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Google shuffle: CEO Larry Page transfers product power to Pichai

Google shuffle: CEO Larry Page transfers product power to Pichai

Sundar Pichai has been moving up in the world over the past several years. Word this afternoon is that Google CEO has done some reorganizing of staff duties, putting Pichai in charge of core Google products. While he'd had responsibilities with Android, Chrome, and Google Apps before, Pichai will now take control of search, maps, Google+, commerce and ads, research, and infrastructure. Page has suggested that these powers - until now his - would be transferred so that he might focus on the "bigger picture" - instead of these slightly smaller duties, that is to say.

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Google+ Polls might really be for “their” stream

Google+ Polls might really be for “their” stream

In spite of chatter that Google+ is dead and/or dying, Google hasn’t given up hope on it just yet. The social layer to Google services has a brand new feature today, and one that is clearly meant to entice interaction. After being talked about for some time, polls have made their way to Google+, allowing you to source your followers to help you decide on something, or source info. Like a lot of Google+’s stuff these days, this one has a lot more use for enterprise or marketing than consumers.

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Google shutters Orkut, but don’t worry about Plus (yet)

Google shutters Orkut, but don’t worry about Plus (yet)

Google original attempt at social, Orkut, has been shuttered. Officially dead to us, those who visit the Orkut page will be redirected to a support page. Though it may not have had an impact stateside, Orkut’s closure is felt elsewhere.

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New Gmail users no longer need Google+ account

New Gmail users no longer need Google+ account

Those without a Gmail account (we were surprised they existed, too) will no longer have to join Google+ as a result of signing up. Quietly, Google slipped the once-mandatory Google+ account away from Gmail, leaving those who want email to have that alone. It’s a strange subtraction for Google to make for social, but may be the biggest sign yet they’re not too keen on it lately.

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Google buys polling startup for Google+ integration

Google buys polling startup for Google+ integration

Today, Google is announcing they’ve made another acquisition, this time in a startup named Polar. If you’re unfamiliar, don’t worry — the company focusses on online polls, not an app you’re missing out on. It’s being reported that Polar will be cobbled into Google+, suggesting that Google is, at least in some respect, forging ahead with its social layer.

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Keeping your photos – explicit or not – safe from the cloud

Keeping your photos – explicit or not – safe from the cloud

This week a leak of explicit celebrity photos has summoned the need for additional security measures. Not just the kind of security measures you take by purchasing "keep me private" apps and the like, but the kind that includes common sense and the flipping of a few key switches in your phone. As it turns out - you CAN take whatever photos you like without having them leaked to the public.

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Cirqle: social networking super-simplified

Cirqle: social networking super-simplified

The launch of the app Cirqle symbolizes our wish to move away from the complicated mess present in social networks of the past. In Cirqle, made for iOS first, we’re seeing the likes of Instagram, Twitter, and Google+ turned into one extremely simple app. It’s photo sharing made just about as tiny as it can be.

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Now you can upload your Google+ videos to YouTube

Now you can upload your Google+ videos to YouTube

Google+ and YouTube are both Google entities, and have a pretty close relationship already. That melding is about to get stronger, too. Today, Google is announcing you can port your Google+ videos right over to your YouTube channel. Not only useful for distributing videos to the world, it’s also a great way to backup your videos.

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Android Photo Gallery to re-separate from Google+

Android Photo Gallery to re-separate from Google+

Over the past year Google began bundling the Android photo and video gallery into an app called Photos - and today, we’re to understand, that’s all coming to an end. The app you know as "Gallery" might not return, but word has it that Google plans on separating its photo services from Google+ in one key way: sign-ins. No longer will you need to have a Google+ social networking account to have the photo services that come along with it.

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Google+ lifts real-name policy — too little, too late?

Google+ lifts real-name policy — too little, too late?

Google+, the social service you probably aren’t using, has lifted a restriction that may have been keeping you away. The social layer of Google once required you to use a real name to associate yourself with the service. Over time, they peeled back that rigid requirement, and are now doing away with it completely.

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SphereShare is the biggest photosphere app yet Android

SphereShare is the biggest photosphere app yet Android

The app and ecosystem known as SphereShare takes the universe of photospheres captured by Android devices and unlocks it for the world. Where before you’d have to dive through Google Maps officiated collection or move in with Google+ to seek them out, SphereShare is all about photospheres alone.

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Google shuts down Orkut social network

Google shuts down Orkut social network

Do you know what Orkut is? Back in 2004, Orkut was created by Google as a social network before "social networking" was a prevalent term. In it, users were able to connect with others, converse, and play games. Ten years later, Google has decided that in light of their other, more popular social networks taking off, Orkut will be cut.

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