Articles about Google

Google facing antitrust charges in Europe over Android

European Union flags

Margrethe Vestager, the European Commission’s antitrust commissioner, is continuing to put pressure on Google in regard to its Android operating system.

Vestager gave a speech at a conference in the Netherlands today in which she stressed how her department has now begun a close examination of the contracts Google has with mobile device manufacturers and mobile carriers. The European Commission is objecting to the requirements the company puts on its mobile partners to pre-load Google apps on devices.

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Google refuses to censor search results that identify PJS and YMA


There's nothing like a good sex scandal to get people talking, and that's certainly what's happened in the case of a celebrity threesome that's currently subject to a superinjunction banning the involved parties from being named. While the identities of the couple cannot be revealed by British newspapers, their names are well-known in other parts of the world, and all over the web.

The British press has played ball, agreeing not to name YMA, his husband PJS and the two others, AB and CD with whom a threesome is supposed to have taken place but it is impossible for law enforcement agencies to control what appears online. Google has been the first port of call for many curious-minded people eager to learn the names of those involved, and the search giant has said that -- despite many requests to do so -- it will not censor search results that could lead people to the names.

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Google set to improve transparency and privacy for Chrome extensions


Google is looking to take steps that will enable Chrome users to make more informed decisions about the extensions they install. Specifically, developers will have to provide more information about data collections in the interests of transparency.

In addition, developers will have to produce a privacy policy for their extensions, and must ask for permission before collecting data about users. Google's new User Data Policy introduces these extra requirements in the wake of increased demands from users for more information about what is going on in the background.

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Android N Developer Preview 2 available to download now


It's only a few weeks since the first developer preview of Android N was released, but now it's time for the second. Google has announced the availability of Android N Developer Preview 2 packed with bug fixes and a raft of new features.

Among the new tools for developers to play with is Vulkan, a new 3D rendering API which Google says provides a big performance boost for certain apps. Other key additions include support for the more human-looking Emoji Unicode 9, and new launcher shortcuts that can be used to quickly jump to specific actions within an app.

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Google Calendar now helps you to reach your goals


It's not long since the Reminders feature arrived in Google Calendar on the web, a few months after it debuted in iOS and Android. Now Google is rolling out another new feature that makes it easier to find time to reach your goals -- whether this is indulging in a hobby a few times a week, or just trying to do some regular exercise.

Goals in Google Calendar is not about ticking items off your bucket list, but automating the process of adding reminders to your calendar without having to manually search high and low for the necessary time. Just indicate what you want to do, and how often, and the rest will be taken care of for you. But it gets better...

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Google shows love to users with disabilities


According to Google, 20 percent of people in the USA will experience a disability at some point in their life. Let's think about this for a moment -- that is one in five people. In other words, people with disabilities are a significant part of the population. While there are many laws on the books protecting the disabled from discrimination, this group of people can still be underrepresented.

Today, the search giant highlights some of the ways it is helping users with disabilities. Google is focusing on multiple platforms, such as Chromebooks, Android, and the web.

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Google 'Tilt Brush' brings 3D VR painting to HTC Vive

Tilt Brush

Quality virtual reality content is starting to come fast and furious. Earlier today, I was was watching an amazing video of YouTube sensation, Barnacules, playing VR horror game, Brookhaven Experiment, with the HTC Vive. The immersive experience made me start to salivate for HTC's VR offering.

Today, Google announces another intriguing program that takes advantage of the Vive. Called "Tilt Brush", the software lets the user virtually "paint" in a 3D environment. While it may seem like nothing more than a cool demo, I see it as much more than that -- the potential future of art.

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Reminders come to Google Calendar on the web, bringing to-do list support


A calendar offering reminders might seem like a fairly obvious feature, but here we're talking about Reminders (note the initial cap). Towards the end of last year, Google Calendar on iOS and Android gained support for Reminders -- and, as a result, to-do lists -- and now the same feature is coming to Google Calendar on the web.

Unlike standard calendar appointments, Reminders stick around until you tick them off. There's no need to keep changing the due date on something you don't get round to doing, as it will automatically roll over to the next day and appear on your calendar until you take the appropriate action.

