Lenovo to stop producing smaller Windows tablets, Android support keeps on truckin’

Lenovo IdeaPad K1 (two-up)

Lenovo’s $2.91 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility from Google is still pending regulatory approval, however it looks like the company is already mapping out a new strategy. Despite being one of the world’s largest PC makers, Lenovo is halting the development of Windows tablets under 10 inches in size and migrating its remaining inventory to markets like Brazil, China and Japan where there’s more of a need for low-cost slates.

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Asus reportedly sold more tablets than Apple in Japan during first half of 2014

Image via TechSmartt

Image via TechSmartt

According to figures released by market research company BCN, Asus sold more tablets than Apple during the first half of 2014 in Japan. Asus’ market share rose 8 percent year-over-year during the first half of 2014, the report claims, giving it a 38.9 percent portion of the tablet market in Japan. Apple, on the other hand, holds a 36.4 percent share (via Nikkei). This is the first time Asus has ever held the top spot in Japan, according to the report. Read more

Parallels Access lands on Android, lets you pin Windows/Mac apps on home screen

Parallels Access 2_Galaxy_AppLauncher

After launching on the iPad nearly a year ago, Parallels is today launching Parallels Access on Android tablets and smartphones running version 4.0 or newer. Parallels Access is a remote desktop client that allows you to access your Mac or PC via the touchscreen of your Android device. The software is also launching today on the iPhone and bringing new enhancements to the iPad.

In our review of the iPad version last year, we noted how blown away we were with the speed and performance of Parallels Access. The software makes accessing and using a computer via the iPad’s touchscreen a breeze, and it provides a huge convenience factor for those times when you need to access something on your home computer but do not have the machine with you.

The application is far and above other remote desktop client applications because of its integration with Android, iOS, OS X, Windows, its speed, and its overall reliability. Parallels Access utilizes gestures, Android’s native keyboard with editing, “SmartMagnification” and “SmartTap” to make the computer feel responsive and alive on your Android device. The application allows you to use your Mac swiftly and connects over the internet…

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Google Play Movies & TV now available for Chrome OS, allowing offline playback of Play Store content

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Chrome OS users now have the ability to download and view movies and TV shows from the Google Play Store using the newly-released Play Movies & TV app. The app allows users to manage video libraries without an internet connection, something the operating system has previously been unable to do.

The library can also be synced across multiple desktop and mobile platforms, including Windows PCs, Macs, Android phones, and iOS devies. Chromecast streaming is available to play your downloaded content on an HDTV, and the app has full support for Google’s Info Cards, which display information about the content being played.

You can grab the app for free on the Google Chrome web app store. The full description is below.

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Google adds 64-bit Chrome support to its Windows Canary channel

Chrome-Download

Today, Google announced 64-bit Chrome support for Windows 7 and 8 users. Available through Mountain View’s Canary and Dev channels, these new additions will provide users with an enhanced browsing experience that improves Chrome’s speed, security and stability. In order to take advantage of Google’s new offerings, you’ll need to have a system capable of running 64-bit software, so make sure your setup is up to the task before clicking that install button.

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Google blocking extensions not listed in the Chrome Web Store for Windows users

Chrome-Windows-8

Google announced today that it’s now blocking local Chrome extensions to protect Windows users from malicious software. This means that only extensions coming from the Chrome Web Store can be installed on Chrome for Windows. As an additional safety precaution, Google says that previously installed extensions may automatically be disabled and cannot be restored until they’re hosted in the Chrome Web Store.

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Lenovo offers its first consumer-oriented Chromebooks to world’s largest customer base, starting at $279

Lenovo

The profile of Chromebooks is likely to get a boost after the world’s largest PC manufacturer, Lenovo, announced its first Chromebooks aimed at the consumer market. Pricing starts at $279.

Lenovo, best known for its Windows laptops, launched its first Chromebook in January – but that one was pitched at the education market, selling in bulk to schools and colleges. This is the first time it has pitched a Chromebook directly at consumers – something which may worry Microsoft. Lenovo has 18.6 percent of the PC market, ahead of HP, Dell and Acer …  Read more

Chrome 34 beta released w/ hands-free Voice Search, responsive images, new APIs, more

Google has just promoted Chrome 34 to the beta channel, bringing with it a few new features and a lot of new apps/extension APIs for developers. Perhaps the most notable new feature for users on Mac, Windows, and Linux is hands-free Google Voice Search, allowing users to initiate a voice search on Google using the “Ok Google” command without the need of an extension:

  • Responsive Images and Unprefixed Web Audio
  • Hands-free Google Voice Search in Chrome
  • Import supervised users onto new computers
  • A number of new apps/extension APIs
  • Lots of under the hood changes for stability and performance

While users have been able to download a browser extension for Chrome since November that allows them to activate a voice search with the “Ok Google” voice command (just like on Android), it the native feature without the need of the extension will land for all Chrome users soon. Here’s how to enable it: Read more

Google & VMware bring Windows to enterprise Chromebook users

windows_8_on_chromebook

Google announced a partnership with virtualization software maker VMware today that will bring Chromebook users access to Windows desktops and apps. The deal means enterprise Chromebook users will have access to Windows apps through VMware Horizon DaaS and an upcoming Chrome Web Store app:

Cloud applications allow flexibility, scalability and security and enable a work-anywhere environment, but many of our customers still use traditional desktop applications. Desktop as a Service (DaaS) helps bridge the gap between the cloud and a traditional desktop by allowing you to run your traditional software in the cloud and have applications appear on your Chromebook similarly to how they run today. An example might be your Windows based accounting application.

It might sound a little bit like Google is admitting that enterprise customers need more than just Chrome apps to get the job done, but it’s also embracing the upcoming end of life for Windows XP and encouraging business customers to upgrade to Chromebooks. Giving businesses access to the Windows apps many rely on is certainly a good argument for upgrading to Chromebooks. In a statement in VMware’s press release, Google’s president of enterprise Amit Singh said “Chromebooks can save businesses about $5,000 per computer when compared to traditional PCs.” Read more

Google launches new G+ auto-backup utility for Mac and Windows with latest Picasa update

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 1.21.56 PMThe latest version of Picasa includes an additional bit of software called Google+ Auto Backup, as reported by Google Operating System. The new software can be used to automatically backup photos and videos from user-selected directories to your Google+ account. Interestingly, the app has nothing to do with the Picasa service, even though it ships exclusively with the Picasa app.

The app can save unlimited 2048px photos to your account, or upload full-quality versions at the expense of Google Drive space. It can also intelligently copy media from storage cards and other devices that are attached to the system. Furthermore, the app can be configured to backup all media to a designated location on the local hard drive, putting all of your backed-up media in one convenient place.

You can get the Google+ Auto Backup app by downloading the latest version of Picasa.