Google acquires productivity app maker Quickoffice

Following several announced acquisitions this week that included Meebo and certain assets and technology from KikScore, Google’s Engineering Director Alan Warren just announced on the Official Google Blog that the company acquired productivity and office app maker Quickoffice. In addition to the QuickOffice Pro for Android smartphones and QuickOffice Pro HD for Android tablets, the company also offers iOS versions of the app for both iPhone and iPad. As for Google’s plans for the app, Warren noted it would take advantage of Quickoffice’s “track record of enabling seamless interoperability with popular file formats” within its Google Apps suite of products.

Google’s full announcement is below. It is followed by a statement from the co-founder and CEO of Quickoffice, Alan Masarek, posted on the company’s website:

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AT&T confirms Samsung Galaxy S III preorders for June 6, ‘exclusive red version’ to debut this summer

Red Samsung Galaxy S3

This red version above is a 9to5Google rendering.

AT&T just announced that its customers can begin placing preorders for the Samsung Galaxy S III on June 6 in both company-owned stores and online.

The company made sure to clarify in the official press release that only its 4G LTE-powered version is able to access “the nation’s largest 4G network.” Moreover, AT&T customers are privy to an exclusive red Galaxy S III that is due to launch this summer, where as the other U.S. carriers are limited to the standard pebble blue and white flavors.

The smartphone’s price tag starts at $199.99 for the 16 GB model after a two-year service agreement.

The full press release is below.

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Meebo enters into acquisition agreement with Google

Reports circulated last month that Google wanted to buy social messaging service Meebo for roughly $100 million, and now those stories have finally received official confirmation.

Meebo verified the news today in a post on the company blog (above):

We are happy to announce that Meebo has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Google!

For more than seven years we’ve been helping publishers find deeper relationships with their users and to make their sites more social and engaging. Together with Google, we’re super jazzed to roll up our sleeves and get cracking on even bigger and better ways to help users and website owners alike.

We’ve had a blast building Meebo so far and we’re really excited to start the next leg of our journey.

Thank you all for coming along for the ride!
Meebo Team

Meebo began in 2005 as a browser-based instant messaging program with support for Yahoo! Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, AIM, Facebook Chat, Google Talk, and others. The service now boasts mobile apps, and it features multi-user chat rooms, a content aggregator, and the ability for users to check-in and share media across popular social networks. It even offers APIs for developers.

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Verizon confirms Samsung Galaxy S III preorders for June 6, launches on T-Mobile June 21

We already knew Samsung’s recently launched Galaxy S III would make its way to United States carriers sometime soon, but we got official word today that the device will become available on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Wireless in June for $199 and up. The first of those carriers to announce availability is Verizon Wireless. Its press release (below) confirmed that it would offer the S III in 16GB and 32GB variants. Preorders start June 6 at 7 a.m with the device becoming available in the “coming weeks”.

Also, we have now received word from T-Mobile and Sprint confirming the device will become available starting June 21. We expect most of the other carriers will be launching the device around the same time.

The full press release is below:
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Instapaper finally makes its way to Android

Creator of popular “Read Later” iOS app Instapaper is rather vocal about having no intentions to develop an Android version of the app. Although the Instascraper creator once considered allowing another developer to take on the project, Arment told The Verge just a few weeks ago that “Android is not my world.” He also said the iOS app is a full-time gig. However, we finally got an official Android version of Instapaper available on Google Play for $2.99 starting today.

As noted by The Verge, which recently went hands-on with the app, Arment enlisted the help of Tumblr app developer Mobelux for the development of the Android version. While the Android version is missing a few features and some of the polish of the iOS app, the review noted “installing Instapaper for Android adds an “Instapaper” button to the Share menu when you’re inside other apps, like the web browser, so you don’t need in order to install a bookmarklet to save articles while you’re browsing on the go.”

You can expect many updates to the Instapaper Android client in the near future from Mobelux that will undoubtedly bring it up to speed with the iOS version. The app is available on Google Play now and should make its way to Nook Store and Amazon App Store shortly.

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Hollywood’s Ari Emanuel responds to Google SVPs, requests meeting to ‘resolve’ copyright issues

Mega-agent Ari Emanuel (you know—the conceited big shot who Jeremy Piven played in the hit HBO show “Entourage“) just wrote an open response to Google asking for the company, along with Silicon Valley and Hollywood, to join forces and develop a solution to the country’s piracy and copyright issues.

Emanuel appeared at the AllThingsD D10 Conference with hosts Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher on Wednesday, where he called out Google and YouTube during the interview for filtering child pornography, but allowing pirated media content.

In lieu of Emanuel’s assertions, Mossberg asked Google’s advertising head Susan Wojcicki today why the search engine does not find and filter copyrighted material. She called Emanuel “very misinformed,” and then said the problem with filtering content is not technical, but rather a complicated business problem.

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Google SVPs discuss YouTube piracy, Chrome marketshare at D10

Two Google senior vice presidents appeared on stage at the AllThingsD D10 Conference yesterday to discuss all things YouTube and Chrome with co-host Walt Mossberg.

Mossberg asked Google’s ad wizard Susan Wojcicki why the search engine does not find and filter copyrighted material. The topic came in leiu of Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel’s assertions from Wednesday, while at the conference, when he claimed YouTube filtered child pornography, but allowed pirated media content.

