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Google IT News, Tech Information and Analysis News

Google and Lenovo Partner on a new Project Tango Mobile Device: CES 2016

Today at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Lenovo announced the development of the first consumer mobile device with Project Tango in collaboration with Google. Google’s Project Tango is a technology platform that uses advanced computer vision, depth sensing, and motion tracking to create on-screen 3D experiences, allowing users to explore their physical environments via their device. Specialized hardware and software combine to let the device react to every movement of the user, when they step forward, backward, or lean side to side. App developers can transform your home into a game level, or create a magic window into virtual and augmented environments.

Project Tango-enabled devices can recognize places they’ve been before, like your living room, the office, or public spaces. Unlike GPS, Project Tango motion tracking works indoors, allowing users to navigate precisely through a shopping mall, or even find a specific item at the store where that information is available. Using the sensor in the device, Project Tango devices can also capture the 3D dimensions of the room, giving measurements that can be used to help you when shopping for furniture or decorations.

The Project Tango Tablet Development Kit can be purchased in the Google Store here. Google and Lenovo have also started a incubator platform where developers can submit their Project Tango app proposals for a chance to win funding and the chance to have their app featured on Lenovo’s upcoming smartphone. The submission period closes on Feb.15, 2016.

Lenovo, Google, and Qualcomm Technologies are working closely together to optimize the software and hardware to ensure consumers get the most out of the Project Tango platform.

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Google How-to IT News, Tech Information and Analysis

How to opt-out: Google to use Email Addresses for Ad Targeting

We all know, When we search for any product, google lists out ads from all potential brands who are related to the product. However, you will likely see more ads soon from companies that already count you as a customer, and not only when you search.

Well, This isn’t too new. Facebook and Twitter have been doing this for a while now.

Reports say, Google is beginning to let advertisers upload lists of their customers’ email addresses in order to target those people with ads when searching on Google, watching videos on YouTube or checking email on Gmail. Thereby, brands may be able to target people that Google identifies as having similar characteristics to the people in their email lists.

To accomplish this customer matching, Google will be cross-referencing email lists from brands with the email addresses tied to people’s Google accounts (considering the number of Gmail users).  Google will use a process called “hashing” to disguise the email addresses on both sides of the match and prevent any personally identifiable information from being exposed.

There is a way to opt-out of their new third-party email address ad targeting system.

How to Opt-Out:

You can do this by switching off Ads based on your interests on the Google ad settings page (for logged-in Google users) at: https://www.google.com/settings/ads. This page gives you direct control over how your interests are used when displaying ads via Google-associated sites. Though the descriptions on this page do not currently explain that the new third-party email lists case is included,  turning off the interest-based ad preferences will also turn off the use of the third-party email address lists for your logged in account.

controlads

Thanks for the opt-out tip, .

 

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Google IT News, Tech Information and Analysis News

Top 10 Highlights from the Google Nexus Event Today

Google had its event this morning at San Francisco where it unveiled few latest product lines and also showcased the next generation Android Operating System that would be pre-loaded on the version of Nexus devices. Here are few highlights of the event.

1. Numbers – Well, as every event, it all started with numbers. Google now has 1.4 B active Android devices; 20 million chrome-cast sales globally. Google Play is now over 1 billion active users. Sundar also highlighted the need of making new devices and how they guide the ecosystem. Well, played smart.

2. New Nexus Devices – 5X and 6P.

Like the rumours and leaks suggested, we have the new Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P announced. For more details on the device, check this page. The Nexus 6P is a full-metal bodied Nexus, Anodized aluminum. 7.3mm thick and is made by Huawei. Both these phones are equipped with USB Type C adapters (similar to OnePlus 2), laser-detect autofocus, Nexus Imprint (Rear Finger Print sensor), Stereo forward-facing speakers and it runs Android 6.0, Marshmallow.

type-c

Nexus 5X and 6P available for preorder today in US, UK, Ireland, and Japan. 5X starts at 379 USD and 6P starts at 499 USD. Will be available later in October. Both of these Nexus phones would also work with Project Fi, Google’s wireless MVNO network.

3. Camera – The Nexus 6P camera is optimized for low-light photography. It has 1.55 micron pixels; the sensors are much larger than the iPhone 6S Plus. The Google test results are pretty impressive. Well, Both these devices shoot 4K videos and also does Slow-Mo videos; The Nexus 5X does it at 120 frames per second. The Nexus 6P can do 240 fps.

pixel-size

4. Smart Burst Pictures: There’s a new “smart burst” feature in the camera, which takes photos at 30fps to make GIFs with. – Similar to Nokia Live Images and Apple Live Pictures. 

