Google has amended the policies of its Play app store for Android to prohibit third-party app update mechanisms, in a move seemingly designed to put the kibosh on a contentious feature being tested by Facebook.
As of Friday, the "Dangerous Products" section of the Chocolate Factory's Google Play Developer Program Policies - which prohibits such things as Trojans, viruses, and spyware - now includes an additional sentence:
An app downloaded from Google Play may not modify, replace or update its own APK binary code using any method other than Google Play's update mechanism. Read more...
Google has apparently rethought a change to its Chrome browser that had users up in arms and has restored an older design of its popular New Tab Page in the newest beta of Chrome 27.
Users were overwhelmingly against a revision of Chrome's New Tab Page (NTP) that debuted in Chrome 27 in early April. The new NTP reduced the number of thumbnails of recently visited websites from eight to four, inserted a large Google search box, shifted the Web apps view to a new button near the top of the browser window, and dumped other features, including the ability to view recently closed tabs, from the NTP. Read more...
Google chief exec Larry Page has confirmed his company's techno-spectacles Google Glass will run some form of Android.
During an earnings call yesterday for Google's first-quarter 2013 financial numbers, Page revealed the choice of operating system when asked about the new product and how it would fit in the existing Google stable.
"Obviously, Glass runs on Android, so [Android] has been pretty transportable across devices, and I think that will continue," he said. Read more...
A malfunctioning log-in system affected millions of people's ability to access a variety of Google applications on Wednesday, including Gmail and Drive.
The problem, which lasted for about three hours on Wednesday morning, occurred when the main user authentication system for Google applications was misconfigured.
The improper configuration, introduced on Tuesday, caused log-in requests to be funneled to a small number of servers, which in turn ran out of capacity, and the overload caused them to malfunction. Read more...
Google's placement of its own flight-finding service in search results is resulting in lower click-through rates for companies that have not bought advertising, according to a study by Harvard University academics.
The study provides data for how Google's placement of its own services amid "organic" search results may hurt competitors, which is the focus of an ongoing antitrust case between Google and the European Union.
How paid and non-paid search results are displayed has a powerful sway over consumers, the study found. Ben Edelman, an associate professor at Harvard Business School, and Zhenyu Lai, a Harvard doctoral candidate, looked at when Google began inserting its own Flight Search feature, launched in December 2011, into search results. Read more...
But the company has now denied that this is the case - although it's not clear whether the fact is that talks have ended or that talks were never happening.
Neeraj Arora, WhatsApp's business development head, told AllThingsDigital that the company is in fact "not holding sales talks with Google", though declined to say more than that. Read more...
Early models of Google's wearable computer, Glass, may be manufactured in the U.S., according to a report.
The Glass eyewear, which is still in development, is expected to be built in Silicon Valley, the Financial Times reported, citing unnamed sources. The Times also reported that Google is working on a deal with Hon Hai Precision Industry, the Taiwanese contract manufacturer also known as Foxconn.
The manufacturer would build the computerized eye glasses in Santa Clara, Calif., the Times said.
Google declined to comment on where Glass will be manufactured. Read more...
The new stable version of Chrome, 26.0.1410.43 m for those of you still counting, has baked in the spell check tech The Chocolate Factory uses when you type in its search dialog.
The results, depicted below, add an “ask Google for suggestions” option. Google’s blog announcing the feature shows that feature helping to explain when to use “effect” instead of “affect”.
Google says the new feature is "... powered by the same technologies used by Google search".
Yet when Vulture South’s grammar lab gave the new feature a workout we found it’s not very good at figuring out we’d used “its” when the contraction “it’s” is more appropriate. Nor did sentences in which we used “their” incorrectly as a substitute for the contraction “they’re” or the adverb “there” as an indicator of location produce a useful suggestion from Google’s dictionary.
That sound you just heard was therefore almost certainly a sigh of relief from The Reg’s sub-editorial corps, safe in the knowledge their particular skill remains essential to our ongiong operationses.
