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Google

  • Google’s mobile-friendly update: is your website UX ready?

    If you're in any way involved in the online space, this is pretty intense. On 21 April, Google will launch a new mobile-friendly algorithm that will reward websites that are fully optimised for mobile with higher rankings in search results. The update aims to make Google even more useful to people by training its bots to search more like humans. Outlawing text that’s too small to read, links that are too close together to tap, and software uncommon to mobiles like Flash, among other factors, it all comes down to improving the overall user experience (UX). That's great for...

  • Google launches Handwriting Input Tool for both text and emoji on Android

    Google Research today launched a new project, Google Handwriting Input. The new app allows users, instead of using a standard keyboard, to take a leap back to the ancient days of handwriting to write text on any Android app with or without a stylus. For now, the app recognises 82 languages and 20 distinct scripts, supports emojis, which can be entered by drawing them. Google Handwriting Input works with or without an Internet connection. The new tool comes with voice as well, accessible through the mic sign. After typing, as the same with most keyboards, one can choose the word...

  • EU officially charges Google with antitrust violations, opens formal investigation on Android (update)

    The European Union has formally charged Google with cheating competitors by distorting internet search results to advantage its Google Shopping service. The EU has also launched an investigation into Android. The EU accuses Google of “systematic favourable treatment to its comparison shopping product (currently called 'Google Shopping') in its general search results pages, e.g. by showing Google Shopping more prominently on the screen.” Though EU formally launched the charges today, it has been under pressure to investigate Google for some time. In a statement released today, the EU said that it has sent Google a statement of objections, a charge sheet,...

  • Get a taste of music history and tour Abbey Road Studios on Google

    This is life changing for the fans that have always fantasized about stepping into one of the most legendary studios in London. Google has created an interactive walk-through inside Abbey Road Studios. The famous studio was used to record some of the best sold record albums of all times, from the Beatles, Pink Floyd and Stevie Wonder. It is also known for composing soundtracks for some of the most historically recognized films, like Star Wars, Harry Potter and Indiana Jones. Since opening in 1931, the studio pushed boundaries when it came to music and sound. The experience is accessible on...

  • Google wants to make TV ads behave like they’re on the internet

    This is interesting. Google is trialing technology on its Fiber network that would allow TV ads to behave more like the ones you see online. In an announcement made on a Google forum group, the Fiber team said that in the next few weeks, it'll begin showing ads that will be digitally delivered in real time and can be matched based on geography, the type of program being shown (eg, sports or news), or viewing history. The trial will see ads shown during existing ad breaks, along with national ads, on live TV and DVR-recorded programs. The first...

  • Sebastian Thrun: Is education poised to breed the next major moonshot? #AccentureIC2015

    From self-driving cars and Google Glass to online universities, Stanford professor and former head of Google X Sebastian Thrun has made quite a name for himself as a leading innovator, especially when it comes to Google's moonshot projects. At The Accenture Innovation Conference held in Johannesburg, South Africa, the Google Glass-clad Stanford professor talked about the importance of moonshots and how organisations can make these out-of-this-world ambitions work to achieve fruitful innovations. "When I was a child there was a piece of innovation that was always thought impossible: putting a man on the moon. It took the nation and the support...

  • Google Play increases free music storage limit by 30k songs

    Google's done its music-loving users a big favour. This week, the company increased its storage limit locker for Google Play Music from 20 000 to 50 000 songs at no charge. Google points out that users can stream or download the songs on Android devices, iOS devices, Chromebooks or from a computer via the browser. Music tracks can also be streamed through Google’s Chromecast device. This is not the first time that Google has shown its hand when it comes to music on the go. Early in 2014, Google acquired Songza, a music streaming company that is known for curating playlists...

