Latest on Google: News, Features, Opinions and More
EC steps up antitrust inquiry into Google, Android
The European Commission is stepping up its inquiry into Google's alleged anti-competitive behavior in the market for mobile software, making a formal investigation into the company's Android business more likely, according to a report.
In a hyper-social world, some seek a little privacy
After years of cajoling their users into sharing every thought, emotion and selfie, online firms are seeing that providing more private online spaces might also be profitable.
Stanford surgical students set sights on Google Glass
Stanford University's medical school plans to start using Google's wearable computer, Glass, to help train students in surgery.
Google makes Hangouts more enterprise friendly
Google is looking to make your work day a bit more social and is taking its Google Hangouts into the business arena.
Google, Linaro develop custom Android edition for Project Ara
Google is working with open-source development organization Linaro to develop a special edition of Android for the Project Ara customizable smartphone.
Microsoft, IBM make cloud gains against Amazon
Microsoft and IBM are gaining momentum in the cloud infrastructure services market, putting pressure on Amazon and outpacing rival Google, according to a new study.
Evan Schuman: The data dangers of free public Wi-Fi
New York's plan to turn pay phones into free Wi-Fi stations could be a template for other cities, and bad news for IT departments trying to protect corporate data and intellectual property.
Google's next frontier: What it means to be healthy
Google has launched a new project, dubbed the Baseline Study, that seeks to develop a greater understanding of what it means to be healthy.
If you can't check in, is it really Foursquare?
In their quest to copy competitors, social sites and apps increasingly drop features that are part of the popularity and identity of their products, says columnist Mike Elgan.
In Digital Assistant Faceoff, Good Now (Just) Edges Siri
Call me old fashioned, but unlike Joaquin Phoenix in the film "Her," I'll never fall in love with a computer, Apple's Siri, or any other digital assistant. Siri is helpful, but does it work as well as Google Now? According to Gene Munster, a Piper Jaffray analyst who performed a rather painstaking analysis of the subject, there's almost no difference between the two -- though the Android version has a very slight edge.
EU hears Google, Microsoft, Yahoo on 'right to be forgotten'
Google, Microsoft and Yahoo are meeting with European data protection authorities Thursday to discuss how to implement a recent ruling that gives people the right to have personal information excluded from search results.
Facebook isn't giving up on search
Facebook reported Wednesday that it now handles an average of more than 1 billion searches a day, but it still has work to do to provide a comprehensive search tool.
What to expect in Facebook's earnings call today
With Facebook set to release its Q2 earnings today, it's a safe bet company execs will talk about mobile issues and user growth.
Sprint to resell Google Apps for Business cloud service
Sprint announced a partnership with Google to offer the Google Apps for Business cloud service, adding that customers of the service won't be required to use Sprint's wireless network or Android devices.
Google tried to buy music giant Spotify
Google reportedly tried to buy popular music streaming service Spotify late last year, but the talks broke down and the deal didn't go through.
Mozilla ships Firefox 31, adds search to new tab page
Mozilla released Firefox 31, patching 14 vulnerabilities, debuting a search box on the new tab page and adding a Google-provided service that detects and blocks known malicious files before they're downloaded.
Google rival slams EU Commission over antitrust settlement proposals
One of the complainants in an antitrust case against Google has slammed the European Commission for apparently adopting wholesale Google's proposal to settle the case, while giving complainants no fair chance to express their views on the settlement. Meanwhile, the Commission is considering revising the terms of the settlement, according to media reports.
Google to face US privacy suit over new user data policy
A California court has allowed a privacy class action suit against Google to continue, though only in part.
Google updates the Maps Explore Nearby feature -- for some users
Google is trying out a new Google Maps feature said to provide people with more information about their destinations, or about nearby points of interest, reports say.
A guide to the confusing Internet of Things standards world
Google recently announced a new networking protocol called Thread that aims to create a standard for communication between connected household devices.
