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Google increases cash rewards for Chrome bug bounties

10/01, 5:20pm

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.

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Project Ara head claims modular smartphone parts 'hot swappable'

09/30, 6:38am

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.

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Briefly: Cortana adds musical notifications, Chromecast Hulu Plus

09/30, 5:26am

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.

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Google reportedly adds more restrictions to Android agreements

09/26, 4:48pm

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.

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FBI Director Comey worried Apple, Google encryption 'above the law'

09/25, 6:35pm

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.

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Next Google Nexus smartphone rumored to be enlarged Moto X

09/25, 5:53am

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.

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Google to spend $772 million on data center in the Netherlands

09/23, 3:58pm

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.

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Briefly: Google Currents becomes Play Newsstand, app baking system

09/23, 3:44pm

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.

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EU anti-trust chief officially demands more from Google settlement

09/23, 11:07am

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.

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Comcast to FCC: Plenty of competition, no reason to block TWC merger

09/23, 9:55am

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.

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Briefly: Google Now flight price cards, Instagram advertising in UK

09/23, 6:42am

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.

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WSJ: HTC producing Google Nexus-branded nine-inch tablet

09/22, 5:47am

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.

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Google easing up on mandatory Google+ signups for new Gmail accounts

09/21, 1:18pm

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.

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Google petitions FCC for NM desert testing of broadcast-capable drones

09/20, 4:39pm

Titan Aerospace equipment being used for flight testing

Google has filed a plan to test broadcast drones in the skies of New Mexico. A filing with the US Federal Communications Commission, one of the regulatory agencies that needs to be involved with such an endeavor, points to a test site south of Santa Fe, New Mexico and south of Las Vegas, Nevada. The tests are likely a practical test of remote Internet delivery technologies, and some of the largest drills that Google has run yet, utilizing Titan Aerospace's technology.

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Google to reinvest in YouTube content, expand promotional efforts

09/19, 5:39pm

Funds provided to popular YouTube creators for more original content

Google is investing more money into original content for YouTube. Building on top of its previous channel creation efforts, where Google paid filmmakers to create channels on the service, the search company will be funding new content from popular YouTube creators, as well as expanding the marketing of the new online shows outside the United States to the UK, France, Germany, and Brazil.

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Google Maps extends navigation, adds 'Missing Places' to apps

09/19, 1:17pm

Navigation in Google Maps apps enabled in 19 more countries

Google has made two changes to its Google Maps mobile apps. The app now provides navigational instructions in an additional 19 countries, bringing the total number of countries with the function enabled to 96, while users finding issues with local maps are able to notify Google of new places of interest from within the app, with corrections added to the public version of the maps at a later time.

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ICANN gTLD auction sees Amazon acquire .buy domains for $4.6M

09/18, 6:45am

Google fails to pick up .buy, .tech, .vip domains at gTLD auction

A number of notable Generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) have been acquired, as part of an auction by ICANN. The auction, which took place as multiple companies applied for the same or similar gTLDs could not agree on ownership, saw three domain suffixes being sold for millions of dollars, with Amazon being the winner of the .buy domains.

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Briefly: KiiTag Bluetooth item finder, 'Fiber City' second phase

09/17, 7:48pm

Life N Soul launches KiiTag Bluetooth item finder for iOS

Life N Soul has announced the launch of its new Bluetooth item finder, the KiiTag. Utilizing Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy technology, the KiiTag can track and locate up to 10 items within a 200-foot range. If users travel more than 200 feet away from one of their valuables, an "out of range" alert will appear on their phone. In combination with in-app purchases, the KiiTag can perform additional tasks, including sending automatic messages of the user's location in an emergency ($5), a remote camera shutter ($4), and a two-way phone finding function ($1). Available in three colors, the KiitTag item finder is priced at $20.

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Briefly: Chromecast app support grows, Roku hits 10M milestone

09/16, 2:19pm

Google reveals apps updated with support for Chromecast streaming

Owners of the Chromecast will have more choice of what to watch in future, as Google has revealed a new collection of supported apps for the streaming device. Watch Disney, Watch Disney Junior, and Watch Disney XD offer shows for children, with the iHeartRadio, Twitch, and DramaFever apps also joining the roster of Chromecast-compatible apps.

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Briefly: Motorola direct sales in UK, Offline YouTube in India

09/15, 8:10am

Motorola starts directly selling Moto G from UK website

Motorola has updated its online store in the United Kingdom, giving citizens the ability to directly purchase devices directly from the manufacturer, rather than diverting sales to retailers. The updated site, spotted by Pocket-Lint, stocks the second-generation Moto G for £150 ($), with separate pages offering to register visitors for updates for the Moto 360 and new Moto X. Moto Maker is expected to become available on the UK site in the near future.

