A week ago BBC iPlayer finally made its debut on Windows Phone 8, but the existing Android version has been far from forgotten about. BBC iPlayer 1.7 has hit Google Play and now boasts support for 10 inch tablets.
While owners of larger tablets previously had to pay a visit to the iPlayer website, UK viewers can now enjoy their favorite programmes directly in the app. If you're nursing a smaller 7-incher, there's no need to feel left out. The UI for more diminutive tablet and phones has been updated with a few tweaks as well.
Google has released Chrome for Android 27, a major update to its open-source browser for Android smartphones and tablets. Version 27 boasts several key new features, including full-screen support on smartphones and the ability to access a history of previously opened tabs on tablet machines.
A key improvement on all platforms is the simplified searching tool. When using the omnibox to search the net, it will remain visible when displaying search results, making it easier to both view and edit searches.
Google may be most readily associated with the Internet, apps and mobile devices, but the company has many more strings to its bow. Google X -- the secretive research and development division best known for Project Glass and the driverless car -- has acquired Mikani Power, a green energy company that generates power with flying turbines.
Ground-based wind turbines are common all over the world, but Mikani Power takes a slightly different approach. Using wings fitted with miniature turbines it is possible to generate power with a series of self-piloted kites. Successful tests have been conducted on a 30kW prototype model, with plans to scale up to 600kW in the future.
Kim Dotcom enters the spotlight once again after claiming that Google, Facebook, Citibank and Twitter, among others, infringe upon his patent for two-factor authentication. The man is one of the founders of controversial Megaupload and Mega cloud storage lockers and is currently under indictment in the US for copyright infringement.
Dotcom decided to reveal the alleged wrongdoing and mention the patent yesterday, after Twitter enabled the security feature: "Twitter introduces Two-Step-Authentication. Using my invention. But they won't even verify my Twitter account?!". The patent in question was filed in 1998 by Kim Schmitz (Dotcom's birth name) and is named "Method for authorizing in data transmission systems".
Microsoft has been on a roll lately in its sad attempt to publicly bash Google. From the "Scroogled" campaign, to "Bing It On", the company is more focused on the current king of online search than solving its own problems. Focusing on Google internally is fine enough, but is classless to do so publicly. You should never have to bash a competitor’s products to further advance your own.
With that said, Microsoft continues the desperation in the latest Bing blog entry entitled “The Grand Bargain”. Stefan Weitz, Bing senior director, explains that your information being sold to advertisers is the price paid for Google services. However, Weitz further claims Microsoft does it too but it is OK because the software giant isn't "solely an advertising-driven company". This implies that Google is strictly an advertising-driven company. While advertising is a huge source of Google’s revenue, it is not the company's sole source. Microsoft's statement is simply not true.
On Wednesday, Microsoft rolls out an update for its YouTube Windows Phone 8 app which takes away the ability to download content from the popular video-sharing website. The latest iteration arrives one week after Google sent Microsoft a cease and desist letter, demanding the removal of the app from the Store. The deadline passes today.
Google's grievances regarding the Microsoft-developed YouTube app focus on the removal of playback restrictions "on certain platforms", the lack of ads and the ability to download videos. Microsoft only resolved the third complaint and, despite the rapidly-approaching deadline, the company hints that YouTube will continue to be available to Windows Phone 8 users.
The competition for your cloud business continues between Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Dropbox, Box and other competitors. Today Google takes its next step, with an attempt to make the experience better for Android customers with, what it terms, a "smoother" experience.
The search giant claims that Drive files will now be displayed in a clean, simple card-style. This will allow users to swipe between files to see large previews that will permit them to quickly review and discover the information they are looking for. If a customer wishes to keep some Drive files on his or her Android device, they will now be able to "download a copy" from the actions menu inside settings.
Last week at Google's annual I/O conference in San Francisco the web giant launched a new feature called quick actions for Gmail which recognizes certain types of messages and lets you take immediate action on them directly from the inbox -- RSVP to an invitation, or quickly see flight info for example.
