Android Wear update makes smartwatches more useful without smartphone connection
Google's first major update to Android Wear will be preparing the operating system for use on standalone smartwatches. The software update adds support for GPS sensors built into devices, as well as the ability to store music on a smartwatch instead of a smartphone, with audio able to be played through a paired set of Bluetooth headphones.
Inbox created by same team behind Gmail, invitation-only at first
Google has started to invite people to try out its new email service, one that has been in development for a number of years. Made by the same team behind Gmail, Inbox aims to help users manage their incoming e-mail by automatically grouping similar emails together and by picking out what it believes to be the more important incoming messages.
Major investment made in augmented reality company using eye projection system
A start-up working on augmented reality technology has managed to secure $542 million in its latest round of funding, with the collection of investors led by Google. Magic Leap, which is apparently creating its own augmented reality glasses, will also receive extra guidance from the search company, with Android and Chrome lead Sundar Pichai joining the company's board, with head of corporate development Don Harrison also joining as a board observer.
Human-curated playlists available on Google Play Music All Access in US, Canada
Google Play Music has been updated for both Android and iOS, with a new look and extra features. While it has received a Material Design-influenced makeover, similar to the leaked Gmail update, the main change users will notice is the inclusion of activity and time-related playlists, something Google has introduced courtesy of its acquisition of Songza in July.
USB drives with FIDO U2F support can be used to secure Google accounts
Google is giving users of its services an extra security option, on top of its existing procedures and protocols, with a physical token. The search company's "Security Key" is allowing for users to nominate a USB drive to allow access to the Google account when it is plugged into a computer's USB port, as an alternative to the two-step verification process.
Approval granted only one day after Google halted pre-orders on Android TV device
Last week Google halted all pre-orders on the Nexus Player after it was discovered that the company didn't have the proper approvals to sell the device. Google jumped the gun on selling the player that is set to ship in November, since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) didn't grant the required approvals for to Asus to begin selling the device. However, the suspension of sales was short lived as the FCC approved the device for sale on Sunday.
Updated Gmail app could support mail accounts from Yahoo, Outlook
Google will allegedly include support for some alternative email services in its refreshed Gmail app for the next version of Android. Aside from a visual upgrade, Gmail 5.0 will apparently be able to handle email from other mainstream providers, including Yahoo and Outlook, with the user able to quickly switch between the different accounts with a swipe of the screen or by selecting the relevant account from a dropdown box.
Device working its way through DC bureaucracy, return expected 'very rapidly'
Google has temporarily suspended sales of its recently-announced Nexus Player. After a few hours of preorders had been taken, the company abruptly ceased sales of the device, noting that since the device had not yet been approved by the US Federal Communications Commission, that it is not available.
Alleged internal changes could lead to Google operating systems merging into one platform
A change in management at Google suggests the search company is still planning to combine Android and Chrome OS, a report suggests. The Wall Street Journal claims Linus Upson, the head engineer of Chrome OS, has left the role and has been replaced by Hiroshi Lockheimer, the vice president of engineering for Android.
Encryption of smartphones hampers security efforts, claims FBI head
The head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has asked for companies to back away from encrypting consumer devices by default. Echoing similar comments made last month, Director James Comey spoke to the Brookings Institute yesterday about the issue, which is claimed will make it difficult for law enforcement officials to collect evidence from mobile devices.
Continued growth in overseas ad markets driving Google growth
Google today reported consolidated revenues of $16.52 billion for the quarter that ended September 30, an increase of 20 percent compared to the third quarter of 2013. In the third quarter of 2014, total acquisition costs totaled $3.35 billion, or 23 percent of advertising revenues. Cost-per-click continues to decline, but continued growth, especially in non-US markets, has far more than offset this price decrease.
Fiberhood sign-up system will be reused for deciding Austin construction priority
Residents of Austin won't have much longer to wait before they can start using Google Fiber. The search company revealed in a recent planning meeting at the Texas capitol that it would start to launch its delayed fiber network in the region from December, though not all areas will gain access to the high-speed Internet connection at first.
Nine phones set to receive Android after it releases, support could grow
With Google's announcement today that Android 5.0 Lollipop is coming soon, many consumers are waiting to find out if their smartphones and tablets will run the new operating system (OS). Owners of Motorola devices can make an informed decision on upgrades tonight if they choose, as the company said nine phones are getting the newest Android version after its launch.
