Google makes Quickoffice iPad app free to Google Apps for Business customers

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Google made some announcements today regarding its work with the Quickoffice team since acquiring the company in June. On top of noting work to take advantage of Quickoffice conversion technology in Google Docs, Google launched a free version of the QuickOffice iPad app exclusively for Google Apps for Business customers today. There are also free iPhone and Android versions of the app for creating and editing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files coming to Apps customers in the near future:

Converting old files to Google Docs, Sheets and Slides is the easiest way to share and work together, but perhaps not everyone you work with has gone Google yet. To complement what you can do with Google documents, we’re also making it easier for you to make quick edits to Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint files without conversion. Starting today, the Quickoffice iPad app is available for free to all Apps for Business customers, and iPhone and Android versions are on the way.

Vice President of Google Enterprise Amit Singh welcomed the announcement on his Twitter account: “Customers can now get Quickoffice for free. No need to license microsoft for your ipad.”

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NORAD-less Google will still track Santa this Christmas

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NORAD, the self-touted official Santa Tracker, went with Bing Maps instead of Google Earth this holiday season, but Google isn’t getting left in the dust, as the folks in Mountain View launched its own count down to Christmas Eve with Google Santa Tracker.

According to the official Google blog, a team of dedicated Google Maps engineers developed an algorithm to track Santa’s annual trip around the world this Christmas:

On his sleigh, arguably the fastest airborne vehicle in the world, Santa whips from city to city delivering presents to millions of homes. You’ll be able to follow him on Google Maps and Google Earth, and get his stats starting at 2:00 a.m. PST Christmas Eve at google.com/santatracker.

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Redbox Instant by Verizon Android app live on Google Play as $8/month streaming service launches in private beta

Verizon and Redbox confirmed on the official Redbox Instant Twitter account that the new unlimited streaming service is rolling out gradually starting today. The $8-per-month Netflix competitor will provide unlimited streaming and four physical DVD or Blu-ray rentals ($9 a month for Blu-ray) and will be available through the browser as well as mobile apps. A Redbox Instant by Verizon Android app is already available on Google Play. There is also a free one-month trial included.

It is unclear what kind of content deals are in place for streaming, but we do know the service will offer content from Warner Bros., and EPIX.

If you’re interested in taking advantage of the service today, you’ll have to sign up for the private beta on the Redbox Instant website.

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Google, Apple, Samsung and more team up in $525M purchase of Kodak patents

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Today, Kodak announced the $525 million sale of its patents to two firms, Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corporation. It is interesting that the two companies will work with 12 intellectual property licensee to pay a portion of the over $500 million price tag. The 12 licensees, who aren’t listed by name in Kodak’s press release, would all receive varying access to the digital imaging patent portfolio and other Kodak patents included in the sale. In turns out that Apple, Google, and many other large tech companies, will provide cash toward the purchase as licensees.

Under the agreements, Kodak will receive approximately $525 million, a portion of which will be paid by 12 intellectual property licensees organized by Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corporation, with each licensee receiving rights with respect to the digital imaging patent portfolio and certain other Kodak patents. Another portion will be paid by Intellectual Ventures, which is acquiring the digital imaging patent portfolio subject to these new licenses, as well as previously existing licenses.

Bloomberg is reporting, as relayed by Business Insider, that the 12 companies are made up of Apple, Google, Samsung, Microsoft, Facebook, and just about every major player in the tech business:
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FTC antitrust investigation into Google ruling reportedly pushed back until 2013

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If you’re like us, you just can’t wait to hear the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s final ruling over Google’s antitrust case that has spanned more than two years. Recent reports tipped the ruling to come in as early as this week. However, Bloomberg reported this evening that the ruling has been delayed until next year. We presumed the settlement talks are continuing, resulting in a delay, as Google tries to skirt any formal settlement or lawsuit and rather provide “voluntary concessions.” The report earlier this week mentioned that the debacle, centered on antitrust litigation and allegations, is said to end with Google coming out relatively unaffected. Read more

Google Music now features scan and match in the US

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Similar to iTunes Match, Google has updated its Google Music service in the United States with its new scan match feature that previously was only available in Europe. The feature is definitely welcomed, as it scans a user’s local library for songs and matches them in the cloud, doing away with any lengthy upload periods. Engadget reported that U.S. users who have already put their music library on to Google Music will begin seeing the process take place in the coming weeks, which means matched songs will be streamed at 320Kbps. Want to know the greatest thing about Google Music’s scan and match? It’s entirely free if you stay under 20,000 songs, unlike rival services. Read more