5. MarshMallow Features – You can voice search from the lock screen, the notification bar gets simple. A simple app drawer which sorts applications based on your usage or the time of the day. ‘Now on Tap’ seems to be really cool, not sure how many people love sharing so much of their app data. Lets see that later. More features here. Marshmallow rolls out next week to existing Nexus devices.

6. Nexus Protect Program – This is the new warranty program from Google in the US. As of today, Google gives you a 1 year protection against hardware. They are now expanding it to two years, along with accidental damages. 24/7 support and device replacement in a working day. This program would cost 69 USD for the Nexus 5X and 89 USD for the Nexus 6P. No light of this program’s availability outside the U.S.

7. Google Play Music family plan is coming later this year. It would cost you $14.99 for up to 6 people; No limit on the number of devices.

8. Google Photos brings in three new features. You can now easily pool photos and videos into a single shared album. You can “label” people in Google Photos and thats private; and the third feature being Chromecast support. You can now showcase your photos on TV and its basically not mirroring your phone, but you get to choose which picture gets slide-show on TV, while you browse through your phone.

photos-chromecast

9. A new Google Chromecast. This thing looks funny; it would basically hang behind your TV. it comes in 3 colours. With a new adaptive antenna system and Wifi which supports 5GHz. The chrome cast app has been completely redesigned as well. You can now play games through your Chromecast. Its not mirroring your phone but extending the game to the TV and giving you controls on your phone. You could do a voice search through your phone as well. Available starting today at 35 USD. A new Chromecast Audio device which would plug into a speaker to stream audio over Wi-Fi from your existing apps. This device is 35 USD as well.

new-chromecast

10. Preview of the Pixel C

A convertible computer from Google. The Pixel C runs android and the keyboard is a separate piece connected via Bluetooth; you slide the tablet and attach using the magnetic connection. It’s adjustable from 100 to 135 degrees of viewing angles. It has a 10.2-inch screen with a 308 ppi screen. 2560 x 1800 resolution. A Nvidia X1 processor. Maxwell GPU powered with a 3GB RAM. This would be priced 499 USD for the 32GB version and 599 for the 64GB one. Will be available end of this year. The Magnetic Keyboard would be priced at 149 USD. Its interesting that, you need not charge the detachable bluetooth keyboard. The tablet inductively charges the keyboard so you never have to charge it.

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Google News

1000 Scholarships for Students in India to learn Android

Google and Tata Trusts have partnered with Udacity to educate students in Android development to meet the growing demand for Android developers. Together they are offering 1,000 scholarships to students in India to take the Android Developer Nanodegree program for free.  This is an education credential that is designed to help developers learn new skills and advance their careers in a few months from anywhere on any device at their own pace.

Students participating in the Nanodegree program will benefit from expert coaching and build a portfolio of their own projects to showcase their skills with potential employers. Students who graduate from the program will receive verified certification and job placement opportunities. There will be a Career Summit hosted by Google, Tata Trusts, and other top employers for top graduates of the program in the Spring.

To apply for scholarships to take the program for free, students are asked to take an online assessment to see if they have the prerequisites for the program. All students who complete the assessment successfully will receive scholarship application information directly.

The Udacity Android Nanodegree program is open for enrollment right now.  The program takes an average of 6-9 months and costs Rs. 9,800 per month with Udacity refunding 50 percent of the tuition upon completion.  Scholarships for the Android Nanodegree are available immediately.  For more information visit  www.udacity.com/India.
Nanodegree

With India being the second largest developer population in the world with 3 million software developers, India has the potential to become the #1 developer population by 2018, with 4 million developers. By providing easy and affordable access to a world-class skill and educational program to Indian developers, Google aims to help India become a global leader in mobile app development.

The Udacity Android Nanodegree program comprises of courses developed and taught by expert Google instructors from the Google Developer Relations team and will include project reviews, mentorship and career services from Udacity. The curriculum will be updated regularly with new releases and will provide developers with a certificate that will help them to become a more marketable Android developer.

Source: Press Notes

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Google IT News, Tech Information and Analysis News

Google Glass is now Project Aura; Will explore Broader Scope of Wearables

According to Business Insider, Google has been hiring engineers and software developers out of Amazon’s Lab126 for the initiative now called Project Aura. Project Aura will work on other wearables, as well, and will remain under Google’s supervision instead of being established as a separate entity under the Alphabet umbrella. Aura is run by Ivy Ross, who previously ran the Glass project. She reports to Tony Fadell, head of Google’s connected-home business Nest, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The initial version of Glass, which sold for $1,500, prompted a privacy backlash because users could record video in public places without others noticing. Google stopped selling it in January and also closed the Explorer Program few months ago.

