support Stories November 10, 2015

Chrome to stop supporting Windows XP, Vista, and older Mac OS X versions in April 2016

Google has said today that Chrome will no longer be supported on several legacy operating systems.

While Microsoft stopped supporting XP in April of last year, Google announced that they would continue providing updates and security patches to Chrome till the end of 2015:

Millions of people are still working on XP computers every day. We want those people to have the option to use a browser that’s up-to-date and as safe as possible on an unsupported operating system.

In a post today on the Chrome blog, Google announced when they will finally stop supporting XP: April 2016. Additionally, Windows Vista will stop getting support as well. On the Mac side, Google is dropping support for Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7, and 10.8 around the same time.

Google notes that the operating systems are no longer being actively supported by Microsoft and Apple, and they encourage users to move to a newer OS in order to receive the latest Chrome versions and features.

support Stories September 17, 2015

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While Chromecast has long supported Google Play Music, Netflix, Pandora, and other subscription services, Spotify — one of the most popular music streaming services — has long been left off the list. According to leaked internal documents that 9to5Google has seen, Google is preparing a slew of Chromecast announcements for later this month, one of which being Spotify support for Chromecast… expand full story

support Stories June 29, 2015

Ok-Google-Voice-Search

The Google app — previously known as “Search” — was updated to version 4.8 last week, and now a new teardown has revealed some interesting new details about some features that might be coming in future versions. Most notably, it looks like offline support for “OK, Google” is likely to be on the way, letting you give your device some voice commands without having a connection to the Internet… expand full story

support Stories May 20, 2015

Facebook Messenger’s free video calling now available worldwide

After adding support for a new cross-platform video chat service through its Facebook Messenger mobile apps, Facebook has now announced that the feature is rolling out to all worldwide.

The feature first launched back in April for users on iOS and Android in Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Laos, Lithuania, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, the UK, the US and Uruguay. Today, Facebook said the feature is now rolled out globally “with the exception of a few countries” that it’s still working on:

Quick update on video calling in Messenger: we’re happy to share we’ve now rolled out the capability globally, with the exception of a few countries we’re still working on improving quality for.

You can check out the new Facebook Messenger video calling feature through the latest versions of the iOS and Android apps.

support Stories April 30, 2015

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HTC has today pushed an update to its Camera app, packing a plethora of great new features for owners of HTC’s current flagship and past flagships alike. Most notably is the addition of Raw Camera mode, which lets users take photos and save them in their original, unchanged —hence the name “raw”—state… expand full story

support Stories December 3, 2014

nexus-design

It has always been one of the biggest benefits of going with one of Google’s Nexus devices: It means getting Android updates before basically everyone else. But with the return of Google offering its flagship Nexus on all major U.S. cellular carriers, it comes as no surprise that they want to have a bit of a say in that update process. And while that might not be a completely bad thing, it does mean that getting access to the latest versions of Android—while still likely faster than if you had any other phone—could be slower…

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support Stories August 6, 2014

Sony ends support for PlayStation Mobile on Android 4.4.3 & up

Sony announced rather unexpectedly today that it will be ending PlayStation Mobile for Android devices, its mobile gaming service integrated with PlayStation that currently comes with its “PlayStation Certified” Android devices.

The service will still exist on its PS Vita handheld and PS Vita TV, but the company will no longer guarantee support on devices running Android 4.4.3 and up, meaning users planning to upgrade to the upcoming Android L release this fall are out of luck.

It’s unclear what the motivation behind the move is, or whether or not Sony has other plans to somehow bring the long list of indie and classic PlayStation games offered through the service to Android gamers. Sony has an FAQ here about the change. 

support Stories July 25, 2014

google-glass

Google has updated the Google Glass GDK documentation to include support for external webcams attached via an On-The-Go cable (via Android Police). This means that, while developers already have access to the standard built-in Glass camera, they will now be able to incorporate additional camera views in their apps. Sadly, webcams won’t be Plug-and-Play, so developers are going to have to provide their own drivers for the hardware they want to use. expand full story

support Stories July 23, 2014

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Sprint and Google announced a partnership today that will see the carrier sell Apps for Business, Google’s productivity suite of products for enterprise, while offering deployment and support as a complete solution. Sprint is essentially becoming a reseller as part of the Google Apps Partner Program.

“Google Apps helps businesses work better together with familiar tools they can trust,” said Murali Sitaram, director of strategic partnerships for Google Enterprise. “Our partners are critical in this effort, providing valuable cloud and mobility solutions to customers of all sizes and across diverse industries. We are pleased to welcome Sprint to the Google Apps Partner Program, where they will provide Google Apps and added services to help customers work the way they live.”

In its press release, Sprint said its offering of Google Apps for Business will include “24/7 support and online training included at no charge … all with a mobile-centric approach that enables the use of Google Apps on mobile devices.”

