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TAG Heuer, Google and Intel Announce Swiss Smartwatch Collaboration

March 19, 2015 9:23 PM | Google |

 

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Intel, TAG Heuer and Google have announced a partnership to launch a Swiss smartwatch powered by Intel technology and Android Wear. The effort signifies a new era of collaboration between Swiss watchmakers and Silicon Valley, bringing together each company’s respective expertise in luxury watchmaking, software and hardware.

“Swiss watchmaking and Silicon Valley is a marriage of technological innovation with watchmaking credibility. Our collaboration provides a rich host of synergies, forming a win-win partnership, and the potential for our three companies is enormous”

The collaboration was made official at Baselworld, during a press conference held on Thursday 19th March at the TAG Heuer booth. Jean-Claude Biver, President of the Watch Division LVMH Group and CEO of TAG Heuer, David Singleton, Director of Engineering for Android Wear, and Michael Bell, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of Intel’s New Devices Group, joined each other on stage.

 

Together, these companies will create a product that is both luxurious and seamlessly connected to its wearer’s daily life—a culmination of innovation, creativity and design from Silicon Valley in California and the Watch Valley in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.

 

 

LG G3 & Google Cardboard Bring Mobile Virtual Reality to Everyday Life

February 9, 2015 8:52 PM | Google | LG |

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LG Electronics (LG) and Google are making virtual reality (VR) more accessible to mainstream consumers. LG today announced a free VR for G3 giveaway for customers who purchase new LG G3 smartphones. LG’s VR for G3 works with Google Cardboard and enables G3 owners to experience a variety of VR-compatible apps and games that they can download on the Google Play store.
 
Unlike other head-mounted VR devices that are designed with their own processors and displays, VR for G3 takes advantage of the visual and sound capabilities of G3 to offer a ­­lighter and more convenient solution. Thanks to the LG G3’s class-leading Quad HD display, VR for G3 is able to provide users with much sharper image quality for a smoother, more realistic VR experience.
 
VR for G3 features a unique design that leverages the G3’s signature Rear Key layout, compared to other smartphones where the volume rockers are located on the side of the phone. This unique design also means VR for G3 takes full advantage of the flagship phone’s 1W speaker with Boost AMP to provide richer, clearer sound effects that complement the rich visuals. For a more personal experience, VR for G3 can be combined with a Bluetooth headsets such as LG Tone Infinim™  for wireless enjoyment.
 

 

Google Cast is Now for Audio

January 5, 2015 9:12 PM | Google |

Google today announced Google Cast for audio, which embeds the same technology behind Chromecast into speakers, sound bars, and A/V receivers. Just like Chromecast, simply tap the cast button in your favorite music or radio app on Android, iOS, or the web, and select a Google Cast Ready speaker to get the party started.

Google Cast Ready speakers pull content directly from the cloud, so you’ll get the best audio quality and can freely multi-task on your phone, tablet, or laptop, all without straining the battery. These speakers will work with a growing list of apps including Deezer, Google Play Music, iHeartRadio, NPR One, Pandora, Rdio, TuneIn, and many more.

 

 

LG First to Roll Out Android 5.0 Lollipop Upgrade

November 10, 2014 9:38 PM | Google | LG |

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LG Electronics (LG) this week will begin rolling out the highly anticipated Android 5.0 Lollipop upgrade for G3 smartphones starting in Poland this week, to be followed by other key markets in the near future. LG, the first global smartphone manufacturer to offer the Lollipop upgrade in 2014, will subsequently announce an upgrade schedule for other LG mobile devices.

This latest Android OS delivers a host of improvements including a new design language with added depth, shadows and animations. Notifications are improved with a new layout and color scheme and will be available on the new lock screen. A new security feature to strengthen the connectivity between devices will include enabling users to unlock their smartphone when it is physically near a pre-registered Bluetooth device such as the LG G Watch or G Watch R. Lollipop also introduces Android Runtime (ART) software to improve performance.

“LG is absolutely committed to giving our customers the best mobile experiences available and bringing Android Lollipop to G3 owners as soon as possible is a top priority,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, President and CEO of the LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “The new features and improvements in Android 5.0 will bring a whole new user experience to the G3 and make it even better than it already is.”

Additional details related to LG devices will be announced in the near future as the Lollipop upgrade becomes available in local markets.
 

