Open source Stories July 8, 2020

Google founds Open Usage Commons to manage trademarks for open source projects

Google has announced the creation of Open Usage Commons, an organization aimed to help open source projects manage and enforce their trademarks appropriately and effectively.

Open source Stories January 9, 2020

Google’s Android and iOS app crash analysis tool Firebase Crashlytics is now open source

For years now, long before it became a part of Google’s Firebase, Crashlytics has offered Android and iOS developers a way to obtain insights about if and why their app is crashing on their user’s devices. As has been the trend for Firebase libraries recently, Google has made Crashlytics for Android and iOS into an open source project.

Open source Stories May 16, 2019

As evidenced by Android and Chromium, Google has long been committed to open source software. The company now wants to foster a similar community for hardware and chip design, particularly open source silicon.

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Open source Stories January 16, 2019

As both Google Home and Google Assistant devices become more ubiquitous in our lives, making new Actions for the Assistant becomes an almost necessary step for developers. To make it easier for Android developers (among others) to make the leap, today, Google has released a Java & Kotlin library for Actions on Google.

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Open source Stories January 9, 2019

Google Chrome Labs releases online and open source Etch-A-Sketch clone, Web-A-Skeb

Do you remember having an Etch-A-Sketch as a kid? Developers in the Google Chrome Labs sure do. Calling back to this nostalgic toy, Google Chrome Labs has released a free, online, open source recreation called Web-A-Skeb.

Open source Stories December 21, 2018

Many aspects of Google Chrome and Chrome OS are available open source directly from Google under the Chromium projects. However, Google still keeps some things private. One piece of Chrome OS that’s been kept private all this time is the Camera app, but that is changing now with it being added to the open source Chromium repository. Google also seems to be planning some improvements like portrait mode.

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Open source Stories July 23, 2018

Google’s ‘AndroidX’ developer support libraries are now open-source

As part of the Android Jetpack announcement at I/O in May, Google unveiled a redesign for the Android Support Library, called AndroidX. Like its predecessor, AndroidX is designed to help developers maintain backward compatibility with old versions of Android. As announced on Reddit, these libraries are now open source, as part of AOSP.

Open source Stories June 27, 2018

Google is now a Platinum Member of The Linux Foundation

Open source is a very important principle at Google, considering how many of its projects are developed that way. Google is now a Platinum sponsor of The Linux Foundation — a non-profit organization that advances the cause.

Open source Stories May 21, 2018

Google announces Git code management protocol v2 w/ major bandwidth improvements

On its Open Source Blog, Google announced the first major revision of the open source Git protocol.

Open source Stories March 28, 2017

Google launches website to give its open source projects a new home

Google has today launched a new website to showcase the many open source projects that it is working on — including Android, Chromium, TensorFlow, and plenty others.

Open source Stories June 3, 2016

AnyPixel.js from Google allows web developers to build giant interactive displays [Video]

AnyPixel.js is great example of a Google experiment becoming an actual product. The open source software and hardware library — available on GitHub — allows anyone to use the web to build “big, unusual, interactive displays” with any component.

Open source Stories May 11, 2016

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Thread, the low-power mesh network protocol that Alphabet-owned Nest built in tandem with Samsung, ARM, and other companies, is now going open-source. Since it opened membership in October of 2014, the not-completely-open “Thread Group” has grown to have over 30 products. But this OpenThread release takes things a step further in the name of openness…

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Open source Stories May 3, 2016

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A new open source project called PieMessage enables cross-platform iMessage support, allowing Android users to communicate using Apple’s iPhone messaging platform.

In the video below, we get a short look at the PieMessage app in action with a still unreleased prototype version of the app.

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Open source Stories November 25, 2015

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The AMP Project — to speed up and improve mobile web pages — is picking up steam since its announcement six weeks ago, and now we know that it’s expected to launch in an official capacity early next year. A bevy of new media organizations and ad tech companies have announced their support and commitment to the open source project, as well.

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Open source Stories November 18, 2015

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During Microsoft’s Connect 2015 event today live from New York, the company announced it is open-sourcing its Visual Studio Code program for developers and in the process bringing its Visual Studio Emulator for Android to Mac users. expand full story

Open source Stories August 12, 2015

Yesterday we wrote about three new Android apps to come out of Google’s Creative Lab, which at the time we had trouble making sense of as at first glance since they all seemed like trivial products without clear meaning. Now their existence makes more sense with the launch of a new community gallery of apps called Android Experiments.