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Google launches first Android One smartphones in India

09/15, 6:58am

Android One aims to create $100 smartphones for emerging markets

Google has used an event in India to launch the first smartphones under the Android One program. The project aims to create low-cost devices, running on stock Android with updates coming from Google directly, in order to provide people in emerging markets access to hardware and software already prevalent in developed regions.

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Google launches the first wave of Android apps on Chrome OS

09/11, 5:49pm

Four Android apps brought to Chromebook operating system, more on the way

People waiting for their favorite Android applications to work on Chrome OS might not need to wait much longer. Today, Google announced the first set of Android apps available for Chromebooks. The move makes good on a demonstration from Google I/O, which teased the idea of Android apps running on Chrome OS through an app runtime.

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Google acquires graphic opinion poll service Polar for Google+

09/11, 3:50pm

Polling system closing down at end of 2014, users given a way to export existing polls

Opinion poll service Google, a move that would fold the service into Google's social media channel. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but with the Polar team joining Google+, the polling system is being shut down before the end of 2014.

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Google acquires makers of Liftware system, Lift Labs

09/10, 6:47pm

Company will continue to sell the Liftware device, will work under Google X labs

Google announced today that it acquired Lift Labs, a company that developed a "tremor-cancelling" device for people with Parkinson's Disease. The terms or amount of the deal weren't disclosed in the statement from Lift Labs, but it was said that the Liftware system would continue to be sold. Lift Labs appears to be excited to work with Google, but also recognizes that it couldn't have been in the position without the support of customers, Rock Health and the National Institutes for Health.

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Google Voice integration in Hangouts rolls out on Android

09/10, 11:36am

Addition to Hangouts signals impending end of Google Voice

Google Voice is being integrated into Google Hangouts on Android, in what appears to be an an attempt by the search company to streamline its messaging services. Previously only available in the iOS version of Hangouts, the Android app now gives the option of making or receiving voice calls, text messages, and the ability to access voicemails on Google Voice.

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European regulators refuse latest Google antitrust deal, demand more

09/09, 9:51am

Increased settlement offers make resolution of deal by chairman's exit unlikely

Google's latest settlement offer to fend off anti-trust allegations in the European Union has been refused. The European Commission has issued a statement regarding complaints by businesses and competitors over Google's settlement offer, saying that the search engine giant must add to the settlement package, and the offer as it stands is insufficient, given the arguments which "should be taken in consideration" with any counter-offer.

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Chromecast gets 1080p Chrome tab, Firefox Android beta streaming

09/08, 3:29pm

Update adds TV queuing for YouTube videos, Firefox for Android streams to Chromecast

A few new features have come to the Chromecast on the heels of another update to the streaming device. The recent update to the Chromecast pushes a few updates, but Google has announced additions to the beta Google Cast extension. Mozilla also revealed that it added second-screen capabilities for Firefox for Android, utilizing streaming devices like the Chromecast to do so.

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European business resistance to EU-Google antitrust agreement growing

09/05, 3:36pm

Microsoft, German publishers demonstrate proposal's inadequacy

A coalition of Microsoft and some German publishing companies have escalated their rhetoric against the European Union's antitrust agreement it is proposing with Google. "The current proposal does not put traffic diversion to an end," claimed Microsoft's chief antitrust lawyer. Microsoft claims to have new evidence it gathered from a modification of Bing's search results that the settlement, and dedicated space for competitive services in search results, would fail to accomplish anything substantial in the case.

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Apple, Intel, Google, Adobe appeal refusal of anti-poaching settlement

09/05, 7:40am

Appeal filed over 'legal error' by Judge Koh in rejecting deal

Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe are all appealing Judge Lucy Koh's rejection of the $324.5 million anti-poaching settlement that was hammered out last month. The quartet claims that Koh "committed clear legal error" by using her own assessment of the value of the case, rather than that of the participants who had been battling over the matter with the court for years.

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Google to refund $19 million to settle FTC in-app purchase debacle

09/04, 12:53pm

Unfettered Google Play in-app purchase solved with 2012 password requirement

Google has offered to settle charges levied against it with the the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over unfair billing for in-app purchases made by children. The search engine giant has offered to pay out at least $19 million to end the suit, similar to that faced by Apple and Amazon.

