The Android Device Manager app could really save your bacon if you misplace a device, but it could also be a serious pain if someone else opens it. An update is rolling out right now that adds a password challenge when you open the app or switch accounts that makes sure no one but the account holder can track, lock, or wipe devices.
After the update, ADM will prompt for a password each time it starts up. Read More
Google has reportedly closed a deal to acquire a London-based artificial intelligence startup called DeepMind. Google buys things all the time, but this time Mountain View has agreed to pay a huge sum of money for DeepMind. Sources are reporting the deal could have been valued as high as $500 million, or 0.5 Instagrams.
Through its official global blog, Samsung today announced a new patent licensing deal reached with Google, whereby both companies will have access to each other's existing patents and those filed over the next ten years, covering "a broad range of technologies and business areas."
The cross-licensing agreement is described by Google's Deputy General Counsel for Patents, Allen Lo, as one that will help the two giants "reduce the potential for litigation, and focus instead on innovation." Indeed that has been a popular refrain as both Google and Samsung have historically faced (and continue to face) patent challenges from various other companies on various grounds. Read More
If you were unable to access Gmail, Google+, Google Calendar, Google Drive, and other online services from The Big G earlier today, you were not alone. A widespread outage was reported in the late morning/early afternoon US time. Google seems to have cleared up the issue, but just to let everyone know what's up, Google's Vice President of Engineering Ben Treynor took to the company blog for both an explanation and an apology. Read More
If you tried reaching one of Google's popular services, such as Gmail, Google+, or Play Music in the last 30 minutes and failed because they're either unavailable, very slow, or have broken in some other way, don't go blaming your ISP - it's one of those rare occasions when Google itself is having some major hiccups.
The company finally updated the Apps Status Dashboard after a surprisingly long delay of over 20 minutes showing all green and is now looking into the issues:
1/24/14 11:12 AM
We're investigating reports of an issue with Gmail.
Google makes the open source parts of Android freely available, but those aren't the parts everyone wants. The Google apps and services are what make Android devices desirable, and Google keeps those firmly under its control. A new report from The Guardian alleges that Google's device certification process for OEMs to get Gapps isn't free – the OEM has to pay a small per-device license fee for Google's services.
There was a time not so long ago when entering keywords into a search engine and getting back a list of relevant URLs was convenient enough, but these days, long after the novelty of search engines has worn off, sifting through pages of blue and purple links can feel quite tedious. So Google is continuing to do more to make using its primary service easier. Starting today, when you click on the name next to a website's link in your search results, you will get served a small window providing a little bit more information than what's provided on the page. Read More
When you hear about a patent case in the Eastern District of Texas, you can bet there will be shenanigans. This time a jury in the capital of software patent lawsuits has found that Google infringed on a patent held by a company called SimpleAir that reportedly covers push messaging systems used in Android.
There comes a time in every Nexus device's life when it must leave the Play Store. For the Nexus 10, that time began earlier this week, when reports began surfacing that the tablet may be permanently out of stock (from the US Play Store, anyway). Since then the device's availability has flipped from available to "out of inventory" again and again, but at the time of writing, the original 10" Nexus' 32GB variant has been out of inventory in the US for two days (since January 16th), meaning we likely won't be seeing it again. Read More
Two new features are coming to Chrome for Android today, but they'll be old news if you have been running the beta of Chrome on your device. Bandwidth management and homescreen web shortcuts are both graduating from beta status, and will be showing up in the new version of stable Chrome.