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Google reportedly tried to buy Cyanogen

Filed under
Android
Google

A report from The Information (subscription required) claims that Google tried to buy Cyanogen, Inc, the maker of the custom Android ROM CyanogenMod. According to the report, Cyanogen's chief executive told shareholders that Sundar Pichai, the head of Chrome and Android at Google, met with the company and "expressed interest in acquiring the firm." The report says Cyanogen Inc. declined the offer, saying that it was still growing.

It's unclear what Google would want to do with Cyanogen. The company basically does the same software work any other OEM does: it takes AOSP, customizes it, and ports it to devices. It doesn't have a ton of features that replicate Google services, so without a Google Play license, it's just as poor as any other AOSP-derived Android distribution. Buying Cyanogen would give Google an in-house Android distribution and a team of engineers, both of which it already has in abundance. We suppose the plan could be to buy it and shut it down, but we're not sure what that would accomplish, either.

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Google posts Android Auto design guidelines

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Android
Google

Google posted a developer overview for Android Auto, offering guidelines for designing extensions to existing Android apps for customized IVI interactions.

Google announced Android Auto with relatively few details at Google I/O in June, following the formation of an Open Automotive Alliance (OAA) in January. These related efforts are designed to standardize integration with Android devices and in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems, as opposed to designing an Android IVI stack that runs the whole show. In some ways, Android Auto is similar to the Car Connectivity Consortium’s MirrorLink technology and Apple’s CarPlay.

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Chrome OS gets Android apps: Merging Chrome OS and Android gets closer

Filed under
Android
Google

Bringing Android apps to Chrome OS pushes the two platforms closer together. This sets the stage for Google to merge them completely down the road to have one OS for both mobile and desktop. This is similar to what Microsoft has done with Windows 8, but Google has the advantage of doing it with two existing solid bases that already run well on mobile devices.

Google may not intend to merge the two OSes into one, but they've set the stage to make it easier. They will likely keep sharing features between the two in any event, making both OSes more appealing.

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Six Clicks: Androids Apps on Chromebooks

Filed under
Android
Google

Recently Google started making it possible to run Android apps on Chromebooks. For now, there are only four applications, but developers looking into the code have already found that porting their applications to Android on Chrome will require almost no effort.

With over a million Android apps waiting in the wings, Chromebooks are about to become even more of a true rival to Windows PCs.

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Newest Androids will join iPhones in offering default encryption, blocking police

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Android
Google
Mac

The next generation of Google’s Android operating system, due for release next month, will encrypt data by default for the first time, the company said Thursday, raising yet another barrier to police gaining access to the troves of personal data typically kept on smartphones.

Android has offered optional encryption on some devices since 2011, but security experts say few users have known how to turn on the feature. Now Google is designing the activation procedures for new Android devices so that encryption happens automatically; only somebody who enters a device's password will be able to see the pictures, videos and communications stored on those smartphones.

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Google's Chrome Strategy Heads in New Directions, Draws Linux Comparisons

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Linux
Google

Google's Chrome browser and Chrome OS operating system are grabbing headlines this week for several reasons. As Susan reported here, Matt Hartley said recently, 'Anyone who believes Google isn't making a play for desktop users isn't paying attention.' Hartley favors putting Linux in front of a lot of potential Chrome OS users, and says "I consider ChromeOS to be a forked operating system that uses the Linux kernel under the hood."

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ChromeOS vs Linux: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Filed under
OS
Google

Anyone who believes Google isn't "making a play" for desktop users isn't paying attention. In recent years, I've seen ChromeOS making quite a splash on the Google Chromebook. Exploding with popularity on sites such as Amazon.com, it looks as if ChromeOS could be unstoppable.

In this article, I'm going to look at ChromeOS as a concept to market, how it's affecting Linux adoption and whether or not it's a good/bad thing for the Linux community as a whole. Plus, I'll talk about the biggest issue of all and how no one is doing anything about it.

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With Android One, Google puts itself firmly back in the OS' driving seat

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Android
Google

Under Android One, Google has developed its reference hardware designs — meaning OEMs no longer have to develop and test their own smartphones; they just pick up Google's ready-to-wear versions and get manufacturing. Google already has three local Indian smartphone makers signed up to do just that — Karbonn, Spice, and Micromax — all soon be be selling Google-designed, Android One-powered devices for around $100.

Android One uses a stock version of Android, as seen on its Nexus products — meaning no UI customisation is possible — but Google has graciously offered to let OEMs and mobile operators add their own apps to handsets running the OS. The operators don't seem to mind the disintermediation much, and have teamed up with Google to launch Android One mobile plans to coincide with the launch of the new phones.

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Google reveals the first ultra-cheap Android One smartphones

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Android
Google

Google has unveiled the first smartphones to run on its Android One platform, a standard designed to help push affordable smartphones in the developing world. The initiative kicks off in India, where Micromax, Spice, and Karbonn are all selling phones with 4.5-inch screens, 1GB of RAM, 5-megapixel main and 2-megapixel front cameras, 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek processors, dual-SIM slots, microSD expandable storage, and FM radios.

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Enjoy Five Gorgeous Linux Desktops from the Google+ Community

Filed under
Linux
Google

Linux is a very customizable ecosystem and this is one of the main features of the open source world, the possibility to do almost anything you want with your OS. Every Friday, the Linux community shows its desktops on Google+, so we picked up a few of the most interesting to share with everyone.

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Photoshop competitor Krita is a true creative tool -- and it's free and open source

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