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt had said earlier this year that the company wasn’t giving up on Glass because wearable technology is a potentially big new market. Reports also say, Google is quietly distributing a new version of Glass to companies in industries such as health care, manufacturing and energy.

Google have been taking some swift steps in their Self Driving Car Project as well, they recently hired John Krafcik as the new CEO for the project.

The new Aura group provides a much-needed re-branding to the Glass image and also opens the door for a more broader scope of wearable technology initiatives to help Google compete against compeition such as Facebook, Apple and Microsoft.

Source: Business Insider

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Google IT News, Tech Information and Analysis

Google appoints John Krafcik as CEO for the Self-Driving Car Project

Google Inc has appointed John Krafcik, the veteran Ford and Hyundai exec as the CEO for the self-driving car project. From the looks of it, he’s the first CEO for the high-profile venture that’s part of Google X, the secretive development program for new technologies of Google. Earlier there were reports that, Google X would be a part of the parent company, Alphabet Inc. However, there is no clarity at this moment.

In the past months, we have seen companies like Apple and Google hiring engineers and experts from the car industry as they develop autonomous cars. This is a significant get by Google. Google, which launched the self-driving car project in 2009, has signaled that it intends to introduce the cars by 2020.

Image Courtesy: Screen Grab, Google Self-Driving Car Project Website
Image Courtesy: Screen Grab, Google Self-Driving Car Project Website

Google spokeswoman Courtney Hohne told Automotive News that  Krafcik’s background shouldn’t be interpreted as a sign that Google intends to become a manufacturer of self-driving cars. “We’re not going to make cars ourselves. We know what we’re good at, and we’ll partner with many different companies to bring this technology into the world safely.” – “The self-driving car project (part of Google X), would be a good candidate at some point in the future to become an alphabet company, but not yet.”

Read more on the Google Self Driving Car Project here – http://www.google.com/selfdrivingcar/

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Google IT News, Tech Information and Analysis News

Seven Key Android M Features discussed at the Google IO 2015 today

The Android M is available today for developers; the public release is scheduled for Q3 2015. Here are some of the features discussed at the Google IO Today.

  1. Permissions: Apps only ask for permissions only when you try to use the feature, instead of when you first install it. This is pretty much similar to how iPhones have been working. For e.g.: When you try to take a photograph inside the WhatsApp application, you get a permission notification. That also means, you don’t need to approve permissions every-time the application gets updated.
  2. Chrome custom tabs: As a developer if you want to give a browser view inside your app, you can currently do it with a web-view or move the user out of the app to the browser. Chrome Custom Tabs exactly addresses this. It looks like an in-app browser, but it’s actually Chrome. As its a chrome browser, it comes with its goodies of Sign-in option, saved passwords, Auto-fill and the multi-level security.
  3. App Links: With Android M, apps can “verify” themselves for certain tasks. For e.g.: Twitter links, can just opens the Twitter app, every time. You don’t have that painful dialog to choose which app you want to use when you click a link.
  4. Android Pay: This was expected. This is Google’s solution to ApplePay. The Android Pay uses NFC and Host Card Emulation. Android Pay is an open platform; so you can either use Google’s stuff or use the bank’s app to activate it. Unlike the Google Wallet announcement they did years ago, they have a solid implementation plan. The Android Pay will work in 700,000 stores in the US. It also works in-app, for in-app purchases. Android Pay works with any KitKat or later device.
  5. Finger Print Reader Support: After Samsung and Motorola taking a lead, Google now wants to have a official fingerprint reader support right into Android.
  6. Battery Life, Power: There’s a new feature called ‘Doze’ in Android M. Doze uses motion detection. That means, If your phone doesn’t move in a while, it cuts off the apps. However, the alarms and chat notifications still come through. You can also use your Android phone to charge some other device. Again, thats not very unique. Most of the OEMs have done that already.
  7. USB Type-C: The USB Type-C is going to be supported on Android M; the chances are likely that, the new Nexus Phone would come with a USB Type-C port on it.

The developer preview is available today for Nexus 5, 6, 9, and Player.

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Google News

Google Apps Referral Program in now available in India

Google has made the Apps Referral Program available in India now. This referral program is nice way to make some money online by encouraging your friends, readers and customers to use Google Apps in their company. Google Apps is a suite of cloud computing productivity and collaboration software tools and software available as a SaaS (subscription model) by Google.

The Google Apps includes Gmail, Drive, Hangouts, Calendar, Docs and an option to have a custom email addresses at your domain (@papers.ink for example). Google Apps makes scalability really simple; as increasing volume on your music player. It doesn’t expect you to be an IT admin to manage and host these data. As its a cloud provisioned model, these data are stored in Google’s network of secure data centres rather than on traditional in-house servers that are located within companies.

