Google app for Android updated with app-specific voice search API

unnamed

Version 3.5 of the Google for Android application includes a new API that developers can take advantage of to activate “Ok Google” functionality within their own apps. According to the Android developer blog, software makers can add a few lines of code to their app to enable users to search it using a global voice command.

Once the feature has been integrated into an app (Talon, for example), users will be able to say things like “Ok Google, search for 9to5google in Talon” to trigger a search for that term within Talon.

Read more

Google Drive for Android gets improved search, better sharing & enhanced PDF viewer

Google Drive

Google has updated Drive for Android with a Material Design facelift and three new features in improved search, better sharing and an enhanced PDF viewer that make it easier for users to find, view and share through the app. The update will be rolling out on the Play Store for Android devices over the next several days.

The new search bar in Drive is easier and more predictive at finding content by updating results as each letter is typed into the field. Meanwhile, the app has improved sharing functionality that allows for users to write a custom comment on shared files so that all collaborators know why they sent it. Read more

Google updates search platform to decrease visibility of pirated media

2000px-The_Pirate_Bay_logo.svg

Google recently rolled out an update for its web search algorithm that makes it harder for people to find pirated media through torrent sites like Pirate Bay and Isohunt. This new software push comes soon after News Corp. chief executive Robert Thomson issued a letter blasting the search giant, referring to it as a “platform for piracy” and requesting that the EU enforce stricter policies against the company.

Read more

German publishing syndicate now allowing Google to display news excerpts in search results (update)

Google-Germany

As a result of an ongoing legal battle, Google recently changed the way it displays search results for news stories from select European publishers. A syndicate known as VG Media is claiming that Google’s search engine is letting people bypass their sites’ paywalls, and is demanding compensation for lost revenue. In an effort to smooth things over, Google removed text previews and thumbnail images from its search results for select publishers involved in this claim, but it appears that VG Media has had a change of heart.

Read more

Google officially removes authorship from search results

Google Personal Search

Google has officially announced the end of authorship, a feature within search that gave users an idea of who exactly wrote the content behind the link before clicking it. Paired with a headshot, the name of the content creator was for a very long time shown alongside the number of Google+ circles he or she was in as well as a link to read more content by that author. But as of today—while headshots have been gone for a while—this feature is completely finished and links in search are back to being a bit more uniform.

Read more

A look back at 10 of Google’s biggest search milestones since 2004

Europe Antitrust Google

What a difference a decade makes. Google’s head of search Amit Singhal recently reflected on the search giant’s last ten years, starting with its IPO, where Larry Page and Sergey Brin shared their vision with the rest of the world. In an open letter, Page and Brin boldly informed would-be shareholders that Google was not a conventional company and that their intentions were for it to never become one.

Read more

Google starts giving search preference to HTTPS encrypted websites

Google Personal Search

Google says it has been testing changes to its search algorithms that will give secure, encrypted websites — as shown by HTTPS in their URL — ranking preference over those that do not. Google as a company prioritizes security, and as more and more webmasters are adopting HTTPS, the company hopes that this change will push more webmasters to do the same.

Read more

Hong Kong court finds Google liable for defamation via auto-complete suggestions

triad

Things are getting interesting for Google on the legal front. Not long after the ‘right to be forgotten‘ ruling and the messy fallout from that, a Hong Kong court has ruled that the company is responsible for auto-complete suggestions where they could be said to defame.

MyBroadband (via The Loop) reports:

A Hong Kong court has ruled that a local tycoon can sue Google Inc for defamation because searches for his name on Google suggest adding the word ‘triad’, Hong Kong’s notorious organized crime groups.

Searches in both English and Chinese for Albert Yeung Sau-shing, the founder and chairman of Hong Kong-based conglomerate Emperor Group, will automatically suggest phrases related to organized crime using Google’s ‘autocomplete’ function.

On Tuesday, the High Court of Hong Kong dismissed Google’s argument that it was not responsible for the autocomplete suggestions related to Yeung and that the court did not have personal jurisdiction over the U.S. search giant … 

Read more

Google hosting Advisory Council on Right to be Forgotten across Europe including Rome, Paris, & London

Europe Antitrust Google

Much discussion on Internet policy has been prompted since the European Union Court of Justice ruled in May of this year that it is an individual’s right to request Google remove sensitive information from search results. Since the ruling on the Right to be Forgotten, as it is often called, Google has established a web page dedicated to taking such requests and begun removing data from its search results as requested although that hasn’t been without further complaints from EU regulators.

For its part, Google has shared its criteria for information removal and announced an the establishment of an advisory panel of experts for fielding concerns throughout this fall over the policy and its implementation. Today the search giant has shared the dates and cities of when that advisory panel will host in-person public discussion on the right to be forgotten. Check below for the specifics: Read more

British government committee says EU’s “right to be forgotten” ruling is unreasonable and impossible

forgotten

And so the saga continues … In the short time since the EU ruled that individuals have the right to be forgotten when sensitive information found in search results is considered “outdated or irrelevant,” we’ve seen what is probably best described as the makings of a damn good sitcom. (Note to networks: if you make it, I want my ten percent.)

We first had the amusement of deleted links being reported by the media, bringing the stories back into the limelight. We then had Google describing the impossible position in which it has been placed, being asked to make “difficult and debatable judgements” based on “very vague and subjective tests.”

This was followed by the EU rapping Google’s knuckles for doing it wrong, and we now have a bipartisan British governmental committee disagreeing with the EU and agreeing with Google that it is being asked to “enforce the impossible” …  Read more

‘Right to be forgotten’ mess gets messier as European regulators complain about Google’s approach

Google-offices-1

The mess and uncertainty created by an European court ruling that individuals have a ‘right to be forgotten‘ by search-engines when sensitive information is deemed to be “outdated or irrelevant” just got worse. Regulators are meeting with Google today to express concerns about the way in which Google has chosen to implement the ruling, reports Business Insider.

Under particular scrutiny is Google’s decision to only remove results from its European search engines, such as google.co.uk, meaning anyone can easily access the hidden information by switching to the widely used google.com [...]

Another issue likely to be raised by the EU watchdogs is Google’s decision to notify the owners of the websites that have been removed from search results …

Read more