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It's lights out as Nest shuts down Revolv

Not connected

There have been occasional complaints with the IoT. Things don't always work as planned – lights that fail to come on or go off, a door that won't unlock and other minor annoyances. A bigger concern has been security, as these systems continue to display vulnerability. But, what if a device just suddenly stops working, and not through mechanical error, but because the company just chose to reach into your home and kill it?

Well, that's exactly what's about to happen with Revolv, an IoT hub that was purchased by Nest, which in turn is owned by Google. Officially, Revolv is considered a Nest company, though.

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Google Play goes gaga for triangles with new icons


While some folks may think icons are nothing more than fluff, they actually have huge significance. Your brain uses them for recall purposes, enabling you to quickly access your favorite apps. This is why I am not a fan of Microsoft's Live Tiles -- they are counter-intuitive, but I digress.

Today, Google announces new icons for all of its Play apps. Curiously, they are all triangular -- somebody in Mountain View, CA suddenly has a huge love for the three-sided shape.

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Google fails Gmail users with misguided 'Mic Drop' April Fool's prank


As a tech enthusiast, I dread the stupid April Fool's Day every year. What should probably be a fun day for children to pull safe and respectful pranks, has evolved into a day when companies announce fake products. Is it all in good fun? Yes, but some of these companies are publicly traded and worth billions of dollars. It's time to grow up. Some of us are interested in legit news.

One such company, Google, provides services to billions of people -- including some for business use. And so it has a responsibility to its users, and shareholders, to not cause harm with goofy jokes. Today, the search giant does exactly that, however, with a prank called "Mic Drop". In fact, the prank was so misguided, that Google has since pulled it.

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Acer unveils 'Chromebase for meetings' all-in-one with videoconferencing focus


While many people view Chrome OS as nothing more than a basic operating system for home users, it is actually much more. In fact, the Linux-based machines can work beautifully for businesses too -- depending on needs, of course. As more and more solutions become web-based, a traditional Windows/Office solution from Microsoft becomes less of a necessity.

One way that Chrome OS shines in business environments, is videoconferencing and collaboration with Hangouts. Google's 'Chromebox for meetings' has proven to be a great option in this regard for some companies, thanks to low cost and ease of use. Today, business decision-makers that prefer all-in-one solutions to diminutive desktops gain a new option -- Acer's Chromebase for meetings. With an integrated display, this all-in-one is inexpensive, attractive, and extremely easy to setup and deploy.

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Google enters the landline business with Fiber Phone


Google has its tentacles wrapped around many things. Not only does it dominate search, and provide the most popular mobile operating system with Android, but it is also an ISP with Fiber and a cellular provider with Project Fi. If it involves the movement, collection, or analysis of data, the search giant seems interested.

With so many people owning smartphones nowadays, you'd expect landline service to be going the way of the dodo bird, but there are many reasons to have it, such as dependability in an emergency. Today, Google is surprisingly entering the landline business with the VoIP-powered Fiber Phone. No, it is not an early April Fool's Day joke, folks -- it is the real McCoy.

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Google enables cloud-based image search saving for desktop


Some say Bing is the best search engine for adult-themed image searches -- I wouldn't know. What I do know, however, is that Bing is the new integrated image search for Microsoft Office -- it works very well for that. With that said, Google is what I use most often. Since it is the search engine I use for text, I just go to it for images too -- it works brilliantly.

Today, Google is improving its desktop image search with a new cloud-based saving system. This mirrors the functionality found on mobile and enables a more robust way to "save" images you want to look at later. Rather than save the files locally, they are kept in the cloud -- sort of like a bookmark.

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Google's gift to photographers -- Nik Collection now available for free


Google is making its collection of image-editing plugins -- the Nik Collection -- available free of charge. Previously sold for $149, the Nik Collection came into Google's hands when it acquired Nik Software three years ago. If you recently shelled out on the plugins, you needn't feel like you're getting a bad deal; Google says that anyone who purchased the collection this year is eligible for a full refund.

Comprising seven plugins -- Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro and Dfine -- Google says that the Nik Collection brings "powerful photo editing tools once only used by professionals to even more people".

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