Google has long been devising new ways to boost engagement on its services. In its latest move, the Mountain View-based technology giant updates Google Now, its contextual search trump card, to add support for third-party apps.
In a blog post, the company notes that it has partnered with more than 40 popular apps including Ebay, Pandora, Runtastic, Ford, ICICI Bank, Shazam, and others to feed information from them on to the Google Now dashboard. You can check the full-list of apps and services here.
There is an old adage that a fool and his money are easily parted. This is a motto that I follow in my life. I don't mind paying for quality, but I won't open my wallet for nonsense.
With that said, you should always be wary when something is free; another adage is that there is no such thing as a free lunch. That's not to say that free things can't exist, but there may be strings attached. Today, Google Earth Pro becomes free -- are there strings attached?
Getting the latest Nexus smartphone from Google in the first few months of availability can prove to be a real adventure. You know how it goes, as the same thing has happened before with its predecessor. You have to be either extremely lucky to get one early on or extremely committed to the brand to put up with the perennially insufficient stock by waiting your turn at finally getting one. It's insane.
Because of these issues, I have long given up on the thought of buying the latest Nexus smartphone while it's hot -- including the Nexus 6 phablet, as much as I would love to grab one. The fault lies consistently with Google. The search giant is terrible at selling smartphones. Even worse, it comes up with a crappy excuse to justify it.
Perhaps you have seen such statement somewhere on the InterWebs sometime during the last couple of months and increasingly the past few weeks. It's a meme slowly growing -- and for good reasons. While others innovate, Apple iterates and succeeds unblushingly well. The company is mountains more successful today innovating less and taking fewer risks.
Apple is the new Microsoft, where maximizing margins matters more than innovation. Look how much more successful Apple is by being boring and following where innovators lead. Consider today's Strategy Analytics report that puts Apple and Samsung tied for calendar fourth-quarter smartphone shipments. Such scenario was all but unfathomable two quarters earlier. Yet the foundation laid long before Apple cofounder Steve Job's death, when logistics genius and now CEO Tim Cook managed day-to-day operations. Risk-to-innovation defined Jobs' management style. Cook is more tactical.
Too much content is uploaded to YouTube for Google to be able to effectively police users' videos. This is what the search giant said in response to calls for more to be done to counter terrorism-related content on the video network.
Online censorship versus the right to freedom of speech is a battle that has waged online for some time now. Some parts of the world are more prone to censorship than others, and it's an argument that bubbles up from time to time. The debate usually centers around the moral rights and wrongs of censoring content, but the issue of practicality occasionally rears its head as well.
Everyone wants access to high-speed internet, as it seems to feel like a human right these days. Sadly the US lags behind other nations in this department, but things are slowly improving, thanks in large part to Google introducing its own broadband in the form of Google Fiber.
That offering is now expanding to new markets, with Google announcing four locations set to have their internet speeds increased dramatically. Thus far, the service has existed in Kansas City, Provo, and Austin.
Microsoft's Windows 10 has tight Skype integration -- are Google Hangouts and Apple iMessage in danger?
I have been having difficulty staying in touch with friends and family lately. The problem? Everybody is using different services! Apple fans are on iMessage and Facetime. Google users are on Hangouts. Other people embrace Facebook Messager or SMS. Quite frankly, it is maddening. Lately, I have been considering embracing Skype, as it works on Windows, Linux, OS X, iOS, Android and Windows Phone. In other words, I don't have to worry about the platform the other person is on. I can have my friends and family use Skype to get in contact with me.
Luckily, Windows 10 will have Skype installed by default, meaning every user of that operating system can easily access it. I will not have to instruct people how to download and install it -- this is huge. Not only is it installed, but tightly integrated into the OS. Plus, with Lync being transformed into Skype for Business, Microsoft's communication solution may be poised to dominate.
In the world of searches, there's one name that rules supreme -- Google. But new figures show that while the search giant is still the most popular way to track down content online, it is starting to lose ground to Microsoft and Yahoo. The latest statistics from comScore are in broad agreement with those published by StatCounter a couple of weeks ago.
Both sets of numbers agree that Microsoft and Yahoo are eating into Google's lead when we look at US searches conducted in December and compare them to November. While Big G will not be happy to see that its grip on the search crown is loosening slightly, the company has little to fear just yet.
After releasing Android 5.0.2 Lollipop factory images for the 2013 and 2012 Wi-Fi Nexus 7, Google is now rolling out the latest version of Android for the two 7-inch tablets via an over-the-air (OTA) update.
Google has yet to provide an official changelog for Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, but from the AOSP commits we can tell that there are only a couple of noteworthy changes made since Android 5.0.1 Lollipop. The biggest one is related to TRIM functionality, which should lead to noticeable improvements in performance.
Yesterday afternoon, a San Diego State University student bought my MacBook Pro—13-inch Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD—for $1,100. I purchased the laptop from local dealer DC Computers in late-August 2014 for a few hundred dollars more. The buyer's interest was my own: Mac, large SSD, and extended warranty (expires April 2017).
The proceeds go to buying Toshiba Chromebook 2 (two, another for my wife) and Android phone for her. She moves from iPad Air, which has been, since September 2014, her PC—and that experience should be another story (be patient). If time travel was possible, I would keep, rather than sell, my Chromebook Pixel early last summer. The Chromie lifestyle suits me best, and I am excited to be back to it. However, in December, when reviewing the tech products that changed my digital lifestyle last year, including the switch to Apple's platforms: "I can’t imagine using anything else". I lied to myself, and unintentionally to you.
If you've joined the beta channel for Google Chrome you'll have seen the browser's profile switcher some time ago. For anyone who has decided to stick with the stable channel it may just have appeared. But what's the point? Nestling in the upper right hand corner of the browser window next to your tabs, you'll see a button with your name on it.
This is not to serve as a name reminder to the forgetful, but to show which Chrome profile you’re signed into. If you've set up more than one profile you can use the menu to switch between them with ease, but if -- like most people -- you only use one, it's a waste of space and looks rather ugly. Here's how to remove the pesky profile switcher button from Chrome.
Earlier in the week, Google managed to raise the ire of Microsoft by publishing details of a vulnerability in Windows before a patch had been published. Now the same thing has happened again, but this time it's a double whammy. Google Security Research has revealed two more security holes that Microsoft is yet to fix.
Just as was the case a few days ago, Microsoft had been warned about the security problems and Google agreed to keep details private for a period of 90 days. Now the three months is up, details of the security issues have been automatically published, running the risk that users could be targeted.
The US and UK usually get on pretty well, but plans are afoot for the two nations to stage cyberwar on each other. Later this year, Wall Street and the City of London will be subjected to a series of attacks that is being described as "unprecedented".
But this does not signal a breakdown in the "special relationship" that extends across the Atlantic, rather the "war games" are part of a venture between the two countries to help improve security. The aim is to expand information sharing in a bid to stave off real cyber attacks that could be launched by other nations.
Google Glass was an interesting project, but now it is no more. It never really took off, and was never likely to. It was ahead of its time -- promising much, but never quite delivering. Along the way it encountered numerous stumbling blocks -- it cost a fortune, made you look daft, and could well result in you getting mugged, or thrown out of a cinema if you tried to wear it while a film was on.
Google has said that it will stop producing Glass in its present form, and will instead focus on "future versions", but that’s just the search giant’s polite way of avoiding saying the project is dead, and the Glass team will be using its corpse as a stepping stone to something new.