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Entries in Google (156)

Thursday
Apr172014

Google remote desktop Android app available

It seems Google are are on a roll at the moment, yesterday we told you about the new Google Camera application and today we bring you news of the release of Google Remote Desktop for Android. As the name suggests this is a Remote Desktop application for Android that allows you to connect to your Windows or Mac computer via your Android tablet or smartphone even if you are nowhere near it.

The app is based on Chrome Remote Desktop app which launched way back in 2011 and allowed you to be able to access your desktop from another computer or laptop. Unlike other costly services Google’s offering is free.

To use the app you will need to download it from the Google PlayStore and then install the Chrome Remote Desktop extension from the Chrome WebStore which will allow you to connect the two systems together. You will then need to grant access for the remote connection then you will be prompted to enter a PIN code for the PC/Laptop.

Once you have completed these steps the PC name will then appear in the Chrome Remote Desktop page (needs to be selected) before plugging in the same PIN code within the app. Then, you're good to go.

This is a great alternative to more expensive solutions such as Parallels Access. It should be noted that remote desktop does not work with Home or Basic editions, you need to be running a Pro or Enterprise edition of Windows.

 

Wednesday
Apr162014

Google releases standalone Camera App

You may have noticed that Google has been slowly moving many of the core apps and features from Android into separate apps available in the PlayStore. A good example of this was the Google Keyboard which was made available for anyone to download. Today Google has released the Android Camera app to the PlayStore as a standalone app simply titled 'Google Camera'.

There are a number of improvements and refinements in the Google Camera app from that found in Android KitKat firmwares. The new app introduces a much cleaner interface with a more prominent shutter button.  Also present is a brand new Lens Blur mode which promises to produce SLR quality photos and a shallow depth of field. A detailed list of features are listed below:

• Photo Spheres for immersive 360º views

• Lens Blur mode for SLR-like photos with shallow depth of field

• Panorama mode with high resolution

• 100% viewfinder for getting the maximum resolution from the sensor (no dropped pixels)

• Updated UI that gets out of your way and is centered on an extra large capture button

• Works on phones and tablets running Android 4.4+ KitKat

The new Google Camera app is available to download now from the Google PlayStore to anyone running Android 4.4 or above (KitKat). Whilst the camera apps found in flagship devices such as the new HTC One (M8) or the Samsung Galaxy S5 are pretty decent anyway it never hurts to have more options available.

 

Tuesday
Apr012014

Happy Birthday Gmail! Google's email service turns 10. 

Today is April 1st and is most notably associated with pranks and in practice on the web this normally means fake news stories or spoofs. Some of the best pranks in the past have been from Google such as Google TiSP (short for Toilet Internet Service Provider) from 2007 or making every YouTube video do a RickRoll in 2008.

It’s not all been about pranks though as on April 1st 2004 Google launched Gmail BETA. In the beginning the only way to get a Gmail account was through an invitation which in the early days was not easy to come by. Thankfully obtaining an invite to Google’s Gmail became much easier though it remained the only way to get an account until 2007.

Google took a very different approach for email than it’s competitors and this was clear right from the beginning. With a whopping 1GB of storage that eclipsed what Microsoft and Yahoo! offered at the time, people could stop deleting emails and instead archive them without fear of running out of space. Another key aspect to the Gmail experience was the search experience that Google were able to integrate into their email service allowing users to quickly find the email they were looking for.

Over the years Google has made many design changes to Gmail and although they may not have been welcomed with open arms to begin with people soon got used to them and even found them to be better in the long run. Looking back at how Gmail looked in 2004 it’s clear to see there have been quite a few cosmetic changes to Gmail over the years however it still feels very much like the Gmail that was launched in 2004 which is a solid email solution that just works.