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support Stories May 16, 2014

HP-11-Chromebook-LTE

Nothing lasts forever and if you’ve invested in a Chrome OS-powered device, it’s good to know how much support time you’ll have from Google. The folks in Mountain View recently updated its end-of-life schedule for Chrome OS devices, letting people know how long a specific product will have guaranteed support from Google. What happens when your device reaches its EOL date? It’ll work, however it may no longer receive automatic software updates from Google. This will most likely result in missing features and possible performance issues.

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support Stories April 17, 2014

Chromecast-MLB

Google announced today on its Chrome blog that Major League Baseball is adding support for its $35 Chromecast streaming stick through the MLB At Bat app for Android and iOS. That means that users with the app and an MLB.TV Premium subscription will be able to stream live and on-demand video content from the app (or from a browser tab in Chrome through MLB’s site) to a Chromecast connected TV. You’ll also be able to use the phone or tablet you’re streaming from as a second-screen experience to “check scores, stats and news” while watching the game on the bigger screen:

MLB.TV is the latest live streaming service to come to Chromecast, so now MLB.TV Premium subscribers can invite their friends over to watch live, out-of-market games. While casting a game to the big screen, use your phone or tablet to check scores, stats and news from around the league. You can even choose between home or away broadcasts to steer clear of the opposing team’s announcers when your guys are on the road.

The updated apps are rolling out today for the MLB At Bat app for Android and iOS on Google Play and the App Store, but the Chromecast feature will require an MLB.TV Premium subscription to get started. Those cost $129.99/year or $24.99/month in comparison to the regular $19.99/season or $2.99 month At Bat subscription and offers “every 2014 Regular Season out-of-market game LIVE or on-demand in HD” across platforms. 

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support Stories April 16, 2014

Samsung confirms 20 Galaxy devices now compatible w/ new Gear wearables

While some of us have been able to get Samsung’s new Gear fitness tracking wearables working with non-Samsung Galaxy devices, Samsung is still only officially supporting 20 Galaxy devices after first launching the wearables with only compatibility for its flagship devices. Samsung today provided details on the exact lineup of compatible devices, which as of yesterday includes 12 Galaxy smartphones and 8 tablets.

As of yesterday, the devices you see in the images above are all compatible with the Samsung Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit. Those are the devices that are officially supported through the ‘Gear Manager’ or ‘Gear Fit Manager’ apps, but we managed to get the Gear Fit working with the new HTC One M8.

support Stories April 3, 2014

Google-Chromecast-JW-Player

Chromecast, Google’s $35 HDMI streaming stick, is about to support streaming of a lot more video content online as JW Player prepares to introduce support. Gigaom reports that the popular HTML5 and Flash video player that is used on millions of websites to host video content will announce today that it’s launching a beta of Chromecast support.

The company is also working on some interesting new features with its Chromecast implementation:  expand full story

support Stories December 3, 2013

Fidlee-iOS-vs-Android-Adoption-Support

We hear a lot about adoption of iOS updates vs the fragmentation that Android users are forced to deal with, but just how far behind are the top Android devices compared to iPhone when it comes to getting support? To answer that question, Fidlee.com has updated a chart that it first put together a couple years back in order to see if things have become any better for Android in recent years. It hasn’t.

In the chart above we see that many once flagship Android devices— the Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S3, LG G2 etc— have still not received the latest Android 4.4 KitKat update and in some cases are even further behind. Most of the devices on the list have been an upgrade or two behind since launch or not long after. In comparison, only the iPhone 3GS fives years after its release doesn’t support iOS 7. We also get a look at how much longer Apple devices generally stay available for sale and continue receiving support, nearly twice as long as Android in most cases.

Not only did Apple claim iOS 7 was “the fastest software upgrade in history” with more than 200 million devices installing the OS less than a week after launch, but analytics firms tracking adoption also noticed adoption was much higher than previous releases. Currently iOS 7 sits at about 77% of users, according to the latest data from Fiksu’s iOS Usage Monitor. While the chart above is only for devices released last year, things aren’t much better for newer Android devices. In comparison to iOS 7 adoption, Google reports that its latest release, Android 4.4 KitKat, is at just 1.1% weeks into launch. The previous release, Android 4.3, is at just 4.2%, while the majority of users remain on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean first released in July 2012. Currently KitKat is only available for Nexus devices and slowly trickling out to Moto X and Google Play Edition devices.

