Entries in Google (127)


Google Ad Revenue Slide Hits Shares

KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) – Google and Microsoft are out with disappointing second-quarter results.

Google shares dropped nearly 8 percent in pre-market trading after sales and profit missed Wall Street forecasts. Google reported a decline in growth for search ad revenues.

The firm is still facing a major challenge navigating the transition driving more online activity to smartphones and tablets. Because of small screen sizes, mobile devices fetch lower ad rates than on personal computers.

Google’s average ad rate fell by 6 percent compared to the same three month period last year ending in June. It marks the seventh consecutive quarter of falling ad prices.

Poor sales of Windows 8 software and the sliding PC market were behind disappointing results at Microsoft. The company booked a $900 million write-down for slashing the price of its Surface RT tablet. Microsoft shares fell 3 percent after the report was released.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Google's Project Loon Hopes to Provide Internet Access to Billions

KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Google is hoping to connect the entire world to the Internet through the use of giant helium balloons carrying internet antennas into the stratosphere.

According to the Washington Post, Google is expected to announce on Saturday that there are 30 balloons floating over New Zealand, providing free Internet access to poor, rural or disaster-stricken areas. The plan, called Project Loon, is Google's effort to provide Internet connections to the five billion people in remote areas.

The balloons will carry antennas, radios, solar panels and navigation equipment, says the Washington Post. The balloons do not contain motors, so their travels will rely largely on wind currents.

The Washington Post says that anyone within a 24-mile radius of the balloons would have access to the wireless network.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Google Announces HTC One with Clean Version of Android

JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Google has taken another step in its efforts to sell Android phones that run the software as it intends it.

At the All Things D conference, Google Android and Chrome OS chief Sundar Pichai announced the HTC One Google Edition, which will take HTC's current One smartphone and put Google's untarnished version of Android on the phone.

HTC's One currently ships with HTC software tweaks to 4.1.2. With this phone, the phone will get Google's own stock version of Android without HTC's new camera features or its Blinkfeed home screen, which brings in personalized news and social updates. Last month Google introduced the Samsung's Galaxy S4 with the same Google software experience. It scraps Samsung's new features for just Google's Android software.

The new phone will be sold only through Google's Play Store for $599 starting June 26. Yes, it is more than the $199 HTC One at AT&T, but this version of the phone is unlocked. You don't have to sign a contract with a cellular carrier, but it will work on AT&T and T-Mobile's network. The rest of the HTC One hardware experience is the same. It has an ultrapixel camera, 5.7-inch, 1080p screen and a quad-core processor.

Pichai said the introduction of the HTC One and Galaxy S4 Google Edition phones doesn't change Google's dedication to openness of Android. "These are the beginning steps about us thinking about how we can get the right user experience including the differentiators some OEMS [phone makers] want."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Google to Build Wireless Networks in Africa, Asia

JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Google is working to connect a billion or more new Internet users in the emerging markets of Africa and Asia, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The proposed network’s infrastructure is said to differ from Google’s high-speed Google Fiber service in that instead of running lines of fiber optic cable throughout communities or regions, Google is seeking to broadcast Internet service to regions wirelessly.

Google is said to be eyeing a system of  ”high-altitude platforms” – special balloons or blimps — to provide wireless Internet access for areas reaching “hundreds of square miles,” according to the Journal report. The search giant is also considering satellite broadcasts and using TV broadcast frequencies.

Sources close to the project told the Journal that different regions would require different methods of Internet access delivery, and there wouldn’t be any “one technology that will be the silver bullet.”

It’s unclear how far along the speculative undertaking is in terms of getting telecommunications partnerships or coordinating with local governments.  Google would likely need to seek permission and support from municipalities to see the project through, according to the Journal.

Google did not immediately respond to ABC News’ requests for comment on the proposed project.

As another part of the effort to connect potential users in these emerging areas, Google is said to be focusing on engineering  new, cost-efficient smartphone hardware to run its Android mobile operating system.  The incentive for Google to provide free or low-cost Internet service to new markets, reported the Journal, was that many would use Google services and software, thereby  increasing overall online traffic and ad revenue  for the company.

Google announced at this year’s I/O developer conference that the company had activated more than 900 million Android devices worldwide. Google’s Chrome Web browser (on multiple operating systems, mobile and desktop) now has more than 750 million users, according to the company.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Toddler Reviews Google Glass

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- We’ve seen Michele Bachmann and a half-naked blogger wear Google Glass over the last couple of weeks.

But those images don’t warm your heart like a two-year-old with the connected glasses on. The toddler's review of the hot new tech device might be one of the cutest things you'll see on the Internet this week.

