One of these new features added today is a way to control the volume of the Chrome OS media player with the Arrow keys. Chromebooks come with master volume keys built into the keyboard, but now this new basic feature allows you to push the up and down arrow keys to change the volume of the Chrome Media Player itself.
Modular product design is the wave of the future, said Shardul Kazi, Toshiba America senior VP, who sees the concept being extended to tablets and other products. Google is offering developers a carrot to help make that future materialize, in the form of a $100,000 prize for Project Ara innovation. The rules for the competition will be released in May
When I first heard about Android TV I also wondered why Google was bothering with it given how successful the Chromecast seems to have been with consumers. It seemed quite odd to me that Google would suddenly decide to take on Amazon and Apple when it already had a very popular TV product.
But I think if you take another look at this it actually makes some sense. The Android TV device will most likely sell for around the same price as the Apple TV and the Amazon Fire TV: $99. So it will be competing at a slightly higher spot in the market than the Chromecast, which sells for about $35.
For about a year now, Google has been working on an Android version of its Chrome Remote Desktop app and new reports from Engadget, PCMag and other outlets claim that it is imminent. The origins of the project go all the way back to a short post from The Chromium Team, and many people have been waiting for the ability to access a remote computer or device from Android.
Just days before its first Project Ara Developer Conference is scheduled to begin, Google has released the device's Module Developers Kit (MDK), a set of plans and documentation designed to get hardware hackers started building modules for the componentized, mix-and-match experimental smartphone.
Google first unveiled Project Ara in 2013 as a research project within its Motorola Mobility division. But although it's in the process of selling off most of Motorola to Lenovo, the Chocolate Factory has kept Ara in-house, where it appears to be moving full steam ahead.
Chromebooks are also getting support for folders in launcher. What it means is that now, like Android, you can create folders and club your apps in a much organzied manner. Google has also implemented the “OK Google” search feature with the launcher and the voice search can be triggered with hotword “Ok Google”. Google has also implemented support for ‘Captive Portal’ which makes it easier for users when they try to connect to the wireless of cafes, hotels, airports, and other locations which requiers them to go to an authentication page.
Google Chrome, a browser built on the Blink layout engine that aims to be minimalistic and versatile at the same time, has been upgraded yet again, has just received a new update, promoting the 35 development branch to Beta.
As Chromebooks--portable computers based on Google's Chrome OS platform--continue to carve out a healthy niche for themselves, there are strong signs that we are soon going to see Chrome OS tablets. This, of course, has been in the rumor mill for some time. Last October, I reported on a developer-focused version of Chrome OS that included an on-screen keyboard, which of course would be ideal for use on a tablet. Now, the Chrome OS team has confirmed that the latest Stable Channel version of Chrome OS has such a keyboard, and it's likely we'll see tablets based on Google's operating system soon.
Android 4.4.3, also known as KitKat MR2 (Android 4.4.1 and 4.4.2 are known as KitKat MR1), has entered the dogfooding stage and has started rolling out to 1% of Google employees outside of the Android team. Currently, the dogfooding rollout is limited to the supported Nexus line (Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 2012, Nexus 7 2013, and Nexus 10), with GPE and Moto X updates to follow.
The final public releases should be out in coming weeks. Unsurprisingly, the exact schedule is unknown at this point because it depends on the success of the dogfooding tests which will presumably first have to expand from the limited 1% to a larger portion of employees. The point is - don't expect an OTA just yet.
GOOGLE HAS BEEN QUICK to jump on the demise of Windows XP, and is looking to persuade businesses still running the operating system to buy Google Chromebooks instead.
Rumors of the impending sunsetting of Google TV have been around at least since September when Sony, Google’s most stalwart partner for its struggling, Android-based Google TV, announced a Bravia Smart Stick media player. Sony noted “Google services” but never mentioned Google TV. The trend was confirmed by several unnamed Google TV partners in an October report by GigaOM that cited the “Android TV” name. In December, when Marvell announced an Android 4.2.2-ready, Armada 1500 Plus SoC update to the official SoC of Google TV — the Armada 1500 — the Android TV term was used again.
The Google Chrome 35 development branch, a browser built on the Blink layout engine that aims to be minimalistic and versatile at the same time, has been upgraded yet again, but this time it's only a very small update.
That's just one possible deal you can get from Best Buy when you trade in your old Windows XP system, which is good for a $100 credit.
Microsoft has more reasons to worry about Linux. After reports that an Indian state switched from Windows XP to Linux, now a UK-based organization is ditching Windows and going for Linux-based Chromebooks. The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham is going the open source way as it shifts away from Windows XP desktops in favor of 2,000 Samsung 303Cs Chromebooks for employees and 300 Chromeboxes for reception desks and shared work areas across the borough.
Project Ara (Phonebloks) and modular pieces of tech in general are gaining steam. So far, we’ve known that we will be able to swap specified parts of our smartphones, which will result in longer lives for our phones and less waste as a result of our tech lusts. Today, Google revealed some of the work that was going on behind the scenes with their ATAP (Advanced Technology and Projects) group. The Ara team members (read ‘nerds’) took the time out to demonstrate the sliding ‘blocks’ of their prototype or very early build of the devices, and they have not deviated a whole lot from the initial drafts, but there were significant bits of information included.
Last April we introduced Blink as the new rendering engine for Chromium. Since then, the project has grown to include over 200 active contributors, and code complexity has been reduced significantly. We’ve also made encouraging progress on our top priority for 2014: mobile web performance.
According to a lucky reader of ours, Google opened up a beta test for its Chrome Remote Desktop app on Android within the last few days. The beta is invite only at this time, with invites rolling out to those who “expressed interest” in helping Chrome improve their remote desktop client. Like the Chrome extension, this app does indeed give you remote access to your desktop computers, only this time through Android devices (both phones and tablets).
While Mozilla has mostly been in the headlines this week for news related to contributions made by its new CEO Brendan Eich, another piece of meaningful news regarding the company is largely being ignored: Google Chrome has moved past Firefox to take second place in desktop browser market share, according to web traffic stats from Net Applications. In March, Chrome grabbed 17.5 percent of desktop brower traffic, while Firefox sat in third place with 17.2 percent. This is a first for Chrome, according to Net Applications' data, and is possibly driven by Google's extensive advertising for Chrome and Mozilla's new focus on Firefox OS and mobile technology.
In AB Research's latest study of ultrabooks and netbooks, which is where the company places Chromebooks, it found that "An estimated 2.1 million Chromebooks shipped in 2013 with nearly 89 percent of total shipments reaching North America. As Chromebook shipments expand globally, ABI Research forecasts an increase of annual growth rate to 28 percent and reach 11 million shipments in 2019."
Red Hat has announced a new collaboration with Google that will enable Red Hat customers to move eligible Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions to Google Compute Engine using Red Hat Cloud Access. Google joined the Red Hat Certified Cloud Provider program in November 2013.
Google announced the public availability of the Google Compute Engine platform earlier this year. Compute Engine placed the company in direct competition with Amazon Web Services (AWS), and represented a strong step into the Infrastructure-as-a-Service space. Now, Google becomes only the second Red Hat Certified Cloud Provider to earn designation as a Red Hat Cloud Access-enabled partner.