Google planning return to Palo Alto, purchases nearly 15 acres of land

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Google’s Bay View campus render

Mercury News reports that Google is planning to soon make a return to Palo Alto, which is where the search engine company opened its first office in 1999. The now Mountain View based company has purchased a section of land on the 1000 block of East Meadow Circle, as well as an area of land on Fabian Way. Together, this comes out to nearly 15 acres of land.

Palo Alto’s Planning and Community Environment Department already has plans for what it wants Google to do in the area. Aaron Aknin, director of the department, says that area in which Google purchased the land calls for research and development and office uses.

Google, however, would not reveal what it plans to do with the land, but either way, city officials appear to be happy to have Google back in the area.

“We’re delighted to have Google come back to Palo Alto and we look forward to working with them on whatever their project ends up being,” said Thomas Fehrenbach, the city’s economic development manager.

Palo Alto mayor Greg Scharff, however, said that he believes the city should be focused on bringing start-ups into the area…. Read more

HTC teases it has a “little bit of news” coming tomorrow

On Twitter, HTC’s UK division has just posted a teaser for an announcement it has coming tomorrow. The company says that it will have a “little bit of news tomorrow.” This seems like a not-so subtle hint that the HTC One mini will be the center of attention, especially when given the image, which shows an HTC One variant just barely sticking out of someone’s pocket.

We’ve heard a lot about the smaller HTC One. The phone will supposedly feature a 4.3-inch display (versus the 4.7-inch panel on the original device), 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and a 4MP UltraPixel camera. Several reports have already pegged the device for a launch sometime this month, and with this tweet, that appears to be coming to fruition.

We’ll be sure to keep an eye out for an official HTC One Mini announcement tomorrow.  Read more

Right on cue, here’s your new Nexus 7 in images and video

In what has been a crazy day for Nexus 7 successor leaks, Android Central has just posted a gallery of images of what it believes is the next Nexus tablet. The report claims that the device will again be manufactured by ASUS and come in 16GB and 32GB models.

The tablet features two cameras, a 1.2MP shooter on the front and a 5MP rear facer, made by Chicony.

As far as specs go, the Nexus 7 v2 is listed as having a Qualcomm APQ8064 motherboard with a Snapdragon S4 pro processor. The device is also said to have a whopping 4GB of DDR3L RAM, though Android Central notes that these specs may not be final. The tablet will also supposedly feature stereo speakers. These specs are exactly the same as what KGI analyst Mingchi Kuo predicted way back in May of this year.

Design wise, the device features a look similar to the original model. The volume rocker and power button are on the left hand side, while the microUSB port is on the bottom. It appears to be relatively thick for a 7-inch tablet and is made out of what looks like a rubber material…. Read more

Updated Nexus 7 pegged for July 24th event as stores prepare for new models

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Hot on the heels of Google sending press invites for a July 24th event this morning, Engadget has obtained internal documents from OfficeMax showing that the retail giant is expecting to receive stock of the next generation Nexus 7 sometime next week. The documents indicate that the stores will receive units as early as July 20th, though we wouldn’t expect them to go up for sale until the 24th at the earliest.

It appears as if OfficeMax will continue to sell both the new Nexus 7 and the original, though it’s unclear how long that will last. Some retailers, such as Staples, are already heavily slashing the price of the original model, likely to clear shelf space for the new tablet.  Read more

Google testing encryption to hide your Drive files on heels of NSA surveillance controversy

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Privacy protection in the apps we use on a daily basis has been a big topic of conversation following accusations that Google and other large tech companies were working with government agencies to provide user data. Google has worked tirelessly to clear its name during the scandal, and today CNET reports that the company is testing encryption for Drive files that could further keep its users’ data protected from prying eyes.

As a reminder, Google does not currently encrypt files store in its Drive cloud storage service, but rather only encrypts files being transferred on their way to Drive: Read more

Evernote for Android updated with OfficeSuite and Skitch support, performance improvements, more

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Evernote for Android has just been updated with a handful of new features and general stability improvements. The update adds the ability to edit documents with the OfficeSuite app, as well as the ability to mark up PDFs with Skitch, though the latter requires a premium subscription. You can also now add a new reminder, introduced earlier this summer, right from the Reminders list.

The Evernote widget has also received several improvements, including support for Reminders and lists of notes, as well as lock screen support for Jelly Bean.

