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All posts tagged "Google"

  • ShowMax now supports Android TV, PS4 app ‘out soon’

    Naspers-owned video streaming service ShowMax has today announced that it now fully supports Android TV devices. This support comes courtesy of an updated Android app, which now allows users to watch streaming content "through a compatible Android media player or on a smart TV running Android TV software". Android TV was a OS launched by Google back in 2014, but doesn't feature on too many media devices in South Africa. Still, if you happen to have an Android-based device like the CloudGate or Mi Box, the app should now play nice with your large TV. Speaking of large screens, other additions made...

  • Google’s Trusted Contacts is the app parents will love

    Once upon a time, you could keep track of your friends' and family's whereabouts using Google Plus. But that was the complicated past. Today, Google debuted a new Android app that aims to simplify keeping tabs on loved ones. Called Google Trusted Contacts, the app lets the most important people in your life request your location data from the app. If you fail to respond to the request, the app will automatically ping your loved one with your last recorded location. It's effectively Google's emergency location app. Trusted Contacts seems to pose a boat load of security problems. For one, your...

  • Google Trips: how does it fare against its competition?

    When Google Trips launched in September to little fanfare we covered it here at Memeburn, noting that it arrives as a big upgrade to their previous app, Google Now. But things have been oddly silent in the media since the launch. If you missed our original article, then, it’s entirely possible that Google Trips has slipped beneath your radar, leaving you wondering what this whole thing even is. You certainly wouldn’t be alone in your confusion. Compared to the fanfare that accompanied the launch of Google+, Google Trips, which culls information from your emails to help assemble trip itineraries, didn’t receive...

  • Google wants to make annoying mobile interstitials a thing of the past

    Google has announced that it will soon revamp its mobile search functionality to better aid users on their journey through the web. This improvement comes in two major forms. Firstly, the company announced that it will shed its "mobile-friendly" label from websites altogether, thanks to the steady growth of mobile web traffic. The company notes that it found "85% of all pages in the mobile search results now meet this criteria". The removal of the label serves to reduce clutter, but will remain as a ranking signal. Secondly, and perhaps the change with the the biggest update, is its treatment of websites...

  • Google launches PhotoScan to save your old photo albums

    Google Photos has become an indispensable tool for scores of people, allowing them to seamlessly back up their smartphone snaps. But what about physical photo albums? You could take a picture of it, or you could use PhotoScan, Google's latest app. Available for Android and iOS, PhotoScan allows you to simply scan your old photos with your smartphone. But the app also offers a number of tweaks, fixes and features to go with the basic scanning functionality. "PhotoScan gets you great looking digital copies in seconds -- it detects edges, straightens the image, rotates it to the correct orientation, and removes...

  • Here’s how Google Play is using AI to improve search

    Trying to find an app on the Google Play Store can be an exercise in frustration, especially if it's an eagerly anticipated app or new release. Things don't get much better for mega-popular apps, as the search results are often cluttered with irrelevant results. Fortunately, Google is working on a solution, using machine learning to get better results. The company detailed its efforts on the Google Research Blog. "Searches by topic require more than simply indexing apps by query terms; they require an understanding of the topics associated with an app," the team of software engineers wrote. The work required machine-learning...

  • Google Search shows how much SA cares about ‘Donald Trump’

    Google News Labs' US Elections hub is about as interesting as the elections itself. Graphing its slew of data garnered from daily search habits, the Mountain View company is giving users another way to explore the gravity of the ballot they're about to cast -- whether its for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Or well, even if you're just an onlooker. Speaking of onlookers... although taking a look at search habits on a state-by-state basis is interesting enough, what about the rest of the world? Who is searching for what? South Africa's Google Search habits centre around racism, Black Lives Matter and...

  • Google purchases eyeball tracking firm Eyefluence

    "Eyeball tracking" might sound like the stuff of science fiction horrors, but it's an essential focus for those in the virtual and augmented reality spaces. And who better to know this than Google? The company has bought eyeball tracking firm Eyefluence, which should help it in its present and future VR and AR ambitions. Financial information was undisclosed, but according to Mattermark, Eyefluence raised around US$21.6-million in two funding rounds. Eyefluence, founded in 2013 by Livescribe founder Jim Margraff, develops technology to "create a more natural, intuitive way to interact with augmented and virtual reality displays". "Over the last three and a...