Nexus 9 uses 8.9-inch 2048x1536 display, HTC BoomSound front speakers
At the same time as launching the Nexus 6, Google revealed its new larger-sized tablet. The 8mm-thick Nexus 9, produced by HTC, is equipped with an 8.9-inch IPS LCD screen with a 4:3 aspect ratio, a resolution of 2048x1536, and Gorilla Glass 3 protection, housed in a casing with a soft-grip backing and a brushed-metal trim.
Google-branded HDMI set-top box manufactured by Asus
In conjunction with the other Nexus releases, and the reveal of Android Lollipop, Google has also debuted yet another shot at a television-connected Android device. Called the Nexus Player, the Asus-built device is similar in functionality to the Amazon Fire TV, but draws content from Google Play rather than Amazon Prime.
Follow-up to Nexus 5 borrows Moto X styling, enlarges screen
After weeks of rumors, Google has finally launched the Nexus 6 smartphone, running Android Lollipop. At first glance, the Motorola-produced follow-up to the Nexus 5 bears a striking resemblance to the second-generation Moto X, complete with relatively few changes made to the external styling, but it boosts the screen to a phablet-sized 5.96-inch 1,440x2,560 display with a pixel density of 493ppi.
Other carriers' upgrade paths to Android Lollipop unclear
Alongside three hardware announcements, Google has formally named Android 5.0. Previously known as "L," the latest iteration of the search engine giant's mobile operating system is officially titled Lollipop. Previewed at Google I/O earlier this year, the newest revision focuses on its consistent design language that it calls "Material Design," and a new battery saver feature that extends the life of mobile devices in use by up to 90 minutes.
SSL 3.0 design flaw allows attackers to view contents of encrypted web traffic
Another Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) vulnerability has been discovered by Google, just six months after HeartBleed was first unveiled. Padding Oracle on Downloaded Legacy Encryption ("Poodle") is an issue affecting SSL 3.0, though researchers claim the issue this time is less severe than HeartBleed, despite potentially affecting nearly all browsers and a large number of servers.
Google Glass update adds smartwatch-style notifications
Google Glass will soon have the ability to show notifications from a smartphone on the heads-up display, a feature common to smartwatches. Notifications Sync on Glass will show all notifications from the connected Android smartphone, not just those which offer Glass functionality, with the software update expected to roll out to users of the MyGlass app this week.
In light of judge's rejection, plaintiffs now believe agreed-upon settlement too low
In a strange turn of events, the plaintiffs in a lawsuit accusing many of Silicon Valley's top tech companies of suppressing wages by engaging in a "gentlemen's agreement" not to poach employees from each other have now said that Judge Lucy Koh, who is hearing the case, should formally reject a previously agreed-to settlement offer. Following Judge Koh's initial rejection of the $324.5 million settlement -- signed off on by the representatives of the plaintiffs and the companies involved -- the plaintiffs have now agreed with the judge that the sum is a bit too low.
Name change for same-day delivery service, new payment options offered
Google is expanding the reach of its same-day delivery service into more areas, as well as making a change to its name. Formerly known as Google Shopping Express, the new Google Express will open out from its existing San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, and Los Angeles operations, to cover people located in Chicago, Boston, and Washington, D.C.
Texas court abused discretion, single California case heard for less confusion, resource savings
Google's battle with the Rockstar Consortium is getting closer to a trial, as the matter of the venue for the case has finally been settled. While several cases were ongoing in California and Texas, judges gave different opinions on where the court battle should take place. Google asked the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to weigh in, a risky move that ended up working in its favor.
Trial success could lead to white space usage in conservation efforts
The latest experiment in using 'white spaces' in the United Kingdom is underway, with London Zoo being the unexpected location for testing. Communications regulator Ofcom has detailed a trial by Google and ZSL London Zoo of technologies using white spaces, by streaming live video from several animal exhibits on YouTube.
Google asks Supreme Court to weigh in over Java API use in Android
The battle between Google and Oracle could be heating up again in the near future, as the search giant has petitioned the US Supreme Court to review the case for a final ruling. Previously, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal District overturned a lower court ruling that found Google didn't infringe upon Oracle copyright by using pieces of open-source Java APIs in Android without a license.
Standalone Hangouts app runs independently of Chrome browser
Google is bringing Hangouts more in line with competing messaging services, such as Skype or AIM, by releasing a dedicated desktop app for Hangouts. The Hangouts Chrome App, available on Chrome OS and Windows, will provide a similar experience to the Android version, including calls and messaging, but through a desktop interface.