Google may bring Wi-Fi to New York City pay phones
Google may be among the hopefuls vying to turn the New York City phone booths of the past into "communication points" of the future with free Wi-Fi and cellphone charging.
Chrome gets sharp after dumping 30-year-old Windows technology
Google last week said that it was finally ditching a 30-year-old technology to display fonts on Web pages in its Chrome browser for Windows.
U.S. court says warrant for access to all content of email account is justified
A New York judge defended a controversial order that gave the government access to all content of the Gmail account of a target in a money laundering investigation, holding that courts have long recognized the practical need for law enforcement to seize documents if only to determine whether they fall within the warrant.
Rise of the Planet of the Lockscreens
The humble lockscreen is about to become the most important interface on your smartphone, says columnist Mike Elgan.
Under Google, robot maker reduces dependence on military funding
A company acquired by Google that develops robots for the U.S. military appears to have greatly reduced its dependence on government funding, suggesting a reluctance on Google's part to align itself too closely with military projects.
Google starts work on Chrome bug that slurps Windows laptop juice
Google engineers have begun working on a fix for a months-old Chrome bug that drains Windows' laptop batteries, a move triggered by a story on Forbes' website.
Quick guide: 25 tips and tricks for Google Drive power users
Google Drive is an important tool that can deliver even more value with these 25 tips, tools, and tweaks
Google sales jump despite mixed ads results
Google's core advertising business helped to propel a 22 percent increase in sales during the second quarter, even while the cost of its ads dropped.
EU privacy watchdogs to quiz Google, Microsoft on 'right to be forgotten'
European privacy authorities have invited Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to discuss the implementation of a landmark ruling by Europe's top court that gives people the right to have personal information excluded from search results.
As it lays off workers, Microsoft also kills its low-end Nokia X smartphones
In addition to announcing its largest job cuts ever, Microsoft today also signaled a retreat from its low-end Nokia X line of Android phones.
Apple and IBM: A winning combo for IT
One thing is clear about the Apple-IBM partnership: It will change the dynamic of the enterprise mobility market in significant ways.
Microsoft offers European Bing users the 'right to be forgotten'
Microsoft has started accepting requests from users in Europe who want to remove search links from Bing under a recent "right-to-be-forgotten" ruling by Europe's top court.
Almost a million fake apps are targeting your phone
Fake apps dressed up to look like official ones but actually designed to steal user data are increasingly targeting Android phone users, according to a study by Trend Micro.
A New Dawn for System Design
Today an enterprise system must engage the workforce the same way Twitter, Facebook, Google and a galaxy of apps have engaged the masses. That means the next system we deploy cannot be the result of a traditional negotiation between business analysts and technologists. It must come from the same place as those consumer apps and Internet successes: the nexus of fast-paced, multi-disciplinary and human-focused development that doesn't look or act at all like the people or processes that created the systems of the last 30 years.
Apple-IBM deal threatens Android's enterprise push
The new Apple-IBM partnership seems sure to help Apple sell more iPads to businesses, but it may also be setting off alarm bells at mobile device management companies large and small.
Microsoft boosts OneDrive storage to free terabyte
Microsoft has begun boosting the free allowance of its OneDrive cloud-based storage service to one terabyte for subscribers to consumer and college student Office 365 plans.
Apple fashions 'brilliant' partnership with IBM for instant enterprise cred
The business-focused deal between Apple and IBM unveiled Tuesday is 'brilliant,' one analyst said, noting that Apple now gets into the enterprise through the front door rather than the back.
Google nixes real-name policy for Google+
Google+ may attract some new -- and mysterious -- users after Google announced Tuesday it was abolishing its real-names policy for the profiles in the service.
Microsoft plans price war to stymie Chromebook growth
Microsoft's COO says his company and its army of OEMs will compete on price with Google's Chromebooks, a milestone in Microsoft's battle against the encroaching enemy.
Google moves closer to selling smart contacts
Google has reached a deal with Alcon to work together on smart contact lenses that can monitor diabetics' blood sugar levels.
