Chrome Apps for Mobile gets updated with a faster workflow, cloud messaging, and rich notifications

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Back in January, Google announced Chrome Apps for Mobile, which is based on Apache Cordova, and allows Chrome apps to run on either Android or iOS. Apps can be freely distributed to the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

Google just announced the newest version of Chrome Apps for Mobile that includes Chrome APIs for identity, Google Cloud Messaging (GCM), and rich notifications. It also offers an faster and simpler developer workflow, and modern WebView capabilities have been extended to older versions (back to Ice Cream Sandwich) of Android.


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Google Now brings in flight price monitoring card

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The capabilities of Google Now expands often. Today, we are finding out that the latest addition to Google Now is a card that monitors flight prices. It works with data found through Google Flight to track a particular flight’s prices. A card will appear when the price changes. Data from other sites is not yet available with this feature. So to take advantage of it, use Google Flight.

Via: Android Police

Google in talks with Airtel to offer Play Store carrier billing in India

Google_Play_Logo_2855Carrier billing is a useful feature on the Play Store, as it allows customers to make purchases without having to use a credit or debit card. Most people don’t mind using a card, but not everyone is willing to put their personal info into a smartphone, and many other people don’t even have a card to use. This is especially true in India, where only about 2% of the general population uses a credit or debit card, and that’s where Google is looking to push carrier billing options next.

Google has been in talks with Airtel, India’s largest wireless carrier, to begin offering carrier billing to their customers. With 40 million customers, that’s a lot of potential market to gain. The terms of the deal aren’t clear, although it’s reported that Google is offering Airtel 10% of each transaction (which is fairly low compared to other carriers) but it seems like the deal will happen in the near future regardless.
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Android L may hit Samsung Galaxy S5 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 by early December

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Although Android L was first released as a developer preview back in the summer during Google I/O, no official release date for Google’s next iteration of their mobile operating system has been announced. Nevertheless, as Google continues to push out application updates that incorporate their new Material Design guidelines that are a big part of Android L, we get a sense that the time is quickly approaching. That could be within the next couple months as a new report suggests Samsung is gearing up to have Android L ready to roll out to their flagship devices by late November or early December. The sources indicate Samsung will be ready with Android L for both the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 during that time frame.


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Dropbox, Google, Open Technology Fund, Security Researchers to simplify security tools

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There seems to be a lot of talk about security and privacy today. First Apple took shots at Google in their statement about privacy. Then it was revealed that Google would enable device encryption by default in Android L. Now Google is collaborating with Dropbox, the Open Technology Fund, and leading security researchers for Simply Secure, a new organization that will make open source security tools simpler and easier for people to use.

Many of the security tools that are in place are just too complicated for the average consumer. Take two-factor authentication for instance. It’s widely used in many services, including Gmail and Dropbox, but so few people utilize it. Most people don’t even lock their smartphones.


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Android L will enable device encryption by default for better security

Nexus_5_Android_L_Developer_Preview_Home_Screen_01_TAWe’re still waiting on an official Android L announcement from Google, but that doesn’t mean we can’t keep an eye out for new features that the update will have. The latest report comes from the Washington Post and states that Google will enable device encryption by default on all Android L devices. Phone security is a huge deal lately, so this is a welcome change. This encryption will primarily deter law enforcement or government from pulling any data or personal information off of an encrypted device, unless the owner of the device willingly consented to a search. 
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Google testing optional Home button for Chrome’s Android app

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The Chrome app for Android does not have a quick way to get to a homepage. So how is Google going to fix that? By adding a Home button, of course! Users of Google’s web browsing app are reporting that within the Settings menu, there is a selection to activate a Home button to be placed next to the address bar. It is completely optional and adds a small icon that, in one tap, sends you over to your preset homepage.

Via: Android Police

Tim Cook’s new privacy statement for Apple jabs Google

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New hardware and software isn’t all Apple has launching this week. Tim Cook, the chief executive officer, personally wrote a new privacy statement located on the company’s site. In it, there are jabs at other tech firms and Google is seemingly the prime target. Unlike other tech firms, Cook states that Apple treats users as customers and not a product.


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