February 4

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Improved Hangouts is one of the most common requests from Android users. According to a rumor late last year, Google is working on making it a better chat client by removing SMS capabilities. It now appears that as a part of that Hangouts will use a peer-to-peer connection when possible.

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According to a report from The Guardian, Google will soon start showing anti-ISIS ads in search results. The report claims that when a user searches for a topic relating to Islamic extremism or radicalization, they will see ads that encourage them to view the “counter narrative” to their search query.

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electrek 

According to a new report from Variety, Google is among the tech companies negotiating with the NFL for digital rights to Thursday Night Football. Earlier this month, the National Football League inked deals with CBS and NBC to divide the TV rights for Thursday games over the next two seasons, but streaming to non-subscribers was not included in that deal.

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9to5mac 

Voxer is a relatively popular messaging app for Android and iOS, and has long been considered one of the best solutions available for those looking for a great PPT (push-to-talk) experience on mobile. It received a ton of funding a few years ago, and while it never really took off in the mainstream, it’s still being updated even today with new fixes and features for its dedicated group of users. It has somewhere between 10 and 50 million Play Store installs.

George Kola, a software engineer that was most recently Chief Technology Officer of the company for more than a year, has now joined Google according to his LinkedIn profile. While it’s of course possible that Kola could have joined Google on his engineering merit alone and could be working in just about any department within the Mountain View company, it’s still worth asking: Could Google possibly have its eyes on bringing some walkie talkie features to Hangouts?..

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