  • Google’s on a quest to kill sexually explicit content on Blogger

    If you use Blogger to post dirty pictures or smutty video, your days are numbered. The Google owned blogging platform will no longer allow its users to post sexual explicit content, it has announced. Previously Blogger touted itself as a platform allowing for freedom of expression, stating on the Blogger content policy that “censoring this content is contrary to a service that bases itself on freedom of expression”. That said, it did ask users to be explicit in how the labeled such content: Adult Content: We do allow adult content on Blogger, including images or videos that contain nudity or sexual...

  • Google Science Fair 2015 is officially open for submissions

    The difference between you and Ada Lovelace, according to Google, is that she tried things and you did not. Starting today, Google is accepting applications to its fifth Google Science Fair. Together with LEGO Education, National Geographic, Scientific American and Virgin Galactic, Google is looking for young researchers, explorers, builders, technologist, and inventors. The ethos of this year’s fair is that science is about observing and experimenting. Google is encouraging all interested parties to explore unanswered questions, which people have always been curious about, and in the process learning and always trying again. Google is looking for “something imaginative, or...

  • Google has another crack at China with new YouTube channel

    Google is looking to force its way back into China, even if it means going through the back door. The internet giant has launched a new YouTube channel aimed at educating Chinese developers on the ins and outs of its various technologies, including Android and Compute Engine, its cloud computing offering. The channel, which includes new content as well as closed-caption content from its English-language service, may not be easily accessible in China but it is a sign that Google is serious about having some kind of influence on a country in which it has not had a presence since...

  • Google consigns Helpouts to its product graveyard

    Google is set to shutdown Helpouts, its real-time video expert assistance service, less than 18 months after making it available to the public. In an official Google+ post, the internet giant announced that the service, which went live in November 2013, will be shut down on 20 April. "The Helpouts community includes some engaged and loyal contributors," the post says, "but unfortunately, it hasn't grown at the pace we had expected". The service was a brave attempt to marry two of Google's services -- Hangouts and Wallet -- but even with a number of prominent partners such as Weight Watchers...

  • Google to show health information directly in its search results

    Google is altering the way it displays search results. Over the next few days, Google Search will begin to dish out health bits of facts with search news. This is Google’s new attempt at health news, in fact, this could be a way to reimagine the now defunct Google Health. This is not a first for Google. Its feet are firmly planted in the health space, having previously launched feature where people can connect to a doctor via video and its

  • Google predicts massive growth in African ecommerce by 2017

    Google South Africa is seeing considerable growth in Africa’s ecommerce space and expects 2015 to be another growth year. Luke Mckend, country director for Google South Africa, spoke at the eCommerce Africa Confex in Cape Town this week, where he shared stats on how Africans are increasingly Googling with the intent to buy. “We see a story of growth,” says Mckend. “Search is growing much faster than in mature internet economies.” Despite 2014 being a “tough year” for online businesses, Google has seen a 37% increase in query volume for South Africa, 49% in Nigeria and 33% in Kenya. “What’s particularly...

  • Google earnings disappoint analysts while ad revenue continues to grow

    Apple blew investors out of the water with its record earnings. So did Facebook. Google, on the other hand, fell short of analysts predictions with its fourth quarter earnings rounding up to US$18.10-billion, up 15% from last year this time. If the numbers are going up, why are investors still yawning at these numbers? Advertising via Google accounted for 89.2% of the company's revenue in the fourth quarter and 89.5% of its revenue for all of fiscal 2014. Most of this cash comes from Google's own sites (YouTube, Gmail, Google Search, etc.). More people, over the last year, have been...

  • Google Indoor Maps now in SA

    South African Google Maps can now get directions for select indoor locations. The indoor areas that have been selected to be mapped by Google’s mapping service include airports, shopping centres, casinos, convention halls and universities in South Africa . This is especially useful if you're one of those people who finds that shops suddenly go missing at the mall or if you're looking for that Gautrain terminal whose position is a mystery to everyone. Users can also access Google Maps features such as ‘Where am I’ and ‘What’s around me’ when walking indoors. Google Maps is already good at showing people where...