Third-party developers are able to add their own actions, and OrangeScape announces it is doing exactly that with its self-service workflow builder, KiSSFLOW.
Google has released Chrome 27 for Windows, Mac and Linux. And while the previous build was less than exciting, this one delivers multiple improvements which see the browser’s page display time improve by 5 percent.
Much of this acceleration is down to smarter scheduling, with Chrome 27 making more intelligent decisions about what it loads, and when. Previously, for instance, the browser might tie up bandwidth downloading a vast number of images in parallel. Now it focuses on visible images, and limits parallel downloads to a maximum of 10, so the details you need should be displayed noticeably faster.
My oldest email address, circa 1996, is with Yahoo -- just three letters. I joined Flickr in October 2005 and Tumblr in May 2008. Three years ago, I stopped paying for Yahoo Mail, mostly abandoned the photo-sharing site and essentially stopped blogging at the social network. But I'm psyched now. Maybe former Googler Marissa Mayer can save the grandpa dot-com after all.
Today colleague Wayne Williams asks: "What will it take for people to care about Yahoo again?" "May 20th" is my answer. On the same day that Yahoo bought Tumblr for a cool $1.1 billion cash, the rickety dot-com gave Flickr the biggest makeover ever. Subscribers get 1TB of storage, on a site suddenly beautifully modern and supported by a hot, Android app. Google CEO Larry Page, Mayer just thumbed her nose at you.
We don't often cover leaks here at BetaNews -- we want confirmation on things. So, when I saw a Microsoft Scroogled video making the rounds I was initially skeptical, though it looked authentic enough. It turns out the video is real and a Microsoft spokesperson I contacted, while refusing to issue a statement, did acknowledge as much.
"It was an internal video that was leaked" I was told, but further comment was refused. I am not sure why because while I found the last two releases of Scroogled videos to be ridiculous -- simply jokes depicting Office beating up on Google Docs and giving consumers no reason why to choose Office 365 over the Google Solution.
Little over a week ago, Microsoft released a native YouTube app for Windows Phone 8 which replaces the old iteration that displayed a mobile view of the popular video sharing website. The app, however, doesn't show ads, which generate major revenue for parent company Google.
As a result, the search giant is not overly keen about the implementation and sent Microsoft a letter demanding it to remove the YouTube app for Windows Phone 8. The complaints focus on the ability to download content, the lack of ads and the removal of playback restrictions on "certain platforms". I reached out to Microsoft for a comment on Google's claims and here's the software giant's response:
Think about how to send money electronically and it’s probably PayPal that springs to mind first. But if Google gets its way, Google Wallet is about to become much more popular. For anyone in the US, Google Wallet is now integrated into Gmail meaning that it is possible to send money as easily as sending an email.
Sending money works in much the same way as attaching a file to a message -- you can attach payment to an email just as you would an image or other file. You may not see it just yet -- Google plans to roll the feature out over the next few months -- but once activated you’ll see a $ button at the bottom of the Compose window. It’s clear that Google is making electronic payments as simple as possible to help the company take a bigger share of the electronic payment pie.
Music Piracy is now dead. Apple iTunes is now obsolete. Spotify, Pandora, Slacker -- yesterday’s news. This is all because of Google Play Music All Access. It will change the way you listen to music. It will change your life. You will subscribe. Resistance is futile. This is the future of music.
The idea of a music streaming service is not new. However, a music streaming service by the most important and influential tech company is. On May 15, 2013, Google unveiled its new music streaming service, named Google Play Music All Access. Other than the ridiculously long name (I will just call it All Access for the rest of the article), the service is near-perfect.
There were a lot of big unveilings at Google I/O -- an overhaul of Google+, updated maps, an on-demand music streaming service, and much more. But perhaps one of the most intriguing revelations was Hangouts.
This name may well seem familiar, but it now refers to a unified messaging system that caters for iOS, Android and Chrome users. There are apps and extensions available for each of these platforms, and the idea is to bring all Google related communication into one place.