United Kingdom Stories February 29, 2016

Android pay logo

Mobile contactless payments are progressively becoming more and more mainstream as major manufacturers adopt systems that can be easily used via our smartphones. While LG Pay is yet to be seen in action, Google, Apple and even Samsung all have a technology – Android Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, respectively – that allows a user to complete transactions thanks to the NFC chips contained in most recent devices.

To this day, however, Apple Pay was the only service active in the United Kingdom, leaving a good number of consumers out of the industry, as more than half of the smartphones sold in the country run Android. According to a Telegraph report, however, sources close to the matter have confirmed that Android Pay should go live across Britain within the end of next month, approximately six months after the original US debut…

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United Kingdom Stories July 7, 2015

Google Store now selling Nest Cam in the UK, Belgium, France, Ireland, & Netherlands

Google has expanded availability of its new Nest Cam product to more countries after officially unveiling the device last month. Starting today, customers in Belgium, France, Ireland, Netherlands, & United Kingdom will be able to pick up the device through the online Google Store. Google previously launched the device for customers in Canada and United States through its online store.

The product, alongside other new Nest products shown off in June, are the fruits of Google’s acquisitions of smart thermostat maker Nest and connected security camera company Dropcam last year. Nest Cam offers a lot of what made Dropcam cameras popular, offering 1080p HD video, 130-degree field of view, 8 infrared LEDs, night vision video support, companion mobile apps, and cloud recording and video history through a subscription service.

Nest Cam is available for $199 USD from the Google Store.

United Kingdom Stories June 8, 2015

HMRC-sign

The UK tax body, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), has completed a successful trial of Google Apps and will be rolling out the service to more of its staff throughout the year, reports The Register.

HMRC has 70,000 staff, and as such will be Whitehall’s first mass deployment of Google’s cloud services […]

David Fitton, head of public sector sales for Google UK, wrote on Linkedin: “The acceptance by HMRC that they can store official information offshore in Google data-centres represents a major change and endorsement of Google’s approach to managing sensitive information.”

HMRC said that it had “carefully considered the protection of customer information” when making the decision …  expand full story

United Kingdom Stories March 27, 2015

cookies

Update: A class action suit has now been funded by a major US law firm, allowing any qualifying UK user to join the action at no cost. You can complete a qualifying questionnaire here.

A not-for-profit company, Google Action Group Ltd, has been set up to manage the case which is seeking to win between £400 and £4000 in compensation for each claimant who used a .  It has appointed Hausfeld, Europe’s leading claimant firm, to challenge Google on behalf of all those Apple users in England and Wales who used the Safari browser on Apple computers, iPod Touches, iPads, and iPhones during the infringing period of Summer 2011 to about 17th February 2012.
The Google Action Group is seeking more members of the public to sign up for the legal action.  The public can join the action for  free, because the costs will be met by a £2.5m pot of money being put up by a major US litigation funding firm.

UK Apple users have been given the go-ahead to sue Google for continuing to drop cookies on their devices even after they had refused permission through their Safari browser settings.

It was revealed in 2012 that Google bypassed the setting in Safari which instructed sites not to drop cookies, enabling it to deliver personalized ads. The FTC in the US fined the company $22.5M for the practice, with millions more in additional fines levied by 38 US states. There was no government action in the UK, but a group of British iPhone users took Google to court, seeking compensation for breaching their privacy.

Google had attempted to have the case dismissed, claiming that there was no case to answer as the plaintiffs had not suffered any financial harm, but the UK’s Court of Appeal has rejected this argument, allowing the case to proceed …

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United Kingdom Stories March 11, 2015

google-shop

More than a year after a failed attempt at establishing a retail presence, Google has opened the first ever Google Shop, reports the Telegraph.

The store, to be called The Google shop, will sell the company’s range of Android phones and tablets, Chromebook laptops, and Chromecast TV services. The shop will hold tutorials showing consumers how to use the devices and hold demonstrations showing off key Google apps. It is the first time that Google has opened a shop under its own name.

