Posts Tagged ‘google’
Soon enough, when you’re shopping for a new pair of shoes or wanting to buy some movies, when you search in Google, you might have the option to buy it directly through them, rather than messing about pressing buttons to get to Amazon or eBay and wasting your valuable minutes on this planet.
That’s right – the search behemoth is apparently looking to rollout a ‘Buy’ button on its Shopping tab. Google say they won’t get any commission on this and they’re thinking about doing it to help you out. They’re selfless like that, clearly.
That, or they’re going mine all that lovely data and sell it on for a wad of money from someone.
Anyway, according to various reports and mutterings, these buttons will appear alongside paid search results in the ‘Shop on Google’ section.
Seeing as Google have Google Wallet, you’d think that they’ll store your payment details in that, so you don’t need to enter your payment details all the time. That means you might have to be signed-in with Google all the time, which again, works in their favour massively and will no doubt annoy people who don’t have a Google account.
Google are ushering in a thing called ‘M’, which looks like it’ll be bringing Android in line with Apple’s iOS user privacy. It seems that Google want to give users back the control when it comes to controlling their own data in apps.
Android is going to let users control personal data like phone numbers, names, location, and addresses, and how apps access it.
Users have been irked at the fact that, when installing apps, permission requests give users the choice to either accept all permissions or not install the app at all. This isn’t an ideal scenario for those who want to be more careful with the information they give out.
Only those with third-party customised versions of Android could control their permissions. At developer conferences at Google I/O, it looks like that is all about to change, with a lot of the talk being about user permissions, which look key to Android M. Now, the system will look to protect users from permission-request overload, and to create a culture where users refrain from blindly agreeing to permission requests without reading what they are actually agreeing to.
A nice idea, but will people really start wanting to read the small print?
Google say the they’re giving up on the following:
- iOS devices which cannot be upgraded to iOS 7 and above
- Apple TV first and second generations
- Google TV versions 3 and 4
- Numerous smart TVs and Blu-ray disc players.
Google’s full list can be found here. If you have a third-gen Apple TV, you’ll have something to do as well, as you must now install a newly YouTube app if you want to keep watching videos on the service.
It is thought that this is going to be a problem for in excess of 100m iPhones and iPads plus around 50m iPod touches and Apple TVs.
Instead of watching a cat play a synthesizer or a compilation of funny Vines that say ‘bruh’, those with affected devices will start seeing this instead:
That said, you can still use the web browser to watch YouTube videos rather than the app, and there’ll inevitably be a bunch of 3rd party apps you can look at.
However, first and second generation Apple TV doesn’t have a web browser, so you’ve had it.
The latest release of Google Chrome – version 42 – has blacked out the services thanks to the removal of support for NPAPI plugins, including Microsoft’s Silverlight, which many on-demand services use to power things.
On Now TV’s support forum, they said: “Google Chrome version 42 has now been released, and Chrome no longer supports Microsoft Silverlight. From this point, you’ll need to use Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox to watch Now TV on your PC.”
Meanwhile, at the @BTCare Twitter account, they said: “If you use Chrome to watch BT Sport you may get a Silverlight error. Silverlight is no longer supported in Chrome, pls use another browser.”
Blinkbox added: “Because our HTML5 player is newer than the Silverlight player we use in other browsers like Internet Explorer and Firefox on PCs and Safari on Mac, you might need a faster broadband connection than usual to have the same experience that you’re used to, whilst we work to further optimise streaming using HTML5. Because of this, for the best experience, we recommend that you use a different browser right now, particularly if your internet speed is close to our recommended minimum speed or you’ve got an older computer.”
Eventually, all video-on-demand services will have to move away from Silverlight as it is being discontinued by Microsoft.
In a statement, regulators said they’d reached the preliminary decision that that search behemoth “systematically positions and prominently displays its comparison shopping service in its general search results pages, irrespective of its merits.” According to those throwing accusations around, this conduct has been going on since 2008.
The statement reads: “The commission is concerned that users do not necessarily see the most relevant results in response to queries – to the detriment of consumers and rival comparison shopping services, as well as stifling innovation.”
Regulators also opened a separate formal investigation into Google’s Android practices, which could see an end to bloatware for users.
A final ruling from the EU could come at the end of the year, as Google have to make their case first. Worryingly for Google, this could see other territories making similar judgements against them.
Amit Singhal, vice president of Google Search, said the company strongly disagrees “with the need to issue a statement of objections and look forward to making our case over the weeks ahead.”
“Dominance as such is not a problem,” said EU antitrust chief, Margrethe Vestager; “However, dominant companies have a responsibility not to abuse their market position either in the market where they are dominant or in neighbouring markets – this is about consumers getting the best possible results of their query.”
“This is nothing to with a company being American, Japanese or whatever,” she added; “If you want to compete in the European market you have to abide by EU rules.”
With Google facing antitrust fines from EU competition regulators, the company have told staff that things could be getting heavy in the coming weeks.