 

Google Introduces A Brand New Google Calendar App

November 3, 2014 4:41 PM | Google |

Google announed introduced a brand new Google Calendar app. It’s designed to be a helpful assistant, so you can spend less time managing your day, and more time enjoying it. See video above.

 

 

Google Announces A More modern Gmail App for Android

November 3, 2014 4:38 PM | Google |

Google announed today that the Gmail app for Android is getting updated with a more modern style, sleeker transitions, and a few other handy improvements.  See video above.

 

 

Android 5.0 Lollipop Coming to Moto X, Moto G, Moto E and More

October 15, 2014 9:04 PM | Google | Motorola |

Now that Android 5.0 Lollipop will be going to the world with Nexus 6—a product of some of our own engineering—we are excited to confirm that this latest and greatest Android release will also come to our other devices as part of our ongoing software strategy to provide fast updates to our pure Android experience.
While Google has not yet publicly released Android Lollipop, we are happy to confirm that the upgrade will come to:
  • Moto X (1st Gen. & 2nd Gen.)
  • Moto G (1st Gen. & 2nd Gen.)
  • Moto G with 4G LTE
  • Moto E
  • Droid Ultra, Droid Maxx, and Droid Mini
Please stay tuned for more information on timing and other products, pending the public release and working with our various partners. And, you can always check for the latest on your specific device by going to our software upgrades page.
 

 

Google Unveils the Android One

September 16, 2014 9:51 PM | Google |

Google today with its partners unveiled the first three Android One handsets. For more information visit http://officialandroid.blogspot.com/2014/09/for-next-five-billion-android-one.html

 

 

Google Rolling Out Play Services 4.4

May 8, 2014 8:21 PM | Google |

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A new release of Google Play services has begun rolling out worldwide, and as usual Google have a number of features that can make your apps better than before. This release includes a major enhancement to Maps with the introduction of Street View, as well as new features in Location, Games Services, Mobile Ads, and Wallet API.

Here are the highlights of Google Play services release 4.4:

Google Maps Android API

Starting with a much anticipated announcement for the Google Maps Android API: Introducing Street View. You can now embed Street View imagery into an activity enabling your users to explore the world through panoramic 360-degree views. Programmatically control the zoom and orientation (tilt and bearing) of the Street View camera, and animate the camera movements over a given duration. Here is an example of what you can do with the API, where the user navigates forward one step:
Google also added more features to the Indoor Maps feature of the API. You can turn the default floor picker off - useful if you want to build your own. You can also detect when a new building comes into focus, and find the currently-active building and floor. Great if you want to show custom markup for the active level, for example.

 

 

New Mobile Apps for Docs, Sheets and Slides—work offline and On the Go

April 30, 2014 9:07 PM | Google |

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Every year, phones and tablets get better, and more of you are starting to use your mobile devices not just to view, but also to create and edit content. And while the Drive app is a convenient place to store your stuff, we want to make it easier for you to quickly find, edit and create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations on the go. Starting today, you can download new, standalone mobile apps for Docs and Sheets—with Slides coming soon. Need to find a spreadsheet? Go to the Sheets app. Need to create a document? Go to the Docs app. They’re all right there at your fingertips.

When you open the new apps, you’ll see your most recently edited files, which means less time searching and scrolling.

The apps also come with offline support built in, so you can easily view, edit and create files without an Internet connection. Now, if you have a brilliant idea for a best-selling novel while traipsing through the Amazonian rainforest (or you know, something more probable, like during flight takeoff)...no problem. You can jot down your idea in the Docs app on your phone, even when you’re offline.

 

 

Chrome Remote Desktop Goes Mobile

April 16, 2014 8:29 PM | Google |

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Have you ever been out and about, and urgently needed to access a file that’s sitting on your home computer? Since 2011, Chrome Remote Desktop has let you remotely access your machine from another laptop or computer in a free, easy and secure way. And now, with the release of the Chrome Remote Desktop app for Android, we’re making it possible for you to do the same thing from your Android device.

If you haven’t used Chrome Remote Desktop in the past, you can get started by enabling your Windows or Mac machine for remote access through the Chrome Web Store app. Next, simply launch the Android app on your phone or tablet, tap on the computer’s name and start using your remote machine as if you were sitting right in front of it.