Google sets up a cybercrime-busting task force -- Project Zero
Google has set up an internal task force that will work to expose the activities and techniques of malicious Internet wrongdoers, aiming to cut down on the number of targeted cyberattacks.
Samsung, Arm and Nest launch Thread Group to link IoT devices together
Google's Nest subsidiary and heavy hitters including Samsung Electronics and Arm Holdings are launching the latest bid to make sensors, cameras, appliances and other devices in homes easily talk to each other.
Google's 3D mapping tech flying to space station
After a successful Sunday launch, the Cygnus cargo spacecraft is on its way to the International Space Station, carrying a Google 3D smartphone, along with a flock of tiny satellites.
Internet companies press for net neutrality in FCC filing
An association of more than two dozen technology companies including Facebook, Google, Twitter and Netflix urged the U.S. Federal Communications CommissionA on Monday to create strong, enforceable net neutrality rules for wired and mobile networks.
NASA to use Google's Project Tango to update space robot
Robotic spheres aboard the International Space Station soon will will be quite a bit smarter, gaining the ability to fly safely and adroitly around the orbiter.
Why Samsung needs to move beyond Android -- and Google
Samsung depends on Google's Android OS, but needs to find a way to differentiate itself from rivals who also use Android if it's to grow and thrive.
Google to tour Europe to discuss right-to-be-forgotten ruling
Google is going to tour Europe with a band of external advisers this fall to discuss a landmark ruling by Europe''on excluded from search engine listings in Europe.
Gmail users on iOS at risk of data theft
Apple users accessing Gmail on mobile devices could be at risk of having their data intercepted, a mobile security company said Thursday.
Google's Kubernetes software gets a helping hand from Microsoft, IBM and Red Hat
IBM, Microsoft, Red Hat and other IT vendors are lending a hand to Google to help build software that enterprises could use to manage their computerized workloads in the cloud.
Microsoft slashes SMB Office 365 prices by up to 31%
Microsoft's price cuts for some Office 365 plans was an attempt to keep momentum on its software-by-subscription push, an analyst said.
Google, Dropbox band together to fight patent trolls
Google, Dropbox and a few other high-tech firms have come up with a new way to help defend themselves against patent trolls.
Windows upgrades, Chromebooks slow PC market bleeding in Q2
Upgrades from Windows XP PCs to newer computers during the second quarter perked up the PC market, which inched closer to positive quarterly shipment growth.
Google goes mum on Glass release plans
Google executives are no longer saying whethert Glass will be ready for release in 2014.
Apple's CarPlay to dominate infotainment systems, will be in 24M cars by 2019
Apple's API for in-car mobile devices, better known as CarPlay, will outpace both the open API MirrorLink and GENIVI.
How Much Would You Pay for Google Glass? (Poll)
Earlier this week, I had an in-depth conversation with the man who created Google's Glass at Work program, Eric Johnsen. Glass at Work is a program that certifies Glass-related third-party apps and services for use in the enterprise.
Samsung Gear Live vs. LG G Watch: A real-world evaluation
The LG G Watch vs. Samsung Gear Live may look similar, but the first two Android Wear watches have some meaningful differences.
Android Wear deep-dive review: A smart start to smartwatch software
Google's Android Wear platform is an impressive first step toward making smartwatches people will actually want to buy. Here's an in-depth look at where the software shines -- and where it falls short.
Microsoft's IE steps back from the brink of irrelevance
Microsoft has managed to reverse years of sometimes-sharp decline in Internet Explorer's user share and revive interest in the browser it bundles with Windows.
Patch alert: Update browsers' Flash ASAP to block log-on theft
While Google's Chrome and Microsoft's IE10 and IE11 browsers will automatically update to the latest version of Adobe Flash, anyone using Safari, Firefox, Opera or older versions of IE must do so manually.
Google Glass creator sees something smaller, faster and less awkward
Google has big hopes for its Glass head-mounted computer, chief among them a desire to make the unit smaller and more comfortable to wear.
