The iPhone forced Google to start over … or not, depending who you believe

The HTC Dream: the first Android handset to go on sale
The HTC Dream: the first Android handset to go on sale, a year after the iPhone

A pithy quote from a Google engineer working on Android on the day the iPhone was launched has been doing the rounds today.

As a consumer I was blown away. I wanted one immediately. But as a Google engineer, I thought ‘We’re going to have to start over.

The quote, attributed to Google engineer Chris DeSalvo, appears in Chapter 2 of Fred Vogelstein’s Dogfight: How Apple and Google went to war and started a revolution. It suggests that Google had to abandon a Blackberry-style smartphone in favor of a touchscreen one in direct response to the iPhone. This is seemingly supported by Android boss Andy Rubin reportedly saying in response to the webcast of the iPhone launch: “Holy crap, I guess we’re not going to ship that phone.”

There’s just one small problem with this version of events – it may not be entirely accurate …  Read more

Google kicking toolbars, “multipurpose extensions” out of the Chrome Web Store

Screen Shot 2013-12-20 at 8.27.17 AM

Google’s Chromium Blog just announced intentions of the search engine giant to knock out toolbars and “multipurpose extensions” out of the Chrome Web Store. The update to the policy is basically summed up as: “extensions in the Chrome Web Store must have a single purpose that is narrow and easy-to-understand.” That sounds simple enough, no?

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Android 4.4.2 KitKat to begin rolling out to the Moto G today

motog

Just a few weeks after the device went up for sale, Motorola has announced that Android 4.4.2 is now rolling out to the Moto G. The update brings all of the KitKat features we’ve come to know and love. One of the biggest selling points of KitKat is the improved performance on lower-end devices that don’t have as much power under the hood. Given that the Moto G is own the lower-end of the totem pole, KitKat should drastically improve the performance of the device, not that it was bad beforeRead more

White House hosts holiday special through Google+ Hangout

There’s little question the White House is one of the most familiar buildings the world over and they always go the extra mile decorating for the holiday season. That’s why it’s so notable that the White House just held a streaming Google+ Hangout to show off some of the decor that has the White House looking all festive for the first family and tourists alike.

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Google’s Zagat app makes its way to the iPad, complete with ratings for shops and & hotels

Earlier this year, Google launched Zagat for iPhone and iPod touch. The application is Google’s form of allowing users to discover new places, such as restaurants, across many cities in the United States. Today, Google has updated the application with support for the iPad’s larger display. Also in the mix is support for ratings and reviews for shops and restaurants. Support for Charleston, South Carolina and Nashville, Tennessee has also been added. The 2.0 update is free on the App Store.

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After recall, Google releases updated HP Chromebook 11 with newly-designed power adapter

Google recalled the power adapters to its popular little HP Chromebook 11 last week after an investigation by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission said that some of the AC adapters were overheating and could be dangerous. Google had previously pulled them off the shelves of various retailers pending the results of the investigation.

The recall was an unfortunate stain on rep of the little guy which we loved in our review (and didn’t see any overheating on) – especially since the revolutionary feature of the device was its ability to be charged by ANY micro-USB cord from almost any USB port, battery or charger (including other laptops).

Today, Google sent me an updated HP Chromebook 11 with the new power cord which actually looks like a smaller version of the Chromebook Pixel’s power supply with a micro-USB tip. The power supply is made by LITEON in China and send 5.25V of power to the Chromebook at 3.0A. That’s a lot more than your average micro-USB charge, which will still power/recharge the battery of the HP Chromebook 11, albeit at a much slower rate.

These should be shipping out to retailers and online soon. Google’s Play store still says “Coming Soon” but I imagine if I have one, Google’s Store will soon have them as well.

The new adapter works as advertised in the little amount of time I’ve given it and we can again give the green light to those who might want to pick up a last minute $269 holiday item. Read more

Google Play Music source code hints at ability to upload songs via the browser

Play-Music

According to source code discovered by the unofficial Google System Blog, Google Play Music users will soon get the ability to upload music directly to the service from directly within their browser. As of right now, in order to upload files to the service, you have to download Google’s Music Manager app and select which files you would like to upload.

The source code discovered reads  “Drag songs or folders here to add music to your library. Or, if you prefer, select from your computer.” Google already allows users to drag and drop files to nearly all of its other online services, so it makes sense that Play Music would be next in line to receive the feature.

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