Google buys visual translation app “Word Lens” for Translate

Quest Visual announced today it has been acquired by Google and will be joining the Translate team:

With Word Lens, we’ve seen the beginnings of what’s possible when we harness the power of mobile devices to “see the world in your language.”

By joining Google, we can incorporate Quest Visual’s technology into Google Translate’s broad language coverage and translation capabilities in the future.

As a thank you to everybody who supported us on our journey, we’ve made both the app and the language packs free to download for a limited time while we transition to Google.

We’re looking forward to continuing our work at Google – stay tuned!

The app, which debuted in 2010, features versions available on both Android and iOS (it was even featured in Apple’s latest ad) and has a Google Glass version for translating languages on the fly. It’s ability to translate text in real life scenarios using the smartphone camera and behind-the-scenes intelligence is quite sophisticated so it’s a good fit for Google’s portfolio. Read more

Google I/O schedule now live

Google I:O Schedule

Google’s annual I/O conference is a little over a month away and today the company has shed a little light on this year’s show by releasing its schedule. The overall theme of the event appears to be “design, develop and distribute,” so segments will most likely focus on these talking points. Things are set to start on June 25th at Moscone West in San Francisco. The first day of the show will include presentations about making your cloud apps faster, cross-platform design, an introduction to Polymer and an interactive Android fireside chat.

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Samsung Galaxy S5 Google Play edition may have crept through Bluetooth certification



An unannounced Samsung device listed as SM-G900FG recently cleared the Bluetooth SIG’s certification, so what might it be? The current model of the Galaxy S5 carries the SM-G900F, which suggests that this mystery gadget could be the Google Play edition of the GS5. Adding support to this theory, last year’s Galaxy S4 was listed as GT-I9505, with it’s Google Play counterpart being referred to as GT-I9505G. So that “G” at the end of this foreign device really stands out.

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Yahoo Mail for Android updated w/ integrated news, sports, weather, Flickr, & search

After releasing similar features for its iOS app, Yahoo today updated its Yahoo Mail for Android app with number of its other services like news and weather integrated into the experience. That includes new one tap access to news, weather, sports, stocks and the ability to search the web and Flickr directly from within the Yahoo Mail app.

Rather than the new tab UI it introduced on iOS, Android users will be able to swipe between the various new features: Read more

Google updates Chrome OS device end-of-life schedule, Cr-48 operating on borrowed time (update)


Nothing lasts forever and if you’ve invested in a Chrome OS-powered device, it’s good to know how much support time you’ll have from Google. The folks in Mountain View recently updated its end-of-life schedule for Chrome OS devices, letting people know how long a specific product will have guaranteed support from Google. What happens when your device reaches its EOL date? It’ll work, however it may no longer receive automatic software updates from Google. This will most likely result in missing features and possible performance issues.

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Flying BA from London’s Heathrow? Your flight now departs from Terminal Samsung Galaxy S5

Heathrow Terminal Five - Official Opening

Update: It turns out Samsung isn’t exactly rebranding the terminal. iMore received clarification from Heathrow that Samsung is actually just renting regular advertising space available to anyone and using the slogan”Terminal Samsung Galaxy S5″ in its ad:

“Heathrow Terminal 5’s signage and passenger wayfinding has not changed,” a Heathrow spokesperson told iMore. “Samsung have rented advertising space in Terminal 5 with a tongue-in-cheek campaign using the line: ‘Terminal Samsung Galaxy S5′.”

But only for the next two weeks. The Verge reports that Samsung has bought saturation advertising for the Galaxy S5 in Terminal 5 at London’s Heathrow airport for a fortnight, and is even referring to the terminal as Terminal Samsung Galaxy S5. While the airport says the terminal hasn’t officially been renamed, a Heathrow spokesman said that they are “relaxed” about Samsung pretending it has.

From Samsung’s description of the campaign, it will certainly be impossible to miss:  Read more

Google hires former Old Navy, Gap marketing VP as head of Glass

Ivy 01

Google’s Glass division may be losing its lead engineer, but the company announced today that it had hired former Gap and Old Navy marketing chief Ivy Ross to head up the division. Ross will start her new position on May 19th.

Aside from Gap and Old Navy, Ross has also served as Chief Creative Officer for The Disney Store, headed up worldwide product design at Mattel, and, worked as Vice President of Design and Development for Outlook Eyewear at Bausch & Lomb. That last position is perhaps the most relevant to her selection as the new head of Glass.

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Google Play Store updated with interface tweaks, PayPal billing support

Earlier this afternoon Google announced that it was making several improvements to the billing capabilities of the Play Store, and now the company has updated the entire Play Store app to go along with it. Pushing the version number to 4.8.19, the update adds a few interface tweaks to the app, in addition to the billing capabilities previously announced.

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Google Glass lead engineer Adrian Wong leaves for Facebook’s Oculus VR


Google has reportedly just lost its lead electrical engineer working on Google Glass to virtual reality company Oculus VR, which was recently purchased by Facebook for approximately $2 billion. Adrian Wong is still listing Google X, Google’s division that gave birth to Glass and many other experimental projects, as his employer on Google+, but TechCrunch claims they’ve confirmed the departure with sources. He’s also since confirmed his new position at Oculus on his LinkedIn page (pictured above).  Read more

Google Play adds PayPal support, expands carrier billing, gift cards & developer sales to new countries


Google is making some improvements to payments on Google Play that will make it easier for both users and developers to purchase and sell and content. First, Google is introducing PayPal support in 12 countries allowing users to select their PayPal account balance as an option within Google Wallet when making purchases:

Starting today, we’re making it possible for people to choose PayPal for their Google Play purchases in 12 countries, including the U.S., Germany, and Canada. When you make a purchase on Google Play in these countries, you’ll find PayPal as an option in your Google Wallet; just enter your PayPal account login and you’ll easily be able to make purchases. Our goal is to provide users with a frictionless payment experience, and this new integration is another example of how we work with partners from across the payments industry to deliver this to the user.

Countries with PayPal support at launch include Austria, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, United States, United Kingdom.

Next up, Google is expanding its carrier billing and gift card payment options for Google Play to new countries including Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan. That brings the total up 24 with the addition of four others and Google Play gift cards are also now available in Germany, Japan and a total of 13 countries.

For developers, Google is adding 13 new countries and introducing improved currency support: Read more