If you do not use Google Apps for your startup, Its a pretty neat thing to begin with. Like many recommend, having a domain name in your email id, gets attention more than having a generic one. For e.g.: vj@papers.ink is better than vjpapersink@gmail.com. Do register here for your Account here.

There has been a huge drive from Google to make more and more users evaluate & use Google Apps for their work. With Apps Referral Program, you can now earn about USD 7.50 every-time when a new Google Apps user signs up.

Referring is quick and simple

  • Receive a unique referral link after registering for the program
  • Start with email and website templates that we’ll provide
  • Get rewarded when customers sign up using your unique referral link

Points to Remember:

  • The referral commission is not Per Sign Up. It is “Per User” in each account signed up using your referral link. For example, if Dave (example) signed up for a Google Apps account using your referral link. You won’t get any commission at this time; you will get it only when Dave creates “users” in his Google Apps account.
  • You are eligible for commission only for a maximum of 100 users in each referral account. Lets consider, that a big company uses your referral link, if they add 500 users to his Google Apps account, you will get the commission only for the first 100 users in that account.
  • Commission will be paid only for the users which are paid for at-least 120 days.
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Google News

Good Bye Google Glass, until we meet again!

Google will stop selling its 1500 USD worth, Glass (a wearable internet connected eye-glasses), to consumers until the company can develop a more polished and affordable version. The Google Glass is more of an explorer edition as of now. Google hasn’t disclosed how many units of the Glass’ Explorer version were sold. The company says about 100 businesses, including Hewlett-Packard, Boeing and Taco Bell, are testing Glass as a tool for work.

Glass will now operate in a division steered by veteran marketing executive Ivy Ross, whose past experience includes stints at fashion-conscious companies such as Gap Inc. and Calvin Klein. Google will still sell a version of Glass to companies that have found uses for the device in their offices, stores and factories. The Mountain View, California, company still plans to come back with a new consumer model of Glass, but hasn’t set a timetable for the next release.

In a blog post, Google wrote –

It’s hard to believe that Glass started as little more than a scuba mask attached to a laptop. We kept on it, and when it started to come together, we began the Glass Explorer Program as a kind of “open beta” to hear what people had to say.

Explorers, we asked you to be pioneers, and you took what we started and went further than we ever could have dreamed: from the large hadron collider at CERN, to the hospital operating table; the grass of your backyard to the courts of Wimbledon; in fire stations, recording studios, kitchens, mountain tops and more.

Glass was in its infancy, and you took those very first steps and taught us how to walk. Well, we still have some work to do, but now we’re ready to put on our big kid shoes and learn how to run.

Since we first met, interest in wearables has exploded and today it’s one of the most exciting areas in technology. Glass at Work has been growing and we’re seeing incredible developments with Glass in the workplace. As we look to the road ahead, we realize that we’ve outgrown the lab and so we’re officially “graduating” from Google[x] to be our own team here at Google. We’re thrilled to be moving even more from concept to reality.

As part of this transition, we’re closing the Explorer Program so we can focus on what’s coming next. January 19 will be the last day to get the Glass Explorer Edition. In the meantime, we’re continuing to build for the future, and you’ll start to see future versions of Glass when they’re ready. (For now, no peeking.)

Thanks to all of you for believing in us and making all of this possible. Hang tight—it’s going to be an exciting ride.

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Google News

Google Custom Maps, My Maps is now integrated with Drive

Yesterday, Google announced the integration of My Maps in Drive; My Maps tool is used to build custom drives, trips and routes on Google Maps product is now integrated into Drive, which means users can easily build custom maps right inside the Google Drive.

To create a new map, Drive users simply click on “new,” followed by “more,” before clicking ‘Google My Maps’. You can add directions, points of interest and color-coated location markers in different shapes (a drop pin, star, square or circle). You can also draw lines to indicated borders or routes and add multiple sets of step-by-step directions, too. All of this can be sorted easy-to-manage layers of information.

google-my-maps

In addition to accessing your Google My Maps in Drive, you can now add more layers and points of interest to your map, import bigger spreadsheets and include more details in each info box. Whether you’re mapping out the best travel spots, landmarks or destinations; you can add all your favourite areas with more details across even more layers.

Expected to roll out by next week to all Drive users, the new feature makes creating a map as easy as creating documents, spreadsheets or slideshows. Maps can be created on desktop Web browsers, but can be viewed and edited on computers or mobile devices. Once your map is made, you can email it, share it on Facebook, Twitter or Google+, and of course remove it from the Google Drive whenever you need it.