The Google Shop is store-within-a-store in a flagship branch of Currys PC World, a large electronics retail chain on Tottenham Court Road. The road is gadget central in London, almost every other store on the street selling consumer electronics …  expand full story

United Kingdom Stories January 13, 2015

SamMobile reports on Tuesday that Samsung is now rolling out Android Lollipop for the Galaxy S5 in the United Kingdom, after seeding the software update in PolandSpain, Russia, and Malaysia. The report claims that the update is arriving in the form of Android 5.0, despite Samsung internally testing Android 5.0.2 on flagship devices internally. expand full story

United Kingdom Stories December 15, 2014

LG G3 Android Lollipop

LG is continuing its rollout of Android Lollipop this week, after seeding the update in Poland and South Korea over the past few months. Android Lollipop should be rolling out for the flagship LG G3 as of this past December 12 in Austria, Baltics, Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Spain and the United Kingdom. expand full story

United Kingdom Stories September 30, 2014

Google Glass trialled in Scottish airport after earlier Virgin Atlantic tests

When you’re trying to assist large numbers of people, all of them in a hurry, having instant access to the information required seems like a good idea – hence the interest in Google Glass being shown by the aviation industry.

Following an earlier trial by Virgin Atlantic at London’s Heathrow airport, customer service staff at Scotland’s Edinburgh airport are now testing the headset, reports Engadget.

Staff will be fed real-time flight information, language translations and information about the local area, allowing them to provide assistance to travellers throughout the airport and not from behind a check-in desk. The airport says it will test Glass until December

While anyone in the US and UK can now buy Glass, the product still has no official launch date. There was, however, a recent clue in revised terms & conditions for Glass suggesting that the headset may be close to launch – and at a lower price than the current $1500.

Image credit: JetBlue

United Kingdom Stories September 23, 2014

Google expands local inventory ads to UK, France, Germany, Japan, Australia & desktop users

Google just announced that it’s expanding its local inventory ads first launched for users in the US last fall to more countries starting today. The ads, which promote items from local nearby retailers to shoppers on Google, are now available in the UK, Germany, Australia, Japan, and France.

Google said today that it will also start showing the ads to desktop users:

We have also expanded support for store-only products and campaigns to desktop devices, enabling retailers to promote stores to the right customers at the right time. For example, you can prioritize showing local products to get shoppers in your doors during the weeks and days leading up to the holidays. As items go out of stock online and last-minute shipping costs increase, retailers who can provide cost-effective, quick in-store purchase options stand out in the crowd

Retailers can get an overview on the program here and users will in the countries above should start to see the local “in store” ads appear in search results.

United Kingdom Stories March 14, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-03-15 at 3.55.56 PM

Google is releasing its Chromecast streaming device in the United Kingdom next week, according to a Gizmodo source. Above is a photo taken by a Currys PC World employee which shows an announcement on the store’s internal portal. That announcement pegs March 19th as the launch date. According to the article, the store already has the device in stock.

The Chromecast launched in the United States last year but hasn’t yet been available outside the country. Germany and France are also said to be included in the international launch next week. No information on the device’s price has been released yet.

Update: We’ve received a clearer shot. Shown above.

United Kingdom Stories April 11, 2013

Google rolls out Map Maker in the UK

Starting today, Google is rolling out its Map Maker service in the UK, allowing Google Maps users in the United Kingdom the ability to join the over 40,000 other people around the globe making contributions to improve the Google Maps experience:

Now it’s your turn to help, whether marking the trails through Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales, adding all your favorite shops in London’s Soho Square, or improving driving directions to St Ives in Cornwall. Drawing from your knowledge about world famous tourist destinations or the streets of your hometown, you can now use Google Map Maker to make the map of the United Kingdom (along with Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey) more comprehensive and accurate than ever before. Once approved, these improvements will appear across Google Maps, Google Earth, and Google Maps for Mobile.

Google is encouraging users in the UK to submit contributions through Map Maker and also invited them to check out its “community of mappers” and the “Map Maker Help Center” for additional information.

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