Chrome and Android convergence won’t be “forced” according to Sundar Pichai

Chrome_Android_overlapThere has been quite a bit of speculation about whether the mobile-focused Android would replace the PC-focused Chrome at Google, or vice versa, but so far Google hasn’t taken any major steps to make that happen. According to Sundar Pichai, (who is the senior VP of both Android and Chrome) the search giant doesn’t want to force any type of convergence between the two.

We’ve seen a little bit of overlap between both platforms, including the Chromecast running a specific version of Android and being able to run Android applications on Chromebooks. Pichai clarified that if any type of convergence between the two happens, it’s going to be an “organic” process. That leaves plenty of interpretation for if Google plans on organically moving Android into a position to replace Chrome or anything similar, but as of right now, Google is happy to let both pieces stand successfully on their own. 
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Google Play Newsstand latest app to get the material design treatment

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As we all wait patiently, watching the ticking second hand on our clocks or Moto 360s, for the official release of Android L, we can get some relief in the form of apps updating to use the new material design guidelines provided by Google. A new entrant in this growing list is Google’s own Google Play Newsstand app. Google says the update to Newsstand will make the reading experience easier by incorporating larger images, more contextual headers and smoother transitions.
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Chromebooks account for near 50 percent of educational market share

Chromebooks_In_The_ClassroomOne of the benefits to Google’s Chromebook line is that with their often sub-$300 pricing, the education sector pounced all over that. As such — according to Google’s Sundar Pichai — Chromebooks account for nearly 50 percent of the educational market. Pichai spoke at Google’s work-focused Atmosphere Live event, and besides the education fact, he also mentioned that Drive has passed 240 million active users.


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Moto S could be a Verizon exclusive for the first 2 months

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I am still have a hard time believing that Motorola will release a Moto S so close to their big event in Chicago, but rumors continue to swirl. This one comes from TKTechNews, which has an interesting history, so take all of this with a grain of salt.

According to him, the Moto S will be exactly what the next Nexus is rumored to be as in a 5.9-inch Quad HD display and a Snapdragon 805. It will supposedly be a Verizon Wireless exclusive for the first 2 months. AT&T would then get the device towards the end of the year. I am not sure why Verizon would want to market this device as an exclusive with the new DROID Turbo coming, but that is the rumor.


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Alleged Nexus 6 caught in the wild

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Today, an image of the Nexus 6 was captured showing the handset roaming (or riding a bike) out in the wild. It shows the massive display, lowered power/volume buttons, and Moto X-like design that we heard about a few days ago. A case of some sort of protecting the alleged Nexus 6, but we see the aluminum frame that is said to be found on the body’s design. The headphone jack is centered at the top. Due to the inclusion of on-screen buttons and the positioning of the power buttons, the display does not actually seem to be as massive as 5.9 inches sounds.

Source: Android Police

Google Apps gets a business-grade phone system thanks to Switch.co

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Google has been pushing for growth in the enterprise world, but the lack of a voice phone system has made many companies reluctant. That is going to change because a new service called “Switch” is coming to Google Apps.

It’s a cloud-based business-grade phone system that offers the ability to manage call transfers to extensions, company directories, visual voicemail, and switching between devices. Things get even better with received calls in that a popup window will show not only who is calling, but also provide you with recent emails, docs you have shared, calendar events involving that person, and even recent tweets. It works on all devices and platforms such as a PC, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and even an old desktop phone.


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Google+ now allows age and location post restrictions

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Google+ keeps adding new useful features, and the latest one’s a good one. The social network now allows users to limit their posts to be viewable by only people in a certain age range or geographic location. For example, you can now decide that only users 18+ or 21+ should be able to see your posts, or specify ages on a country-by-country basis.

To start using the feature, all you need to do is visit your page or profile settings, scroll to ‘Audience,’ and choose your desired option. From then on your posts (old and new) will follow your restrictions.

source: +Google+ Your Business

Source: +GoogleBusiness

Google keeping a close eye on All Access, YouTube’s music streaming service is “weeks” away

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Reports and rumors have been swirling about the changes Google would be making to music streaming service All Access. The company wants to raise awareness for All Access to show the real value it has over competitors. Right now, the number of subscribers is believed to be between 500,000 and a few million. This is meager when compared to the Spotify’s more than ten million subscribers. Google has a massive audience in Android and is struggling to latch people onto All Access.


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Drive for Education is Google’s “21st century backpack for students”

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The reach of Google’s productivity suite is extending to students. Today, the company announced Drive for Education. It works with any Chromebook, laptop, smartphone, or tablet. Drive for Education combines ample storage space with tight security. It is labeled as the twenty-first century backpack. All Google Apps for Education customers are eligible to use Drive for Education at no cost.

Here is what Google says Drive for Education includes:

  • Unlimited storage: No more worrying about how much space you have left or about which user needs more gigabytes. Drive for Education supports individual files up to 5TB in size and will be available in coming weeks. 
  • Vault: Google Apps Vault, our solution for search and discovery for compliance needs, will be coming free to all Apps for Education users by the end of the year. 
  • Enhanced Auditing: Reporting and auditing tools and an Audit API easily let you see the activity of a file, are also on the way. 

Source: Google for Education

Google now listing price ranges for in-app purchases in Play store [Update: Developer addresses too]

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As they indicated in an announcement a couple weeks ago, Google has started listing price ranges for in-app purchases in the descriptions for applications. The data is currently only available when viewing an app’s listing using an Android smartphone or tablet. To find the information, you have to use the “Read more” link in the description section and then scroll down to the bottom where Google displays information about the application like the version number, last update, and size. The information is not showing up via desktop browsers yet.
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