“The problem is identifying which copyright belongs to who… is very complicated,” said Wojcicki, while mentioning that filtering copyrighted content is not technical, but rather a complicated business issue. “At the end of the day, in order to know what to do with that content, we need to hear from the copyright owner.”

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Google to hold Maps event ahead of Apple’s switchover at WWDC

Google will hold a morning event on June 6 to give the press a “behind-the-scenes look at Google Maps and share our vision.” Google will demo some of its “newest technology and provide a sneak peek at upcoming features that will help people get where they want to go – both physically and virtually.”

At this invitation-only press gathering, Brian McClendon, VP of Google Maps and Google Earth, will give you a behind-the-scenes look at Google Maps and share our vision. We’ll also demo some of the newest technology and provide a sneak peek at upcoming features that will help people get where they want to go – both physically and virtually. We hope to see you there.

Apple, of course, is holding its WWDC event starting June 11, where it will reveal its own mapping solution instead of using Google Maps.

This should be interesting.
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Report: Google files European Commission complaint, claims Microsoft and Nokia are ‘colluding’

(via Phandroid)

Google claimed in a formal complaint with the European Commission recently that Microsoft and Nokia conspired to use their patents against competitors.

“Nokia and Microsoft are colluding to raise the costs of mobile devices for consumers, creating patent trolls that side-step promises both companies have made,” said Google in a statement to The Wall Street Journal, while Microsoft deemed the search engine’s filing as a “desperate tactic.”

According to the filing, Microsoft and Nokia entered agreements that allow Mosaid Technologies Inc. to legally enforce patents and share the outcome’s revenue. Reuters further specified that the two collaborating companies moved 1,200 patents to Mosaid.

Google called Mosaid a “patent troll” for holding patents and litigating hawkishly, and then it described its filing as a “pre-emptive measure against a developing legal hazard for Android partners.” In a nutshell: Google’s “legal hazard” concerns if smartphone manufacturers begin to view Android as a legal danger, they may decide to do business with Microsoft and Nokia instead.

“Google is complaining about antitrust in the smartphone industry when it controls more than 95 percent of mobile search and advertising,” added Microsoft in an emailed statement to The Wall Street Journal.

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Facebook slams Google Chrome, replaces recommendation with Opera

And war has begun: Facebook slammed Google’s Chrome browser today with the above unsupported web browser message [cache], which recommended Opera, among others, as a better alternative for viewing the social network.

FavBrowser first discovered the change and noted Facebook’s rumored plans to acquire Opera. This is noteworthy, because Google+ is Facebook’s direct competitor. The infant Google service is tackling Facebook head-on with its executives consistently criticizing Facebook, like when CEO Larry Page accused Facebook of holding users hostage last week. Only now it appears the back-talking has turned into actions, because Facebook no longer recommends Chrome to its nearly 1 billion active users.

According to StatCounter, Chrome passed Internet Explorer during the week of May 14 to May 20 to become the most popular browser in the world. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer still has a commanding lead in the United States, but growth for Chrome is steadily increasing in regions like South America, India, and Europe. The browser also surpassed Internet Explorer, although for just a day, in March. These statistics indicate that Chrome is too large for Facebook to ignore.

Meanwhile, Google’s CEO Larry Page said in a statement to investors in April that the company’s own social network Google+ now has more than 100 million active users, which is up from 90 million total users in January. To him, the network is an integral product that will help Google bring the next generation of search to life. Despite these bold goals, Facebook still reins king in the social network market with its nearly 10 times larger userbase.

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Google applies for .google, .youtube, & other generic top-level domains

As noted by Google’s chief Internet evangelist Vint Cerf on the Official Google blog, Google has recently applied for .google, .youtube, and .lol, and other generic top-level domains. ICANN plans o publish a list of applied-for domains on June 13. Today is the deadline for submitting applications.

In 2008, ICANN announced a program to expand the number of generic TLDs (think .com, .org, .edu), developed through its bottom-up, multi-stakeholder process, in which we participate. Given this expansion process, we decided to submit applications for new TLDs, which generally fall into four categories

Cerf continued by giving examples of the domains Google is requesting:
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Google criticizes Thai Courts for giving Web master 1-year suspended prison sentence over forum comment

Google just denounced a Thai court sentence regarding an Internet forum Web master who received a one-year suspended prison sentence this morning for comments posted by users that offended the Thai royal family.

According to The New York Times, Prachatai [translated] is a popular Thailand-based forum about politics and culture, and its Web master, Chiranuch Premchaiporn, was found guilty of lèse-majesté (royal insults) under the country’s Computer Crimes Act. Interestingly, she did not write the libelous comments in question, but only managed the website that hosted them.

“Telephone companies are not penalized for things people say on the phone, and responsible Web site owners should not be punished for comments users post on their sites — but Thailand’s Computer Crimes Act is being used to do just that,” said Google spokesperson Taj Meadows to The New York Times.

Kampol Rungrat ruled that Premchaiporn was liable for at least one defamatory comment that remained visible for 20 days. The judge noted prosecutors could not prove she supported the comment, and it is unreasonable to expect a Web master to remove comments immediately, but it is still a duty under law. The judge found that leaving the contemptous comment live for such an extended period was beyond reasonable.

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