Kent Walker, Google’s general counsel, wrote in the memo to his charges, saying that a “statement of objections” to Google’s business practices in Europe would be released on Wednesday by the EU’s competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager.
Basically, the European Commission is looking at whether or not Google have been pushing their own products unfairly, at the behest of others.
“Expect some of the criticism to be tough,” Walker continued.
With everyone focusing on search results, Google Maps and various shopping tools online, one thing that could really be shook-up is on Android. Anyone with an Android phone will know that their mobile is filled with a host of apps that you can’t get rid of – and they’re mostly Google branded applications too.
Unless you’re techie and can get under the hood, many users have found at some point, that they’ve tried to delete Google apps, only to find that they’re reinstalled when your phone does an update, or if your mobile’s settings automatically update your apps. Most users just accept the updates so they can stop the constant reminders and push notifications.
If the EU issues a “statement of objections” against Google is successful, and the company are found guilty of abusing their market dominance, not only will there be some huge fines being thrown around, but it could mean that you’ll be able to uninstall Google apps for good, if you’re not using them and they’re taking up precious memory on your device.
Google have used their platform to push their own products ahead of others on Android handsets, so you can bet that Google will be hoping they can settle out of court. Will it change the way we get to manage what is on our phones?
We’ll have to wait and see.
There’s been mutterings of Google’s plans to go toe-to-toe with the mobile carriers, and rumours suggest that there’s going to be some kind of announcement in 2015.
Well, there’s been a leak which has unveiled some details about the service.
It looks like it’ll initially be a US-only thing, but Google have got form for rolling these things worldwide if the Americans take them up. One thing that Project Fi looks like it’ll be doing is only charging users based on data they actually consume and credit unused data at the end of the month.
These details came from a Tycho app that was included in an unofficial build for the Nexus 6.
You don’t need to worry about the Tycho app itself, as it isn’t that great compared to anything else. However, the app does seem to let users do more, including being able to request a new number, activate the service, start a transfer request and close/resume your account from within the app. Not earth-shattering, but useful.
Anyway, the news is the leak of Project Fi, and it looks like Google are going after heavy data users. It seems you’ll be able to switch from one device to another to carry over your Project Fi connection and number.
Google will presumably make money from adverts and using your data for whatever nefarious things they’re into. Mobile carriers might be getting squeaky bums at the prospect of all this.
The EU’s antitrust inquiry is looking at the way Google may or may not have abused their position by pushing their own products, regarding shopping, maps and search. This case has been dragging on for a number of years now, but it looks like the antitrust commissioner Margrethe Vestager is ready to file formal charges against Google.
Google’s rivals – such as Microsoft – would like to see more competition online, and are hoping to see the kind of action which saw £800m being taken in fines from Intel in 2009, after they were found to be swinging their wangs around the computer chip market.
Of course, Microsoft themselves know all about this, as they were smacked with fines worth around £1.4bn for antitrust-related issues. Google themselves, are clearly worried and have offered to settle on three separate occasions in the past, but alas, to nought.
One of the things Google offered was to give their competitors an increased visibility on their search site, and to make it easier for advertisers to move their campaigns to other companies.
This didn’t happen and it looks like there’s going to be a show of strength from the EU.
Apple and Google are usually at war with each other and sadly, as yet, haven’t started firing missiles at each other’s head-offices or conducting drive-bys on each other’s houses (seriously – if you’re going to beef, do it properly).
The lack of decent hostilities might be something to do with the fact that Google are looking at making their Android Wear compatible with iOS. One day, you lucky things, you might well be able to receive iPhone notifications on your Google-having smartwatches.
According to reports, Google is “close to finishing the final technical details” which is required to bridge the gap between the two platforms.
This new version of Android Wear is currently in-development and will work with a companion app on the iPhone which will receive notifications from FaceTime and all that jazz, as well as displaying information from Google Now cards. It is about time really.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that Apple will return the favour and actually allow Google to run anything on their devices and if they do, they won’t open up their OS to everyone, because they’re a bit protective like that.
Pardon? Well, a group called Safari Users Against Google’s Secret Tracking (which has the frankly rubbish aconym of SUAGST) want to sue the internet behemoth in the English courts over what they claim are Google bypassing security settings to track them online.
Three appeal judges have dismissed Google’s appeal against a High Court ruling and ruled that claims for damages can be brought over the allegations of Google’s misuse of private information.
The Safari Users say that Google’s “clandestine” tracking and collation of internet usage (between the summer of 2011 and early 2012) led to distress and embarrassment among UK users. You might not remember that, because as a BW reader, you’re in a constant state of embarrassment and distress, so all the years roll into one.
Anyway, the group say that Google collected private info through cookies, without their information.
Dan Tench, a partner at law firm Olswang, who are representing the group, said this case decides “whether British consumers actually have any right to hold Google to account in this country”. Tench added: ”This is the appropriate forum for this case – here in England where the consumers used the internet and where they have a right to privacy.”