Chris Angelini, a writer and editor at tech site Tom’s Hardware, decided to put the glasses on his two-year-old son, Lucas. The result is an adorable video of Lucas telling people to “Look at my cool glasses!” Lucas only wears the glasses for 2 minutes and 42 seconds in the video, but that’s long enough for him to document the experience of getting some watered-down apple juice, show off his Lego collection and play catch with his dad.

It’s long enough for him to point out some of the bad things about Glass too. The video, shot in a low-light room, is hard to see at times, and at the end he adds, “They’re hot!” It’s true, the glasses do get fairly warm on the right side after shooting more than a minute of video or providing GPS navigation.

The video is extremely cute, but it has also inspired some thoughtful comments from its 100,000-plus viewers, many of whom point out that Lucas’s generation will grow up with this new wearable technology. Google, however, does say that the glasses shouldn’t be worn by anyone younger than 13 since it could harm developing vision. Angelini, 33, said he doesn’t plan on allowing his son to wear the glasses at length and that when they were on, he made sure the boy was looking around and not at the small display.

But Angelini himself plans to wear them a lot and take lots of footage of his son. “As a dad, you don’t have to be passive in the child-rearing process. It allows you to be so much more active,” Angelini told ABC News. “People are trying to record every minute but they aren’t in the moment, that’s the killer app for Glass — being able to participate more in what he is doing.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Google Employee Shares Easter Eggs for Hangouts Chats

JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Google didn’t show off all of the fun features of Hangouts, the company’s new multiplatform text and video chat service at this week’s big I/O conference. If you’ve been thinking your chats have been a little too text-heavy, you can now decorate them with some animated animals.

In the chat window, you can now punch in codes to add some fun animations. For instance, typing “/streamponies” into the chat window in the web interface and hitting “enter” will prompt dancing ponies to appear.

“Some of you may [have] already figured out the hidden Easter Eggs in the new Hangouts … Keep in mind that those codes only work with Hangouts on Google+ and the Chrome Extension. Not in video calls or mobile,” Google employee Moritz Tolxdorff wrote on his Google+ page.

Tolxdorff posted a cheat sheet listing all the codes and commands to pull up different animations and chat window tweaks. In addition to the stampeding ponies, there’s a shy dinosaur (/shydino), an angry, charging pitchfork mob (/pitchforks), and you can even change the chat background by inputting a variation of the Konami “Contra Code” with your keyboard.

Maybe these bits of fun will appease those users who are disappointed by the current lack of SMS, or text messaging, support in the new Hangouts service. Though another Google employee recently mentioned on her Google+ page that SMS was “coming soon” to Hangouts, she later made an edit to the same post, saying, “Oops! We actually have nothing to announce at this time. My apologies.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


New YouTube Paid Channels Could Shake Up Industry

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Google’s YouTube is venturing into the world of paid subscription content with Thursday’s announcement of a pilot run of paid channels. Subscription prices start at $.99 monthly, but many offer a discounted yearly rate.

The program is launching with channels from National Geographic Kids, the Professional Golfer’s Association, Ultimate Fighting Championship and HDNet. Every channel currently offered has a 14-day trial period with monthly billing beginning immediately after.

Revenue for YouTube content creators have, up to this point, been ad based, but most of the paid channels in this initial offering are ad-free. Channels have subscription price and advertising information clearly posted by the “Subscribe” button, so users will know whether the channel will contain ads before signing up.

“YouTube’s decision to allow channel operators to charge monthly subscriptions gives YouTube a huge competitive advantage over Netflix and Hulu when it come to new episodic programming,” TJ Walker, a media analyst and producer/host of YouTube news channel T. J. Walker News and Comment, told ABC News. “This could be the beginning of the end for traditional cable TV companies as well.”

Walker said he won’t be charging for his channel anytime soon, but certainly understands the desire for some YouTubers to create a sustainable business model by way of paid subscription offerings.

“If producers can reach viewers and charge them subscriptions directly through YouTube, it means a brave new world where middlemen like Netflix and Hulu get squeezed out and become as irrelevant as AOL dial-up service,” said Walker.

The Google TV platform, sold in the form of set-top boxes and televisions from companies like Sony and Vizio, features a dedicated YouTube app that supports the new paid channels.

A spokesperson for YouTube told ABC News, “Currently you can watch paid channels on many recent TVs running the new YouTube TV app, Xbox and Boxee devices.” The Apple TV is not yet supported, but the YouTube representative said, adding: “We’re working to expand this to more devices, as well as giving you the ability to subscribe to paid channels from these devices.”

Walker does believe, however, the ability to easily stream this YouTube content on the big screen means huge things moving forward.