Google, Microsoft, Amazon have all reportedly tendered offers for Unity
According to sources familiar with the matter, cross-platform game development tool Unity's developers are having continuing discussions with possible buyers for the company. The biggest name attached to the development company's discussions is allegedly Google, with Microsoft and Amazon having made offers as early as 2013.
Google adds backdrop customization options to Chromecast app
Google is starting to enable customizable backdrops for the Chromecast, a feature it first revealed in June. Rolling out from today, owners of the streaming dongle can customize the image feed from the Chromecast app for Android and iOS, including photo albums from Google+, artwork from the Google Cultural Institute, and news images from various publications. More information about an image on display can be brought up by asking the Google search app "What's on my Chromecast?" on any other mobile device on the same network.
Follows words with actions in effort to increase diversity in tech-centric jobs
Following the release of its own diversity report that found its female involvement in engineering and other technology posts lacking, Apple and other tech companies is said to have sent "hundreds" of employees to answer questions and recruit potential employees at the current Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing gathering in Phoenix, Arizona. Facebook, Google, Microsoft were among the other companies represented at the conference, which had over 8,000 attendees.
PlayStation Now will be available on PlayStation TV from October 14th
The PlayStation TV set-top box will have PlayStation Now from its launch on October 14th in North America, the PlayStation Blog has confirmed. Opening as an open beta, the streaming service will also be made available to owners of the PlayStation Vita handheld console, with the service said to offer rentals of over 150 PlayStation 3 games, with cloud storage used for save games, and online multiplayer support also included.
List of affected Belkin devices, cause of incident both unknown
Some of accessory manufacturer Belkin's router customers are experiencing connectivity issues, predominantly with older models. For reasons unknown, possibly due to a silent, automatic firmware update, some Belkin networking products are refusing connection to the Internet, but maintaining local area network connectivity. Some models can be restored by pointing Domain Name Services to Google's or other providers' services.
Google comfortable with progress according to new Google+ department head
With Vic Gundotra leaving Google earlier in the year, many thought that Google+ would die because of his departure. However, it appears that Google is satisfied with the progress that its social media software has made. New Head of Social Media David Besbris, who was a vice president of engineering, says that he thinks Google is in social media for the long haul.
Rumored HTC-produced Nexus 9 may be squarer than earlier devices
Rumors about a HTC-produced Nexus tablet are not continuing to snowball, with two new sources suggesting such a device is on the way. An image on Twitter allegedly shows the back of the fabled tablet, while a separate report stemming from an FCC filing suggests the display could have a slightly different aspect ratio compared to earlier Nexus devices.
Search engine has scrubbed 'tens of thousands' of links to stolen photos
Google has responded to the letter threatening legal action should Google not purge the Internet of stolen, and sometimes intimate, photos of celebrities. The search engine has denied that it is intentionally profiting on the scandal, and instead has acted quickly and appropriately to takedown requests by removing "tens of thousands" of images from Google search results.
One Laptop Per Child project co-founder claimed to be behind Google X display project
Google X, the search company's experimental branch, is reportedly exploring the creation of easy-to-construct large-scale video displays. Not content with creating a modular smartphone, Google is allegedly looking into ways to connect multiple displays together to create one larger version, with the aim of making the building process as simple as possible.
Google chairman defends company against implied Tim Cook remarks
Google chairman Eric Schmidt has fought back against comments over the company's security and privacy, following comments laid out by Apple CEO Tim Cook. In an interview which touched upon a recent open letter about privacy from Cook, Schmidt claims "Someone didn't brief [Cook] correctly on Google's policies. It's unfortunate for him."
Year-old German copyright law interpretation in dispute between publishers, Google
Google has changed the way it shows articles in search results and Google News in Germany, as part of an ongoing battle against publishers in the country. Searches for news will now just show a headline and link to the story hosted on certain German news sites, removing the thumbnail images and article snippets Google usually displays for the listings.
Lawyer claims Google 'despicable' for capitalizing on celeb misfortune
Google is being threatened with a lawsuit that "could well exceed" $100 million, with over a dozen celebrities complaining that the search engine giant failed to remove stolen private images from the Internet. A letter from attorney Marty Singer claims that Google is showing "despicable, reprehensible conduct" for "failing to act expeditiously and responsibly to remove the images" that were pilfered from various celebrity online photo storage accounts, including Apple's iCloud service.
New $15,000 award for successful submissions, up from $5,000.