 

 

Federal Jury Orders Google to Pay SimpleAir $85 Million for Infringement

March 24, 2014 8:45 PM | Google |

SimpleAir announced today that a federal jury returned a verdict that Google owes $85 million in damages for infringing SimpleAir’s U.S. Patent No. 7,035,914. A separate jury had unanimously determined in January 2014 that Google infringed all five asserted claims of the ‘914 patent and that each claim was valid. This trial was limited to the issue of damages and concluded on March 19, 2014.

Both trials were presided over by the Honorable Rodney Gilstrap, U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Texas.

The infringing services are the Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) and Android Cloud to Device Messaging (C2DM) services. The services are used by Google to process and send push notifications for Android applications such as Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail.

In the damages trial, Google argued that it should only have to pay $6 million and that this amount should cover not just past infringement but all future infringement of the ‘914 patent, which does not expire until 2017. SimpleAir presented evidence that damages should be assessed between $127 million to $146 million for past infringement alone. The jury deliberated for less than an hour and returned a verdict that Google owes $85 million in damages just for past infringement. Damages for Google’s ongoing and future infringement will be addressed in future proceedings
 

 

Get Your Mail Faster on the Gmail iOS App

March 5, 2014 8:48 PM | Google | Software |

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Whether you’re checking your email first thing in the morning or as you’re waiting in line at the grocery store, you want to get your messages as quickly as possible. With today’s update to the Gmail iOS App, it’s easier to do just that.

The app now fully supports background app refresh, which means your Gmail messages will be pre-fetched and synced so they’re right there when you open the app—no more annoying pauses while you wait for your inbox to refresh. This feature requires iOS 7, and you’ll also need to turn on background app refresh and notifications (badge or any other type) for the Gmail app.

The Gmail app also now supports sign-in across Google iOS apps, including Maps, Drive, YouTube and Chrome. Sign in to one, and you’ll be signed in to all (this also works for signing out). So you won’t have to type in that 27-character password or retrieve your 2-step verification code every time you navigate to another Google app. You may need to re-login after you update the app, but then you’ll be all set.

Head over to the App Store now to download the updated app so you can save a bit more time each day. 
 

 

Google and Cisco Enter Into Patent Cross-Licensing Agreement

February 4, 2014 8:03 PM | Google |

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Cisco and Google today announced they have entered into a long-term patent cross-licensing agreement covering a broad range of products and technologies.

The agreement allows each company to extract significant value from its patent portfolio through a license to the other's portfolio and by helping to reduce the risk of future litigation.  It stands in direct contrast to actions such as patent privateering – or the transfer of patents to patent assertion entities – that harm consumers.

"Our agreement with Cisco will reduce the potential for litigation, letting us focus instead on building great new products," said Allen Lo, Google's Deputy General Counsel for Patents. "We're pleased to enter into this cross-license, and we welcome discussions with any company interested in a similar arrangement."

"In today's overly-litigious environment, cross-licensing is an effective way for technology companies to work together and help prevent unnecessary patent lawsuits," said Dan Lang, Cisco's Vice President of Intellectual Property. "This agreement is an important step in promoting innovation and assuring freedom of operation."

Both Cisco and Google are members of the Coalition for Patent Fairness, a leading advocacy group for patent reform.  In addition, Cisco General Counsel Mark Chandler recently reiterated a pledge not to sell patents to patent assertion entities in order to help encourage innovation rather than litigation.
 

 

Lenovo to acquire Motorola Mobility from Google

January 29, 2014 9:58 PM | Google | Motorola |

Per Larry Page, CEO, "We’ve just signed an agreement to sell Motorola to Lenovo for $2.91 billion. As this is an important move for Android users everywhere, I wanted to explain why in detail.

We acquired Motorola in 2012 to help supercharge the Android ecosystem by creating a stronger patent portfolio for Google and great smartphones for users. Over the past 19 months, Dennis Woodside and the Motorola team have done a tremendous job reinventing the company. They’ve focused on building a smaller number of great (and great value) smartphones that consumers love. Both the Moto G and the Moto X are doing really well, and I’m very excited about the smartphone lineup for 2014. And on the intellectual property side, Motorola’s patents have helped create a level playing field, which is good news for all Android’s users and partners.

