Google has come out unscathed from a lawsuit in which consumers accused the company of anti-competitive practices. The basic allegation was that Google requires manufacturers to use a Google version of Android and that the way they place their own apps at the forefront has increased prices and prevented potential rivals from emerging. The main issue is the stipulation that Google's search be default in order to preload Play Services on Android devices. Read More
Google has revealed their intention to roll out a new YouTube app just for kids, starting next week. It will be aptly named YouTube Kids and is geared towards those 10 years old or younger. Perhaps most interesting for non-children is that the app, at least initially, will be released exclusively on Android.
Image by USA Today
It features a fairly dumbed-down user interface that will leverage Google's voice recognition rather than rely on the spelling abilities of young children. Read More
Last month an interesting rumor circulated on El Androide Libre. According to a tipster who got in touch with Libre by email, Google was working on a new service called Tablescape - an apparent extension of Google+ aimed at foodie photographers.
Information was relatively sparse (we don't know, for instance, when the service may debut if at all), but the tipster provided Libre with plenty of screenshots, showing a stream reminiscent of Google+, with posts, content creation, and awesome iconography for food categories. Read More
Yandex is often called "the Google of Russia," for pretty obvious reasons: it owns and operates the largest search engine (by market share) in the country, and it has expanded into familiar markets like webmail, online video, mapping services, and even an app store. Still, Yandex has found that Google's hold on Android is basically unshakeable at this point, so the company has resolved to take advantage of Android's open source nature and provide superior alternatives to its customers. Read More
Developers can be found all over the world, toiling away for hours on a computer as they build cool apps and games for our gadgets. Most of them would like to earn a few duckets for their work, but that's not always possible with certain types of apps and games. Today, the doors are open for developers from 12 additional countries to register for merchant accounts and begin selling paid apps to the world. Read More
Google's official device art generator is a great tool for making screenshots look pretty. For all recent Nexus devices, including Nexus 5, 6, 7, and 9 (plus a few older devices), the generator has high-quality device frames that will perfectly show off properly sized screenshots. Users can simply drag a screenshot in and then drag the framed shot back out, with shadow or glare effects if desired.
Now, it looks like Android Wear has joined the lineup on the device art generator. Rather than opting for specific device art (which in this case would include a watch body and a strap), Google has added very basic frames for "round" or "square" watches (no flat tire shapes allowed). Read More
As nice as Google Play Music All Access is for music lovers (and it's gotten considerably nicer since essentially being merged with YouTube Music Key), the branding is a bit of a mouthful. We've been sent a series of tips that indicate that Google may shift the name sometime in the future... but don't hold out for something particularly ingenious. According to our tipster, the new name might be "Google Play Music Unlimited," as indicated way back in July of last year.
At least some of the portions of Google's support text refer to "Google Play Music Unlimited," particularly the newer email messages sent to customers. Read More
If you're wishing someone a happy Valentine's day using Hangouts today rather than face-to-face, Google's got a special easter egg for you.
Back in December, Google added tons of special animations to Hangouts, triggered by words like "woohoo" or "yay!!" or "lmao," but it looks like there are some extra treats for Valentine's day. Typing "Happy Valentine's," or "Happy Valentine's day" will trigger a few heart-themed animations, featuring a love-struck emoji or a fox gifting flowers to its duck Valentine.
This easter egg seems to be part of Google's effort to make Valentine's day special for users across its web properties, with other tricks including a heart-filled +1 action on Google+ (seen below) and Google's "special edition" reCAPTCHAs. Read More
For Google Talk users, Product Manager Mayur Kamat has some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that the chat service's desktop client for Windows will be deprecated on February 23, 2015 as the team continues to focus on making Hangouts better.
Of course that leaves the question of third-party clients like Pidgin, Trillian, etc. The good news is, as Kamat notes, that compatible apps will still continue to work.
If you’re not ready to make the switch to Hangouts quite yet, you can continue using Google Talk on Windows with a range of compatible third-party chat apps (http://goo.gl/FSbCX5). Please keep in mind these aren’t Google products, so exercise caution when signing in with your Google account.