Kids will have their own YouTube app starting February 23

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There is a ton of content for kids on YouTube, but there is only one problem…..There is also a ton of content that isn’t appropriate for kids. To solve this issue, Google will launch a YouTube Kids app on February 23.

YouTube Kids was designed by in-house engineers with parenting credentials along with other third-party testers such as Common Sense Media. It will offer a simpler interface in that viewer comments will be disabled. Parents can even set a timer that will automatically shut down the app at a specified amount of time.


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Google Voice users having problems sending MMS messages

Google-Voice-LargeGoogle just recently enabled MMS support for North American Google Voice users, but it looks like the service is already seeing its first hiccup. Many users are reporting being unable to send any MMS messages, and Google has acknowledged that its a problem on the official support site. Fortunately, SMS messages seem like they’re okay, so if you’re solely using a GV number, you’re not totally up the creek until this gets fixed.

Hopefully Google will get the problem sorted out sooner rather than later, but if you want to keep up with the progress, you can find the thread below.
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Google could offer a Google+ extension called Tablescape soon, a place for sharing foodographs

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I know many of you like taking pictures of your food and sharing them because I see them regularly on Twitter and Google+. If you’re one of those people, you will be happy to know that Google might soon offer something just for you called Tablescape. It’s a place for sharing foodographs.

It appears to be some sort of extension to Google+, similar to the Photos app. What I mean is that it would be a separate app on your mobile device, but it will actually be part of Google+ just like Photos is.


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Google concerned with Xiaomi’s ability to compete with apps and services

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When it comes to apps and services competing with Google and Android, there is not very much. Even historically the same can be said as no hardware manufacturer of Android devices has successfully built a strong user base for its own apps and services. At one point, Samsung was viewed as a threat but nothing ever became truly dangerous for Google. Consumers with Samsung devices turned away from what Samsung put on the table and stuck with what Google has offered. Another company from Asia, however, may hold the key to disrupting Google’s dominance in mobile software.


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Google using “zero rating” to spur Android One growth in emerging markets

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Emerging markets are receiving a ton of attention from hardware and software companies due to the growth seen down the line. The roadblock between these companies and consumers, however, is the cost of data. Consumers in emerging markets are able to purchase devices at affordable prices, but data remains expensive. To combat this issue, Google is applying the “zero rating” approach.


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Beta channel for Android WebView open to Android 5.0 Lollipop devices

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Many were concerned with Google’s decision to unbundle WebView from the core system starting with Android 5.0 Lollipop. Older devices would be left behind, too, without updates and that means compromised security. Fortunately, Google has realized so many Android apps take advantage of WebView that it only makes sense to further support. With the latest version of Android, Google will be able to update WebView independently. Right now, developers can join the new beta channel to gain access to new APIs and other items. Developers will be able to become familiar with the updates before users get to see them.

You can join the beta channel of Android System WebView by clicking here.

Source: Android Developers Blog

Google Helpouts shutting down April 20th

Google Helpouts Farewell Message

Friday the 13th’s first reaping is upon us, as Google’s Helpouts program, launched back in November 2013, will be shutting down at the end of April.

The service, utilizing the Google Hangouts platform, provided a way for people to get help on a variety of topics, spanning from cooking to tech support. Helpouts also allowed providers of expertise to sell their services, like in the case of piano lessons.
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Mattel brings VR to the newest View-Master, based on Google Cardboard

Mattel_View-Master_Google_Cardboard_01Mattel and Google held a little event this morning in New York City, and as expected, they unveiled a new view-master. The first view-master was launched in 1940, and with over 200,000 reels released, it was one of the most popular toys for many years. But it wasn’t just a toy as it was also used to train pilots and doctors. Now it’s entering the virtual reality (VR) world.

When Mattel saw Google Cardboard, they knew it was the next generation of the view-master. Just like Google Cardboard, it will work with smartphones and whatever apps that are designed for it in the Play Store. Mattel will offer their own custom app as well. The new view-master will be compatible with Android at first, but support will come to iOS and Windows.


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Google Maps lane guidance reaches 15 new European countries

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Google’s beloved Maps service recently had its 10-year birthday. It’s been a long road, if you pardon the pun, and it’s amazing to see how far this intrepid project has gone.

But Google definitely isn’t sitting back yet. Starting immediately, the new lane guidance feature in Maps will now be delivering instructions to drivers in 15 new European countries. The feature has been available to certain markets, like the United States, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom to name a few, since last year.

If you’re a resident of one of these new locations and are running at least Maps 8.0, you should be noticing lane guidance as of now.
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