• BURN MEDIA
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

Google

  • Google Voice Search now understands superlatives, times and more complex questions

    Google has announced that its search engine is getting better at understanding the way people speak and what they say. Google says that the Google app does this by understanding the meaning of what you are saying, breaking down a query to understand the semantics of each piece. The responses, Google says, to questions will now be focus more on the intent of the entire question. Read more: The symbiosis of content marketing and SEO The company says that Google Search will now better understand superlatives, times and complicated questions. "The Google app is starting to truly understand the meaning of what you’re...

  • Why every household absolutely needs a Chromecast

    I enjoy media, I enjoy technology and I really enjoy when the two cross paths. One could be forgiven for assuming that this intersection happens often, and it does, but it’s not often that it’s executed nearly as well as Chromecast. That is why I think Chromecast is the one gadget I would recommend, to anyone. Sure, the Google-built dongle is already in its second iteration, but I don’t actually know how many South Africans are currently casting. I’ve mentioned this to a few people, but I think that television’s biggest competition at the moment is the Internet. Think about...

  • Protecting your personal brand with Google: what you need to know

    Did you know that your personal brand is your most valuable asset online. It your public profile that showcases who you are and it’s visible to everyone. When people are looking for answers, they usually turn to Google for information and solutions. What if you were in a meeting and people searched your name online to learn more about who you are and what you stand for. Will they be impressed with the results? Are you impressed with the results? When was the last time you searched for your name on Google? Is the information presented accurate and up...

  • Google to launch hundreds of internet-enabled balloons in 2016

    Google's Project Loon never seizes to impress. Though the initiative started testing about two years ago, the US internet giant's moonshot of sending internet-beaming balloons into our stratospheres have just gone up a notch. According to the BBC, the internet giant is planning to launch a string of 300 balloons, enough to create continuous on-the-ground coverage of a section of the world's Southern Hemisphere. Each balloon will cover around 40km in diameter, with speeds of up to 10 megabits a second. The longest a balloon has remained afloat has been 744 days. "We hope next year to build our first continuous ring...

  • Google launches Beta test for the Google app

    Google has opened its Google app to beta testers, bumping it from version 5.3 to 5.4. It is not clear yet what the plan is from Google, but one can speculate that it has something up its sleeve. The Google app is a significant part of the Android ecosystem. With the app, users can perform voice commands, and access Google Now, Now on Tap (if running Marshmallow), traffic updates, sport updates, news alerts, etc. There is no indication of a major overhaul of the current app, but a beta test usually hints at an ambition to introduce new capabilities for...

  • Google introduces Accelerated Mobile Pages for rich, faster content on mobile

    Google has announced a project called Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) which is an open source HTML code framework that publishers and developers can adopt into their websites and apps. The AMP code will work across multiple browsers, apps and devices. AMP HTML is a new open framework that is built from existing web technologies, which allows websites to build light-weight webpages. Google, with this initiative, wants not only to bring rich content like video, animation, smart ads and other graphics to mobile web but to optimise it so that it can load faster on mobile web. This appears a lot like Facebook’s...

  • Weekly Round Up #37: Google event, Takealot raising 1bn, Tesla Model X and Edward Snowden on Twitter

    Welcome to Weekly Roundup, our podcast discussing the tech trends, innovation and news from the last few days. This week on BurnCast, Stuart Thomas, Jacques Coetzee, Graham van de Made and Andy Walker discuss the Google event, Takealot, Edward Snowden and the Tesla Model X. Earlier this week, Google laid out the red carpet and announced new devices. You can watch the event here. Amongst the exciting announcements Google made were new Nexus devices: the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P, and its Google Pixel C. The team discusses the possibility of the Nexus devices coming to South Africa, the similarities of...