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Apple, Google, others re-open settlement talks in non-compete case

09/03, 8:43pm

Judge rejects first attempt, suggests slightly higher amount would be 'fair share'

The remaining four tech firms involved in a California lawsuit stemming from a "gentlemen's agreement" to stop poaching each other's employees have headed back to the bargaining table to hammer out another settlement after the first attempt was rejected by the judge in the case. Apple, Google, Adobe and Intel have resumed settlement talks with plaintiffs representing thousands of employees who say the cooperation limited their job opportunities and illegally suppressed wages.

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Google Enterprise services rebranding as 'Google for Work'

09/02, 3:07pm

Chairman Eric Schmidt trumpets change, notes successes on blog post

Google is rebranding its efforts for enterprise. In a blog post heralding the change, Chairman Eric Schmidt noted that the business-focused offerings from the search engine giant will now be known as Google for Work, with no other changes made to the products other than the name. Encompassed under the new nomenclature are Gmail and Hangouts (notably separated from Google+ generally), plus Google Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Groups, News, Play, Sites, and Vault.

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Google invitation to event in India may be Android One device launch

09/01, 3:04pm

Event country, timing suggests first Android One devices due this month

Google has sent out invitations to an announcement event due to be held on September 15th in India. Though not specifically hinting at a product or service, it is believed the event will involve the launch of the first Android One smartphones, a program Google introduced in June to provide low-cost Android mobile devices to emerging markets.

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Briefly: Wipeout 2 for iOS and Android, Spotify Connect updates

08/30, 12:04pm

Action platforming game Wipeout 2 available for iOS, Android

Activision Publishing has released its action platforming game Wipeout 2, available for iOS and Android devices, as well as for Kindle Fire. Based on the competition TV series "Wipeout," players dodge environmental hazards and challenge to complete each level as fast as possible. Players can choose from 10 playable characters, including Zombie, Pirate and Popstar, with 150 themed obstacles and 135 new levels. Free to download, Wipeout 2 is available on iTunes, Google Play and the Amazon App Store.

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Chrome 38 beta for Mac makes jump to 64-bit code

08/29, 11:35am

Google promises 'number of speed and security improvements'

For Mac users, the latest beta channel release of Chrome -- Chrome 38 -- makes the switch to a 64-bit codebase, Google has announced. The primary benefit is said to be speed, since it grants access to "a superior instruction set, more registers, and a more efficient function calling convention," according to Google. The company points out that in some cases Chrome can be the only 32-bit app that's running, forcing OS X to load 32-bit system libraries that consume extra memory and launch time.

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Google reveals two-year results of Project Wing drone testing

08/29, 5:44am

Secret Google X project revealed as drone-based delivery system

Amazon is not the only company looking to use drones for deliveries, as Google has reportedly been testing its own version for the last two years. Tested in Australia due to more "progressive" drone rules, Google's Project Wing appears to be more for creating autonomous flying machines destined for disaster relief than for detail deliveries.

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Google acquires visual effects cloud rendering company Zync Render

08/26, 6:07pm

Company to join Google Cloud Platform team, visual effects rendering services to continue

Google's cloud offerings are growing to include services aimed at the movie industry today, thanks to the addition of a rendering technology that utilizes the elasticity of cloud computing. The search giant posted on the Google Cloud Platform Blog announcing that it acquired Zync Render, a company that specializes in flexible tools that use the cloud to store and render visual effects for films.

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Google releases Chrome 37 for Windows, Mac, Linux

08/26, 12:30pm

Windows users get better fonts via DirectWrite

Google has released Chrome 37 for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The biggest change affects only Windows users, in the form of DirectWrite support for better font rendering. Previously, Chrome for Windows depended on the Graphics Device Interface, and Google explains that the change "required extensive re-architecting and streamlining of Chrome's font rendering engine."

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Amazon procures streaming site Twitch for $970 million [u]

08/25, 5:45pm

Sources state that the deal is worth $1 billion, same as reported Google acquisition

[Updated with confirmation of deal between twitch and Amazon] Originally reported by The Information, Twitch has been purchased by Amazon. While Google was thought to be the forerunner that would pick up the company for $1 billion, based on earlier reports, Amazon has completed the deal, worth $970 million in cash.

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Some iOS apps vulnerable to auto-dialing URLs, developer notes

08/25, 4:48pm

Major apps identified as culprits

A number of iOS apps -- including Facebook Messenger, Gmail, and Google+ -- have a security vulnerability that could allow malicious parties to force an iPhone to auto-dial, observes Romanian developer Andrei Neculaesei. iOS supports a tel:// URI that can make a call automatically, even though developers are allowed to bypass confirmation prompts for the dialer if they want. Through a vulnerable app and the right web code, a person could potentially be tricked into dialing a toll number. A FaceTime variant could let someone capture images of a person before disconnecting.

