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Google’s secret war on native apps, Android tablets

Google’s secret war on native apps, Android tablets

At Google I/O last week, Google dumped some rather big news, at least one of them expected. Android apps are come full force to Chrome OS, with Google Play Store even. Instant Apps were quite the unexpected surprise, but in retrospect Google had already sown the seeds as far back as 2013. But in the midst of the applause and hopeful cheers, there were also some murmuring and the raising of eyebrows. Is all of these just a subtle, cunning ploy by the Web search giant to make Android tablets obsolete, or, in the long run, even phase out native Android apps?

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Google Search Rich Cards make results stand out even more

Google Search Rich Cards make results stand out even more

Unlike on desktop, people who do searches on their smartphones or even tablets usually need relevant answers fast. Which means less tapping. Which means seeing the right answers immediately at a glance. Google has been trying to deliver that kind of experience by turning plain search results to search results with snippets. Now it's taking another step forward by introducing Rich Cards, practically search results that visually stand out from the rest with larger preview images and larger cards with more details, to help users see the most interesting and relevant results more easily.

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Google’s mobile image search will soon have shopping ads

Google’s mobile image search will soon have shopping ads

Google is going to add shopping advertisements to its image search, presenting related products to browsers and giving them a way to click-through and buy. The advertisements will show up for users on mobile, with Google saying that this year has seen 34-percent of online purchases happening through mobile devices. Likewise, the company says it has seen the number of mobile shopping searches on its own service jump 30-percent in the past year.

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Google’s Gboard brings search and GIFs to your iOS keyboard

Google’s Gboard brings search and GIFs to your iOS keyboard

As the number of keyboard apps for iOS with GIF functionality seems to increase every day, Google isn't going to be left behind. The internet giant has rolled out a new iOS app today, fittingly called Gboard, that not only lets users insert emoji and GIFs, but also conduct Google web searches, all without needing to switch keyboards. Heck, that trifecta of features alone can even replace the need to switch apps.

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Windows 10 cuts Google Search and Chrome from Cortana

Windows 10 cuts Google Search and Chrome from Cortana

Cortona's web search abilities no longer include Google in a move Microsoft calls its "Personalized Search Experience in Windows 10." According to Ryan Gavin, Microsoft GM of Search and Cortana, "with Windows 10, we have invested in delivering comprehensive, end-to-end search capabilities that make Windows more personal, intuitive and helpful." It's become apparent that users who've put Google's Search into that mix are no longer welcome.

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Microsoft locks Cortana down to using Edge browser only

Microsoft locks Cortana down to using Edge browser only

Back in the early days of the Windows 10 upgrade rollout, Microsoft was put on the hot seat for silently changing previously configured user settings. Specifically for changing the default web browser to the new Microsoft Edge, even if the user previously had a different browser, like Chrome or Firefox, set in Windows 7 or 8. Now it seems that Microsoft will once again be unpopular for a somewhat related move. It is now locking down Cortana to only use Microsoft Edge and Bing, to the exclusion of other browsers and search engines, especially Google's.

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Listen to podcasts, see live TV listings in Google Search app

Listen to podcasts, see live TV listings in Google Search app

While in the midst of facing a massive antitrust lawsuit in Europe revolving around Android and search, Google is giving its Android Search app even more power. Somewhat ironically, these new features could give OEMs even more reason to stick to Google's apps, for the sake of their users, of course, giving more fodder to the EU's objections. With two new features, users won't even have to dive into web pages or open another app just to see when their favorite show is up or to listen to a podcast.

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EU files antitrust charge against Google, this time on Android

EU files antitrust charge against Google, this time on Android

Google is the new Microsoft. At least as far as collecting antitrust lawsuits are concerned. In Europe, the tech giant is once again facing serious charges, this time surrounding the Android mobile operating system. According to the European Commission, Google is using unlawful monopolistic practices that unfairly puts its search and apps, and there its ads, as the dominant, if not only, choice on Android devices, to the detriment of competition and potentially stifling innovation. Naturally denies this and hints that the EC might not exactly understand how Android works.

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Google brings its Pinterest-like Search feature to desktops

Google brings its Pinterest-like Search feature to desktops

Late last year, Google introduced a new feature to its image search on mobile browsers. In essence, it worked pretty much like Pinterest, allowing users to "pin", (technically "star" in Google-ese) to save it for later browsing. While extremely convenient when you're browsing on your smartphone on the go, it's admittedly also a useful feature even when you're sitting comfortably in front of your desktop or laptop. Good thing, then, that Google is finally making that very same feature available on larger computers and, naturally, works well with its mobile counterpart.

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Google’s rumored iOS keyboard might be better than Android

Google’s rumored iOS keyboard might be better than Android

When Apple finally allowed third party keyboards to be used on iOS, it opened up the flood gates for app developers to try and swoop in and conquer the market. Or at least that was the theory. The state of those keyboards and Apple's implementation of the system, however, still leave much to be desired. That said, it has opened up the opportunity for Apple's rivals to also take a stab at it. According to sources, Google is one of those, and its virtual keyboard for iOS might end up with a few more features than its Android counterpart.

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Google “Right to be Forgotten” changes further muddy privacy

Google “Right to be Forgotten” changes further muddy privacy

Google is changing the way it handles "Right to be Forgotten" requests, taking into account location in a further attempt to appease European privacy regulators. Although the search company - among others offering search engine services in Europe - has been delisting select entries from its search results since May 2014, the way in which that process is handled is now getting tweaked.

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‘How to move to Canada’ was top search after Trump win

‘How to move to Canada’ was top search after Trump win

It happens every election season: things get heated, a politician gets a lot of attention, and people start vowing to move to Canada if he or she ends up victorious. It appears Super Tuesday was the tipping point this time around, and many are pointing to Trump as the cause. Google's top search following Trump's (frankly baffling) victory was 'How to move to Canada,' with Google confirming the influx of queries.

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