Google’s education efforts bolstered with new Chromebooks

Today, Google’s next generation of devices powered by Chrome OS are official. Its partners are joining them at Bett 2017 in announcing new Chromebooks that are made for education. Specifically, two new Chromebooks from Acer and ASUS are leading the way. But Lenovo, too, is introducing refreshed hardware this week.

Let’s see what’s new in the world of Chrome OS.

Get ready for Android One phones in the US

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Remember Android One? Don’t feel bad if you’ve forgotten, it’s kind of fallen off the radar since Google announced it a few years ago.

Android One devices were intended to be basically very low cost Nexus phones. They’re cheap, but run unskinned Android and are quick to get updates. Google originally had a pretty controlling approach to the hardware that went into Android One devices, but they’ve loosened that up a bit.

Google acquires Limes Audio for improved Hangouts, Chromebox audio quality

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While the overall usage of the messaging app Google Hangouts may fluctuate, it is still very popular with businesses to exchange messages and set up video and audio conference calls with coworkers or clients. In order to continue to support and improve on that, Google just announced the acquisition of Limes Audio to bring an improved audio quality to G Suite users.

Join us after the break for more.

Google Assistant is coming soon to Android TV

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Android TV may not be the most popular method to view all of your movies and TV shows, but the Google streaming platform can be an easy and powerful addition to your home entertainment setup. During CES 2017 this week, the Mountain View company has announced that the Google Assistant AI will soon be coming to all supported set-top boxes and TVs running the Android TV OS.

Join us after the break for the details.

Google confirms plans for two new smartwatches in 2017

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December is turning out to be a busy month on the Android Wear front. Just last week Google released developer preview version 4 of Android 2.0, the company acquired Cronologics to help with development, and we just covered the list of existing smartwatches that should get the Android Wear 2.0 update when it is finally released. Before anyone gets it though, Google says their own smartwatch devices will hit the market running Android Wear 2.0.

Go grab a Christmas-themed sweater for you and your Pixel from Google’s pop-up store in NYC

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We are firmly into the festive period which means that the weather is turning decidedly chillier as winter sets in for the long-haul. If you are in New York City and own or are planning to buy a Pixel, though, you can grab some free goodies for both you and your Pixel at Google’s pop-up store on Mercer Street at Spring in SoHo. Join us after the break to find out how you can ward off the winter chills by grabbing a free Christmas-themed jersey for both you and your Pixel handset.

Google Home gains a whole raft of third-party services

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Just a few days after updating the Google Home with Netflix and Google Photos integration, the search giant has added more than 30 services to the device. These new abilities have come about thanks to Google allowing developers to integrate third-party services with the smart device. Users will now be able to order pizza from Dominos, research health-related questions via WebMD or play music trivia with SongPop. Join us after the break for the full list.

These are the most popular searches on Google in 2016

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It’s likely the world can agree 2016 has been a wild year. We’ve had highs, lows, and everything in-between. Whenever something happened, Google Search became the go-to place for it all. Search results on Google have evolved so much over the years, and they’re more useful than ever with rich information that goes beyond just providing links.

As usual, Google is ending the year by showing everyone what trended throughout the world and in individual countries.

Android users on Rogers in Canada will get RCS support very soon

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Google’s plan for messaging on Android has been convoluted for years, but their latest push has been for RCS in standard messaging applications. You would think they’d want to roll things into Allo, but, you know.

Last month, Google turned on RCS in their Messenger application, starting their plan to standardize rich communication services for the entire world.

Cronologics announces acquisition by Google to help with Android Wear

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After Google decided to drop back and punt on the release Android Wear 2.0, pushing a release date until sometime in 2017, things have been quiet in the world of Android smartwatches. That lack of news coming out of Google regarding their wearables platform does not mean steps are not being taken to ensure the new release is a solid move. The most recent update involves a company called Cronologics, which announced their acquisition by Google to help with Android Wear 2.0 development.