25
Jan

Google's compatibility definition document (CDD) is meant to provide guidelines, requirements, and recommendations to Android device manufacturers who want their devices to be "compatible" with the latest release of Android, allowing them to pass Google's Compatibility Test Suite.

Last time Google updated the document, we noted at least one change of interest, requiring that manufacturers use white status icons with translucent bars. Naturally, when we noticed Google had updated the document again, we had to take a look and see what changes had been made.

24
Jan
music key

YouTube has become a great place for indie musicians to get their work out to the public, and in a few cases, even make a little extra money with Google's automated Content ID music identifying and licensing service. That was all well and good, right up to the point where Google decided it would make its video site into a formal music service with YouTube Music Key. We heard of serious issues with the contract terms even before the service launched, but now one independent artist has spilled the beans on those terms, and how they've left her in a conundrum.

24
Jan
6420009_sa

Sometimes old stuff is too old. It's sad, but companies don't have unlimited resources, and they can't provide new software updates and service forever. That's especially true of smaller companies like Dropcam (though it's technically owned by Nest, which is technically owned by Google, so I'm not sure if it qualifies as a "small" company anymore). But instead of simply leaving owners of older hardware in the dust, or compromising on new features for the always-on home monitoring service, Dropcam has decided to simply upgrade the old models for free.

23
Jan
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The US and EU have put in effect sanctions against the Crimea area of Ukraine following Russia's annexation of the peninsula, and now various tech companies are complying. Google has already started to block AdSense and AdWords in the region, reports TechCrunch, and it plans to cut off Google Play services starting on February 1st.

Google's actions follow the likes of Apple, PayPal, and Valve (which has opted to turn off Steam in Crimea altogether). 

21
Jan
nexus2cee_topic_google_play.png

Reports indicate that Google has taken definitive steps towards launching their own cellular phone service, making a long-whispered rumor sound like more than just hearsay. Google is working on deals with both Sprint and T-Mobile to become a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) on their infrastructure. While details are sparse for now, this might be your surest bet to avoid bloatware if there ever was one.

An MVNO is a third-party who uses a major carrier's network to provide service.

21
Jan
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Last Updated: January 23rd, 2015

Version 40 of Google Chrome went live today after a couple months in beta. There's no single headlining feature in this update, but there are a variety of genuinely useful additions and fixes. It is Wednesday, after all, and what better update than a major Chrome release?

nexus2cee_2014-12-03-21.25.33  Screenshot_2015-01-09

We have previously covered the bulk of the changes in this release. What's on the menu? Here's a changelog, created by me with links to previous coverage (as if Google would provide one):

About that last one, here's what we mean: press and hold on the address bar and you'll see something like the image below.

21
Jan

It may be taking longer than many potential customers would like, but Google is still working on bringing its goods and services to interested parties around the world. Today, those in New Zealand and Taiwan will be happy to find that the Play Store now has a "Devices" section in their countries.

For now, it seems that only the Nexus 9 and the Chromecast are available in these two countries, but this is still a promising development.

21
Jan
Last Updated: January 26th, 2015

Update: Just as mysteriously as it entered the Play Store, Work Chrome has left - its listing appears to have been removed.

The idea behind Google's Android Work effort is to allow users of enterprise devices (whether BYOD or company-provided) to use the apps they're familiar with in one unified experience that keeps work and personal data separate. Work data will stay secure, with Android Work providing restrictions and controls for what can be done with the data, while personal data is readily accessible without needing to install any special third-party apps or launchers. 

21
Jan
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Through the Google Play for Education platform, Google has brought Android tablets to schools throughout parts of the US, along with the apps teachers require to put the hardware to use in their classrooms. Now the search giant is expanding the offering to the UK, including software that caters to the country's curriculum.

20
Jan
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Google doesn't want developers naming their apps in ways that could imply association with or endorsement from Android, so instead of the Android Music Player, it prefers Music Player for Android. The idea is that this distinction makes it clearer to users that the folks who make Android had nothing to do with the creation of this particular app.

Now the Big G has expanded this guideline to all other brands. 

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