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Chrome for iOS updated with notification center widget, new app extensions

Chrome for iOS updated with notification center widget, new app extensions

Google recently released a new update to the iOS version of its Chrome browser, allowing the app to take advantage of some of the newer iOS 8 features. Overall, the app has several new improvements that make it easier to use, including some new gestures, but most prominent are the browser's new widget for the Today section of Notification Center, as well as support for new app extensions. This update brings Chrome for iOS up to version 42, and is already available for both iPhone and iPad.

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Google Fiber cleared for landing in Portland with tax law amendment

Google Fiber cleared for landing in Portland with tax law amendment

When Google announced which cities would potentially get Fiber, Portland, Oregon was on the list. Residents of Portland (like myself) were excited to have another option (our two main options are Comcast and CenturyLink) for Internet, and Fiber is a pretty exciting one to have. It slowly became evident that Oregon tax laws were the reason Google was balking at Fiber in Portland, but that hurdle has been knocked down. Yesterday, Oregon lawmakers clarified tax laws to clear the way for Fiber in Portland.

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Baidu’s Android-based smartwatch OS gets a landing page

Baidu’s Android-based smartwatch OS gets a landing page

Google might be the household name in web search and services globally, but in China, Baidu has more clout. As if to take that competition one notch higher, Baidu is teasing some details about a smartwatch operating system that, while based on Android as well, is set to compete with Google's own Android Wear platform. Dubbed the DuWear, this smartwatch OS promises functionality similar to Android Wear and then some, naturally integrating with Baidu's own products and services, and even running on existing Android Wear devices.

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Google search on Android now shows even uninstalled apps

Google search on Android now shows even uninstalled apps

Google has been slowly, very slowly, spreading its App Indexing feature on Android in order to help users discover which Android apps possess content related to what they are looking for. However, that feature had one significant limitation. It only showed results from apps that are already installed on the device. Well, not anymore. Google has just opened up the doors to have indexing work even for apps that are not yet installed on the device, which makes discovery really an act of discovery instead of guesswork.

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“Works with Cardboard” formalizes Google’s DIY VR program

“Works with Cardboard” formalizes Google’s DIY VR program

It was an inevitable development. Given how many Google Cardboard variations there are out in the wild, things could quickly get out of hand, and it wouldn't be good for Google's reputation, however indirect it may be. So it feels almost natural that Google would tighten the reins on the DIY VR headset hype of its own making and initiate a more formal program called, what else, "Works with Cardboard". In a nutshell, this program will guarantee users that they will get, more or less, the same quality VR experience in any certified app using any certified headset.

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Field Trip update brings contextual cool to Android Wear

Field Trip update brings contextual cool to Android Wear

Google’s Niantic Labs, responsible for Ingress and Field Trip, have launched a new version of Field Trip that fully supports Android Wear devices. With a simple glance at your smartwatch, you can now get contextual information on a location or landmark you may be near. The information all comes via the Field Trip app for Android, and offers the full breadth of information you’d get via your phone — on your watch. The update has already made its way to the app.

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One Google trick every forgetful Android user should remember

One Google trick every forgetful Android user should remember

Today we're having a look at a bit of functionality hidden in Google's Android ecosystem. This piece of work is aimed at helping forgetful smartphone users keep track of their devices, and it does so through Google Search. Inside Google Search, you can now type a variety of different terms that add up to the same result. Start with "Where is my phone?" and see what it gets you. Go on, do it now! See if it finds your phone straight away.

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Google Handwriting Input app revealed

Google Handwriting Input app revealed

A new keyboard has been revealed by Google for Android - one that's not really a keyboard at all. This app is the "Google Handwriting Input" interface, and with it, you'll be able to write to your heart's content. Inside you'll find a very simple interface, one where you write words with your finger (or your pen-like device) and let Google figure out what you've written. Suggestions appear above the space you write. Simple as that. But what might this app be made for, in the long run? Surely not just smartphones and tablets.

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App Store, Google Play again differ on revenue, downloads

App Store, Google Play again differ on revenue, downloads

In just over one month, both Google and Apple will hold their respective annual conferences. At both events, the companies will make applause-inducing comments regarding the strength of their respective app portals. A new report is shedding some light on both, suggesting there are (still) issues with Google Play and revenue. While the iOS App Store moves at a steady pace, Google Play spiked when it came to downloads. Google Play also brought in almost half the revenue of the App Store, suggesting — once again — Android users just don’t want to buy apps.

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