Google makes deal to bring Wallet to major wireless carriers, buys out portion of Softcard

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Google has signed a deal that will lead to the distribution of their Google Wallet app pre-installed on devices sold by by Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T starting later this year. As part of the deal, Google is also buying some technology from Softcard, a mobile payment solution that had been developed by those same carriers.

According to Softcard, the app will continue to work for users that want to make mobile payments – for now. However, this could change as Google starts to rollout their solution on carrier devices. Since Soundcard is selling some of their intellectual property related to the app to Google, it seem unlikely future development will continue. Reports indicate there are no Softcard employees joining Google as part of the agreement, which could be bad news on the horizon for Softcard employees. Read more

Google launches new YouTube Kids app

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YouTube’s a pretty awesome service for people of all ages, but it’s hard to restrict what age groups have access to suitable content. Sure, there’s integrated parental controls, but they can be disabled with a mere click of a button — so many parents end up banning their children from using the website purely for this reason.

Obviously, Google isn’t too happy with this decision as it means they’re getting less views, and parents aren’t too keen on the idea of preventing their children from using the service either as it hosts loads of great content geared towards helping their little ones learn.

In an effort to solve this issue, Google has today launched a brand new YouTube Kids app on both the App Store and Play Store.

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Inbox now available for tablets, will soon be available for Google Apps customers

New_Features_to_Inbox_Pic1Good news for those of you that like Google’s Gmail alternative: Sundar Pichai has announced that Inbox is officially available on Android tablets and iPads, and it’s slated for release for Google Apps customers very shortly. Plus, it’s up and running on Firefox and Safari, if you prefer to do things from a full web browser but don’t want to stick to Chrome. This means you’ll be able to tackle your cluttered Gmail inbox from nearly any device you own. Read more

Google Search displays most relevant content from a single source

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The next time you fire up Google Search on a mobile device, take a good look at the results because there is an interesting addition. In the section at the top where Google houses all of its own aggregated items, a spot for the most relevant content from a single source now appears. So, as seen in the image above, searching “ESPN” will return The Worldwide Leader in Sports’ top stories. It works when searching for sources or topics. The carousel design is used to keep content organized horizontally. Links included are for both articles and videos.

Hit the break to see GIFs of the feature in action.

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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 testing cloud backup for external devices in latest Dev Channel Chrome update

chrome cloud backupGoogle appears to be testing a new feature for Chrome OS that will let you automatically upload files and folders from external media devices to your Drive cloud storage. The feature is only available in the Dev Channel as of right now, but it puts a new cloud backup option in the My Files app when browsing photos on something like an SD card or flash drive.

The option obviously only works with Google Drive, and it’s only going to work on devices that are set up using the standard DCIM folder for photos and videos. That means you won’t be able to sync music or documents this way, but Google does offer several other ways to take care of those. Read more