Google says Chrome for Windows 8 is in the works


Google is designing a version of Chrome to run in touch-friendly Metro of Windows 8.

Windows 8 is the upcoming edition of Microsoft Windows and features a new Metro-style user-interface with input for touchscreen, mouse, keyboard, and pen. The platform’s Consumer Preview was just released Feb. 29.

A Google representative told Mashable that Chrome for Windows 8 is based on the desktop browser and not the Android form. The browser will highlight touch support to compliment the company’s interface principle that spans across many of its products and services, such as Xbox 360 and Windows Live. With that said, Chrome for Android indicates Chrome for Windows 8 might feature automatic syncing, swipe-able tabs, and a multitude of extensions.

“Our goal is to be able to offer our users a speedy, simple, secure Chrome experience across all platforms, which includes both the desktop and Metro versions of Windows 8,” announced a Google representative. “To that end we’re in the process of building a Metro version of Chrome along with improving desktop Chrome in Windows 8 such as adding enhanced touch support.”

More information is available below.

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Google+ updated with album organizer for sorting, moving and batch deleting photos

Earlier today, we told you Google Docs is now integrated into Google+ for all users, and now the social network is getting another update from the Google+ Photos team. A new album organizer is rolling out today that allows you to sort, reorder, move, copy, and batch-delete photos from within your Google+ account. You can access the new features by clicking “Organize album” from the Options menu of an album.

Go past the fold for the full breakdown from Google.

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Barnes and Noble offering its highly hackable Android Nook Color for $135

From 9to5Toys.com:

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Barnes and Noble via Ebay Daily Deal offers a refurbished version if its Nook Color Tablet for $135 with free shipping. That is $65 off the new price, and it is about the lowest price we have ever seen for a name brand Android tablet. It showcases a 7-inch 1024-by-600 LED-backlit color touchscreen LCD display with extra-wide viewing angles for reading books, magazines, and newspapers in color. Other features of this Google Android-based eBook reader / tablet include 802.11n wireless (with free access in Barnes and Noble stores), 8GB internal memory, microSD card slot, eBook lending, MP3 audio and MP4 video playback, Pandora, and more. A 1-year Barnes and Noble warranty applies.

Google integrates Docs into Google+ Hangouts for all users

Google announced that Docs is now officially integrated into the core Google+ Hangouts experience by allowing users to collaborate on documents from within a hangout. The feature essentially adds video chat capabilities to the web-based Google Docs experience. Up until now, the feature was only accessible through “Hangouts with extras,” an opt-in preview of scrennsharing, Sketchpad, and Google Docs integration. To use the new feature, simply click the “Docs” button during your hangout. The other features included in the preview have not yet been switched on for all users.

To try it out, just click on the new “Docs” button inside your hangout:

- you can add an existing document, or upload a new one

- added documents are available as a list on the left-hand side

- you can switch between and collaboratively edit multiple documents at once

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US Federal Trade Commission subpoena Apple in Google antitrust probe over iPhone search

According to a report from Bloomberg (via AllThingsD), the U.S. Federal Trade Commission subpoenaed Apple as part of its antitrust investigation of Google. There are not many details currently, but the report claimed the FTC is interested in Apple’s agreement with the company to use Google as its primary default search engine on iOS devices.

The agency’s request for documents includes the agreements that made Google the preferred search engine on Apple’s mobile devices, said the people, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly and declined to be identified. Google rivals such as Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) have criticized these agreements as anticompetitive.

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Kindle Fire pushes Android tablet market share over 40 percent in Q4 2011

IDC just released its Q4 2011 report on tablet shipments and Apple continues to lead the market with 54.7-percent of global market share despite being down from 61.5-percent in the quarter before. Apple did increase shipments to 15.4 million units in Q4 (up from 11.1 million in Q3), but experienced an overall decrease in market share thanks to strong gains from Amazon’s Kindle Fire and other Android devices from competitors such as Samsung.

Kindle Fire is now the iPad’s biggest competitor with 16.8-percent of the tablet market due to 4.7 million units shipped during Q4, which is followed by Samsung with 5.8-percent of the market (up from 5.5-percent in Q3). IDC noted Apple’s results for the quarter represent “an increase of 110.5-percent from 4Q10.” The Nook Tablet from Barnes & Noble came in fourth, but it fell slightly to 3.5-percent of the market (from 4.5-percent the quarter before). Pandigital took the No. 5 spot, but it is down from 2.9-percent to 2.5-percent market share.