Apple yanks Google Maps from iCloud's 'Find My iPhone'
Apple has begun replacing Google Maps with its own mapping technology on iCloud.com, specifically in the Web-based "Find My iPhone" service.
Google's Former 'Glass at Work' Chief Talks Smartglasses in the Enterprise
In April, Google launched "Glass at Work," a program that certifies Glass-related products and services from third-party vendors for use in enterprise environments. The company last month announced its first five official "Glass at Work" partners and took some significant steps toward legitimizing its Glass smartglasses in the enterprise.
Is Linux Dead on the Desktop?
For executives in charge of desktop deployments in a large company, Linux OS was once hailed as a savior for corporate end users. With incredibly low pricing -- free, with fee-based support plans, for example -- distributions such as Ubuntu Desktop and SUSE Linux Enterprise offered a "good enough" user interface, along with plenty of powerful apps and a rich browser.
Evan Schuman: What if you can't trust your inbox?
Goldman Sachs is taking Google to court to force the cloud vendor to delete an email accidentally sent to a Gmail user. The consequences of a ruling for Goldman would be devastating.
Google's Larry Page talks of killing the 40-hour work week
Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page said we may someday see more part-time work weeks than we do today -- and that would be a good thing.
Gartner scales back Windows forecast
Gartner today scaled back its forecast of Windows' near future, saying that while Microsoft's OS will power a growing number of devices this year and next, the gains will be smaller than it projected in January.
Android bug lets apps make rogue phone calls
A vulnerability present in most Android devices allows apps to initiate unauthorized phone calls, disrupt ongoing calls and execute special codes that can trigger other rogue actions.
Firefox falters, falls to record low in overall browser share
Firefox's user share on all platforms -- desktop and mobile -- has plunged in the last two months as its desktop browser continued to bleed and efforts to capture users on smartphones fell short.
Google shows Apple how to buy a music service
Google's purchase of music streaming service Songza will be a boost for the Google brand as well as its search, Play, Glass and other services. Maybe Apple could learn a thing or two from the deal.
Enjoy the Free Songza Music App While You Still Can
By now, you may have heard that Google acquired Songza for a rumored $15 million. That's a bargain, when you consider Apple's recent $3-billion purchase of Beats, which sells headphones, speakers and a streaming music service.
Goldman Sachs asks Google to delete confidential email sent by mistake
Google has blocked access to a sensitive email that was sent by mistake to the Gmail account of an unknown person, according to Goldman Sachs, on whose behalf the email was sent. Now it wants Google to delete the email.
'Reading Rainbow' reboot coming to Android, Apple TV, Xbox
A relaunched version of "Reading Rainbow," the popular educational TV show that first aired in the 1980s, is on its way to a number of modern platforms including Android, Apple TV and Xbox.
Google scoops up Songza and its modern version of the 80s mix tape
Google will acquire music streaming service Songza, which offers customized playlists on its free mobile app.
Ready the robots! DARPA sets finals for robotics challenge
Scientists from at least 11 robotics teams have less than a year to prepare to compete in the DARPA robotics challenge finals.
Google launches 'cookie choices' site to let Europeans know how they're being tracked
Google has launched a new site, CookieChoices.org, to help visitors of European sites learn more about the digital breadcrumbs they leave behind through cookies.
Why It's Never Been More Important to Pick Your Mobile Platform Wisely
Will your choice of phablet determine the mobile ecosystem you get locked into for health and fitness tracking, automobile navigation and home entertainment?
Supreme Court declines to hear Google's request in Street View lawsuit
The U.S. Supreme Court declined to throw out a class-action lawsuit against Google for sniffing Wi-Fi networks with its Street View cars.
Google terminates Quickoffice apps on Android, iOS
As Google last week introduced new features for its online and Android productivity apps, it also quietly announced that it has halted development on Quickoffice and would soon pull the free software from the Google Play store and Apple's App Store.