But the smartphone market is super competitive, and to thrive it helps to be all-in when it comes to making mobile devices. It’s why we believe that Motorola will be better served by Lenovo—which has a rapidly growing smartphone business and is the largest (and fastest-growing) PC manufacturer in the world. This move will enable Google to devote our energy to driving innovation across the Android ecosystem, for the benefit of smartphone users everywhere. As a side note, this does not signal a larger shift for our other hardware efforts. The dynamics and maturity of the wearable and home markets, for example, are very different from that of the mobile industry. We’re excited by the opportunities to build amazing new products for users within these emerging ecosystems.

 

 

Federal Jury Finds Google Infringed SimpleAir Patent

January 21, 2014 9:21 PM | Google |

SimpleAir announced today that a federal jury returned a verdict that SimpleAir’s U.S. Patent No. 7,035,914 is infringed by Google. The verdict was reached on Saturday, January 18, 2014, following a week-long trial presided over by the Honorable Rodney Gilstrap, U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Texas.

SimpleAir had alleged that Google’s push notification services for the Android smartphones and tablets infringed five claims of the ‘914 patent. The jury agreed unanimously on all counts of infringement and also found unanimously that each claim was valid. The validity of the patent had previously been confirmed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office during a Reexamination proceeding that concluded in February 2013.

The accused services are the Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) and Android Cloud to Device Messaging (C2DM) services. The services are used by Google to process and send instant notifications for Android applications, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail.
 

 

Images Now Automatically & Securely Displayed in Google Mail

December 12, 2013 7:51 PM | Google |

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Google announced today you’ll soon see all images displayed in your messages automatically across desktop, iOS and Android. Instead of serving images directly from their original external host servers, Gmail will now serve all images through Google’s own secure proxy servers.

So what does this mean for you? Simple: your messages are more safe and secure, your images are checked for known viruses or malware, and you’ll never have to press that pesky “display images below” link again. With this new change, your email will now be safer, faster and more beautiful than ever.

Of course, those who prefer to authorize image display on a per message basis can choose the option “Ask before displaying external images” under the General tab in Settings. That option will also be the default for users who previously selected “Ask before displaying external content”.

Similar to existing features like default https access, suspicious activity detection, and free two-step verification, image proxying is another way your email is protected. This new improvement will be rolling out on desktop starting today and to your Gmail mobile apps in early 2014. 
 

 

Introducing Google Play Newsstand

November 20, 2013 9:42 PM | Google |

Today Google launched Google Play Newsstand, a new app for your Android phone or tablet which brings together all of your favorite news sources in one experience. Newsstand puts the news you care about most front and center and presents stories that interest you based on your tastes. The more you read the better it will get. You can subscribe to magazines, newspapers, blogs and news sites and Google will format and optimize them all for reading on your tablet or phone. With the swipe of a finger, you can browse full length articles, with beautiful images, audio and video right inside the app. You can access these articles even when you’re offline or bookmark them to read later.

Google Play Newsstand offers more than 1,900 free and paid, full length publications that you can subscribe to or follow. Some of these include:

 

 

Android Pushes Past 80% Market Share

November 12, 2013 7:39 PM | Google |

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Google's Android operating system reached a new milestone during the third quarter of 2013 (3Q13), according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. With a total base of 211.6 million smartphone units shipped during the quarter, Android accounted for 81.0% of all smartphone shipments, marking the first time that Android topped 80% in its short history. Despite high saturation rates in a number of mature markets, the overall smartphone space grew 39.9% year-over-year in the third quarter.

Also reaching a milestone was Microsoft's Windows Phone, which grew an amazing 156.0% year over year. Granted, volumes started from a small base of 3.7 million units a year ago and overall market share is still less than five percent. But Microsoft's efforts, with Nokia's support behind it, helped drive the platform into multiple tiers and price points.

"Android and Windows Phone continued to make significant strides in the third quarter. Despite their differences in market share, they both have one important factor behind their success: price," said Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC's Mobile Phone team. "Both platforms have a selection of devices available at prices low enough to be affordable to the mass market, and it is the mass market that is driving the entire market forward."

Smartphone average selling prices (ASPs) have continued to decline as the appetite for more affordable devices grows. ASPs were down -12.5% in 3Q13, accounting for an average price of $317. At the same time, the market has seen a large influx of large-screen smartphones (5-7” screens), also known as phablets. Large-screen devices generally come with a higher selling price than smaller screen devices, due to the need for more powerful and expensive components. Phablet ASPs in 3Q13 were notably higher than the market average at $443. However, the 3Q13 ASP was down -22.8% from the $573 phablet ASP in 3Q12.
 

 

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