Articles about Google

Google Allo and Duo are two communication apps no one wanted

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The last thing the world needs is more messaging apps. There are already too many of them, such as Telegram, WhatsApp, and Hangouts to name a few. Quite frankly, it can be maddening keeping track of them all. The same can be said for video chat apps too.

Today, Google introduces two new communication apps to the world. Called Allo and Duo, the search giant hopes that users will choose them over competitors' solutions. The question is, why should consumers care?

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Nerds McNerdsface -- Google wants you to choose the official name for Android N

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While a lot of people assume Android N will be crowned Nutella, following Google’s trend for naming each flavor of the mobile operating system after something sweet, that may not prove to be the case after all.

Nutella is still definitely in the running, but Google is opening up the naming process to the general public. Yes, that’s right. For the first time you can suggest a name for the next version of Android.

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Google Home is a voice-activated Echo rival

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Today at Google I/O, the search giant unveiled its Amazon Echo-baiting Home. Google Home is ostensibly a cylindrical speaker with an angled top featuring Google's iconic four colors. Far-field voice recognition allows you to issue commands to the device to control everything from music playback to look up something online.

Google's latest foray into the Internet of Things is much more than just a Wi-Fi speaker -- although it will function perfectly well in the role. Just like the voice-activated options in Android, Home can be used to set alarms and reminders, and can even be connected to other smart devices such as Nest thermostats.

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Watch the Google I/O 2016 keynote here LIVE, and in 360 degrees

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Google’s annual developer conference kicks off at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California today, starting with a keynote which the search giant traditionally uses to make big announcements. Last year Google showcased Android "M" (which later became Marshmallow), Google Photos, Google Cardboard, and Android Pay.

So what does the Google I/O 2016 keynote have in store? During past Google I/O conferences Google has unveiled the next version of Android, and there’s every reason to expect we’ll see details regarding Android "N" this year, but that’s just for starters.

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Google launches Android Pay in the UK

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After a successful launch in the US, Google has now debuted its contactless payment service Android Pay in the UK. If you're packing an NFC-enabled smartphone running Android 4.4 or higher, you can now make payments in a number of stores -- as well as Transport for London -- with just a tap.

For payments under £30, there's no need to unlock your phone, and Google says that the number of supported banks and retailers will expand over the coming months. At the moment, support is limited to Mastercard and Visa credit and debit cards from Bank of Scotland, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, M&S Bank, MBNA and Nationwide Building Society, and if you're able to take advantage of the service from launch, there are also special offers to look forward to.

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Google faces €3 billion antitrust fine in Europe

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

Google may soon face a record €3 billion fine from the European antitrust authorities over how it abused its control of the online search market in the EU.

This will be the highest fine the European Commission has ever issued as an antitrust punishment. In addition to the fine, Google will be banned from manipulating its search results to favor itself over its rivals.

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Google Cultural Institute invents 'Art Camera' to easily capture gigapixel images of paintings

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Digital media is arguably making its analog counterparts less important. For instance, an old vinyl album or rare CD can be streamed -- the physical version just takes up space and can be a burden. The same can be said for books -- having a house full of bound sheets of paper is sort of pointless nowadays -- get a Kindle, y'all.

One thing that is not easily represented in the digital world is paintings. Sure, you can always view a captured image of a work of art, such as the Mona Lisa, on your computer, but it was never the same. Why? You need to experience it in person to truly see the detail, like brush strokes. This is changing, however, thanks to Google's new invention -- the Art Camera.

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Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer now trail Mozilla Firefox

Is Android app support what Windows Phone needs to keep it alive?

Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge are slowly but surely losing ground in the desktop space. In fact, according to web analytics company StatCounter, for the first time Mozilla Firefox has more usage share than the two other browsers combined. However, Google Chrome still reigns supreme

Google Chrome is now the most popular desktop browser according to all the major web analytics companies. NetMarketShare was the last one to crown it king earlier this month -- Google Chrome surpassed Internet Explorer in its rankings with a 41.71 percent usage share to the latter's 41.33 percent.

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Google launches Spaces for sharing links, YouTube videos, images and more with small groups [UPDATE: It's live!]

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Google is introducing a new way to share content with a group. Spaces is a collaborative tool that Google wants people to use to share everything from articles and images to YouTube videos and messages.

So keen is Google for a huge take up of Spaces, that the service is launching in mobile and desktop web versions, as well as iOS and Android apps. It's billed as an alternative to group conversations, and Google wants to help streamline sharing by eliminating app switching -- this is achieved by integrating Google Search, YouTube, and Chrome into a single tool.

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Google will pay you $20 an hour to sit in a self-driving car

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As Google prepares to deploy its self-driving car fleet to Chandler, Arizona, the company is hiring local drivers to test its vehicles.

The company intends to hire local drivers in Arizona who will act as "vehicle safety specialists" that will be behind the wheel of its self-driving cars and ready to take over should an unforeseen problem or circumstance arise.

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Evernote and Google Drive are coming together

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If you're a fan of keeping notes and lists then you really have two main choices -- Evernote and Microsoft's OneNote. Both can be good methods of keeping track of things. For instance, keep a tab open in your browser to add items to a grocery list as you think of them, then arrive at the store and the list is on your phone.

Now Evernote is teaming up with another powerhouse in business, Google. The company is announcing that it will work with the search giant's cloud storage service, Drive.

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Google to block Flash in Chrome and default to HTML5 except for these ten white-listed sites

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By the end of 2016, Google aims to switch Chrome users away from Flash in favor of HTML5. The writing has been on the wall for Flash for some time now, with a seemingly endless torrent of security issues pushing increasing numbers of people toward HTML5.

Google says that by Q4 2016, it wants to make HTML5 the primary user experience. Flash support will still be built into the browser, but it will be disabled by default. Ten sites, however, will be given a year's reprieve.

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Google makes Apple's iPhone even better with amazing 'Gboard' keyboard

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Even though I own an iPhone, I am not an Apple "fanboy". I use both Linux and Windows on the desktop, and embrace most of Google's services. Quite frankly, if Google pulled its offerings from iOS, I would probably switch to Android. In other words, I am deeply entrenched in the search giant's ecosystem.

Today, Google releases a new keyboard for the iPhone. Called "Gboard", it drastically improves the typing experience on Apple's smartphone in many ways, including "Glide Typing", emoji search, and animated GIF search to name a few. If you own an iPhone, stop what you are doing and install it now. Trust me, folks.

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Google slaps an AdWords ban on payday loans and other high interest finance services

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In recent years Google has started to tighten up on the products that can be promoted through its services. After cracking down on porn, the latest victims of the ban hammer are payday loans and other high interest finance services.

Starting July 13, it will no longer be possible to advertise such products through AdWords. Ads for loans with repayment deadlines of under two months are now outlawed, as are ads for loans with high interest rates.

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Nest makes Thread networking protocol open source -- names it 'OpenThread'

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Some people still have the perception of open source being for hobbyists and Linux enthusiasts. I can understand this wrong viewpoint, however. After all, Microsoft has long had a stranglehold on both home and business workstation computing. That company has historically been a closed-source champion. Over time, open source ideology has matured, being embraced by many major companies -- the Windows-maker included.

Today, the Google-owned Nest makes a big announcement. Its 'Thread' networking protocol is now open source. Dubbed 'OpenThread', the source code is now available on GitHub. Will it see a large scale adoption?

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