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Open source Stories July 16, 2015

Xiaomi's Hugo Barra Responds to Apple Copycat 'Melodrama' - YouTube 2015-07-16 14-05-37

As smartphones grow in popularity in emerging markets, Hugo Barra has very publicly spoken for Xiaomi, the Chinese-based technology company that he left Google to join as Vice President of International in September 2013. Today, he sat down with Bloomberg to talk about many things, including accusations that the Chinese company has stolen Apple’s design, Android as one of the best decisions Google ever made, and Xiaomi’s eventual plan to bring its devices stateside… expand full story

Open source Stories July 7, 2015

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Longtime users of Google Chrome may remember a period when it was possible to display tabs vertically, in a bar on the left-hand side of the screen, rather than at the top above the address bar. That feature (pictured above) was experimental, and the Chromium team, which creates public forks of the source code behind Google’s commercial browser, eventually gave up on the idea because it was believed to be a niche feature and “nobody stepped forward to do the work to drive the feature to completion.” Sidebars may be coming back from the dead in a different but similar form, however…

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Open source Stories June 29, 2015

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While other competing browsers have long had special modes that strip all extraneous content from the pages of articles so as to reduce distraction, Chrome has thus far only seen this option, commonly referred to as “Reader Mode,” appear as an experimental version. That’s even though the base Chromium browser has had an implementation of it available built-in for over a year now, and the Google Chrome team having had added an experimental toolbar icon for it to its mobile browser more than a year ago. It looks like the Chrome team might be close to a wide rollout, however.

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Open source Stories May 27, 2015

Twitter Kit and Digits for Android go open source

 

With a swarm of developers from around the world converging on San Francisco’s Moscone Center tomorrow for Google I/O, Twitter wants them to keep the company’s real-time social platform at the top of mind. This afternoon it announced that its developer tools for integrating Twitter into Android apps have been open-sourced, with the projects now hosted publicly on Github.

Open source Stories May 22, 2015

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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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Open source Stories May 20, 2015

“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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Open source Stories May 6, 2015

Google has today released an open source exercise “game sample” to GitHub which utilizes a handful of Android technologies to demonstrate to developers how they can create fun games using Google Fit and Android Wear.

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Open source Stories October 6, 2014

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Google this afternoon, in a blog post on its Open Source Blog, announced the details for two of its upcoming coding challenges. Google Code-In 2014 and Summer of Code 2015 are two ways in which Google hopes to encourage students to design and participate in open source projects, while also attempting to win contests and learn from their peers.

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Open source Stories July 10, 2014

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It sounds like a pretty cool idea right there, but for those with medical conditions that don’t allow them to control Glass by voice or touch – such as those with locked-in syndrome – this could change their lives.

Engadget reports that UK company This Place has created the MindRDR app to enable a Glass user who’s also wearing a head-mounted EEG sensor to take a photo and upload it to Facebook or Twitter by pure thought control.

It’s essentially a proof of concept at this stage, with only one form of measurement: concentration.

MindRDR shows up as a thin white line on Glass’s screen, which moves upwards the more the user concentrates. Once that line reaches the very top, it snaps a picture of whatever you want – you simply need to repeat the process to upload the image to a social network …

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Open source Stories December 18, 2013

Google increases commitment to defending open-source software projects from patent trolls

Google’s Open Source Blog advises that Google has moved from an associate to a full board member of the Open Invention Network, an organisation designed to cross-licence Linux patents to reduce the risk of being sued by patent trolls.

Open-source software like Linux has spurred huge innovation in cloud computing, the mobile web, and the Internet in general. Linux now powers nearly all the world’s supercomputers, runs the International Space Station, and forms the core of Android. But as open source has proliferated, so have the threats against it, particularly using patents. That’s why we’re expanding our participation in Open Invention Network (OIN), becoming the organization’s first new full board member since 2007.

Companies that join the network are guaranteed protection from being sued by other members, provided that they make the same promise. Google will now sit alongside IBM, NEC, Novell, Philips, Red Hat and Sony on the board.

Google’s former head of patents, Michelle Lee, was recently named as the new interim head of the US Patent & Trademark Office, promising faster processing of applications and ‘higher quality’ patents – diplomatic language for greater barriers to patent trolls.

Open source Stories August 13, 2013

Google increases bug bounties up to fivefold after paying out $2M to date

Google is increasing the bounty it pays to security researchers who discover and report bugs in Chromium by up to 500 percent after announcing that it has paid out a combined total of $2M in bug bounties across Chromium and Google-owned websites in just three years.

Today, the Chromium program is raising reward levels significantly. In a nutshell, bugs previously rewarded at the $1,000 level will now be considered for reward at up to $5,000. In many cases, this will be a 5x increase in reward level! We’ll issue higher rewards for bugs we believe present a more significant threat to user safety, and when the researcher provides an accurate analysis of exploitability and severity. We will continue to pay previously announced bonuses on top, such as those for providing a patch or finding an issue in a critical piece of open source software.

This follows earlier similar increases for reporting website vulnerabilities back in June.

Although the sums of money offered for reporting vulnerabilities are substantially lower than could be made by selling the info on the black market to those who would use it for nefarious reasons, the thinking behind bug bounties is it encourages those who would never dream of misusing the info to file prompt reports. Many large tech companies offer bug bounties, with Microsoft – a long-time hold-out – joining in a month ago.

Open source Stories July 3, 2012

Google supports the Declaration of Internet Freedom:

Celebrate freedom. Support a free and open Internet. More than any time in history, more people in more places have the ability to make their voices heard. Just as we celebrate freedom, we need to celebrate the tools that support freedom. Add your voice in support of a free and open Internet.

