Google Play Music and Movies expands, launches in select countries across Europe

As previously outlined by the folks in Mountain View, Google Play Music and Movies have expanded to select countries in Europe today. A big gain for many users yearning for more on the Play store, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K. will now be able to access the content on their Google TVs, smartphones, and laptops and use Google Music to manage their music.

Past purchasing music, European users will also be the first to try Google Music’s new syncing feature. Much like Apple’s iTunes Match service, Google Music users can keep songs synced across their devices thanks to the latest addition of Warner Music. The synching feature will come to users in the United States later, according to Google.

Sadly, users in Canada, Australia, and various countries across the world are still left in the dark and unable to access the 20,000 songs and various amounts of movies Google makes available through its content partnerships.

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Google’s Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 will be available early morning tomorrow

We’re sure many of you can’t sit still in your seats, waiting for the arrival of the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10. But yearn no longer, as both devices will be available early tomorrow morning, according to Google Germany employee Stefan Keuchel. He said that devices won’t be available right at midnight as some may have hoped, but “around breakfast time” in Germany. This translates to early morning hours on the West Coast.

Nonetheless, tomorrow’s the day you Android fanatics have been waiting for, so have your browsers locked on Google Play and your credit cards on deck. Both devices will ship-out within two days. [Android Central]

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Google facing FTC ultimatum over antitrust discussion, may face formal complaint if no settlement is reached

Bloomberg reported Google would be faced with an ultimatum in its talks with the Federal Trade Commission over antitrust discussions that have been occurring over the last two weeks. If Google does not agree to settle with the FTC, it will be forced to face a formal complaint from the organization.

The FTC has been looking into Google for alleged abuses regarding its large reach over the Internet for roughly two years. FTC Chairman Jonathan Leibowitz is requesting Google make an offer and “won’t accept a resolution short of a consent decree.”

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Google announces new $199 Acer C7 Chromebook available starting tomorrow

Google just announced on its Chrome Blog that it would sell a new Chromebook from Acer on Google Play starting tomorrow. The new Acer C7 Chromebook will debut for $199 in the U.S. at Best Buy and through Google Play. In the U.K., customers will be able to get their hands on the new Chromebook this coming week through various retailers including: Google Play, Amazon UK, PC World, and Currys.

As for specs, Google’s Chromebook website said it includes an 11.6-inch (1,366-by-768) display, 3.5 hours of battery life, an Intel Core processor, three USB ports, HD camera, HDMI, a full-sized keyboard, and a “fully clickable trackpad.” Acer is also including a 320GB hard drive and the usual free 100GB Google Drive account.

The $200 price point is obviously extremely aggressive pricing, as it is $50 under Samsung’s newest Chrome OS powered offering. With an included free 100GB Google Drive account (usually $60 per year from Google), the new C7 pays for itself in a little over three years in a way.

The full specs from Google are below:

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AT&T to offer Samsung’s Galaxy Camera for $500 starting Nov. 16

AT&T just announced the Samsung Galaxy Camera would land Nov. 16 for $499.99 with or without a data plan.

The Galaxy Camera is Samsung’s first 4G-connected camera to marry point-and-shoot technology with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean software. It sports AT&T mobile internet connectivity, access to Android apps from the Google Play store, a quad-core 1.4 GHz processor, 4.8-inch HD Super Clear LCD display, 21x optical zoom lens, and a 16-megapixel backside illuminated CMOS sensor.

Samsung also noted a limited time-only sale for customers who want to purchase any Samsung Galaxy smartphone. They can now receive up to $100 off the new Samsung Galaxy Camera or any connected Samsung device. The Samsung Galaxy Camera will hit AT&T’s online store and select company-owned retail stores nationwide.

AT&T further said the camera will have access to its new cloud-storage app, AT&T Locker, and it revealed data plan options for the camera:

  • AT&T Mobile Share: $10 to share between 1 GB and 20GB
  • AT&T DataConnect 250MB: $15 for 250MB
  • AT&T DataConnect 3GB: $30 for 3GB
  • AT&T DataConnect 5GB: $50 for 5GB

Check out 9to5Google’s coverage of the camera’s unveiling in Berlin last August for a full-spec rundown.

Go below to get more details in the press release. 

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Apple and HTC reach global patent dispute settlement, agree to ten-year licensing agreement

Apple and HTC have announced that the two companies have reached a global settlement regarding the two firm’s multiple patent infringement lawsuits. The agreement is on a global-scale and includes a ten-year licensing agreement. All current lawsuits have been dismissed.

TAIPEI, Taiwan and CUPERTINO, California—November 10, 2012—HTC and Apple® have reached a global settlement that includes the dismissal of all current lawsuits and a ten-year license agreement. The license extends to current and future patents held by both parties. The terms of the settlement are confidential.

