Articles about Google

How to disable OK Google voice search on Android

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Google voice search is a powerful feature of the Android-powered smartphone. By simply talking to your phone, you can do internet searches, call contacts, take photos, set an alarm, create a calendar event, make a note, the list goes on.

However, not everyone wants to use the voice-controlled feature for various reasons. Some don’t like the idea of their smartphone listening to them, while others don’t speak English that well and don’t see the benefits of keeping the feature turned on.

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At long last Google improves Chrome's memory and battery usage

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Chrome has long been maligned as a huge drain on system resources. Open more than a few tabs and you'll notice that memory usage skyrockets, and performance can slow to a crawl. Run Chrome on a laptop that's not connected to mains power, and you've probably seen the battery meter plummet whenever you use the browser.

Now -- at long, long last -- Google is doing something about it. The latest version of Chrome boasts a number of improvements designed to reduce the browser's footprint, including a new intelligent tab restoration system that keeps the least viewed tabs suspended in the background until needed. Chrome 45 is also far more aggressive at actively cleaning up memory.

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Google provides help with more health conditions than ever before

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Turning to the internet for medical advice is something of a double-edged sword. On one hand, it provides access to a wealth of information previously only available to medical students, making it easy to look up symptoms and see what they might mean. On the other, hypochondriacs can very easy self-diagnose every condition under the sun.

But there's no denying that it can certainly be helpful to be able to find out a little more about different conditions from the comfort of your phone or computer. Today Google announces a swathe of updates that it hopes will help people to be better informed in terms of understanding symptoms and treatments, and conveying what they are experiencing to a doctor.

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Boost your trivia knowledge with Google's 'fun fact' Easter egg

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Google has lots of tricks up its sleeve -- it's much more than just a search engine -- and now there's something new to try out. Hot on the heels of the unveiling of its new logo, the company has quietly launched a new "fun fact" feature for its search tool.

The next time you have a few minutes to kill, or you just like the idea of learning something new, type "fun fact" into the search box. Google will furnish you with a random fact -- from the price of a lifetime airline pass, to where golf was first played in the US. The only danger is that it could quickly turn into a real productivity vacuum!

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Google will relegate mobile sites that serve large ads

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Google has announced that it will downgrade websites that use interstitial advertisements in its mobile search results.

Although desktop searches will not be affected, Google’s new initiative is a response to claims that mobile users are often being subjected to an unsatisfying search experience.

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GRIP platform lets you sue Google more easily

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You know things are getting out of hand when people start making platforms to sue you more easily. That’s what’s currently going on with Google in Europe, as a new platform called GRIP is launched.

GRIP, standing for Google Redress & Integrity Platform is created for those who believe to be affected by Google’s alleged anti-competitive behavior in Europe. According to a Reuters report, it was created by U.S. law firm and class action specialist Hausfeld.

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Android apps gain massive web performance boost from Chrome custom tabs

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Android developers looking to include web content in their apps have a new option available to them that will help to greatly improve performance. The new (for the stable branch, at least) 'custom tabs' feature makes it possible to pre-load pages in the background resulting in load times that are a fraction of using WebView or firing up Chrome separately.

The feature can be used by developers to use their own app to change the way Chrome looks and feels, effectively blurring the move from app to the web. In addition to the speed advantages, custom tabs also bring improved security to apps, and provide users with a more familiar browsing experience.

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Follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin as Google Maps takes you to Galapagos

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Sir Isaac Newton famously said that "If I have seen further, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants". Newton referred to the scientists who came before him, but Charles Darwin could have uttered a similar phrase. The explorer and scientist visited the islands of Galapagos and saw literal giants in the form of turtles, or tortoises to be precise. In fact, Darwin brought one home to England, though Harriet eventually resided in Australia before she died at the age of approximately 176.

Now you can see these famous, and seemingly ageless, creatures on Google Maps. No need to board the HMS Beagle and set sail, just look on your computer.

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You're probably about to notice a lot more ads in Gmail

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On the same day that Google unveiled its new logo, the company also slipped out some other news that didn't get quite as much attention. Considering the news means that Gmail users are likely to be inundated with more ads than ever before, it's hardly surprising that Google wasn't shouting from the rooftops, but that's what's happening.

Native Gmail ads are now rolling out to AdWords users, giving companies a new way to gain a presence in potential customers' inboxes. This is not spam. This is not a new way to start an email-based ad campaign. It's actual AdWord-triggered ads at the top of inboxes.

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Mozilla, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Intel and others form 'Alliance for Open Media'

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Both open and closed projects have their place; there are arguments for each as to which is better. For standards, however, open is preferable. By preventing licencing fees and legal patent battles, the technology can continuously evolve without interruption.

Today, Mozilla announces a partnership with Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Intel, Cisco and Netflix to form the Alliance for Open Media. This partnership will create a royalty-free standard for playing media on the web which will be released under Apache 2.0 license.

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Google unveils a new, simple, sans serif logo

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Google has come a long way over the years, but one thing has remain remarkably simple: its logo. There have been various designs for the six, colorful letters and today the company has taken the wraps off the latest version... complete with an uppercase G!

It's going to take a while for some people to get used to, but the clean, sans serif look of the new logo is simultaneously modern and retro. But today's announcement is about more than the main logo -- this is the launch of a new 'identity family'. In addition to the main logo, there's also a new four-color G icon, as well as similarly-colored imagery for other elements.

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Android Wear now supports iPhones -- is Apple Watch's dominance threatened?

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With just 11.3 percent market share, Android Wear is not exactly a strong competitor for Apple Watch, which dominates the smartwatch space with 75.5 percent of all shipments. One of the reasons why Android Wear adoption is not as strong has been the lack of support for iPhones. This, however, should not be a problem any more.

Google today announces that Android Wear devices are now finally, and officially, compatible with iPhones, releasing the much-awaited iOS companion app on Apple's App Store. Here is what you need to know about it.

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Chrome embraces HTML5 and tells Flash ads to eff off

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The writing has been on the wall for Flash for some time now. A web technology loathed for countless reasons -- not least the security issues -- the death knell is now tolling loudly as HTML5 is more widely embraced.

Back in June, Google announced that Chrome would pause Flash ads in its browser by default, helping to eliminate a major online annoyance. Now the company has outlined when this will happen -- and there are only a few days to wait.

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Google hits back at latest round of antitrust accusations

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Antitrust claims against Google are nothing new, and the company stands accused of abusing its position and favouring its own products in search results in Europe. Today, Google's General Counsel Kent Walker responded to the European Commission's claims, saying they are "unfounded".

Google has filed an official response to the Commission, but a public blog post gives an accessible insight into the company's mindset. The EU is unhappy with the way Google displayed shopping links in search results, saying its own services are given undue prominence. Google says that far from being anti-competitive, the way it displays search results is beneficial to its users.

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Windows 10 users won't see Chrome notifications in the Action Center any time soon

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If you were hoping to see Chrome notifications integrated into Windows 10, prepare to be disappointed: it's not going to happen. While the Action Center might seem the natural home for Google's web browser to display messages, developers have a different opinion.

In short, Chrome's notifications are staying as they are. Despite a campaign for Action Center support, the request has been labeled Won'tFix and there's no sign that this will change for some years to come. Chrome and Windows 10 have already clashed heads once, but this time Google seems unlikely to back down.

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