Articles about Google

You can now play games directly in Google Search

solitaire

When you go to Google it's usually to search for something, but from today you'll also be able to play games like solitaire and tic-tac-toe there -- both on the desktop and in the Google app.

And that's not all. You'll also be able to settle arguments with a toss of a coin, and hear the sounds of your favorite animals.

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Cloud platform lets marketers deliver personalized Google Ads

Personalized mail

Google Ads has proved itself an effective tool for gaining new business, but it's a rather less useful way of targeting existing customers.

Now though, marketing cloud specialist Optimove is launching a new integration with Google Ads. This allows businesses to target existing customers with personalized ads on google.com and across the Google Display Network, based on recent and predicted behavior patterns.

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Android 7.0 Nougat starts to roll out to Nexus devices

Android-n-nougat

There have been numerous beta versions of Android 7.0 Nougat, and now the official rollout is underway. This is not a full-scale rollout just yet -- it's limited to the Nexus 6P, 5X, 6, 9, and Nexus Player, as well as the Pixel C and General Mobile 4G.

You'll notice that the Nexus 5 is missing from the list, but the remainder of the handsets are in line for an OTA update anytime over the coming weeks starting today. If you're impatient, you can always download the factory images and flash your device manually, but whichever route you go down, what do you have to look forward to?

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Chrome apps to disappear from Windows, Mac and Linux while Chrome OS gains new launcher icon

multiple_chrome_logos

Google has come to the realization that hardly anyone is using Chrome apps. As such, the company plans to phase out support for the apps on Windows, Mac and Linux over the next couple of years.

While admitting that packaged apps are used by just 1 percent of users of the three platforms, Google says that the decision comes after a drive to integrate the feature of apps into web standards. Chrome apps will live on in Chrome OS "for the foreseeable future", but a wind-down timetable has been set out for everyone else.

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Google updates its open source Santa Tracker in time for Christmas

google-santa-tracker

Yeah, OK... it's only August, but we're going to start talking about Christmas. Well... Google is, anyway. As it has done for a few years now, the company is planning to run its Santa Tracker tool in December and it has a few updates to share.

The web and mobile based versions of the tool are open source, meaning that developers are free to work their Christmassy magic and come up with new and innovative ideas for kids.

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Chrome for Android is gaining a Google Now-driven New Tab page

chrome-dev-new-tab

If you're working with bleeding edge Chrome for Android, you can experiment with an updated version of the New Tab page. Anyone with Chrome Dev or Beta installed can toggle a settings flag to bring extra content to new tabs.

The updated New Tab page features -- in addition to your most frequently visited sites and a list of recent bookmarks -- a collection of suggested news stories, similar to those found on Google Now cards.

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Google restores backspace functionality to Chrome, but there is a catch

backspace-navigation-chrome

It may seem logical that, when browsing, the backspace key would work to take you back to a previous web page. However, that isn't the case with Google Chrome. Although this was an option in the browser previously, Google chose to remove it.

The company has seen the light now however, and is bringing the feature back, no pun intended, although it isn't changing the browser's default behavior.

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Google can help you vote for Trump or Hillary in the 2016 presidential election

Vote

The upcoming USA presidential election is rather wild. I won't go into specifics, but both of the major party candidates (Republican and Democrat) are going through some serious drama. It can make picking between Hillary (D) and Trump (R) quite difficult. If you don't like either of those choices, you can also choose the Libertarian or Green Party candidates, of course. Heck, you can even write someone else in if you want -- you are free to do what you will with your vote.

Have you never voted? Understandably, it can be a very intimidating experience the first time. If you haven't already registered to vote, you must first do that ASAP. Then, once registered, you have to find your polling location. Don't know where that even is? Luckily, thanks to Google, now everyone can be informed on how and where to vote!

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Traffic hijacking Linux flaw affects 80 percent of Android devices -- including Nougat

android_security

Android has had something of a rough time of things lately with the discovery of the Quadrooter vulnerability and the revelation that a flaw in version 3.6 of the Linux kernel also affects Google's mobile operating system.

Security firm Lookout estimates that 80 percent of Android devices (around 1.4 billion devices) are affected. While initial reports suggested that devices up to Android 4.4 KitKat are at risk, further testing shows that the problem still exists all the way up to Android 7.0 Nougat.

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Google Duo video chat app arrives on iOS and Android with end-to-end encryption

GoogleDuo

Video chat should be simple, but it is not. The biggest issue is fragmentation. On iOS, for instance, Facetime is a wonderfully easy solution, but there is no Android client. While there are plenty of cross-platform third-party options to solve this, they aren't always elegant. Skype is a good example of an app that should bridge the gap, but ends up being buggy and clunky.

Google is aiming to solve this dilemma with its 'Duo' video chat app. With it, the search giant is putting a heavy focus on ease of use. The offering is available for both Android and iOS -- the only two mobile platforms that matter (sorry, Windows 10 Mobile). Announced three months ago, it finally sees release today. There is no news about the Allo chat sister-app, sadly.

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Firefox 49 for Linux gains plugin-free support for Netflix and Amazon Prime Video

firefox_android_icon

Another plugin bites the dust. The Windows and macOS versions of Firefox have supported the Widevine video protocol for a little while now, and the upcoming Firefox 49 for Linux gets the same treatment.

What this means is that streaming video services that use the Google-owned protocol -- including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video -- can be watched without the need for plugins.

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Europe wants to control the likes of WhatsApp and Skype like telcos

skype-whatsapp-icons

The EU is looking to exert greater control over online messaging tools such as WhatsApp and Skype. Documents seen by the Financial Times suggest that Brussels wants to treat such services more like traditional telecoms companies.

The proposals come amid mounting privacy concerns about data handling, particularly the "security and confidentiality provisions" from companies like Microsoft and Facebook.

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Fuchsia is Google's latest operating system

fuchsia

It could be argued that with Android and Chrome OS, Google already has more than its fair share of operating systems; but there's another one in the pipeline.

Very little is known about it at the moment, but Google has a new operating system project underway called Fuchsia. There's a GitHub page up and running, where you can find out about the Fuchsia kernel -- a kernel that is designed with scalability and multi-device, cross-platform compatibility in mind.

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Google Play drops the Google+ account requirement for app reviews

google-plus-android-icon

Google seems to be realizing, at long last, that very, very few people care about Google+. While there have been endless -- as yet unfounded -- rumors that Google's social tool could be killed off, for now the company appears content simply to decouple it from other services.

The latest change means that Android users looking to post reviews on Google Play no longer have to have a Google+ account to do so. Cue general whooping.

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Russia fines Google over breaking antitrust rules with Android

Google to cough up $19 million in kids' in-app purchases case

Google has been fined 438 million rubles ($6.75 million) by the Russian antitrust authority for abusing its market position following a complaint by Yandex, Russia’s biggest search engine.

Google has been found guilty of forcing Android smartphone makers to install its search engine on their devices, which has been seen to breach "protecting competition" laws.

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