Lord Dyson, Master of the Rolls, and Lady Justice Sharp said in their joint judgement, with which Lord Justice McFarlane agreed: “On the face of it, these claims raise serious issues which merit a trial. They concern what is alleged to have been the secret and blanket tracking and collation of information, often of an extremely private nature… about and associated with with the claimants’ internet use, and the subsequent use of that information for about nine months.”
“The case relates to the anxiety and distress this intrusion upon autonomy has caused.”
Google wants to get in on all that lovely television action that everyone else is weighing into. Apple are going to start streaming TV shows, and Amazon have their Fire TV box and stick. The internet godzilla is prepping the launch of the Nexus Player on 26th March in the UK.
As you’d expect, the Nexus Player will let you stream films and telly programmes from Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. Of course, this is pointless if you have a console, but for non-gamers, this is a good move and yet another option to look at.
That said, this offering from Google hasn’t exactly won everyone over in America, Canada and Japan.
One problem is that the Nexus Player us likely to cost somewhere in the region of £75 and, if you want to play games on it, then the joypad is another £30.
Google haven’t made an official announcement on all this, but the product has appeared on an Amazon listing.
Is there any point buying one if you can already stream Netflix from other devices to your television, for a much cheaper price?
A lot of people don’t like the power Google have online, and this won’t help the internet giant any further.
If you have an Android phone and a Google account, then you might have been tracked without you knowing. Now, this’ll be old news to some, but it seems like there’s a good number of people out there who still have no idea.
Not to worry though – you can stop being tracked really easily
First off, watch this short video which tells you about how you’re being tracked and how you can see where you’ve been – provided you had your phone in your pocket – via a section on Google Maps.
As you can see, you can go back in time and see where you’ve been on a Google Map, which may well give you the willies, but it is easy enough to fix.
First off, you should switch your location services off on your mobile. You’ll find that in your settings. Some apps ask you to turn your location on, but you don’t have to. Twitter doesn’t need to know where you are and if you’re using something like Tinder which requires your location to show you who wants to hump nearby, then only switch your location on when it is needed.
As the video shows, it is really easy to delete your location history, and you can find out more on that, here.
Google have just tinkered with their Play Store policies, which means that from now, Android developers are going to have to wait for their apps to be approved by the Internet Behemoth once they’ve been submitted.
Before now, Google didn’t bother with such things and only looked at apps once they’d been reported for violating its policies or whatever. Now, they’re going to preside over everything like Apple do with theirs. However, Google say that no-one will notice much difference as they’ve actually been doing it for months now.
“We value the rapid innovation and iteration that is unique to Google Play, and will continue to help developers get their products to market within a matter of hours after submission, rather than days or weeks,” Google’s product manager for Google Play, Eunice Kim, wrote. “In fact, there has been no noticeable change for developers during the rollout.”
It seems that’s the main difference between Android and Apple – the time it takes for apps to be verified, as Apple is known for their lengthy approval process.
In addition to this, Google will also be issuing a new age-based rating system, so the kidz don’t have to be flooded with genitals and gore. Probably.
This means that developers are going to have to fill-in a questionnaire about their new (and existing) apps so that they can be given an accurate rating. The questionnaires are available to developers now and Google reckon that apps “may be blocked in certain territories or for specific users,” if developers don’t submit them by May.
Imaginatively, the shop will be called The Google shop, and of course, it will flog Android phones and devices as well as Chromebook laptops and the Chromecast TV dongle. Maybe you’ll be able to buy bits of internet as well. We just don’t know.
For that cuddly, holistic, we’re trying to do things differently because we’re from the internet feel, you’ll also be able to go in and have a tutorial with some people in Chuck Taylor Converse trainers, who will show you how to get the most out of Google apps and things.
This is the first time that Google have opened a shop in their own name and it looks like it is the way things are going, with Amazon looking at doing something similar (they’re going to do theirs in New York though). These shops will be different from Androidland (yes, really) and Chromezone. This will be an in-store concession inside the Currys PC Word and they’ll be opening up more, with plans to have The Google Shop inside the Currys PC Worlds in Fulham, and Thurrock, Essex.
James Elias, the UK marketing director for Google, said: “We’re incredibly excited to launch this space – the first of its kind anywhere in the world – in London with Currys PC World. The pace of innovation of the devices we all use is incredible, yet the way we buy them has remained the same for years.”
“With the Google shop, we want to offer people a place where they can play, experiment and learn about all of what Google has to offer; from an incredible range of devices to a totally-connected, seamless online life. We think it’s a genuinely unique try-before-you-buy experience.”
The shops will also… get this… host ‘Virtual Space Camps’, which isn’t something that will make you float around in pretend zero gravity, but rather, will be classes to teach children the basics of coding. Nice idea – dreadful name. Anyway, if you want to go and stand next to some Google, you know where to go.