Google Classroom gets its own mobile app filled with tools

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Google Classroom was launched just six months ago and, since then, more than thirty million assignments have been submitted. The platform took over classrooms around the country, eliminating stacks of paper that are no so kind on the environment. Today, Google released an app for Classroom available on both Android and iOS. The app teachers and students to connect in many ways. From the assignment page, a student can take a photo of their work and submit it. Also, the app allows sharing from outside apps to attach images and other items. There is a chance that a student can still view up-to-date information thanks to offline caching. Information is cached whenever the app is opened and an internet connection is present.

Hit the break for videos, screenshots, and download links.

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The Project Ara Developer Conference Keynote starts at 11:00am ET today and you can watch it right here

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The 2nd Project Ara Developer Conference is taking place this week, and you don’t want to miss the keynote which starts at 11:00am ET. With the release of the Ara Modular Developers Kit (MDK), we are that much closer to seeing a consumer product. The keynote could bring us the news as to when, plus a whole lot of other useful information. We have the live stream for you right after the break.

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Google Translate gets instant translation and Word Lens [Updated with APK download]

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As previously reported, Google has made Google Translate more powerful with instant translation and Word Lens, solidifying it as the go-to app for all your translations.

Word Lens will translate street signs or any text instantly. Previously you needed to capture an image to translate. Now with Word Lens, all you need to do is hold your phone’s camera over the text and the translation appears instantly. Even better, you don’t need an internet connection. For starters, this feature will translate English to and from French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

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Google partners with its home city, brings electric-powered shuttles to residents

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The City of Mountain View, the location of Google’s Googleplex headquarters, just took a large leap forward in public transportation by announcing the commission of four shuttles powered exclusively by electricity. The shuttles were made possible by a two-year fund set up by Google and utilize a power-train designed by Motiv Power Systems.

Motiv’s electric Powertrain Control System (ePCS) was created specifically for trucks and buses, making it one of the firsts of its kind to apply electric drive systems to such a category of transportation. Motiv is no stranger to its technology being applied to buses. In 2014, Motiv was the first to design an all-electric school bus and the first in North America to create an all-electric garbage truck. Read more

Devices with Jelly Bean and KitKat get Material Design with Google Now Launcher update

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The majority of Android devices are not powered by the latest version of the operating system. Instead, it is Jelly Bean and KitKat running the show around the world. Google is doing the best it can to provide the benefits of Lollipop to those without it. For example, the Google Now Launcher has Material Design elements for Jelly Bean and KitKat devices. The elements include new animations (like when opening and closing apps) and a redesigned app launcher button. Also, Google Now itself has been improved with quick access to accounts and settings.

Hit the break for download links.

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Add logos, graphics to Google Sheets frozen row in latest update

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The Google Drive team has added a new feature to their Google Sheets spreadsheet program. Users who setup long spreadsheets often “freeze” the first row in a spreadsheet so it can serve as a header. Then, as they scroll down through a spreadsheet, that first row remains visible.

The update that was released today gives users the ability to embed an image file in that first row so that it will stay visible. This could be especially useful for including something like a logo to a spreadsheet.

The update is currently rolling out to non-Google for Work accounts.s

source: +Google Drive

Was Google the best of CES 2015 without actually being there?

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When January rolls around, thousands of people flock to Las Vegas, Nevada for the Consumer Electronics Show. The trade show allows the press (and the world from afar) to observe what new technology will arrive throughout the year and launch in the future. Even though many companies host their own events for major announcements, CES provides good exposure. It can be a make-or-break time for some while being another platform with the spotlight for others.

There were phones, tablets, televisions, set-top boxes, speakers, and much more all showcased at CES. Something has to power these things, right? Enter Google and more importantly Android. The company did not have a formal presence at this year’s CES; however, devices powered by or connected to Android in some way were seen everywhere. Google might have been the best of CES 2015 and they didn’t have to show up.

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USPTO stays busy in 2014, Samsung awarded 4925 patents for the year

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IBM, Samsung, and even Google made it onto the top 10 list for patents awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). While IBM and Samsung take the top two spots (IBM dominated Samsung with 7534 patents awarded), Google comes in on the leader board at number 8, which is the first time the Mountain View search giant has appeared in the top 10.

The past few years have been a total pain for Samsung when it’s come to patents. In a near-constant state of being bogged down by infringement lawsuits, Samsung may be attempting to prevent such legal actions in the future by dutifully applying for as many patents as it can. Compared to 2013, Samsung’s patent awards increased 5.9% in 2014. Read more