As for iOS vs. Android, IDC is expecting Android to overtake iOS for global market share by 2015 and noted that Android now has 44.6-percent of the market as of Q4 2011. That resulted in a decrease for iOS, which fell from 61.6-percent to 54.7-during the quarter. As we noted before, IDC’s report accounts for tablet shipments and not actual sales. We know Apple typically sells as many new devices as it can make, and the same cannot be said for devices shipped by all Android vendors. Research Director at IDC’s Mobile Connected Devices Tom Mainelli talked about the report:

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Google I/O registration opens 7 a.m. PDT March 27, last year it took less than an hour to sell out

Google opens its registration for its annual I/O conference on March 27. Remember, tickets sold out last year in under an hour so set your alarms!

The conference also moved from May to June this year where Google will debut many new technologies, including some Glasses hopefully. While we do not have official word on the Glasses “Project WingFront,” we were told by a Google employee that this year’s I/O was going to be “totally insane.” Perhaps so insane that Google moved from a two-day format to three days this year.

 

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Google also updated its I/O website with some fun and games. Read more

Samsung announces Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade for GALAXY S II

Through Facebook, no less:

Samsung offers Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade for GALAXY S II

We’re thrilled to announce that Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich will be served to GALAXY S II users in the European countries including Poland, Hungary and Sweden, as well as Korea today, and gradually roll out to other markets.

ICS for GALAXY Note, GALAXY S II LTE, GALAXY Tab 8.9 and 10.1 will follow soon.

In addition, we’ll also offer Android 2.3 Gingerbread firmware upgrades for GALAXY S, GALAXY Tab 7″, GALAXY S Plus, GALAXY S SCL (Super Clear LCD) and GALAXY W from end March. The firmware upgrades for GALAXY S, for example, include Face Unlock, Snapshot, Photo Editor, and others.

The availability and scheduling of the software update and specific models upgradeable to Android 4.0 will vary by market and wireless carriers’ requirements.

That last sentence is the killer. How long until the carriers get around to upgrading their phones? Verizon just upgraded the Samsung Continuum to Android 2.2 last month. It is nice is that we now have a four-horse race on our hands to determine which carrier is the fastest. My money is on Sprint.
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Google snags Defense Department Director Regina Dugan for some serious black ops work

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O.K., really that headline is a bit misleading. We have no idea what the now-former DARPA head has been hired to do at Google, and the department would only tell us the scripted:

“Regina is a technical pioneer who brought the future of technology to the military during her time at DARPA. She will be a real asset to Google and we are thrilled she is joining the team.”

Besides pulling off designer jeans, Wired profiled her other qualifications:

Dugan’s emphasis on cybersecurity and next-generation manufacturing earned her strong support from the White House, winning her praise from the President and maintaining the agency’s budget even during a period of relative austerity at the Pentagon. Her push into crowdsourcing and outreach to the hacker community were eye-openers in the often-closed world of military R&D. Dugan also won over some military commanders by diverting some of her research cash from long-term, blue-sky projects to immediate battlefield concerns.

“There is a time and a place for daydreaming. But it is not at Darpa,” she told a congressional panel in March 2011 (.pdf). “Darpa is not the place of dreamlike musings or fantasies, not a place for self-indulging in wishes and hopes. Darpa is a place of doing.” For an agency that spent millions of dollars on shape-shifting robots, Mach 20 missiles, and mind-controlled limbs, it was something of a revolutionary statement.

You will recall that Google’s Driverless cars were born from the DARPA Grand Challenge, so perhaps we will see her join the ranks of Google’s X team. The videos below of Dugan talking feature her deep knowledge on the type of cyber-hacking that Google has accused China of in the past.

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YouTube opens up live streaming to all nonprofits

YouTube often provides live streaming of special events from concerts and its own product unveilings to media events and the recent Google+ hangout with President Obama. Today, over on the Official YouTube blog, we learned live streaming is now opened to everyone in the YouTube Nonprofit Program. In the blog post, YouTube noted it live streamed a play from the American Foundation on Equal Rights last Saturday, as well as various events on World AIDS Day. Now all members of the YouTube Nonprofit Program open to those in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada can enable live streaming by following these instructions. You can learn more about applying for the program here.
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Google publishes uncut video of weekly search quality meeting

Google decided to publish uncut video from its search quality meeting today where the company discusses and makes decisions about changes to the algorithm and infrastructure used for Google search. This is the first time Google published footage from the meeting, but the company said in a post on Google+ that it would continue doing so for each weekly meeting going forward as part of its “continued effort to be more transparent about how search works.” For this week, the group discussed issues with spelling for long queries.
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Any Sprint Android phone, including Galaxy SII or EVO are now free with a plan at Amazon’s Spring Sale

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If there is ever a time to upgrade to a Sprint Android phone, now is a good time—and Amazon is the place. All Sprint phones are a penny with free activations for new customers. Amazon had the penny-pincher sale across all lines for Black Friday last year.