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. Read More
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. Read More
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). When Google cuts off access to Google Play services, this will apply to both paid and free provisions, but the company will continue to provide access to web-based services such as search, Gmail, and Maps. Read More
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. Read More
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?
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. Read More
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. Read More
Update: Plenty of readers are saying that they've received 5.0.1 with AT&T SIM cards. The decision to publish this post was made after my testing and another AP team member saying that he had yet to receive 5.0.1 on his device as well. It's possible that the rollout to devices with AT&T SIMs is just moving at a much slower pace than for ones with other SIMs, but regardless, there is still something unique going on with AT&T. Read More
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. An organization's administrators can deploy and administer apps in bulk, including internal apps, through the Play Store. Read More
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. Read More
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. Android developers who visit the company's support page on the topic will see a new section dedicated entirely to this. Read More