Google is increasing the rewards in its bug bounties program, as it tries to make its software more secure. The search company is updating its reward pricing range to between $500 and $15,000 per bug, up from the previous maximum of $5,000 for a high-quality report, with an increased focus on discovering potential vulnerabilities within the Chrome browser.
Modules from Project Ara will be switchable while smartphone is in use
Google's modular smartphone project will allow users to replace individual modules from the mobile device while it is still running. The majority of Project Ara modules will be hot swappable, with exception to the processor and display, so users will not be required to shut down the device before making any changes to the hardware.
Cortana issues public transport notifications, local concert suggestions
Cortana, Microsoft's virtual assistant for Windows Phone 8.1, has been updated with two event-related changes. WMPU reports the service will now show notifications for when a user's favorite music acts are performing nearby under "Concert Watch," while WP Central notes users in the US and UK can now benefit from public transport notifications, including delays, outages, and advising of the best time to head to an appointment or event.
More pre-installed Google apps allegedly stipulated in manufacturer contracts
Producers of Android smartphones and tablets will need to increase the promotion of Google apps and services in their devices in the future, according to a report. It is claimed a number of hardware partners including Samsung, Huawei, and HTC will have to accept a new set of terms before being able to use Android, as Google attempts to keep users within its ecosystem.
Agency thinks Android L, iOS 8 security put consumer security ahead of law enforcement
Addressing reporters in Washington today, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey voiced his concerns over the recent shifts in security policy for Android and iOS 8. Specifically, Comey believes that the new security encryption measures that cannot be bypassed for law enforcement puts consumers before possible emergency situations.
Updated Moto X believed to be inspiration for Nexus 6 smartphone
The next version of the Nexus smartphone from Google could look like an enlarged Moto X, a report claims to show in an image. The rumored device is said to be called either the Nexus 6 or Nexus X, with Motorola expected to reuse some of the design of the updated Moto X to create a larger nexus device running on Android L.
Cost spread out over four years, expected to bring more than 1,000 jobs to area
Google has said that it is making a four-year investment into the construction of a new data center in the Netherlands. The data center, being built in Eemshaven, will cost the company approximately $772 million to construct (€600 million). The new data center marks the fourth built in Europe, following construction in Ireland, Belgium and Finland.
Google's Currents app for iOS redesigned, renamed Google Play Newsstand
Google has announced the re-release of its Currents news article app as Google Play Newsstand, available through iTunes. Google Play Newsstand allows users to peruse news and in-depth articles featuring audio, video and more, from a variety of publishers. The latest version (3.0) offers new navigation for accessing content, including a Read Now function that organizes subscribed articles and editions in one place, and a Topics section, featuring content most interested in by the user.
Fourth settlement deal falls through, deal not likely before departure of head
European Commission anti-trust head Joaquin Almunia has called for Google to improve its proposal to mitigate concerns that the search engine is abusing its industry-leading position and manipulating search results. The previous deal struck has now apparently collapsed, leaving the Mountain View, California-based company to start negotiation a new one, or face fines of up to $6 billion if the complaint moves to formal monopoly charges.
Competition by municipal broadband, Google, and wireless declared sufficient
In a filing with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Comcast has spelled out why it believes it should be allowed to purchase Time Warner Cable. Saying that users have enough high-speed cable options including wireless and satellite, and that switching to one of the "broad range" of competitors it has such as Google Fiber, the giant believes it should be able to complete the merger without citizens or the government being concerned about a monopolistic situation.
Google Now adds flight price monitor card shown after Google Flight searches
Google Now has added a new card to its roster, warning users of changes in flight prices. Spotted by Android Police, the card will automatically appear if a flight is searched for via Google Flight Search, though apparently not when using other fare comparison sites, with the card advising of any rise or fall in cost. It is unknown how far the feature has rolled out, nor if it picks up relevant data from standard Google searches or Gmail.
Report reaffirms rumors of HTC Nexus 9 development
Google's HTC-produced Nexus tablet has reappeared in another report, alleging its existence. Sources of Wall Street Journal claim that HTC has been selected over other manufacturers to create the device, as suggested by previous rumors, with the report also stating that the tablet will have a nine-inch display, matching earlier leaked legal filings from Nvidia directly naming a device called the Nexus 9.
Signing up a Gmail account no longer requires a social media account setup
Google is no longer forcing users to create a Google+ profile when setting up a new Gmail account, according to a report from marketing blog Wordstream. By easing up on the mandatory setup of the social media arm of the search company, Google is continuing to put distance between users and the service that never seemed to find the same footing as Facebook.