New in Evernote

  • Edit documents saved in Evernote using the OfficeSuite app
  • Mark up attached PDFs with Skitch (Premium feature)
  • Add a new Reminder right from the Reminders list
  • Numerous performance and stability improvements
  • This update requires Android version 2.2 or newer
New in the Evernote Widget
  • View notes in a list
  • View and add Reminders
  • Improved scaling for different screen heights
  • Supports lock screen on Jelly Bean

Check out the update on the Play Store now.

Google sending invites for July 24 event with Android/Chrome boss Sundar Pichai

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Google has just sent out invites for an event next Wednesday, July 24th. The invite says that it is a “breakfast with Sundar Pichai,” which means that the focus of the event will probably be on Android and/or Chrome, which are the two departments that Pichai oversees. For those that can’t make the breakfast or were not invited, it will be live streamed on YouTube as well.

More than likely the event has something to do with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, which is expected to be a very minor update over 4.2. It’s also possible that it’s the Nexus 7 successor, for which we just saw leaked pricing. We’ll be sure to let you know what Google has to say next week.

Read more

Google follows through on proposal to kill pirate sites by cutting off their cash

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The Guardian reports that Google is acting on the proposal it made back in May to hit pirate sites where it hurts – their wallets – by depriving them of ad revenue.

Websites offering pirated content will be blocked from offering adverts from Google and other big web advertisers, in a US scheme intended to strangle illicit revenues.

The initiative will mean copyright holders from the music, film and other creative industries will be able to alert the big ad networks if their ads are appearing on sites offering links to pirated content or counterfeit goods …  Read more

As expected, EU rejects Google’s proposed changes to anti-trust complaint in search

European Union Competition Commissioner Almunia addresses a news conference on state aid rules for airports and airlines in Brussels

European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia (photo: Reuters)

Google’s proposed changes to its search results don’t go far enough to address claims that it is using its dominant position to freeze out competitors, says the EU (via Reuters).

The decision comes as no surprise after EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said back in May that he was “almost 100 percent certain” to reject the proposals, in which Google’s key offers were to clearly separate organic results from sponsored links and to provide links to at least three rival search services in its results …  Read more

Revamped Google Maps for iOS launches, supports iPad, indoor maps, enhanced navigation

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In line with last week’s expectations of an updated Google Maps app, Google, has begun rolling out version 2.0 of Google Maps for iOS today. Most notably, the new application includes support for the large touch screens found on the iPad and iPad mini.

Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 6.33.36 PM

Additionally, like with the recent update to the Android version, enhanced navigation with incident reports and live traffic updates are included.

Also new is an Explore function to browse popular places such as restaurants, shopping, playing, and sleeping. This feature is integrated with Zagat ratings and deals via Google Offers.

The 2.0 update also includes indoor mapping functionality for malls, transit stations, and airports, according to Google. The new update has begun rolling out to some countries in Asia, but is not yet available in the United States. In fact, Google Maps is currently unavailable to download in the App Store for many countries until this update is released.

Update: Some people have had success downloading the new version of Google Maps by deleting their current version and downloading it from iCloud. (Thanks @ITSFEST)

Read more

Chrome Beta for Android updated with speed improvements, WebRTC support

Chrome for Android

Google has updated its Chrome Beta Android app today with several small new features. First, the update adds support for WebRTC, which is a web feature that allows for real-time voice and video communications. WebRTC is useful for things like voice calling, video chatting, and peer-to-peer file sharing. The update also improves page loading performance and offers up a handful of bug fixes and general stability improvements.

Full changelog:

  • Support for WebRTC, a web platform feature to enable real-time voice and video communications
  • Faster page loads
  • Lots of under the hood changes for stability and performance

Download it on the Play Store now.

Verizon schedules July 23rd event, hints at next generation Droids

DROID MAXX

DROID MAXX

Verizon just started sending out invites to the press for an event taking place later this month in New York City (via TheVerge). While the carrier isn’t specifically mentioning what we’ll be seeing at the event, it did say to expect the next generation of its most popular family of devices, which leads us to believe it will likely be an announcement for new Droid devices.

If Verizon is unveiling new Droid devices, it’s likely we’ll see one or all of the much rumored Droid MAXX, Droid Mini, and Droid Ultra. Motorola’s already started talking about the Droid Ultra, and the Droid MAXX was already tipped for Verizon in the latest round of leaked press shots.

There’s still a lot we don’t know about these devices, but the latest leaks for the Droid MAXX advertised the device with 48 hours of battery life and availability exclusively through Verizon starting August 8th.

We’ll have to wait until later this month on July 23rd to find out for sure, but we’re expecting one of these new Droid device to make an appearance and replace the current aging lineup of Droid devices at Verizon.