“We are glad to have reached a settlement with HTC,” said Tim Cook, CEO of Apple. “We will continue to stay laser focused on product innovation.” Peter Chou, HTC’s CEO, said “HTC is pleased to have resolved its dispute with Apple, so HTC can focus on innovation instead of litigation.”

Apple’s March 2010 suit against HTC was its first against an Android manufacturer (Samsung and others would follow) and was in direct response to the HTC-built Nexus One gaining multi-touch support exactly one month to the day earlier. Apple’s suit alleged 20 separate patent infringements relating to the iPhone’s user interface, underlying architecture and hardware.

At the time Steve Jobs said:

“We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We’ve decided to do something about it. We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook is seen as a more moderate, less temperamental leader who remarked recently that he was willing to put Android lawsuits behind Apple.  HTC had counter-sued Apple with patents it had licensed from Google as well as other patents it had picked up from S3. In a recent ruling att he ITC, all but one of Apple’s patent claims against HTC were dismissed.

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Google readies Google Shopper app for holidays with 3.0 update: refreshed home screen, new Sales page, and more

Google rolled out version 3.0 of Google Shopper for Android and iOS today.

The update comes just in time for the holiday season, as Google noted on the Google Commerce blog this afternoon that users of the refreshed app could now “easily browse for gift ideas, research products, and locate great deals on the go.”

The app’s newly added improvements include a redesigned home screen with a larger search box and bigger photos, and it now spotlights great sales and special offers from the new Sales page. Version 3.0 also notably integrated GoodGuide, a rating system that details whether a product is healthy, safe, or environmentally friendly.

The app’s full change log: 

  • New UI with faster navigation and bigger images.
  • Discover sales and special offers in your area from the new sales screen.
  • Search for apparel and accessories more effectively with image-centric search results.
  • Make more informed buying decisions with GoodGuide product ratings.
  • Get great deals online with retail promotions.
  • Find out about new features and content with push notifications.
  • 3.0.1: Fixed a bug that caused the app to crash at startup for some users.

Google Shopper 3.0 is available for Android devices at the Google Play store. While the iOS version is not yet live, many reports speculate it will roll out sometime soon.

A screenshot gallery is below.

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Some Google services reportedly blocked in China

Many reports are coming in that Chinese users are having trouble accessing a number of Google’s web products. There is no word on the exact cause of the service disruptions, but The Wall Street Journal noted Google’s Transpareny Report website shows “a precipitous drop in traffic in China starting more than eight hours ago,” although the site doesn’t list the services as completely inaccessible in the country. Google provided a statement to WSJ confirming the interruptions do not appear to be on its end:

“We’ve checked and there’s nothing wrong on our end,” a Google spokeswoman said in a prepared statement.

The Washington Post reported “Users with special VPN (virtual private network) services,” which many Chinese users take advantage of to access banned sites like Facebook, are still able to access Google’s services.  Read more

Google Apps Vault now open to Google Apps for Government customers

Google announced on its Enterprise Blog today that it would officially make its Google Apps Vault service available to Google Apps for Government customers. Google head of eDiscovery Jack Halprin made the announcement, noting federal, state and local agencies in the United States can “now purchase Vault to help meet their compliance needs.”

Google Apps Vault helps protect organizations of all sizes from legal and compliance risks through advanced message archiving, retention and eDiscovery capabilities. It provides the ability to quickly search, identify, preserve and export information in response to litigation, investigation, compliance audits, or Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

Apps for Government users interested in finding out more can go hereRead more

Startups in Kansas City buying homes for Google Fiber access

Google officially started rolling out its new gigabit fiber Internet and TV service in Kansas City in July. Google asked households in the various “Fiberhoods”, which are made up of 800 or so residents each, to sign-up, but the service has not yet rolled out to businesses. Now, as reported by GigaOm, businesses are going as far as purchasing residential homes in the city to take advantage of the $70 per month Internet plans:

the startup community wasn’t willing to settle — and since most of them worked from their homes, coffee shops or communal space anyhow, it wasn’t a big leap to decide to find a house in an area slated for fiber and move in.

Tyler Vanwinkle of Leap2, a mobile search company, said his company was already based near a neighborhood slated to get fiber and a friend of his owned a house there. So he talked to his friend about renting space for the company in the house, now dubbed the Hacker House. “Google fiber the speed is phenomenal but it’s only residential,” he said. “Since we were interested in renting the house as office space and so were some of our friends, this has evolved into this common bond of entrepreneurship.”

GigaOm also noted many other startups and businesses in the city are considering making the switch to residential to gain access to Google’s new Internet service. The company originally said it would provide more information on offering the service to businesses at a later date, but has yet to do so.

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