Is Google ready to become a mobile phone carrier?

by Jeff Causey on
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Google Wifi

New reports out today suggest Google is starting to make moves to become a mobile phone service carrier in locations where it has deployed Google Fiber service. Supposedly Google has been in contact with Verizon to discuss the possibility of becoming a mobile virtual network operator riding on the back of Verizon’s network. Some sources have pointed out that Verizon and Google are not exactly on the same page when it comes to issues like net neutrality, so a partnership of this magnitude may be questionable. It should be noted though that Google actively develops for the iOS platform, so the company clearly will not let some philosophical disagreements stand in the way of good business.

Would you be interested in using Google as your carrier for wireless service?

source: The Information
via: Engadget

Nest launches the Learning Thermostat in the UK for £179

by Alihassan Mahdi on
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Nest, acquired by Google for $3.2 billion in February, is launching its Learning Thermostat in the UK today.

To launch the product in the UK, Nest had to create a new device with a different voltage and heating system. That said, the company came up with the Heat Link device that fits directly between the Learning Thermostat and the boiler and receives commands from the thermostat while controlling the boiler.

You can get the Learning Thermostat now for £179 from the company’s website or from outside retailers such as Apple, John Lewis, Amazon, and B&Q. However, with the recommended professional installation, it will cost you £249. » Read the rest

Google Play Newsstand updated to version 3.2.0 with updated layout and new My Library tab

by Jared Peters on
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google play newsstand

Google Play Newsstand is one of the Google apps to get an update today, bringing it up to version 3.2.0. The update changes the interface around a bit, adding in separate tabs for different topics such as business, entertainment, and sports in the Read Now section and merging My News and My Magazines into a single My Library section.

Having the different labels in the Read Now section of the app makes it much easier to quickly jump to exactly what you want to read, and creating a single My Library destination will trim the app up and make it easier to navigate. Keep an eye out for the update on your device. » Read the rest

Google Keep updated with interface tweaks, image search functionality, and a trash menu

by Jared Peters on
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Keep an eye out for an update to Google Keep soon, as the search giant has updated the note taking app in the Play Store with a handful of improvements. The interface looks slightly different in the update, with the default status bar changing to Keep’s signature yellow hue. The same status bar will update to match different colors depending on the color of the note you’re currently viewing.

Google has also added in the functionality for searching specific images, and there’s a new trash menu where you can view your recently deleted notes.

This one’s going to be a staged rollout, like always, so keep an eye out for the notification. Hit the link below for the Play Store link. » Read the rest

Chrome Remote Desktop hits invite-only beta

by Jared Peters on
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chrome remote desktop

Google’s Chrome Remote Desktop app has taken one step closer to an official release today, with an invite-only beta going live in the Play Store. Unfortunately, that means you probably won’t be able to test it out, but considering Google publicly releases a ton of products with beta tags, this might be widely available sooner than you think.

The app appears to work pretty similarly to most other remote desktop clients. You install the Chrome extension on your PC, then install the Android app from the Play Store, then sign into your Google account to start a connection. Pretty simple, for better or worse.

There’s no shortage of remote desktop apps available for Android, but a (free) Google option might convert a few users.

source: Droid Life

Gmail introduces custom theme sharing option

by Alihassan Mahdi on
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Gmail is offering a new feature much similar to the Gmail Shelfie April Fool’s joke. The new feature now allows Gmail users to share their custom theme with their friends, families or anyone. That said, you can now go to Settings, and under Themes, you’ll find the “Share your theme” option which requires you to choose how you want to share your custom theme…. either by sending an email, by Google+, or even by copying and sharing the link provided.

Google will be sharing some of their favorite themes as well on Google+ every Thursday so be sure to check it out. » Read the rest

Here are the new features Google is working on for Gmail

by Robert Nazarian on
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Gmail just turned 10, and it has evolved a lot over the years. That evolution isn’t going to stop, so what new things can we expect? A few screenshots leaked that show more tabs, a new pin system, and a new snooze feature.

Last year, Google introduced tabs, which include Social, Promotions, Forums, and Updates. A future update is likely to include additional tabs such as Travel, Purchases, and Finance. I’m not a big fan of the tabs, so we will have to see how this works out.

» Read the rest

Privacy concerns regarding Google’s Street View headed to Supreme Court

by Robert Nazarian on
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Last September, an appeals court ruled that Google’s Street View Wi-Fi sniffing tactics violated the Wiretap Act, and now Google is asking the Supreme Court to overrule that decision.

In order to get accurate Street View data, Google sniffs unencrypted Wi-Fi networks such as nearby homes and businesses. Some people see it as wiretapping, but Google thinks capturing unencrypted Wi-Fi is not wiretapping. After further investigations, it was found that an engineer was electronically eavesdropping as part of a 20-percent project, but he also urged the company’s legal team to “weigh in” before deploying the code to the Street View fleet.  That request “slipped through the cracks,” and Google apologized with the understanding they would destroy the never used data.

» Read the rest

Google’s improved camera app will focus on portrait shots and effects

by Christian de Looper on
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Google has been focusing a lot on their camera app on Android, and they are almost ready to show off exactly what they’ve been working on. Sources close to Google have revealed that the tech giant is testing the new app, sporting a refreshed UI, a background blurring effect for portrait photos, and improved panorama shots. Google is also reportedly fixing issues with the default photo framing, and users will be able to take photos with a 100& no-crop viewfinder.

Not only will Google make the improvements outlined above, but they will also make the app more easily extendable, allowing for third-party filters. The update will be released through a standalone update to the camera app, rather than through the Android 4.4.3 update.

Source: Engadget

Breaking: Google buys Samsung Electronics for $200 billion in cash and stock

by Robert Nazarian on
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If you thought for a second that Google was out of the hardware business, then think again. In what came out of nowhere, Bloomberg is reporting that Google just made a deal to buy Samsung Electronics for $200 billion in cash and stock. We aren’t talking just the mobile division folks, we are talking the whole shabang, including TVs, appliances, display panels, and semiconductors.

We found it hard to believe that Google would buy Motorola and turn around and sell it to Lenovo pretty quickly, but I think it’s clear that Motorola was too limited. Motorola only dealt with the mobile side, but in order for Google to bring Android to the next level, TVs and appliances need to be in the mix as well. Owning both companies at the same time would certainly be an antitrust issue.

» Read the rest