Google Launches its AI Ecosystem with Allo and Google Home

Google is focusing on advances in artificial intelligence as a competitive advantage. Its new Google assistant is positioned as the company’s latest iteration of search, and Google is promoting a variety of products based on machine learning that face competing products. Google Home will compete with Amazon Echo, while messaging app Allo will take on Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp, and Snapchat. With regard to virtual assistants, Google is going against versions from Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft. Continue reading Google Launches its AI Ecosystem with Allo and Google Home

YouTube to Launch its Paid Subscription TV Service in 2017

YouTube has long expressed interest in creating a live TV package, but now its plans for a paid subscription service have firmed up. With executives Christian Oestlien and Jonathan Zepp among those leading the charge, the company will launch Unplugged in 2017 and is now seeking content deals with major media companies, say those familiar with the plan. The new urgency in pursuing this long-held plan may be due to the fact that Dish Network and Sony have debuted online services, and Apple and Amazon plan to as well. Continue reading YouTube to Launch its Paid Subscription TV Service in 2017

Apple and U.S. Government Battle Over Privacy vs. Terrorism

The battle between terrorism and privacy has been brewing for quite some time, and the tipping point was the iPhone belonging to Syed Rizwan Farook, who, with his wife, opened fire at an office party in December 2015, killing 14 people and injuring 22. The FBI has been trying to decrypt Farook’s phone, unsuccessfully, and asked Apple to create a “backdoor” code into the phone. Apple refused, and now a court order gives the Silicon Valley company five days to comply. Chief executive Tim Cook is holding firm. Continue reading Apple and U.S. Government Battle Over Privacy vs. Terrorism

Alphabet Tops Apple, Still Growing Core Business, Other Bets

Google’s parent Alphabet finally sailed past Apple as the world’s most valuable company, as shares rose 4.2 percent, to a market capitalization of about $560 billion, compared to Apple’s $539.7 billion. Alphabet posted 14 percent revenue growth in its core Internet businesses, including search, YouTube and Android, rising to $74.54 billion from 2014’s $65.67 billion. Revenue from its “Other Bets,” or moonshots, rose 37 percent to $448 million, up dramatically from the $12 million in revenue reported in 2013. Continue reading Alphabet Tops Apple, Still Growing Core Business, Other Bets

Google Using RankBrain Artificial Intelligence Tech for Search

Google is now relying on artificial intelligence, with a system dubbed RankBrain, for a small but significant part of its search business. Since Google is identified with search, keeping on the bleeding edge of search technology is critical to its dominance, and Google has been researching artificial intelligence — software that learns about the world — for over five years. Prior to launching RankBrain for search, Google has been a big corporate sponsor of AI, invested in it for videos, speech and translation. Continue reading Google Using RankBrain Artificial Intelligence Tech for Search

Google Announces New Chromecast Devices for TV and Music

Google unveiled two new Chromecast streaming devices yesterday, in addition to a new tablet and a pair of Nexus phones. Google has already sold more than 20 million Chromecasts, which now offers access to thousands of apps, including HBO Now and Netflix. The $35 Chromecast extends the mobile apps already on our phones to our TV, whereas a competitor such as the $149 Apple TV is more a device for storing apps to run on television. One of Google’s new silver dollar-sized Chromecasts is available to work with your TV, while Chromecast Audio plugs into speakers to play music sent from your phone. Continue reading Google Announces New Chromecast Devices for TV and Music

Google Now a Subsidiary of New Parent Company, Alphabet Inc.

In a move that surprised Wall Street, Google created Alphabet Inc., a new publicly traded parent company. Google will be a subsidiary of Alphabet, with Google executive Sundar Pichai as its new CEO. Co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin will run Alphabet, which will include all of Google’s other ancillary businesses. Brin will also run Google X, the company’s experimental laboratory. Since the announcement was made after the close of trading on Wall Street, Google shares rose 6 percent in after-hours trading. Continue reading Google Now a Subsidiary of New Parent Company, Alphabet Inc.

Google Unveils Android M, Project Brillo, Google Now and More

Although somewhat lacking in major device announcements, this week’s Google I/O developers conference featured some interesting news. Google unveiled Android M with simplified permissions, support for its Android Pay mobile payments system, and a promised boost to battery life and charging times. As expected, the company announced Project Brillo, its “underlying operating system for the Internet of Things,” and Google Now, which aims to “make the smartphone smarter.” The company also introduced Google Photos and a new version of its Google Cardboard VR viewer. Continue reading Google Unveils Android M, Project Brillo, Google Now and More

Google+ Compartmentalized to Push Growth of Popular Products

In 2011, Google launched Google+, an ambitious social media endeavor to rival Facebook and other emerging social media sites and apps. Under Google+, the company premiered Google Photos and Google Hangouts, two products that despite the social network’s shortcomings, have been well received by the public. In an attempt to further develop these and other Google+ products, the company plans to launch these products into separate services with new management in place to oversee their development. Continue reading Google+ Compartmentalized to Push Growth of Popular Products

Google Develops Low-Cost Smartphones for Developing World

Google engineers have been hard at work designing cost-conscious hardware for other companies to manufacture. This fall, Google will release a sub-$100 smartphone in India, to be followed by other countries with emerging economies. The Android One device is created by the Indian manufacturer MicroMax, and is meant to serve those who currently lack Internet access. Karbonn and Spice, two other Indian manufacturers, plan to release similar Android One devices this fall.  Continue reading Google Develops Low-Cost Smartphones for Developing World

Google I/O: The Future is All About the Android Mobile OS

During yesterday’s keynote event at Google I/O, the company unleashed its Android Everywhere strategy and a slew of related announcements. Google envisions us taking the more contextually aware Android mobile OS from place to place through every part of our lives, including our televisions, laptops, vehicles, bodies and workplaces. Major announcements unveiled details regarding Android L (5.0), Android Wear, Android Auto, Android TV, and integrating Android applications into Chromebooks. Continue reading Google I/O: The Future is All About the Android Mobile OS

New Nexus 7 with Android 4.3 to Be Available by Next Week

While an official Google event is scheduled for today that may or may not include tablet news, a new Nexus 7 is rumored to be offered at Best Buy beginning July 30th. The leaked Best Buy flyer reveals updated hardware, with a 1920 x 1200 high definition display, 16GB of storage, and a price of $229. If true, Google will offer a seven-inch HD tablet ahead of Apple. The current iPad mini does not have a high-definition screen and has a starting retail price tag of $329. Continue reading New Nexus 7 with Android 4.3 to Be Available by Next Week

Google Reveals Mobile Strategy with Android Restructuring

Google announced that Andy Rubin, who has overseen the Android mobile operating system since 2004, will step down from his position. The announcement is the latest development in Google’s broad master plan for mobile. In Rubin’s place will be Sundar Pichai, the current head of Google’s Chrome Web browser and Chrome OS project, suggesting a future union between Android and Chrome. Continue reading Google Reveals Mobile Strategy with Android Restructuring

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