to Google Voice transcription accuracy


If you're a Google Voice user, you'll almost certainly have experienced its frequently insane attempts at voicemail transcriptions. There are times when these offer some hilarious relief in the middle of a dull day, but they also stand in the way of, you know… actually understanding what's been said.

Transcriptions that are not accurate are less than helpful, and Google has taken steps to up its game. Using sample voicemails from volunteers, it has been possible to improve voicemail transcriptions so there are far fewer errors. The new and improved system is available right now, and Google is keen for you to try it out.

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Microsoft thanks you for using Bing Listens to guide its future


As shown by the Window Insider program and the development of Windows 10, Microsoft is now all ears. Under Satya Nadella, this is now a company that wants to listen to, and be guided by, its customers. Google may dominate the search arena, but Microsoft is keen for Bing to eat into its market share by giving people what they want.

This is precisely why the Bing Listens program was created, giving people an opportunity to make suggestions about changes and additions they'd like to see made. Today Microsoft not only thanks people for providing feedback, but also reveals some of the suggestions it has acted on. Have your idea been used?

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Care to hike Mongolia? Google Maps does it for you


Mongolia seems to be a country largely forgotten by the outside world. Aside from Genghis Khan it appears few people know much about the Asian nation. That's a shame because it has a beautiful countryside with deserts, rivers and mountains.

Now Google wants to take you on a rather long journey through the country -- 5,000 km to be exact. All the way across Mongolia, including those beautiful Steppes.

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Office gains Google Drive and IFTTT support


Anyone reliant on Office for their day to day computing just gained two new weapons in their arsenal. Google has created a plugin that adds built in support for Google Drive, and automation fans will be pleased to learn that Office 365 channels have now gone live on IFTTT. But this is not the only new cloud-based tool.

It has long been possible to use Google Drive in conjunction with Office, but it has meant having to use the middleman of a local folder synchronized using the Google Drive app. The new plugin lets you cut straight to the chase and save directly to Google Drive -- handy if you don’t want or need a local copy.

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Google Maps 'Your Timeline' is a creepy reminder that you are being tracked


Google is everywhere, you cannot run and you cannot hide. Well, maybe I am being a bit dramatic, but if you use Android or any of Google's services, it is compiling data to track your actions and behaviors. The search giant may know your favorite restaurants, sexual tastes, plus home and work locations too.

If you use Google Maps and location services, the search giant is even tracking your movements. While that can lead to powering some useful solutions, it is also creepy as hell. Today, Google announces "Your Timeline", which is a tool for Android and desktop that shows you all the places you have been. While it is sort of cool, it is also a reminder that Google is watching you.

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Google does not like it when employees know each other's salaries

EFF joins dozens of groups to create global coalition to fight for net neutrality

An ex Google employee says her bonuses were blocked by management because she created a crowd-sourced spreadsheet which revealed inequality in pays.

Erica Baker worked at Google for nine years before switching to Slack. She recently took to Twitter to explain what she did. On a boring Sunday afternoon at work, Baker and a couple of colleagues created a spreadsheet that would list everybody’s salaries as an experiment in radical transparency.

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Google+ Photos dies August 1, replaced by Google Photos


Wielding its axe above its head, Google today prepares to sever another limb from Google+. It's only a couple of months since Google Photos launched, and we knew back then that the writing was on the wall for the Photos component of Google+. Now we know that the axe drops on August 1.

From this date Google+ Photos will be no more. The service will shut down first for Android users, followed quickly by the web and iOS versions. If you want to continue to take advantage of cloud photo storage, editing, and sharing, you'll need to make the switch to Google Photos.

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