 

Friday
Mar212014

Google Drive Pricing Reduced

With more and more data moving into the cloud we are seeing a bigger demand for affordable cloud storage. Google launched Drive just over two years ago with a competitive pricing model and has been a popular choice for storage ever since. One aspect of Google Drive that appeals to many is the deep integration with Google docs allowing you to easily create a document, spreadsheet or presentation, store it in Google’s cloud and easily share it with others using Google Drive.

Recently Google announced that it was slashing the prices of Google Drive to make it more affordable to everyone. Now you can get 100GB of storage for just $1.99 a month instead of $4.99. For those with much bigger requirements such as myself you can get a whopping 1TB of storage for just $9.99 which is insanely good value at just 1 cent per GB. When compared to competitor Dropbox which gives you 2GB free and a maximum of 100GB for $9.99 this is an extremely generous offer.

It’s likely in the coming weeks that we will see a retaliation from some of the other cloud storage providers who will likely reduce pricing in order to compete with Google’s new pricing structure. Whilst we are unlikely to see anything like the pricing offered by Google we should expect to see some action from other providers such as Dropbox, OneDrive, Amazon and Box.

You may be wondering what you would do with 1TB of storage from Google Drive? personally I use it as an extension of the memory on my iPhone. Sadly you can’t add any external storage on iPhone via SD card so I take advantage of Google’s generous 1TB offer and use it to expand the storage on my ageing 8GB iPhone 4 allowing me to store more photo’s, videos and documents than would normally be possible.

Have you taken advantage of the new pricing model for Google Drive? What do you primarily use cloud storage for? As usual we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

Tuesday
Feb252014

Google Chromecast to support more apps ahead of UK release

 

The Chromecast, Google’s media streaming dongle device, is expected to launch in the UK next month. It could be hitting our shelves as early as 1stMarch, with major electronics retailer Currys noting the date for provisional release.

Users can access apps and internet videos on their TVs by plugging the dongle into the HDMI port on DVD players or cable boxes. The device then connects to a WiFi network to allow the users to interact with their TV by using their Android smartphone like a TV remote control.

When the user presses the ‘Cast’ button on a compatible app, it will be reformatted and sent to the TV. Not only will this mean the content can be viewed on a larger screen, but all the clutter that comes with an internet app will be removed.

The dongle was made available in the US market last summer and now, ahead of the UK launch, Google are planning to offer a wider selection of apps.

The company placed the main focus of the Chromecast on streaming apps;working with popular video titles such as Netflix and music apps such as Rdio and Beats Music. Google also aims to use the dongle to present its video siteYoutube as a platform for viewing mainstream TV and film releases, in addition to short user uploaded content.

However, Google has recently opened up the Chromecast to third-party developers, launching an official Google Cast SDK to app makers and broadening its potential. In a blog post, the company stated: “That means even more of our favourite movies, TV shows and music will become available on the Chromecast as developers work with the SDK”. The device wasautomatically updated for users in the US market to take advantage of the Google Cast SDK.

As well as encouraging a wider range of audio and visual content from various sources, the new open platform could result in a new gaming experience. With the mobile gaming market booming, resulting in game apps outselling handheld consoles for the first time,  developers are likely to show an interest in this new form of interaction.

Devices are already available that allow mobile game play on TV screens, but Google’s extensive app store could easily give them the edge on the market.With casual and casino games now becoming as popular as PC and console games, many major gaming brands like butlersbingo.com could soon make their titles compatible with the Chromecast.

With a whole host of compatible apps expected to launch over the coming months, the Chromecast could prove very popular come its UK launch. Details on the UK price have yet to be released but retail estimates value the device at between £30-£40.

Tuesday
Feb182014

Build with Chrome - LEGO

When I was much younger LEGO was one of the basic staples of growing up as a child. I remember my brothers were entertained for hours putting together the bricks and creating a wide range of things with Lego from houses and cars to a complete fortress. As the years went by and my brothers grew up I had all but forgotten about how much of a part Lego had played in aiding development in our young lives. So as you can imagine I was delighted to discover Lego has been reimagined for the digital age.

