Google to debut tweaked search results prioritizing mobile-friendly sites tomorrow

Google Personal Search

Google is set to debut a reworked version of its search result ranking system tomorrow, Fortune reported today. The new rankings will place websites with mobile-friendly designs ahead of those that work best on desktop machines in search results.

The decision to make this change was prompted by the fact that over 60% of Google’s search traffic now comes from mobile devices, the company said. The modification was first announced in a post on Google’s Webmaster Central blog earlier this year.

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Nokia plans a second coming to right the Elop wrong and build Android phones

The Nokia Brand phone company that Microsoft subsumed may be on the verge of a comeback to phones if recent rumors prove true.  According to a recent report, the new/old Nokia will begin producing phones as soon as it is contractually able to do so and those phones unsurprisingly will run a flavor of Android.

Unlike other patent houses that do little more than license intellectual property, Nokia Technologies has designed new products and licensed them to other companies. So far, these ambitions have been small in scale. The division has released just two products — an Android program called Zlauncher and the N1, an Android tablet design it licensed to another manufacturer that is selling it under the Nokia name in China. Its return to the market is likely to employ a similar tactic.

But insiders said those two products are just the beginning.

“They have a lot of great stuff in development,” said Richard Kerris, a former Nokia executive who also consulted for the company until last year as part of his last startup.  “It gave me complete confidence that Nokia is a company that is not going away.”

While Kerris said he couldn’t go into specifics, he said people will be blown away if some of the stuff he saw comes to market.

If you consider Nokia’s N1 Android tablet, the first to use the newly popular USB-C type of interface, which apparently, it can release outside of its Microsoft agreement the rumor isn’t surprising. In fact, it is pretty obvious.

But this whole episode really stinks to me. Microsoft’s Stephen Elop moved to Nokia in 2010 from Microsoft. Within months, he wrote a frightening memo that the company had to shift courses and eventually move to Microsoft’s shifting phone OS which was as disastrous a decision as it could make. Then, as the value of the company was rapidly depleted based off of that poor decision, the smartphone part of the business with Elop in tow gets bought by Microsoft at a steep discount.

Now, a lifetime later in mobile phone years, Nokia is doing what it should have done a long time ago and move to Android. Perhaps there is still some life left in the company.  We’ll see. Read more

Huge Android Wear update brings wrist gestures, WiFi support, always-on apps, more (Updated)

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Update: Various reports have confirmed that certain Android Wear devices, including the LG G Watch and G Watch R as well as the Asus ZenWatch, will not be getting WiFi support.

Android Wear is getting a pretty big update. Over at the official Android blog, Google this morning showed off the latest version of its mobile OS, packing several useful new features including wrist gestures for flicking through cards hands-free, WiFi support to free your watch from needing to be directly connected to your phone, support for quickly drawing emoji replies to messages, always-on screen support in apps, and a lot more… Read more

You no longer need an invite to buy a OnePlus One (yep, that was the exciting announcement)

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OnePlus has been teasing an announcement for a few days now, but like last month’s tease for a new gaming product that turned out to be a very early April Fool’s joke, this one also turned out to be rather an anti-climax.

Starting today, the One will be available without an invite. Forever.

That’s right. In our first big celebration of the One’s successful year, we are opening up sales globally for everyone, every day of the week.

The company said that it felt it had “matured” sufficiently to handle the increased demands of open sales …  Read more

Sony announces its Xperia Z4 flagship w/ Snapdragon 810 SoC, very familiar design

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The Xperia Z4 smartphone isn’t exactly a secret, but now Sony has come out to officially announce the device in Japan. It’s basically the smartphone version of the Xperia Z4 tablet that was announced in March, and like that device, it doesn’t seem to be much of a visual overhaul compared to its predecessor. It does pack some pretty hefty upgrades on the inside, though, including an upgraded SoC and front-facing camera… Read more

Report: Funds stored in Google Wallet are now FDIC insured

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Most of the money transfer services that have popped up in Silicon Valley over the last several years don’t directly offer any federal-level insurance, and Google Wallet—until today—was a pretty good example. But now, according to a report from Yahoo Finance, Google is adding FDIC insurance to the money you keep in your Wallet Balance by storing your funds in various FDIC-insured banking institutions… Read more

LG G3 and VR headset giveaway (5 winners)

Virtual reality has consumer the smartphone market lately. It seems like every manufacturer is coming out with a smartphone compatible VR headsets. Recently, LG sent us its new VR for G3 headset to take a look at and we’ve been having a blast so far. Think of LG’s new VR headset as a premium version of Google Cardboard that’s tailored to fit the G3 in every way. It’s a very nice upgrade over Cardboard and the app selection for VR in Google Play is growing rapidly.

This whole VR movement is very cool, but it’s hard to explain in words what it’s actually like to use a VR headset. It’s just one of those things that you need to experience yourself. Well, thanks to the good people over at LG, we’re giving you a chance to win one of five LG G3 and VR headset packages…

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Google acquired Athena Wireless in February, likely to bolster Fiber and MVNO ambitions

Google finalized a deal to acquire Surprise, Arizona startup Athena Wireless Communications in February of this year, according to reports. The company has been around for several years and has spent much of that time building wireless LTE and small cell technologies that can move data at gigabit Fiber-like speeds. The acquisition is an obvious one for a company such as Google that is continuing to build out its Google Fiber infrastructure and has plans to announce its own MVNO… Read more

Dodocase offering its Google-certified VR viewer for free

Earlier today, Google announced a new program called “Works with Google Cardboard” that highlights all of the third-party Cardboard-compatiable viewers. The program is Google’s attempt at unifying the various variants of Cardboard, which was first shown at I/O 2014, and making sure they are all compatible with the variety of Cardboard apps that are available.

To celebrate the launch of Works with Google Cardboard, Dodocase is briefly offering its Google-certified virtual reality viewer for free… Read more

Chrome 43 Beta launches, Chrome OS updated w/ redesigned Files interface, updated calculator app, more

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Chrome 43 Beta is making its official debut today on a variety of platforms (including Chrome for Android, Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome OS), and with it comes several new features—with MIDI for Web being perhaps the most notable.

Google has also this evening announced an update to Chrome OS that bumps it to version 42.0.2311.87. The update, which comes on the heels of Chrome 42, adds a handful of new features and visual changes. First off, the Files app has been refreshed to feature a Material Design interface…

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