At the end of last year, we learned that Chrome OS was about to get some improvements in the way it handles Android apps. The Chrome OS 64 beta allowed you to run them side-by-side just as you can with regular laptop apps. This improvement and more should now be part of the latest stable release, which is up to version number 64.0.3282.134 (Platform version: 10176.65.0).
The most notable addition is a new screenshot shortcut for touchscreen devices. You can now press volume-down and power button buttons simultaneously, just like on Android phones and tablets. This will be useful for convertibles but could also be seen as preparation for Chrome OS devices with no keyboard whatsoever, like this leaked Acer tablet. Read More
Japanese IT firm Fujitsu has announced a plan to spin off their mobile device business into a separate company. Under the deal, investment firm Polaris will take over management and assume control of 70% of the company, while Fujitsu will retain a 30% stake. While Sony is the largest Android device manufacturer in Japan, Fujitsu is also a major contender. Fujitsu's Arrows series of smartphones and tablets are available primarily on NTT Docomo, the largest mobile network operator in Japan. Read More
YouTube TV looks like a pretty sweet deal for those in supported markets. But, there are a few drawbacks. Most notable among them used to be device support, popular set-top streaming devices like Rokus and Apple TVs didn't have apps to support the service. If that was holding you back from being a YouTube TV subscriber, you should be happy to hear that Google just rolled out apps for each. Read More
Pokémon GO is the poster child for augmented reality. Niantic didn't make quite as big a splash with its first AR game, Ingress, but our collective millennial Pokémon-themed childhood ensured that the company's second effort had a very different reception. Now Niantic looks to be making an investment for the future, as it's just purchased Escher Reality, a startup specializing in backend (read: multiplayer) solutions for VR. Read More
Google Translate is getting an update today, but it looks pretty light on features. The main changes appear to center around properly labeling languages. Nine dialects are getting proper names, and it seems the term 'dialect' is going out of style, so Translate is now saying 'region' everywhere. A look through the APK also shows that we can look forward to app shortcuts in the future. Read More
Alphabet reported today in its annual earnings call that the company's fiscal Q4 was a bit of a dismal one, owing to a decision to provision a new tax on foreign assets ahead into the 2017 fiscal year. Basically, Google took a $9.9 billion tax hit in the last quarter of 2017, dramatically lowering the effective net income the company earned for the whole of the fiscal year.
Google lost $3 billion in Q4, but for 2017 overall, it managed net income of $12.7 billion on revenues of $110.8 billion. While net income is down versus 2016 ($19.5 billion), revenues are way up - around 23%. Read More
Version 7.20 of the Google app rolled out just a few days ago with an assortment of new features and minor changes. Today, a minor update to v7.20.16 hit the Play Store, and in typical fashion for an update without a major version bump, it looks a lot like a typical bug fix update. However, this one does include a few new strings that are slightly interesting. There are mentions of something called Google Temperature that might be worth watching out for. Read More
Google doesn't pay much attention to the Google Now Launcher anymore, but that doesn't mean it's dead. The Google app powers this launcher, so small tweaks show up from time to time. Today, there's a noticeable and somewhat perplexing change in the Google Now Launcher. Some users have a new home button in the search box that launches the Google Feed. Read More