Google just announced Google Now is coming to the Chrome stable channel for Windows and Mac “starting today and rolling out over the next few weeks.” This means Google Now notifications will finally be available to Chrome users using desktop and laptop computers, in addition to Android and iOS mobile devices.
Ever since Google announced the $35 Chromecast media streaming dongle, the company has enjoyed great success. According to Android and Chrome boss Sundar Pichai, Chromecast sales have crept into the “millions” range, though he wasn’t interested in giving us any exact figures. Either way, hitting over a million units is significant, and Google won’t want to slow down at this point.
Whether you’re a Google Glass wearer or merely observing the new devices, you may have noticed a lack of major updates in January and February. Android Police revealed a post from the Explorers-only community forum explaining that after version XE12 closed out last year, those monthly updates might not be monthly anymore. That’s not necessarily a bad thing however, since the team is focused on making larger changes, and is currently focused on moving Glass from the Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich) software it shipped with to the current version of Android, 4.4 (Kit Kat).
Project Tango is an exploration into giving mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion.
What if you never found yourself lost in a new building again? What if directions to a new location didn’t stop at the street address? Imagine playing hide-and-seek in your house with your favorite game character. Imagine competing against a friend for control over physical space with your own miniature army.
Google just announced that it is planning to expand Google Fiber to 34 new cities in nine metro areas, including Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, Phoenix, Portland, Raleigh-Durham, San Antonio, Salt Lake City, and San Jose. The company says it has invited these cities to work with Google to “explore what it would take to bring them Google Fiber.”
Don’t get too excited yet, though. Google will provide updates by the end of the year which cities will actually be getting Fiber. The company says it will work closely with city leaders on a joint planning process to map out the Fiber network in details and to “assess what unique local challenges” it might face. ”While we do want to bring Fiber to every one of these cities, it might not work out for everyone,” Google writes in the announcement.
SlickLogin, an Israeli startup and developer of smart identification technology through user smartphones has been acquired by Google for several million (the official transaction amount remains undisclosed). SlickLogin was founded under a year ago by Or Zelig, Eran Galili and Ori Kabeli. The company first unveiled its technology at TechCrunch Disrupt held last September. the company has yet to launch their product.
Verizon has repeatedly promised that it would officially support the Nexus 7 on its LTE network, only to fall short each time. However, it now seems that a launch really is close at hand — a Droid-Life tipster has revealed that a Verizon approved Nexus 7 tablet is making its way into Verizon stores, complete with the carrier’s logo on the box.
The Nexus 7 (2013) was released shortly before the summer of last year and introduced Android 4.4 JellyBean to the market. It features impressive specs including a 7-inch 1920 x 1200 HD display, 2GB RAM, a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 16/32GB of internal storage, built-in wireless charging, and a 5-megapixel rear camera. Continue reading
Google’s Chromecast is now an open platform. The company has launched an official Google Cast SDK for any app makers interested in supporting the $35 HDMI dongle. “That means even more of our favorite movies, TV shows and music will become available on Chromecast as developers work with the SDK,” the company said in a blog post.
Google is selling Motorola Mobility to Lenovo, giving the Chinese smartphone manufacturer a major presence in the US market. Lenovo will buy Motorola for $2.91 billion in a mixture of cash and stock. Google will retain ownership of the vast majority of Motorola’s patents, while 2,000 patents and a license on the remaining patents will go to Lenovo. At the deal’s closing, Lenovo will pay Google $660 million in cash and $750 million in stock, while the remaining $1.5 billion will be paid out over three years.
Google and Samsung have agreed to a 10 year patent licensing deal for Android. But that might only be the tip of the iceberg. According to a report from Re/code the two are working together on a broader initiative that will bring the Samsung version of Android more inline with Google’s vision.