Now you can experience all the fun of Lego without having to invest in any bricks. In the latest in a series of experiments Google have created a fantastic interactive version of Lego that runs in your browser and takes advantage of WebGL technology. To try it out for yourselves you simply need to download the Chrome web browser if you don't already have it and head to buildwithchrome.com. You can see my efforts at the top of this post to give you an idea of what its like but I'm sure you will be more creative than my attempt. 

If you need some inspiration there are some great tutorials from Lego's master builder which is accessible by clicking the build academy button. Once you have finished your masterpiece you can share it on Google+ and even place it on google maps. You can also run this on a mobile or tablet device with the chrome app installed once you have enabled WebGL. To enable WebGL simply launch the chrome app and type chrome://flags/ into the browser bar and swipe to enable. 

Friday
Dec132013

Android 4.4.2 removes hidden App Ops privacy feature, EFF grills Google about it

When Google released Android 4.4.2 a few days ago, it removed a hidden privacy feature called App Ops – many of you may know about it, while others may read about it for the first time – which was available on Android since Android 4.3, and now the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) wants it back.

The app allowed users to better control what kind of data Android apps can have access to and/or collect, assuming that users knew about it and how to activate it. Despite being discovered for quite a while, App Ops was never an app that was immediately available to Android users – in other words, if you didn’t know about it, chances are you wouldn’t have discovered it and used in the first place...

Read the full story here... Source: Android Authority

Wednesday
Nov202013

Google rolls out KRT16S bug fix to Nexus 7 (2012 & 2013) and Nexus 10

Wednesday was a busy days for updates, with Android 4.4 KitKat rollouts to the Nexus 4 and the Verizon Moto X, and a bug squashing update for Google Nexus devices.

The update, which has already begun rolling out to some users as an OTA, brings the build number to KRT16S, from the KRT16O of the original KitKat build that rolled out last week. This update applies to the Nexus 7 (2012) WiFi, the Nexus 7 (2013) Wi-Fi, and the Nexus 10...

Read the full story here... Source: Android Authority

Friday
Nov082013

More Google Now smart features for Nexus 5 tipped for November 13 update

A publication has revealed in a Nexus 5 one-week-of-use review that the handset may soon get new Google Now features, with an update pegged for November 13.

According to Wired, more smart Google Now features are coming soon, although Google is yet to officially announce them.

Apparently Google Now will get even smarter than it currently is, with the voice-based assistant getting some sort of answering back features...

Read the full story here... Source: Android Authority

Wednesday
Oct302013

Google Smartwatch: Will it be an 'iPhone moment' for wearables?

Despite all the promises, smartwatches remain an acquired taste. Yes, there's a market but one that largely caters to the likes of health junkies and early adopters.

Fitness bands are cheap and light but too minimalist. Samsung's Galaxy Gear is all brawn but lacks device compatibility and email support. And the Pebble, one of the first true-blue smartwatches, is still trying to build an app ecosystem the way that Google and Apple did for their smartphones. It's an uphill battle for Pebble, the smartwatch darling, and it won't get any easier when those tech titans join the fray...

Read the full story here... Source: CNET

Wednesday
Sep042013

Did Google just leak the Nexus 5 in KitKat promo vid?

Last night, Google announced KitKat, the next version of its Android operating system. To mark the occasion, it released a video showing the unveiling of the new statue, but what's this? Eagle-eyed phone fans over at Android Policespotted a new Nexus blower in the vid. Could it be the Nexus 5...

Read the full story here... Source: CNET

Friday
Aug302013

T-Mobile Moto X to be available only from the Google Play Store?

A leaked image seems to suggest that the T-Mobile Moto X version will be available only from the Google Play Store, although nothing is official just yet.

TmoNews has posted a purported T-Mobile screenshot that says the Moto X will be launched via “Google Play only,” with the actual launch date still “TBD” – to be decided. Pricing details for the handset aren’t mentioned either...

Read the full story here... Source: Android Authority