Chrome for Android goes almost ‘entirely open source’

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Launched in September 2008, Google’s Chrome browser is now dominant in its share of the desktop web browser market, with approximately 1 in 4 Internet users interfacing with the web using the browser. What many Chrome users probably don’t know, however, is that it’s actually based off the open source Chromium browser, also developed by Google. Up until today Chrome for Android differed from its desktop counterpart in that it’s codebase wasn’t open source – meaning, the code for the app wasn’t publicly available for other developers to view, modify, and build upon. That changed today.

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Google says that larger-screened devices are helping the mobile ad business

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While Google’s ad business is definitely in a transition phase, largely due to the shift away from personal computers towards mobile handsets, Google’s Senior Vice President of Ads & Commerce Sridhar Ramaswamy says that the company is handling this move well. Selling ads to advertisers may be harder with more of those ads ending up on mobile devices with smaller screens than notebooks and desktops, meaning more difficulty for customers to complete purchases, but Google is definitely taking steps toward slowing the rapid decline in ad prices.

According to a recent report from The Wall Street Journal, while Google is making several moves to make advertising more valuable, the market’s more recent move to larger-screened devices has helped significantly… Read more

Google sends Project Fi update emails, promises complete invite rollout by mid-summer

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Earlier this month, Google began sending the first invites to users for its Project Fi wireless carrier initiative. Users receiving invites have been rare so far and this evening Google sent an update email to those who requested an invite at launch. Unfortunately, the email being sent to users today doesn’t include an invite, but rather only an update on the process of the rollout.

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Google Hangouts Chrome app updated w/ redesigned interface, OS X support

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 8.29.15 PMGoogle today updated its Hangouts Chrome app with an entirely new interface. Perhaps more notably than that, the app has support for Mac OS X users in addition to the trio of Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS. The UI has been refreshed to be more similar to the Android version of the app, a trend that has been increasingly common for Google services over the past few months.

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Gartner: Chromebook sales up 24 percent over 2014, still huge in education

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Gartner today released the results of a report finding that Chromebooks in 2015 have continued to see double-digit year-over-year growth for Google with education still as the primary market for browser-based computers. 7.3 million Chromebook units are expected to be sold in 2015, a 27 percent increase over 2014, while 72 percent of those sales are expected to be from the education sector.

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In the above chart breaking down Chromebook sales for 2014 by region and segment, you can see education held the lion’s share in all the major markets Google sells to, with consumer sales coming in second, and sales to the business segment trailing far behind – save for in Asia Pacific, where those latter two are reversed. Read more

New Snowden files: Intelligence agencies planned to hack Android phones by compromising app stores

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A multinational government group known as the Five Eyes intelligence alliance – the spy group comprising Canada, the U.S., Britain, Australia and New Zealand – planned to hack Android phones by compromising both Google and Samsung app stores. The plan was revealed in newly-released Snowden files dating back to 2012, reports CBC News.

Five Eyes specifically sought ways to find and hijack data links to servers used by Google and Samsung’s mobile app stores [trying] to find ways to implant spyware on smartphones by intercepting the transmissions sent when downloading or updating apps.

The alliance planned to begin by analyzing traffic to the stores to identify the Internet usage habits of targets (such as which apps they used), but the ultimate goal was to plant spyware that would enable them to extract data from targeted smartphones, or even to take control of them …  Read more

Google rebrands Webmaster Tools as ‘Google Search Console’ to appeal to more users

SC_lockupGoogle announced today in a blog post that it is renaming its popular Google Webmaster Tools service to Google Search Console after nearly 10 years of existence. Aside from the different name, no other changes are being made to Google Search Console. Google, of course, updates the service with new features on a regular basis, though.

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Controversial Adblock Plus just launched its own mobile browser for Android

“Adblockers,” browser tools which work to hide ads from the web browsing experience, are a controversial topic of discussion among those in the media industry. And for good reason, as the media industry as a whole is in the midst of a large shift from creating content for – and earning a vast majority of revenue from – the print and desktop mediums, where large boxy ads have long reigned king. But when we talk about adblockers, the one tool we’re all probably referring to, the one which has become synonymous with the term, is Adblock Plus (ABP), and the company behind it has released a dedicated browser for Android…

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Bloomberg: Google set to announce standalone photo service at I/O 2015

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According to sources for Bloomberg, Google is set to announce an “an online picture sharing and storage service” separate of Google+. This isn’t exactly groundbreaking news, but it’s further confirmation of something we’ve been hearing about since as far back as August of last year.

Google Inc. is set to reveal an online picture sharing and storage service that will no longer be part of the Google+ social network, people familiar with the plans said.

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