Google acquires music service Songza

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It’s official. Google has purchased music streaming service Songza (Play Store). Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a report broke last month that Google was offering $15 million to acquire Songza. The deal follows Apple’s announcement earlier this year that it bought music streaming service Beats Music and headphones and accessories maker Beats Electronics for $3 billion.

The service is expected to improve Google’s own Play Music service as well as YouTube (and could possibly benefit YouTube’s potential music service) and other services, and Google says that nothing will change for Songza users in the immediate future.

If you’re not familiar with Songza, the service offers curated playlists in a music streaming service across various platforms including Android, iOS, and the Web. Playlists are chosen in several ways including based on moods and occasions.

Check below for statements on the acquisition from both Google and Songza…

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T-Mobile gets socked with an FTC complaint alleging the Uncarrier ‘Crammed Bogus Charges onto Customers’ Phone Bills’

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It feels like just last month, TMobile CEO John Legere accused Verizon and AT&T of “raping” (ugh) its customers and that “the fuckers hate you”.

In a complaint filed today, the Federal Trade Commission is charging mobile phone service provider T-Mobile USA, Inc., with making hundreds of millions of dollars by placing charges on mobile phone bills for purported “premium” SMS subscriptions that, in many cases, were bogus charges that were never authorized by its customers…

The FTC alleges that T-Mobile received anywhere from 35 to 40 percent of the total amount charged to consumers for subscriptions for content such as flirting tips, horoscope information or celebrity gossip that typically cost $9.99 per month. According to the FTC’s complaint, T-Mobile in some cases continued to bill its customers for these services offered by scammers years after becoming aware of signs that the charges were fraudulent.

More in the PDF

Update: T-Mobile has responded publicly to the complaint saying it is being singled out… Read more

Docs updated with Android L support and Material Design appeal

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Google recently revealed its plan to deep-six Quickoffice, so updates for apps like Docs are pretty much a given. The latest version of Mountain View’s word processing application introduces a cluster of new features, including support for Android L, which should make early, early adopters smile. Other noticeable changes in software version 1.3.251.9 include a redesigned  interface more in line with Google’s Material Design language, along with the ability to create and edit Microsoft.docx files.

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Tired of waiting? UK residents can get their hands on the LG G Watch shipped today

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Android Wear got its big announcement at Google I/O last week, and the Mountain View company opened up orders for both the LG G Watch and the Samsung Gear Live on the same day. But unfortunately both US and UK residents have been left anxious with ship dates not coming until later this week. Luckily for those in the UK and wanting to get their hands on the G Watch, there seems to be a way to have the device dispatched a few days early.

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Google is reportedly shuttering SMS for Hangouts feature in emerging markets (Update)

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Last year, Google added SMS support to Hangouts, along with several other features. However, prior to this, the company also had a similar feature available in emerging markets that let users add their phone numbers to its instant messaging platform. Similar to Google’s defunct Gmail SMS service, this was an alternative for feature phone users and people in regions with limited internet access.

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Google Play Edition Galaxy S5 still exists, shows up again in leaked image

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The Galaxy S5 Google Play Edition has been the subject of a lot of leaks lately, between it passing through Bluetooth certification, briefly appearing on the Play Store, and appearing on a Play Store support page. Now, notorious Twitter leaker @evleaks has posted a render of the device, seemingly confirming its existence, yet again. The Google Play Edition S5 looks identical to its TouchWiz counterpart, aside of course, from the software.

The Google Play Edition HTC One M8 is already available on the Play Store, so it seems a bit odd that it is taking Samsung and Google so long to release its Play Edition device for the year, but with this render coupled with all of the other leaks, the device still seems to exist and is presumably coming sooner rather than later.

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Google to rename ridiculously named service with a more ridiculous name

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Google’s Play Music All Access service may soon be getting a rebrand, at least according to a support page that appears to have been preemptively updated. First noticed by Android Police, this support page refers to Google’s streaming music service as the catchy “Google Play unlimited music subscription.” The support page in question is for a promotion currently running for the Nexus 7 that offers Google Play Music All Access.

A Google Play unlimited music subscription (previously known as Google Play Music All Access) entitles subscribers to listen to unlimited music from the song titles available within Google Play on a monthly basis.

This change is most likely to help people differentiate Google’s music streaming service from the reportedly upcoming YouTube streaming service that has been in the works for a long time. YouTube’s music streaming service will reportedly run entirely separate from Play All Access (or Google Play unlimited music subscription), so it is believable that Google would want to change the name of the service to something more recognizable. Although, we can’t say that Google Play Unlimited Music Subscription is a very catchy name.

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Google no longer accepting legacy packaged Chrome apps, support completely ending in June of 2015

 

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In 2010 Google took steps towards separating its Chrome browser and the way its apps operated. Unlike traditional web-based applications, the software didn’t have URLs or navigation buttons, making it feel more like native desktop programs. This new breed of Chrome apps were also capable of working offline, connecting with peripherals and delivering desktop notifications.

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It’s official: Samsung Galaxy S5 mini announcement, specifications, and release date

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Samsung has officially announce its Galaxy S5 mini smartphone. This compact device retains everything you know and love about the original version, but with a slight decrease in specifications. The good news is, this is the best “mini” revision of a device that Samsung has released to date. Unfortunately, not everyone will be able to pick one up right away.

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Google Play Music updated with Android TV support, interface tweaks, more

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Google this afternoon started rolling out an update to its Play Music app on Android that bumps it to version 5.6. While the update is not all that big, it does coincide well with the recent announcements at Google I/O this week. One of the biggest changes comes to how device authorizations are handled. You still get to have 10 devices active on your Google Music account, but now only five of them can be phones. The other five can be any combinations of tablets, computers, and other devices. This is obviously not a huge deal for the average user, but could cause issues for power users. The account switcher UI itself has also been updated.

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Google’s Q2 2014 earnings call scheduled for July 17th at 1:30pm PDT

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Google recently showed its developer community what it can expect in the next few months and today the company has given investors notice that its Q2 2014 earnings call will be taking place on July 17th at 1:30pm PDT. In addition to ratting off its performance numbers, the company will also have a Q&A session with participants as well as a live web broadcast of the call.

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