Google agitates for a revolution in Web development
At the Google I/O conference last week week, the company vigorously lobbied developers to adopt a new programming model, one that could, the company asserted, make it radically easier to build Web applications.
Why Android Wear is the new iPad
Columnist Mike Elgan tested a smartwatch with Android Wear and said he has experienced a culture-changing platform.
Smartwatches at work: Boon or bane for IT?
It's hard to assess how popular smartwatches will be for business users, or how much of a pain they'll be for IT to support. But don't surprised when they start showing up in the office.
Google answers Apple's 'Continuity' with partial measures
Google this week offered a partial answer to Apple's Continuity technology, announcing a system that will let Android-powered smartphones interact with Chrome OS on Chromebooks.
The Danger of Google's Development Cadence
Instead of updating products every six weeks, as Google promised at the I/O developer conference, the company might want to slow down and make sure its products and services actually represent what its customers want.
Android Studio heading towards full release
Google's Android Studio development environment is available in a beta version that makes it easier to create apps for smartwatches and TVs.
Google gets into the weeds of Android Work
Google has revealed more about how its new enterprise security and management framework -- otherwise known as Android Work -- will function when the next version of Android rolls out.
YouTube launches new studio app, adds features for donations, fan-made subtitles
Makers of YouTube videos will be getting new tools to spruce up their content, including features that will let their fans make donations and submit their own subtitles to the videos.
Google focused on big data, real-time analysis in the cloud
When it comes to big data, many enterprises are getting slammed with big problems. Google plans to focus on helping those companies over the next year.
Google paves way for 64-bit Android L devices by year end
Catching up with Apple, Google is setting the stage for device makers to release 64-bit smartphones and tablets with the Android L operating system.
Google looks into a future with 3D tablets, interactive animation
In Google's vision of the future, tablets will provide a 3D view of the world and smartphones will have uses that haven't been thought of yet.
Microsoft botched all aspects of Exchange outage response
Microsoft blew it Tuesday when its Exchange Online hosted email service went dark and the company made no effort to explain what was going on to customers.
Google's move into home automation means even less privacy
Smart thermostat maker Nest Labs plans to soon start sharing some customer data with Google, its corporate parent, and that means the search engine giant will have to address users' privacy concerns as it expands into home automation.
QuickPoll: What's the most important announcement from this year's Google I/O?
Android Wear, the 'L' operating system and Android auto -- those were just some of the announcements from this year's Google I/O. Which do you think was most important?
Google starts removing 'right to be forgotten' search results
Google has begun removing search results in compliance with a European court ruling that search engine providers must respond to requests to delete links to outdated information about a person.
What happened to smart homes, Glass and robots at Google I/O?
Of all the things Google officials talked about during the annual developers conference keynote, the things that had a lot of people buzzing were those the company didn't mention.
How Samsung's Gear Live shrinks Android for the wrist
Google has unveiled the first three smartwatches that will run Android Wear, a cut-down version of Android for wearable devices, and we got our hands on one of them: the Samsung Gear Live.
Google targets business users with cloud, Docs advances
After focusing on Android during much of today's lengthy keynote, Google officials turned their attention to the enterprise.
Like other tech giants, Facebook is very white and very male
Facebook has followed Google and Yahoo in revealing just how diverse its workforce is, and just like the other two tech giants, it's very white and very male.
Samsung Gear Live unveiled as latest Android Wear smartwatch
Google gave about 6,000 developers attending its I/O conference on Wednesday two Android Wear smartwatches -- one for now and one for later -- as a not-so-subtle invitation to get developers to build more apps for those devices and their connected smartphones.
Google trumps Microsoft's 1TB of storage with unlimited space
Google today answered Microsoft's boost of cloud storage space by announcing it would give Google Apps for Business customers an unlimited amount of storage for an additional $5 a month per user.
With Android L, Google makes pitch for enterprise users
Google will provide enterprise-focused security and management features to its entire Android showcase of mobile devices, including features reserved only for Samsung devices running Samsung security software called Knox, a Google executive announced during the Google I/O keynote address Wednesday.
