Google partners with automobile suppliers to prepare for self-driving cars

Google self driving carGoogle has reportedly been in talks with several major automobile manufacturers in an effort to get their self-driving cars ready for sale by 2020. Some of these manufacturers and suppliers include major players in the space such as Ford, Toyota, and General Motors.

Chris Urmson, director of the self-driving project, cleverly noted that Google likely wouldn’t be able to manufacturer a vehicle better than automobile makers can, so it makes more sense to work with, rather than against, established companies. GM has gone on record saying they would be open to the idea of working with Google, too. Despite getting these partnerships ready, Google still may decide to just create the automated systems instead of manufacturing the entire vehicle.
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Update to Google Maps Android app allows you to share directions [APK Download]

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Google Maps was updated today to version 9.3. You won’t find too many new things, but one notable is the ability to share your directions with others. Just search for a place or address, then select the type of navigation, followed by your route selection. Then hit the three dot menu at the top right, and you will see the Share Directions option.

Tapping on Share Directions will open the normal Android Share Menu, allowing you to share the complete text and Google Maps link to apps such as Gmail, Hangouts, Facebook, or whatever shows up in your Share Menu.

The update won’t hit all devices for several days so we have the APK download link, as well as the Google Play link after the break.


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Samsung offers to purchase BlackBerry

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In the surprise news of the day, Samsung recently made an offer to buy BlackBerry for $7.5 billion. Reuters is reporting that Samsung set the initial price range of $13.35 to $15.49 per share, which translates to a premiumof 38 percent to 60 percent over the current trading price.

So what would Samsung want with such a failing company? According to Reuters, it’s all about the patents. BlackBerry owns roughly 44,000 patents, worth approximately $1.43 billion in net book value. However, a lot of analysts think they are worth much more. Unfortunately BlackBerry isn’t interested in selling only the patents, so Samsung would need to buy the whole company in order to obtain them.


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Google’s Play Store eclipses Apple’s App Store in number of apps and developers for first time

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Given the differing business models being employed by Google and Apple in getting their mobile operating systems into the hands of consumers, it should be no surprise that despite a jump start by Apple, Google is ahead in many measures. Even in areas where Apple has a lead, Google is steadily marching toward dominance. An example of this occurred in 2014 according to app metrics tracking firm AppFigures whose latest numbers show Google’s Play Store has surpassed Apple’s store in terms of both number of apps and developers.
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Sony to launch purple variant of the Xperia Z3 next month

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Sony has been in favor of various models in its Xperia Z chain of smartphones being anodized in Purple ever since their debut back in 2010, but when it unveiled its flagship Xperia Z3 in September last year, the habitual hue appeared to be missing from the lineup. It was, instead, replaced with Copper and Green colorways, but now it looks like Purple is about to make a comeback.


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HTC Hima Ace Plus specs leak, a bigger version of the Hima

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As we await the announcement of the HTC Hima or HTC One (M9), we are now getting word on what is being referred to as the Hima Ace Plus. The Ace Plus will supposedly be a larger version of the Hima, or as some like to call, a phablet. If you remember, HTC came out with the One Max a year and half ago, which was a larger One (M7), however, they didn’t release a larger One (M8).


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