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Open source Stories May 24, 2012

HP webOS Enyo team is going Google

The Verge:

The HP team responsible for Enyo — webOS’s HTML5-based application framework that debuted on the TouchPad — will be leaving the company and starting at Google shortly, The Verge has learned. What this means for the future of Open webOS is unclear; Enyo and the developers supporting it are central to HP’s open source strategy for the operating system going forward, and it’s hard to say whether this move will have any effect on the planned late 2012 release for version 1.0.

It is pretty clear that webOS is over. With similar roots in Linux, the team could probably do some good with Google’s Android and Chrome products.

Open source Stories May 15, 2012

In the video above, you are seeing the Tizen operating system. It is an open source project backed by Intel and Samsung, which runs Android apps thanks to a little help from OpenMobile. The video above comes from The Handheld Blog (via GigaOM). Tizen, which Samsung now plans to merge with its Bada platform, just launched version 1.0 this month and it recently received support from Sprint. In the demo video below, we see what might be our first look at the Tizen platform running on an Android device; although, the integration with OpenMobile to run Android apps is not an official feature of the OS yet.

GigaOM suggested Samsung could buy OpenMobile outright to integrate the technology and enable the roughly 400,000 existing Android apps to run on the up-and-coming platform. Go past the break for a the video of Tizen running on a Samsung Galaxy SII HD from the recent Tizen Developer Conference in San Francisco (via Engadget).

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Open source Stories May 4, 2012

Samsung Open Sources Galaxy Tab 2 ICS software

Samsung announced some less-important news last night, compared to the announcements made earlier yesterday. However, this might be exciting for the developer community: Samsung has open-sourced the code that runs both the 7-inch and 10-inch Galaxy Tab 2 models. Samsung posted the code over at its open source page.

With the open source code, developers can now put their own spin on the version of Ice Cream Sandwich that Samsung makes available on the Tab 2. The Tab 2 does not feature an outright version of Android 4.0, because it has Samsung’s custom TouchWiz UI layer on-top. TouchWiz adds various UI enhancements and apps to ICS, some of which are actually pretty useful.

Do you think you are up for a little code tinkering? Try it! You can check out the model numbers for the Tab 2 after the break.

Open source Stories December 9, 2011

As you can see from the internal email sent to HP employees by CEO Meg Whitman below (via TechCrunch), webOS is officially alive and well and on its way to open source land. Last we heard HP was soon going to come to a solid decision on the fate of webOS and rumors started flying about  the company even being open to Android. However, today’s confirmation from Whitman most likely means the company hopes webOS will be picked up by vendors looking for an alternative to Google’s OS. There’s no mention of new hardware in the letter, but The Verge sat down with Whitman and board member Marc Andreessen who say there will indeed be new HP webOS tablets by 2013:

Will HP be creating any new webOS hardware?

The answer to that is yes but what I can’t tell you is whether that will be in 2012 or not. But we will use webOS in new hardware, but it’s just going to take us a little longer to reorganize the team in a quite different direction than we’ve been taking it in the past.

Are we talking printers? Or tablets and phones?

In the near term what I would imagine – and this could change, in full disclosure – is I would think tablets, I do not believe we will be in the smartphone business again.

Here’s Whitman’s full letter to HP Employees:

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Open source Stories November 26, 2011

Speaking at a conference in Liverpool (via Develop), Google’s Paul Kinlan revealed a few of the company’s plans in regards to making more additions to Chrome in 2012. The changes he outlined include the browser supporting plug-and-play gamepads, a cool feature that would give gamers a better way to game through Google+ games. Kinland also said the browser would be receiving the open source WebRTC platform.

Google is to add plug-and-play gamepad, webcam and microphone support to its Chrome web browser early next year, Google’s Paul Kinlan has revealed.

Speaking at Develop Liverpool, Kinlan also claimed that the search engine giant would be adding open source video and voice chat application WebRTC to its web browser.

Both additions would allow Google to offer more cloud and gaming services. We’re sure these are the first changes of many for the year of 2012.

Open source Stories August 22, 2011

Did you land your hands on the HP TouchPad this weekend, and not satisfied with WebOS? We understand the WebOS part of things, but the TouchPad could actually be considered a pretty nice piece of hardware..if it’s running the right stuff. While we mentioned an Android port was in the works this morning, the folks over at HacknMod are holding a little contest to see who can successfully do the port first. Total prize money tops $1500.

The basic Android port is going for $450, Wi-Fi is going for $350, both audio and camera are going up for $300, and lastly, MultiTouch is going for $100. Devs, that’s $1500!

If you think your dev skills are up to the challenge you can get started by posting your first bit of code into GitHub (full directions here). Note, all code developed for this project must be licensed under open-source. May the best coder win! expand full story

Open source Stories May 11, 2011

Over at Fortune, I profiled the the two new guys presenting at Google I/O on Android yesterday.  It turns out that Matt Hershensen and Joe Brit aren’t actually new (though they are new at Google) in the smartphone scene.  They actually founded Danger with Andy Rubin and were working at Microsoft (which bought Danger) less than a year ago.

At Google, they’ve been charged with starting up the Android hardware division which is putting together reference designs for the new accessory interfaces that will be built with the ADK.

Here’s their 2004 talk on founding Danger:

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