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All posts tagged "Google"

  • 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,...

  • Twitter stock rises amid Google takeover rumours

    Where there is smoke, there is fire, the saying goes. And it holds any truth, fresh rumours of a Twitter acquisition may have more truth to them than you think. According to Mashable, Twitter’s shares rose ‘amid gossip in the investment community that the company had hired advisors to deal with takeover bids.’ At this rumour, Twitter’s shares rose up to 4.8% as rumours of Google and Yahoo planning a possible buyout surfaced. On Tuesday, rumours were doing the rounds that Twitter had hired advisers including Goldman Sachs to fend off companies that are interested in buying the social media...

  • YouTube’s VP9 codec has enabled users to watch 25bn hours of faster, better, buffer-free videos

    YouTube has revealed that video buffering is no longer a thing. Thanks to the VP9 video codec, which is the default codec for YouTube’s HTML5 video player, YouTube claims that its users have already watched more than 25-billion hours of video, and all of these in HD. The VP9 codec is designed to bring HD and even 4K (2160p) quality at half the bandwidth used by other known codecs, making watching movies or videos on YouTube an awesome experience. Videos have always been compressed on YouTube because it is not possible to play them at the rate in which...

  • 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...

  • YouTube Kids debuts next week to focus on family entertainment, elearning

    With a new app in the pipeline, YouTube is gearing up to tap into the online family entertainment sector, which is reportedly showing four times more growth in viewership than your average YouTube video. The new Android app called YouTube Kids, to be launched on 23 February, will feature a simple-to-use interface that rids the viewer of trolls a comments section, among other potential distractions. There will also be a parental-control feature, but instead of just filtering certain content, adults will be able to limit the screen time their kiddies spend with the app. When time runs out, the app asks...

  • 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...

  • Whoops! YouTube discovers hidden porn in Irish language videos

    In the last few years, YouTube has taken a serious stand against pornography. As its community guidelines clearly state: YouTube is not for pornography or sexually explicit content. If this describes your video, even if it’s a video of yourself, don’t post it on YouTube. Also, be advised that we work closely with law enforcement and we report child exploitation. Please read our Safety Center and stay safe on YouTube. That last rule and warning echoes that of parent company Google which last year started working with authorities to track down child abuse images in Gmail. Still, this hasn’t stopped users from...

  • 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 Play may have more apps but iTunes is making way more money

    A new report by AppAnnie — probably one of the most comprehensive application analytic firms out there — found that although Google Play apps are being downloaded more and more each day, iTunes is seeing more return in cash. As you probably know, Android is the dominating mobile operating system in our world today. With just under 1.5 million apps at the end of last year, Google Play is home to about 300 000 more apps than its Apple counterpart. This echoes a report we saw last week that boldly claimed Google’s Play store grew by more than 50- 60% last year....

  • 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...

  • Memeburn’s 3-minute look at the updated Google Translate app [video]

    A few days ago Google gave Google Translate an impressive update. Before the update, the online service was great for translating text which is handy from time-to-time. Now, after the update, all that impressiveness looks very basic. The new Google Translate is able to translate between 90 languages, take a picture from your phone camera and translate it directly into any language, translate offline while traveling, save your translations and access from any device. Some of the notable languages include Sesotho, Igbo, Yoruba, Swahili, Chinese, Tamil, Hindi, Gujarati amongst many, many others. To test some of these languages out, we...

  • Google invests $1 billion in SpaceX as 21st century Space Race heats up

    Solar-powered drones, laser beams, internet satellites and a city on mars. These all might sound like something from a Star Wars movie, but they’re actually projects conceptualised by some of the biggest leaders in tech today. And it’s oh so exciting. As first reported by The Information, Google and Fidelity has just invested US$1-billion in the private space exploration company SpaceX, claiming 10% of the company’s shares. If anything, this cash injection reiterates that the 21st century Space Race is on. The move is complemented by the search giant and SpaceX founder Elon Musk’s ambitions to conquer the space frontier within...