  • Google Camera’s trigger button is now a voice command

    Tapping a screen too energy sapping for you? Google Camera's latest update adds the ability to snap pictures using a simple voice command. The feature, which was first available on the Google Pixel and Pixel XL running Android Nougat 7.1, has now extended its compatibility with any device running the OS. That means practically any device running Android Nougat 7.1 can use the new Google Camera app. Snapping a picture using Google Camera can be done using a simple five-word phrase Google Camera's voice snap feature, although seemingly over-complicated, actually simplifies the action of taking a photo in some cases. The activation command, "Okay...

  • Watch The Simpsons’ latest, greatest couch gag in VR

    Fox's immortal animated show The Simpsons always had a knack for predicting future technology, so it's only fitting that as a tribute to its 600th episode, it uses some modern technology of its own. The creators of the show along with the Google Spotlight Stories team have co-developed "the first ever VR couch gag" dubbed Planet of the Couches. The short, which is a complete virtual reality environment fit with 360-degree interactive vistas and audio cues, is directed by David Silverman -- the man at the helm of nearly 200 The Simpsons episodes. And of course, the short boasts everything you should...

  • Google now lets you ‘Fact Check’ News articles

    Mountain View's Google has announced that its News portal will now include "Fact Check" tags to "help readers find fact checking in large news stories". Joining the other tags which include In-Depth, Opinion, and Wikipedia, the Fact Check tag will be located in the expanded story section of articles in Google News. Stories that "that follow the commonly accepted criteria for fact checks" will be listed under the tag. The tags will effectively reward websites and publications that perform rigorous scrutiny of their sources and claims, based on required markup and their own fact check systems. Google's Fact Check tags could be...

  • Google Sprayscape: spray weird 360 snaps with this app

    Another week means another app from Google, but this one, dubbed Sprayscape, comes from its Creative Lab. In other words, expect something less like Allo and more like Lip Swap. Sprayscape, released on Android, allows users to essentially create a Photosphere/360 photo with a "spraying" mechanic. The app isn't super accurate at all, even claiming to be a "quick hack" in the Google Play description. "Sprayscape is a quick hack using the phone's gyroscope to take pictures on the inside of a 360-degree sphere. Just point your phone and tap the screen to spray faces, places, or anything else onto your canvas," reads the description. Google Sprayscape...

  • Google buys branded content platform FameBit

    Marketing and branded content platform FameBit has this week been acquired by Google. This is in an attempt to bring brands and creators, especially YouTube content creators, closer to realising the potential for collaboration. The financial details of the deal is unknown. Santa Monica- based FameBit, now three years old, has over 45 000 creators under its belt. Those creators have a combined reach of 3.3-billion individuals. They've generated more than 406-million views as well as 1.5-billion minutes in watch-time. Famebit will bolster Google's YouTube platform, making it easier for creators and brands to partner "Every day we see more brands grow, transform and...

  • Weekly Round Up Podcast #80: Google Pixel, PlayStation VR, Mxit & more

    Welcome to Weekly Round Up, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation, and news from the last few days covered on the Burn Media network's four sites. This week, Hadlee Simons plays host to Graham van der Made, Andy Walker and Matthew Alexander. In a week that saw a slew of hardware announcements, reviews and news, we discuss Microsoft's first Xbox One and Windows 10 exclusive game ReCore. While Graham might have some choice comments towards ReCore, he's also currently playing Gears of War 4. We talk a little bit about that as well. PlayStation VR's first reviews are finally filtering...

  • Google Pixel is a physical search bar, according to ad

    Google doesn't do subtle any more. Sure, Google Tricks weren't exactly marks of elegance, nor are the coy names for its Google Pixel smartphones' colours. But the company sure knows how to make an advertisement, regardless of how obvious the metaphor is. Published shortly after the Pixels' launch on 4 October, and airing on US television a few hours after, Google's new advertisement shows the progression of the company, from a humble internet search engine to the behemoth it is today. Google is evolving to keep its core business fresh, and Google Pixel is evidence of that And the metaphor? A literal...