Google Classroom gets Groups integration, improved teacher controls & more

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Google just announced some enhancements and new features rolling out to its Google Classroom service today including much improved controls for teachers. Google Classroom, a platform for teachers to plan lessons, assignments, and work alongside students in real-time, was announced earlier this year and first opened to all Apps for Education users in August. Read more

Google Apps for Work updated with new and improved support features

In Product Help Screen Shot

Today, Google announced some new support changes to its Google for Work services that are designed to improve how the company interacts with its customers when they need help with a product or service. After testing a chat support feature with a limited group of Google Apps administrators, Mountain View is now making this service option available to English language app admins globally.

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Report: Google to announce Nexus 9 and Nexus 6 tomorrow, retail availability in November

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According to a new report out of Forbes, Google will announce both the Nexus 9 tablet and Nexus 6 smartphone tomorrow. The report claims that Google had originally planned to hold an event for the devices, but decided it against it due to it wanting to continue to fine tweak Android “L” until the last-minute. Instead, both of the devices will be announced via a blog post.

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New evidence surfaces that L could stand for ‘Lollipop’

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Licorice, Lemon Meringue Pie, Lollipop, Laffy Taffy? What’s it going to be? We still don’t know for sure, but following recent rumors based on comments made by the designer of the Google sculptures that the upcoming release would be called “Licorice,” we now have compelling new evidence from a Chromium issue tracker that Google is actually going to go with “Lollipop” after all (via myce).

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Shocker! Teenagers use mobile voice search more than adults

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Teenagers talk on the phone a lot, but you know what else they do? Talk to their phones. Google published a study today looking at that voice search habits of American smartphone users and to no one’s surprise, teens use the feature more than adults. According to Mountain View’s findings 55 percent of teens ranging from 13 to 18 years old use voice search every day.

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Nexus 6 stock imagery surfaces thanks to @evleaks

It looks like it’s just too hard to not leak things for Evan Blass, the guy behind @evleaks who supposedly retired from the leaking game a couple of months ago. It wasn’t too long ago that we gave you an exclusive look at the Nexus 6, but now the story of Nexus 6 leaks has basically come to a close with the leak of what appears to be Google’s own stock imagery of the device.

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Verizon schedules Oct. 28 press event for new DROID unveiling

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Following a number of leaks for an upcoming new DROID device from Verizon, we’ve now received word that Verizon has scheduled an Oct. 28 press event specifically to unveil its latest DROID product. While we know that the event will focus on the latest DROID device from the carrier, we can only assume it’s the DROID Turbo leaked through official Verizon channels in recent weeks (pictured above). Read more

Google Shopping Express becomes true Amazon Prime competitor w/ $95/year memberships, new cities & more merchants

Google announced today that its rebranding its Google Shopping Express service while expanding the same day delivery service to new markets and merchants. While announcing the new shorter “Google Express” name, Google announced that the service is now available in Chicago, Boston, and Washington D.C. After first rolling out the service a year ago, it’s now accessible to more than 7 million people.

Google also noted some of the big merchants it’s added support for in recent months, including alcohol delivery in the Bay Area, making for a total of 16 new shopping options through Express: Read more

Microsoft latest to mimic Snapchat with new Skype Qik ephemeral video messaging app

Microsoft has just joined the ranks of companies looking to capitalize on the success of ephemeral messaging apps like Snapchat. Through its Skype division, the company has launched a new cross-platform app for iOS, Android, and (of course) Windows Phone called Skype Qik. The premise of the application, as can be seen in the video above and screenshots below, is simple: you can record a quick video, and then share it to either one person in your address book or multiple groups of people.

By default, videos will expire after two weeks, and you can also un-send messages at any time. A cool feature of Skype Qik is the ability to pre-record various 5 second GIFs that you can send as instant replies. So, if you don’t have the ability to send a live video reply, you can just choose one of your pre-record defaults. The app is free today on the aforementioned platforms, and Microsoft says that updates, such as one for blocking iPhone contacts (that feature is available today on Android and Windows Phone), will come often to enhance the feature-set.

You can view some screenshots of the Android app in action below:

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Android L/Nexus 6/9 ads appear ahead of imminent release

Three Google ads for Android L have been leaked, with the Nexus 6 teased in one and the Nexus 9 putting in an appearance in another. I don’t think we are going to make it through the week without getting an official announcement.

Droid Life uploaded the three ads to YouTube, with the Nexus 6 making an obvious appearance in the bus queue video above, while the Nexus 9 is seen in the Winnebago ad below …  Read more

Anki Drive gains Android support, but only works with a few devices at launch

The app-powered Anki Drive cars first demoed during WWDC 2013 are finally gaining very limited Android support, TechCrunch reports. Nearly one year to the day after the official launch on iOS, the artifically-intelligent racers are finally available to users on select Android devices.

The only devices that will support Anki Drive out of the box today are the Nexus 5, Galaxy Note 3/4/10.1, or the Galaxy S4/S5. Unfortunately, the app will not support cross-platform play, which means everyone playing has to have the same operating system: Android users can only play with other Android users and iOS users can only play with other iOS users.

Anki Drive was updated in January with new customization options and a new car. The starter kit can you yours for $150, with additional cars available available for $50. Read more

Talking Schmidt: Our biggest search competitor is Amazon

Business Leaders Meet In Sun Valley, Idaho For Allen And Co. Annual Conference

Eric Schmidt has been busy pounding the pavement promoting his new book How Google Works, but today the Google chairman switched gears and made a stop in Berlin to visit the headquarters of Native Instruments, a major producer of hardware and software for digital music production. In front of an intimate group of company founders, scientists and economists, Schmidt touched on important topics like innovation, tech and the future of the internet.

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