Our bloggers on Google
So long, software silliness! 7 quick tweaks to make the LG G3 better
The LG G3 has a lot of good things going for it -- but the phone's software isn't its strongest suit. Here are some easy tweaks to make the system more pleasant to use.
Is the LG G3 'the best Android phone ever'? Well...
Smartphone reviewers love sensational superlatives, but in the real world, things are rarely so black and white.
How to move your domain and Outlook mail to Google Apps and Gmail
Do you have a domain with email that you want to move over to Gmail and Google Apps? I've got help. I recently made the move myself. Here's how to move the domain and email, complete with "gotchas" you should watch out for, based on my hands-on experience.
Google assimilates Twitch into the YouTube collective
Google: Resistance is futile.
If you are a gamer, odds are good you've heard of Twitch. For those that don't know, Twitch is the go-to destination for watching live streaming videogame play online. It also happens to consume a higher percentage of Internet bandwidth than Hulu or Facebook. Bandwidth? Enter Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), which has reportedly decided to purchase Twitch for one beeeelion dollars.
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers welcome their new primary colored overlord.
Hands on: Amazon's Fire Phone makes a strange first impression
Amazon's Fire Phone is like no other phone you've used before -- but after 24 hours with the device, it's hard to say whether that's actually a good thing.
How to make Android Voice Search even smarter
Ever wish you could do things like toggle your phone's Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or flashlight by giving simple voice commands? Thanks to a clever little hack, you now can.
Candy crushed: EU demands Google & Apple clean-up their apps
In-app purchases: Like stealing candy from a baby.
Silent sentinel, tireless champion, (and BFF!) of consumers everywhere -- the European Commission -- has put its foot down once again. Its notion that an anything-is-OK-as-long-as-I-make-a-buck attitude regarding in-app purchases -- especially those labelled "free" on the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) app stores -- is now especially irksome to our Brussels-based friends.
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers start uninstalling apps.
FINALLY! Download Google Chrome Beta and fix slow, blurry font 'bug'
Chrome Beta download: You are about to participate in a great adventure.
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) brings beta browser, with DirectWrite support. Beta 37 should quell complaints that Windows font rendering is slow and blurry. The ancient Graphics Device Interface (GDI) calls have finally been replaced -- by using the outer limits of DirectWrite.
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers initially eulogize: GDI API RIP.
How to make Gmail infinitely more useful on Android Wear
With a little bit of behind-the-scenes customization, you can turn Gmail and Android Wear into an intelligently coordinated team. So what are you waiting for?
Zut alors! SEO outlawed in France (so avoid Il Giardino in Cap-Ferret)
Il Giardino in Cap-Ferret gags French blogger Caroline Doudet.
A French bar got fed up of its lousy reviews, so it fixed its food and service. No, wait, the other thing: It took a food blogger to court, to shut her up. Classy. Why did the "diva" restaurant owner pick on this particular blogger? Because her review ranked highest, that's why. Yes, your L33T SEO-skills can now get you fined in France. C'est conneries!
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers affect the Streisand effect.
Apple's IBM alliance kills Google in the enterprise
The news (to my mind, at least) confirms just how far Apple has come in its battle for relevance against old foe, Microsoft. So, what might this mean for Android? Nothing good.
Talk to the wrist! 40 handy voice commands to try with Android Wear
Voice commands are the easiest way to interact with Android Wear watches -- but it's all too easy to forget just how versatile those commands can be.
The first app every Android Wear owner needs
Most Android Wear apps provide additional watch-specific functions, but one program actually fills a big gap in the operating system itself.
Moto 360 hands on: A closer look at the Wear watch worth waiting for
While other Android Wear watches feel like clunky screens strapped to your wrist, the Moto 360 feels like an elegant watch that also happens to do cool things. Here's a hands-on look.
9 big questions about Android Wear watches -- answered!
We had nine burning questions about Google's Android Wear smartwatches -- and now, we have nine detailed answers.