China signaled it wants to reduce its dependence on Google's Android OS, alleging that the U.S. company has discriminated against local companies over the use of the mobile operating system.
"Our country's mobile operating system research and development is heavily reliant on Android," according to a white paper from a research division of China's tech regulator, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. "Although the Android system currently remains open source, the core technologies and technology roadmap is strictly controlled by Google."
The comments, published online this month, were reported by local publications on Tuesday. Read more...
Google announced on Tuesday that users of its social network, Google+, are now able to sign in to third party apps using their Google+ credentials.
Similar functionality has existed in rival social network Facebook for years, and Google+ finds itself once again playing catch-up, fledgling venture that it is.
Google's touting a number of improvements over Facebook's app sign-in functionality, without specifically calling its rival out by name.
But when Google's director of product management for Google+, Seth Sternberg, promised not to let apps "spray updates" all over the place in a Tuesday Google Blog post, we all knew who he was referring to. Read more...
Google has helped lower the blood pressure of internet users across the world with an experimental Chrome feature that makes it easy to identify which of your open tabs is blaring out noise.
The feature, which is available in Chromium and the bleeding edge "this might crash horribly" Canary build of Chrome, puts a little visual indicator in tabs that are playing noise.
The technology lays a six-frame bitmap of a throbbing EQ over the website's favicon, making it a lot easier to find tabs that are playing music. Read more...
A patent application filed by Google last year provides a detailed look at some of the metrics the company considers when ranking news stories and deciding how prominently to display them on its Google News page.
The application, filed in February 2012 and published last July, seeks to build on a patent Google was issued in 2009 titled "Systems and Methods for Improving the Ranking of News Articles." Computerworld found the document while conducting an unrelated patent search on the United States Patent Office's website. Read more...
Poor HP. A mere two weeks after the company rolled out its much-hyped Chromebook, Google has gone and unveiled the Chromebook Pixel, a touch-friendly Chrome OS-based laptop that (at least on paper) puts the Pavilion 14 Chromebook to shame. The same can be said of other popular Chromebooks out there, too, including the Samsung Chromebook, which has sat pretty atop Amazon's top-selling laptop list for three months now.
The one prominent disadvantage the Google Pixel may have against other Chromebooks is the price tag: It starts at $1,299, compared to rivals that range from $200 to $330. But then, the Chromebook isn't aimed at people considering a second device to complement their existing PC. This one is "especially for power users who have fully embraced the cloud," according to Google vice president of engineering Linus Upson.
Google appears to have swiped a page from Microsoft's playbook here: The Redmond giant raised eyebrows and ruffled feathers when it opted to effectively take on its hardware partners by building its own tablets, the Surface and the Surface Pro. Still, Upson has assured Google's hardware partners Samsung, Acer, Lenovo, and HP that his company is "tremendously grateful ... for their commitment." Read more...
The "Cloud Endpoints" feature was pushed out in its preview form by Google on Thursday, along with support for the Java 7 runtime on its App Engine platform-as-a-service.
"Cloud Endpoints gets rid of all the plumbing code associated with writing custom backend server logic for mobile and web apps," Brad Abrams, a Google product manager, told The Register via email. "For example, developers no longer need to deal with serialization, user authentication, API security, load balancing or machine management." Read more...
Motorola Solutions has unveiled a head-mounted, voice-controlled computer that's targeted at the military and other industries where workers need hands-free access to information.
Called the HC1, the device runs on an ARM processor and has an optional camera to send back real-time video over a wireless network.
Unlike Google Goggles, though, the HC1 is aimed at the enterprise market with a price tag of $4,000-$5,000 per unit.
Areas the company has been experimenting with include "high-end repair markets," such as aircraft engines, said Paul Steinberg, CTO of Motorola Solutions (which is the part of Motorola Google did not acquire). "Emergency medical personnel at trauma centers might be looking at this too." Read more...