Android co-founder Andy Rubin leaves Google to start a technology incubator

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Sad news today. Andy Rubin, who co founded Android is leaving Google to start an incubator for startups. Rubin was in charge of the Android division until March of last year, when he shifted to the lead of the nascent robotics effort.

Google acquired Android back in 2005, and Rubin was instrumental in building it to be the most widely used mobile operating system in the world.


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Google Play Books gets an update to help users skip around

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Google has announced an update to the Google Play Books app that may be especially welcomed by users who access non-fiction books. While fiction readers will almost always read a title straight through, unless they are possibly working on a report or something, users of non-fiction books frequently find themselves needing to skip around from one section to another. The odds of this increase as a title moves closer to being something like a reference book. The update to Play Books will help this users who need to access information in a title in a non-linear fashion.
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Lenovo’s acquisition of Motorola is finally complete

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9 months ago, Google shocked the world by announcing they had sold Motorola to Lenovo for just under $3 billion. As per all deals like this, it takes time to pass through all the regulatory approvals, and today the deal is final. We can now officially refer to Motorola as a Lenovo company.

The plan is still to keep Motorola as a wholly-owned subsidiary, and their headquarters will remain in Chicago. Whether all 2,800 employees out of that headquarters are safe remains to be seen though. And if you remember, Google retained Motorola’s deep collection of patents.


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Google launches Bookmark Manager in Chrome Web Store, formerly ‘Google Stars’

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After undergoing further development since August, Google Stars has launched in the Chrome Web Store. The difference today, though, is its name. Google has renamed the extension Bookmark Manager. The overall design has not changed too much, but Google definitely made alterations to fit its own suggested guidelines. Bookmark Manager saves pages, places them into folders, and can be shared publicly with friends.

Source: Chrome Web Store
Via: OMG! Chrome!

Google Drive for Android gets improved search, share, and view tools

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The web and mobile experiences for Google Drive are being improved constantly. The latest round of adjustments is for the Google Drive for Android app. Google is improving search, share, and view tools. For the search tool, the Google Drive app will have active results suggested. Start typing and the app displays suggestions with the same set of letters. The new sharing menu now has a text box for users to add a message. The same menu also contains sharing options to make document links public. And for viewing, Google Drive for Android has a PDF viewer so it does not have to redirect users to another app.

The update will start appearing on devices over the next few days.


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Developers only need a few lines of code to add their apps to Google Voice Search

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We saw glimpses of this at Google I/O, and developers can now make their apps searchable through Google Voice Search. It only takes a few lines of code. Once added, apps can receive the SEARCH_ACTION intent containing the SearchManager.QUERYextra with the search expression.

Examples of such searches might be Ok Google, search pizza on Eat24” or Ok Google, search for hotels in Maui on TripAdvisor.” Imagine the possibilities.


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Despite iOS sales success, Android continues to expand lead in U.S.

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When Apple launched the latest versions of the iPhone in September, we all saw the typical crush of Apple fans clamoring for an updated device and we have seen the news about the large numbers of devices sold. None of this is surprising as we expect Apple to get a bump as part of their release cycle that counters the increases Android claims during the rest of the year when manufacturers release their latest flagship devices. True to form, Kantar Worldpanel’s latest numbers for market share through September show the effect of the release. What may be surprising though is that in the U.S. market, where Apple enjoys its biggest success, Android actually gained ground while iOS lost ground.
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Google Play Movies & TV update brings Info Cards & Material Design makeover

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Google is in the process of rolling out a rather appealing update for its Play Movies & TV application via the Play Store. This upgrade brings the standard Material Design makeover that the search engine giant has been distributing to its full suite of Android apps over the course of the past few weeks, in addition to a new interactive menu that’s displayed on either a smartphone or tablet when casting content.


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