“Younger people simply think in terms of video they want to watch when and wherever they want to watch it. And thanks to devices like Apple TV and iPhones that turn into great remote controls, the traditional TV set is now just another extension from the cell phone screen and the iPad screen,” Walker said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Google Doodle Honoring Cesar Chavez is Not a Big Shift for Google

Google(NEW  YORK) --  Google chose to honor legendary labor leader Cesar Chavez with one of their Google Doodles – the temporary homepage logos used to commemorate certain days -- because it's his birthday on Sunday.

On most days, the move wouldn't stir up much controversy. But this time, some conservative sites are questioning the tech giant's decision to recognize the labor leader and not the Easter holiday, which falls on the same day.

Twitchy, a site owned by conservative blogger Michelle Malkin, curated a number of tweets from people who felt insulted by the doodle.

"Better a dead lefty, them a risen Lord," wrote one man sarcastically.

"Yep. While two billion Christians around the world celebrate Easter Sunday on this 31st day of March, Google is using its famous "Doodle" search logo art to mark the birth of left-wing labor leader Cesar Chavez," reads a post on the site.

But First Things, a conservative-leaning Catholic journal, argued that it is fitting to remember Chavez on Easter Sunday. So many of his actions, the site said, were driven by his religious convictions.

"For Chavez, social reform was never merely external," reads a post on the site. "Without peace of spirit and purity of heart, there was little point in pursuing justice. Collective bargaining, just wages, shorter workdays: for Chavez none of these made sense outside the fact of his risen Lord."

While Google Doodles have recognized other religious holidays before Google hasn't produced an Easter doodle since 2000. In other words, this move is not exactly a departure.

And, as Google's site points out, the Doodles often honor well-known and not-so-well-known historical figures, from Dr. Seuss to Frank Zamboni, creator of the ice rink resurfacing machine.

Still, that hasn't kept people on Twitter from threatening to leave Google for Bing, which has Easter Eggs on its homepage.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Sources: Google Working on Smartwatch, Too

KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The year of the smartwatch is upon us. According to rumors, Apple has a team of 100 working on a watch that works with the iPhone, and Samsung has confirmed that it is working on a watch of its own. And now sources tell The Financial Times that Google is developing a watch to work “as an extension to the smartphones using [Android].”

According to a “person briefed on the project,” Google’s Android team is developing the smartwatch. The source also said that “the [Android] project is separate from Samsung’s efforts.”

When asked about the smartwatch rumor, a Google spokesperson told ABC News that the company “doesn’t comment on rumors or speculation.”

The watch, like other smartwatches, will likely pair with an Android phone and allow one to view messages and incoming call notifications right on the watch’s display. Google did file for a patent describing a “smart-watch including flip up display” in 2011. This patent was approved late last year.

The wearable gadget space seems to be drawing the interest of many companies. Pebble, the smartwatch that works with the iPhone and Android, beat all the odds on Kickstarter, receiving more than 85,000 orders for the watch and more than $10 million from people who wanted to back the company. Many companies have also joined the fitness tracker market, including Nike, Motorola and Jawbone.

Of course, Google is no stranger to wearable computing items right now. Google Glass, those futuristic, Internet-connected eyeglasses that show digital data right before your eyes, is now undergoing testing, and Google plans to release a version by the end of the year. Google is expected to talk more about its Glass project and its next versions of Android at its annual Google I/O conference in May.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Google Announces 'Keep' Note-Syncing Service

JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Evernote, OneNote and other to-do lists apps have new competition, in the form of Google's new service, Google Keep. The app, announced by Google Wednesday afternoon, allows you to sync your notes and to-do lists across your computer, phone and tablet using your Google account.

“With Keep you can quickly jot ideas down when you think of them and even include checklists and photos to keep track of what’s important to you,” Google’s Katharine Kuan detailed on Google’s blog Wednesday. Google then uses its Google Drive service and servers to sync your content so you can get those important thoughts or notes anywhere.

The app works very similarly to the other note apps, like Evernote and OneNote. Once a user downloads the app, which is available only for Android 4.0 phones right now, they can take notes and then access them via the app on the web, which is located in their Google Drive or at Users can also upload voice notes, which can be transcribed, and even photos. Notes can be color coded or turned into checklists by adding check boxes.

Google Keep joins a host of other note syncing applications, the most popular being Evernote. As of June 2012, Evernote had 34 million users. While Evernote is a general note-syncing app, other apps like Wunderlist and Remember the Milk offer cross-device to-do list services.

Google’s service is in the early stages -- it is only available for the web and select Android phones; there are no iPhone or other platform apps yet.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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