A couple more charts below from Fidlee showing just how bad things are on Android compared to iOS: expand full story

support Stories November 27, 2013

How Google manages over 40,000 Macs…without much help from Apple

During a talk at the LISA ’13 conference in Washington D.C earlier this month, a couple members from Google’s Macintosh Operations team explained how the company has been forced to develop its own set of tools to manage its fleet of roughly 43,000 Macs. The reason, according to Google engineers Clay Caviness and Edward Eigerman, is that Apple isn’t doing a great job at supporting its enterprise management tools. As the first slide of the presentation (pictured above) puts it, “While Apple won’t do much for you, there are tools out there you can use to keep your machines secure, up to date and useful.”

“We don’t use any of Apple’s tools to manage the Macs. Apple arguably produces two tools, Mac OS X server… and Apple Remote Desktop. It kinda breaks down when you get it over 50, 100, 200 machines that you’re managing… we’ve sort of lost their attention as far as enterprise management tools.”

During one slide (pictured above, right), Google uses the red line to represent the release of the iPhone while noting Apple’s remote desktop “hasn’t had a major revision to it since 2006.” To avoid using Apple’s management tools, Google has either developed its own tools or is using open source tools for everything from configuration, to package management, monitoring system levels and more. Google announced during the talk that one of the imaging tools it developed, CanHazImage, will soon be hitting open source. 

While Google mentioned during the presentation that it supports four desktop OS platforms (OS X, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS) internally, it also said these days employees that want to use a platform other than Mac OS X “have to make a business case” to do so. Compare that roughly 40k monthly actives from Macs reported during the presentation to the 42,162 full-time employees at the company (not including Motorola). The Googlers also noted that the company managed to update from 10.7 to 10.8 for 99.5% of its fleet in 8 weeks and it’s currently trying to accomplish the same for 10.9 Mavericks.

You can watch or download the full presentation here.

(via TheRegister)

support Stories November 19, 2013

Google Maps SDK for iOS adds 64 bit support and more

Developers that are using Google’s Maps APIs to build iOS apps will be pleased with Google’s latest update to its Google Maps SDK for iOS today. Version 1.6 of the SDK brings one notable new feature for developers that are transitioning their apps to iOS 7’s new 64 bit architecture available for devices running Apple’s new A7 processor.

The SDK now fully supports 64-bit architectures with both the 32 and 64 bit binaries built into a single updated GoogleMaps framework. Google notes that “The correct binary will be selected by Xcode based on your build settings.”

Version 1.6 of the new Google Maps SDK for iOS also includes a few other new features including enhanced marker opacity and min/max zoom settings. A full list of what’s new and fixed is below:

Version 1.6 – November 2013

Download version 1.6.

Features

  • The Google Maps SDK for iOS now supports 64-bit architectures. Both 32 and 64 bit binaries are built into the single GoogleMaps framework. The correct binary will be selected by Xcode based on your build settings. For instructions on building 64-bit applications, please refer to Apple’s 64-bit transition guide. (Issue 5806)
  • Changed some instances of CGFloat to either a float or double where it was more appropriate.
  • Added the ability to restrict min and max zoom on GMSMapView. (Issue 5882)
  • Added opacity on GMSTileLayer and GMSMarker.
  • Core Animation on GMSMapView now requires model values to be set

Resolved issues:

  • Info windows and tappable regions now rotate correctly with markers. (Issue 5896Issue 5969)
  • Padding on a GMSMapView is no longer clamped to its bounds (useful if setting padding on an initially zero-sized map). (Issue 5864)
  • Copyright information now animates when changing GMSMapView size or padding.
  • Info windows are removed if their GMSMarker is removed from a GMSMapView. (Issue 5856)
  • My Location dot uses the last known location information when enabled. (Issue 5590)
  • Resolved two rare race conditions that were causing crashes. (Issue 5795)
  • Resolved an issue where retain cycles were causing memory leaks on GMSMapView and GMSPanoramaView.

support Stories August 12, 2013

Google+ updated with SoundCloud widget integration

SoundCloud announced today on its blog that users can now listen to sounds from SoundCloud directly on Google+ thanks to new integration it’s been working on with Google. The news comes following Google+ sign-in integration that SoundCloud launched back in May.

Starting today, users will be able to “Share any SoundCloud URL to your Google+ circles and the widget will appear, automatically in the post.” In other words, you’ll be able to listen to SoundCloud links directly on Google+ through a familiar player without having to open a new tab.

And it’s effortless — check out how artists like Pearl Jam, Snoop Lion and Armin Van Buuren are already using the integration to share their latest tracks (look out for the hashtags: #soundcloudplus and #summersound).

support Stories July 25, 2013

Google TV will support Chromecast in a future update

Sundar Pichai already made it quite clear that Google TV isn’t going anywhere despite its shiny new $35 Chromecast device unveiled during its Android and Chrome event yesterday. However, in case you were wondering whether or not the Chromecast and accompanying SDK would be supported through Google TV devices as well, Googlers have since confirmed that it will indeed support the Chromecast streaming standard in a future update:

With the exciting news about Chromecast we are getting a lot of questions mostly wondering if Google TV is dead.