  • Google acquires Jibe Mobile, a leading provider of Rich Communication Services

    Google has acquired Jibe Mobile, a startup that is a leading provider in Rich Communication Services. Google is in the process of implementing RCS on Android and Jibe Mobile's expertise will be useful. “Deploying RCS to create an even better messaging experience on Android will take time and collaboration throughout the wireless industry, but we’re excited to get started” wrote Mike Dodd, Android RCS Software Engineer and Minister of Messaging. Read more: Android is now used by 1.4 billion people worldwide Though instant messaging services have had much innovation, SMS has been left behind over the last little while. RCS is...

  • Google plans to roll-out WiFi to 400 train stations across India

    It comes as little surprise that Google plans to provide public WiFi in 400 train stations across India. Right now, India is a fast-growing market that tech companies are taking advantage of. The news comes at the same time Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is touring the US. As part of his trip, Modi visited Google's headquarters and also made a stop at Facebook for a Q&A with Mark Zuckerberg. The roll-out for the project, says Google CEO Sundar Pichai -- an Indian native -- will see 400 train stations across India receive WiFi. The plan is to have 100 of...

  • Google Maps takes a giant step into Zomato’s territory with individual restaurant recommendations

    Google Maps has always been about giving users more than detailed directions, and now it seems to be heading into Zomato’s territory. The internet giant announced that Google Maps on Android is receiving an update to its explore feature that will give users curated restaurant recommendations. Google says that the update will allow Android users in the US and UK to enjoy curated restaurant recommendations from Google Maps. The recommendations have options like Lunch, Breakfast, Drinks, Dinner, Best spots for dinner with kids this weekend. Read more: Uber and Zomato tie-up to simplify booking taxis to restaurants, even...

  • Google for Nonprofits will see NPOs get up to $10k in free Google advertising

    Google South Africa has launched Google for Nonprofits, an initiative aimed at assisting NPOs in making use of Google’s products and tools. The initiative was launched in South Africa, Kenya and Botswana and will see NPOs get amongst other benefits Free AdWords advertising worth up to $10 000 per month. Some of the problems that NPOs face is access to internet and technology tools. The Google for Nonprofits is targeted at dealing with problems like these. Read more: How technology is changing the way we do business travel This initiative like Google Academy for NGOs, which Google launched earlier this year...

  • Google unveils sleek new logo, pushes it out on home page right away

    Internet search giant Google has just unveiled a new logo, marking the biggest change to the famous six letters since 1999. Looking back 17 years since the company unveiled its first colourful trademark, one can certainly see a trend that's urging away from 3D towards a more basic, flat design. "We think we’ve taken the best of Google (simple, uncluttered, colourful, friendly), and recast it not just for the Google of today, but for the Google of the future," Tamar Yehoshua, Google's VP of product management writes in a blog post. The little blue “g” icon seen in your browser tab is...

  • Google holds first ever South African developer summit

    Google yesterday held its first South African Developer Summit. The event, which was the latest in its series of Sub-Saharan African developer events, was designed to bring developers from around the country up-to-date with the latest Google developer tools. According to Google, the developer summits are an opportunity for Google to assist developers across the world to build better web and Android applications. The Developer Summit in Cape Town was the last leg of a three-city African tour. Developer Summits were also held in Lagos, Nigeria on 19 August, and Nairobi, Kenya on 22 August. The summit featured Google employees...

  • Google is opening a YouTube Space studio in Mumbai

    Google has announced that its YouTube Space is coming to Mumbai, India soon, continuing its forceful entry in the country. Ask a video creator anywhere in the world and the common challenges are access to quality camera, audio, editing equipment and professional studios. YouTube creators and aspiring creators in India will now have a space to create their videos and will not have to be plagued by the everyday struggles of video creators. In Asia, India is one now amongst the top contributors when it comes to driving time spent on YouTube watching videos. India has a thriving film industry and...

  • Google redefined: the real implications of Alphabet

    Last Monday, Larry Page, the CEO of Google Inc., announced in a blog post that “Google will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alphabet”, a newly created holding company. The news surprised the general public and many of the tech pundits shared their first impressions about the restructuring and its potential implications for Google and its shareholders. Several people reached out to me to get my feedback about the move last week. My first impression was the same as it is now, Google made a genius move that will be seen as a game changer for the company in the...