Google will start blocking ads in Chrome starting in 2018

Even after a huge push into the hardware sector, Google remains first and foremost a search and advertising company. It’s where the vast majority of the Mountain View’s profits come from, despite their other products grabbing more of the headlines. With great advertising power also comes great responsibility and Google has just announced that starting in early 2018, following previous rumors, their Chrome browser will block all “unacceptable” ads on web pages.

More delays reported for U.S. launch of Samsung Bixby voice commands

Samsung is enjoying a great deal of success with the launch and early sales of their latest flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8+. There have been a few minor glitches though and one embarrassing item is still outstanding. According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, full implementation of Samsung’s personal assistant technology Bixby is going to be delayed even more than it already has. The egg on the face will not be pleasant for Samsung, but they may be saved a bit by the fact that there does not seem to be much demand for Bixby and in particular the voice commands that are missing.

DirecTV Now adds support for most Roku devices

Although Roku seems to consistently fly under the radar in the video casting market while Google’s Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV devices seem to generate the most industry buzz, Roku is a leader in the space with millions of units being used by consumers. That likely made things uncomfortable for AT&T when they launched their DirecTV Now streaming service late last year without support for Roku devices and thereby cutting out a huge swath of potential customers. That issue has been corrected this week as DirecTV Now added support for most Roku devices and is even offering a special deal to try to entice those device owners to give the platform a try.

Russia added to list of countries where Android Pay is available

Today Google announced Russia has become the 11th country where Android Pay is available for use. In their announcement, Google goes over all of the basics about Android Pay including things like how to use it with your device via NFC at a physical retailer or using the Android Pay button with online retailers. Like other countries, Android Pay also requires a participating bank for the source of funds and merchants need a participating payment processor. Like other countries, users can also add their loyalty cards to the app for easy access.

G Suite gets more customization tools including new App Maker

As Google I/O 2017 starts to wind down and fans plot their new developments or their next big purchase based on Google tech, the enterprise market got some welcome news about some tools Google will roll out for G Suite. G Suite is Google’s platform mainly intended for the enterprise that gives companies access to their own cloud version of many of Google’s consumer tools. G Suite makes apps like Gmail, Drive and others available to an enterprise as their own private version of the tools. The new tools and features Google is rolling out will help enterprises leverage G Suite to be much more useful and productive and continues their efforts to match some other offerings in the enterprise market.

NOISE on Android from ROLI revealed at Google I/O 2017

To many of the attendees at Google I/O 2017, some of the music that played after the keynote address was completed may have seemed like your typical filler. However, it was much more than that as it represented an unveiling of NOISE on Android from ROLI. NOISE is a modular music app that enables the creation of music by anyone who can learn the simple concepts included in the NOISE app itself or via other tools from ROLI like BLOCKS or Seaboard RISE (yes, they like all caps). For the Google I/O event music was provided by PARISI using a Google Pixel, although the app will also run on a Samsung Galaxy S8.

Google hoping new features from Google Payment API make purchases even easier

Despite what seems like a lot of upstream swimming over the last few years, Google has managed to turn Android Pay into one of the more popular and used mobile payment options available for users. In addition to continuing to add more cards and banks to the program, Google is also hoping to expand usage by making it easier to deploy in more situations. To that end, at Google I/O the company announced a new Google Payment API that will streamline checkout for customers and give retailers and sellers a new path to collect payments.

Google Play Protect is the new public-facing security package for Android

Security on Android is no longer the exaggerated problem it once was. The phones, tablets, smartwatches, and streaming devices powered by the platform are all safe and secure. We’ve known that for years to be honest. This week, however, Google made an effort to bring its care for security to the forefront. Google Play Protect is a “comprehensive security services” package for Android devices that’ll monitor behavior and protect your data.