No, in fact partners are continuing to launch new Google TV-enabled HDTVs and boxes. As we announced at I/O, we are working with partners to bring the latest experience of Android and Chrome to devices later this year. We believe there is ample room for both products to exist and succeed.

Sundar made it quite clear that going forward Google TV and the new Chromecast HDMI stick would be part of one product strategy, so its not surprising Chromecast apps will also be able to stream to Google TVs through the same standard. Chromecast hardware will focus on more casual video streaming on the cheap, while Google TV will continue its mission to bring a full Android experience into the living room.

(via AndroidPolice)

support Stories July 5, 2013

Above we see a new ad that Samsung recently aired for its flagship Galaxy S4 in Iceland. The ad itself is a little on the strange side, but what’s not surprising is the fact that Samsung is once again not so subtly going after Apple. The point of the ad, in case you don’t speak Icelandic, is to drive home the fact that Apple doesn’t yet support the language for Siri or dictation features. Samsung’s YouTube description for the ad notes that the S4 allows users to dictate emails and messages in Icelandic, while the tagline for the ad reads “Get a phone that understands you.” We’re not exactly sure where the ninjas fit into that message, however.  expand full story

support Stories May 8, 2013

Google Translate adds support for 5 new languages

Google announced on its blog today that it is adding support for 5 new languages in Google Translate that combined are spoken by over 183 million people worldwide. The new languages, which include Bosnian, Cebuano, Hmong, Javanese, and Marathi  bring Google Translate up to a total of more than 70 languages.

The five new languages are still in alpha (apart from Bosnian) but Google promised to “to test and improve them over time.”

-Bosnian is an official language in Bosnia and Herzegovina that’s also spoken in regions of neighboring countries and by diaspora communities around the world.

-Cebuano is one of the languages spoken in the Philippines, predominantly in the middle (Visayas) and southern (Mindanao) regions of the nation.

You can hear the Hmong language spoken in many countries across the world, including China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and throughout the United States.

-Javanese is the second most-spoken language in Indonesia (behind Indonesian), with 83 million native speakers.

-Marathi is spoken in India and has 73 million native speakers. Google Translate already supports several other Indian languages: Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.

 

 

support Stories April 15, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-04-15 at 5.00.08 PM

A veteran of Japan’s Tsunami/EarthquakePhilippine Floods, and other events, Google today deployed its person finder tool for people who may be looking for loved ones in Boston or who want to tell loved ones their situation. Links:

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support Stories October 25, 2012

Apparently, keeping secrets isn’t in Google’s DNA. Following a leak of the LG Nexus 4 this morning, ahead of Google’s press event on Monday, we now get a look at what appears to be the support manual for the rumored Samsung-built Nexus 10 tablet. The Verge pointed us to these pair of images from Korean website Seeko, showing some basic specs for the 10-inch tablet.

It’s not clear if these images are legitimate. Moreover, unfortunately, we don’t learn much from the images. If they are the real deal, it appears the new Nexus 10 will sport a design much different from the current Nexus 7 lineup. As you can see in the images above, the placement of the volume rockers, and other components, line up with the Galaxy Note 10.1, but the sides of the device in landscape orientation appear to have a slight curve. None of the specs listed that we can see are surprising, including: a micro USB port, headphone jack, LED indicator, micro HDMI port, and a back camera with flash. We’ll be at Google’s event in New York on Monday where we hope to get a better look at the new device.

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support Stories August 5, 2011

Macstories has discovered the latest build of Chrome Canary adds native fullscreen support in Lion. The fullscreen in the Canary build is definitely much better than the current Chrome’s botched fullscreen. In Canary, fullscreen feels native and has earned a spot in mission control and three finger swipe. You’ll also notice there is a curtain button to toggle the tool bar on and off. Interested? We expect this feature to come to the next Chrome update, but go ahead and download the latest Canary build. Check out a few more images after the break.

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support Stories June 3, 2011

If you run a blog or own a site that runs Google ads, you are no doubt aware of the frustrations stemming from having to deal with Google’s support staff via email only. And if your living depends on that advertising revenue, getting someone to resolve your issue in a timely manner becomes a matter of life and death. Relax, you will soon be able to pick up the phone and yell at Google.

Fielding questions from Wall Street analysts and investors at the company’s annual shareholder meeting yesterday afternoon, Google’s senior vice president of advertising Susan Wojcicki announced the arrival of customer support for advertisers and publishers via phone:

Within the next quarter we’re moving to allow [publishers and advertisers] to contact Google by phone [for customer support].

She also underscored that Google is one of the largest display advertising providers in China, adding that the company “helps Chinese advertisers reach global markets”.

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