Google joins the Open Compute Project

Google today announced that it is joining the Open Compute Project (OCP), a five-year-old project founded by Facebook and a number of other companies that aims to drive IT infrastructure development forward through open source hardware. For Facebook, for example, this has meant open sourcing how it builds some of its servers and other data center hardware.

Google reportedly paid Apple $1B

How important is it to Google to be the first place iPhone users go to for search results? Important enough that the Web giant reportedly pays its biggest rival in mobile big bucks for the privilege. The search giant paid Apple $1 billion in 2014 to keep its search bar on iOS devices, according to a Bloomberg examination of a court transcript from Oracle's long-running copyright lawsuit against Google. The payout was part of a revenue-sharing agreement between the two companies that gives Apple a percentage of the revenue Google generates through Apple devices, an attorney for Oracle said during a hearing last week in federal court.

Google releases Cloud Vision API

Google on Wednesday announced the launch of the Cloud Vision application programming interface (API). As a tool for developers, the API can be used to add machine learning and image recognition to applications. Ultimately, the API could be applied to a range of devices - from robots to appliances - giving them the ability to see and understand the context of images.

Google Cloud Platform adds options for custom virtual machines

Google's cloud department has been vocal in the past about its theories and strategies for lowering storage prices in the long run, and the Internet giant continued that rhetoric with a new debut on Wednesday. Google Cloud Platform is introducing the option of Custom Machine Types, which will allow IT professionals to fit virtual machines (VMs) to particular workloads rather than just rounding up to the next tier on the pricing scale.

Google’s Next Version Of Android Is Called “Marshmallow”

Google has made it a thing to name its Android OS versions after food. Letter by letter in the alphabet (har har). But not just any food — food that’s really bad for you. This version, which has been called “M” until now, had its name unveiled. The new “marshmallow” statue was unveiled today on Google’s campus in Mountain View. If you remember, KitKat got kind of weird when Google started doing cross promotion with the candy company. Maybe there could be a Ghostbusters tie-in this time?

Google puts the screws to sneaky Chrome add-on installs

Google said that it would squash Chrome add-ons installed from websites if the extensions deployed what it called "deceptive tactics" to dupe its browser's users. The announcement was the latest in a long line of moves Google has made to tighten the screws on Chrome's extension ecosystem by restricting from where and how users can get add-ons for the popular browser.

Chrome’s New Push Notifications

With last week’s release of an updated version of the Chrome browser for Android, Google debuted a new feature that will allow websites to engage with mobile users by way of push notifications, making websites more competitive with native apps. Now we know which websites will be among the first to support Chrome push notifications on web and mobile, thanks to additional details Google announced this morning which notes that early adopters for the technology include Beyond the Rack, eBay, Facebook, FanSided, Pinterest, Product Hunt, and VICE News, Roost and Mobify.

Google launches new online store

Google is launching a new website focused on selling its hardware products, the company's latest effort to attract buyers to its devices. The search giant on Wednesday announced the Google Store, a website where people can buy physical products including the company's Nexus smartphones and tablets, Chromebook laptops, Chromecast streaming devices, and more. The store will also sell devices like Nest, an Internet-connected thermostat the company bought last year.

Google Acquires Odysee

Google may be soon adding more offline and private sharing features to its Google+ Photos service. It has acquired Odysee, an iOS and Android app that let users automatically back up photos and videos taken on their cameras or tablets to their home computers. It also let users set up private, automatic sharing with other people, and it had an API for integrating the service with other apps. The app will be shut down effective February 23, with the team behind it joining Google+ to “continue to focus on building amazing products that people love.”

Why Did Google Decide To Split Inbox From Gmail?

A couple of years ago, right around the time Google’s Gmail team decided to start working on a standalone email app — the recently announced Inbox — a major redesign of Gmail was launched. As is the case with all Google products it was first released internally as “dogfood” to let Googlers themselves digest all the new features, or as was the case with this particular redesign, the removal of most of the advanced features.

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