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Google debuts Slides app for iOS, updates Docs and Sheets

08/25, 2:19pm

Fills out iOS productivity suite

Google is today launching a new iOS app, Slides. Much like Microsoft PowerPoint, Slides lets people create and edit presentations. Because these files are stored in the cloud, users can start work on one device and continue on another, including via the Slides web app. Collaboration features let several people work on a presentation simultaneously; any changes to a file are saved automatically, and the app can work both on and offline. Offline changes are uploaded after reconnection.

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Google snaps up Gecko Design, adds firm to Google(x) projects

08/22, 4:15pm

Firm has worked with Dell, HP, Logitech on a wide variety of consumer electronics

Google has acquired design firm Gecko, in an effort to bolster its Google(x) product manufacture efforts. The firm has previously done industrial design work for OLPC, Logitech, Sling Media, Herman Miller, Hewlett-Packard, and contributed to the Fitbit design, pre-launch.

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Briefly: ESPN Scores Pebble app released, Chromecast price cut in UK

08/22, 7:56am

ESPN creates Scores app for sporting update on Pebble smartwatch

ESPN has released an app for the Pebble smartwatch, providing results for various sporting events. The Scores app includes results from the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, college football, and college basketball, and will vibrate to notify the wearer about game updates. The app is now available to download from the Pebble App Store for iOS and Android.

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Apple removes anonymous Secret app from Brazilian App Store

08/21, 10:10pm

Company complies with only half of judge's controversial order

Following a ruling by a Brazilian judge that anonymous social apps such as Secret violate the Brazilian constitution, Apple has removed the program from the App Store in that country, citing that its own guidelines require that apps comply with local laws in the country they're sold in. In addition to Apple, the judge ordered Google and Microsoft to also remove the app or similar apps. There has not, however, been any reports of Apple or the other companies remotely deleting the app from users' devices.

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Briefly: Sky adds recommendations to set-top boxes, Chrome in Cuba

08/21, 3:25pm

Sky updates electronic program guide, adds recommendations, smart season recording

British satellite television provider Sky has started to roll out software updates to its Sky+ HD set-top boxes, updating the electronic program guide. A new "recommendation engine" will make suggestions of TV shows to watch based on previously downloaded or recorded content, reports The Next Web, with other changes including a "Smart Series Link" automatically recording new seasons of TV shows, DVD cover art, and the combination of HD and SD viewing options in On Demand.

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Reports of Verizon's return to app sales refuted by carrier [u]

08/20, 4:18pm

New store has to deal with complexities of multiple carriers, hardware vendors

[/strong]Updated with Verizon statement[/strong] Verizon is allegedly in discussions with other carriers and Android device manufacturers to launch its own app store. According to sources familiar with the matter, the carrier is building up the store, similar to the shuttered V Cast, as a response to reductions in revenue-sharing arrangements with Google through the Google Play store. Verizon has since denied the claims, without providing much information about the report.

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Brazilian judge orders deletion of Secret app from mobile devices

08/20, 7:30am

Apple, Google, Microsoft required to delete Secret from customer phones or face fines

A Brazilian judge has ordered Apple, Google, and Microsoft to remove Secret, an app used for anonymously sharing information with others, from citizen's phones. The unusual ruling requires both Apple and Google to delist Secret from the App Store and Google Play, with Microsoft ordered to do the same for the Windows Phone-equivalent Cryptic, as well as deleting it remotely from mobile devices in the country.

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YouTube Music Key leak claims $9.99 subscription, offline mode

08/19, 9:15am

Screenshots of YouTube Music Key show mixes, recommendations, 20M song library

Google's long-rumored music service for YouTube will apparently cost $9.99 per month, according to a leak. Dubbed YouTube Music Key, the subscription service will provide advertising-free music playback on the desktop, mobile, and through the TV, with the ability to cache songs on devices for offline playback, similar to the existing Google Play Music All Access subscription.

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Google reportedly implementing child-friendly services, protection

08/18, 5:05pm

Child-focused version of YouTube allegedly in development

Google is adapting its services to cater for a younger audience, as the company attempts to make a play for a new generation of user, a report claims. The search company is allegedly working on various child-friendly services which children under the age of 13 will be able to use, provided it receives permission from the child's parent or guardian beforehand.

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Google acquires team behind deep learning app Jetpac City Guides

08/17, 5:14pm

Jetpac to be removed from app store shortly, support discontinued in September

Google recently made another acquisition, this time involving a team that uses deep learning in its apps. The team behind the Jetpac City Guides app announced last week that they would be joining Google in an unspecified capacity. Details of the deal weren't disclosed, but the San Francisco-based team would be moving on to Google, leaving their apps behind in the process.

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