Google

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Nougat starts rolling out to the Samsung Chromebook Plus, but only for Canary builds right now

Google renewed its commitment to running Android apps on Chromebooks earlier this year with the announcement of universal Android app support going forward. One of the first devices covered by this promise is the Samsung Chromebook Plus, and it's also (apparently) the first to get the latest version of Android. Nougat (7.1.1) has started rolling out, but you need to be on the bleeding edge to get it.

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Opinion: Google should fix its erratic reminder system

The ability to quickly set a reminder on your phone is one many of us take for granted these days. Smartphones have seemingly always had this basic PDA functionality. Type ‘add reminder’ into the Google search box and you’ll be able to quickly set up a notification to jog your memory about something later on. You can even use the ‘OK Google’ voice command: “remind me to pick up the groceries at 6pm,” for example. Easy-peasy.

For most people, this function is used occasionally for something really important they simply mustn't forget. And for those people, it probably works just fine.

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Google Home's latest feature turns it into your sous-chef

One of my favorite parts of this job is that I get to work from anywhere with an internet connection, which of course means that I never leave my house. Being the one who is home all day, I am responsible for cooking. Oftentimes, I like to find new culinary ideas, but keeping my phone or tablet on the counter where it's readable can lead to it getting a bit messy. Luckily, my Google Home will soon be able to read off recipes to me, which is just awesome.

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InBrief
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Chrome Remote Desktop updated with improved performance, more responsive click-drag, and more

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[Update: Just headphones for employees] Google-branded wireless headphones show up at the FCC

Well this is... unexpected. We've heard whispers of a new Google Home/Google WiFi combo, and even the next Pixel devices, but nothing in the realm of audio products. Out of nowhere, a set of headphones from Google have appeared in a new FCC filing.

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Security firm Check Point says millions infected with botnet malware via Play Store

The conventional wisdom is that limiting your app downloads to the Play Store will help you avoid malware. That's true for the most part, but every now and then we hear about something sketchy that fell through the cracks. For instance, the security firm Check Point says that a number of "game guide" apps in the Play Store were hiding malicious code, and they may have accumulated millions of downloads.

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Google adds Indonesian and eight new Indian languages to its neural machine translation

Last year Google started using their new neural machine translation as a means of improving translations through context. A bit over a month ago Google updated it to work with a few new languages. Today Google has added nine more English pairs of languages to the app: Indonesian, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu.

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Google and Intertrust launch PatentShield to protect startups from patent lawsuits

One of the biggest hurdles you can run into when starting a company is the issue of patents. Often larger companies don't like the competition whether or not they actually have a patent on your technology. There's right and wrong, but independent of the merit of a case brought against you, it doesn't matter if you can't defend yourself. Now Google and Intertrust are launching a new service called PatentShield that provides startups with access to a patent portfolio from contributing companies like Google, giving them a means of defending patent-based attacks with their own.

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Google is testing a way to make tab casting video suck a lot less, and you can try it

Google has introduced a new tweak in Chrome Dev channel for streaming full-screen video tabs to Chromecasts, significantly improving power consumption and streaming performance. Now your Chromecast can directly pull the video itself. Obviously there are lots of major and minor benefits to being able to stream any video feed to your Chromecast at higher quality. Now you can stream live feeds and videos from sources that didn't previously support Chromecast streaming, or for which the old methods resulted in a stuttery or low-quality stream. To put it simply: casting Amazon Prime (or other feeds that didn't have Chromecast support) just got better.

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Google posts truly incredible night images captured by the Pixel and Nexus 6P

Smartphone cameras have come a long way, but can you ever take images that rival a "real" camera? According to Google software engineer Florian Kainz, the answer is yes. Using a custom camera app and some post-capture editing , Kainz shows what the camera sensors in the Pixel and Nexus 6P can do in low light situations.

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