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Posts Tagged ‘ Google ’

 

Google has announced that Android Pay will be available in five new markets: Taiwan, Spain, Brazil, Russia and Canada.

 

So far, Google has officially confirmed that Android Pay is launching in Taiwan. Furthermore, the company unveiled plans to expand its mobile payment app to Canada, Spain, Brazil and Russia.

 

Russia media reports that Android Pay will be available at the following banks: Sberbank Rossii, Alfa-Bank, Raiffeisenbank, and Tinkoff Bank. Android users, which account for 87% of the total smartphone market in Russia, according to XDA, will be able to make mobile payments using the NFC at these banks.

 

Google has not confirmed which banks will support Android Pay in Canada, Spain and Brazil.

 

 

It’s pretty easy to read your emails while you’re on the go, but responding to those emails takes effort. Smart Reply, available in Inbox by Gmail and Allo, saves you time by suggesting quick responses to your messages. The feature already drives 12 percent of replies in Inbox on mobile. And starting today, Smart Reply is coming to Gmail for Android and iOS too. 

Smart Reply suggests three responses based on the email you received:

Once you’ve selected one, you can send it immediately or edit your response starting with the Smart Reply text. Either way, you’re saving time.

 

 

Smart Reply utilizes machine learning to give you better responses the more you use it. So if you’re more of a “thanks!” than a “thanks.” person, we’ll suggest the response that’s, well, more you! If you want to learn about the smarts behind Smart Reply, check out the Google Research Blog.

Smart Reply will roll out globally on Android and iOS in English first, and Spanish will follow in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more languages coming soon!

 

 

In what sounds like the irony of all ironies, a Wall Street Journal report states that Google is planning to add an ad blocker to Chrome browsers – both desktop and mobile versions – and it’s likely that it will be turned on by default.

 

Google’s own ad blocker would filter out certain online ad types deemed to provide a bad experience for users when they’re surfing the web – things like popup ads, those that auto-play videos, and ‘prestitial’ ads – ads that cover the entire page, with a countdown timer before you can close it and actually read the content that you’re after. These standards are apparently defined by the Coalition for Better Ads, which deemed these kinds of ads “beneath a threshold of consumer acceptability.”

Now this all sounds really great to the average consumer, but it does raise a bit of suspicion that Google, which makes money for Alphabet mainly via advertising, would come up with its own ad blocker. This is especially when the company has been working hard to circumvent or even punish users of other ad blockers, the most obvious case would be on YouTube, where users with ad blockers will lose the option to skip ads, some of which are longer than the video they are trying to watch.

Perhaps the logic here is that Google comes up with its own ad blocker so as to quell the growth of other ad blockers. Google apparently pays to be part of an ‘Acceptable Ads’ program by the makers of AdBlock Plus, a popular ad blocking extension on its own Google Chrome browser. This obviously costs money, and maybe what Google’s top people have in mind is that their own ad blocker would stop users from using other ad blockers, saving them the cash that would otherwise be spent on paying to be an ‘acceptable ad’.

But on the flip side, if Google becomes an ad blocker itself, it could then charge other advertisers it makes money out of even more exorbitantly, once they have to also start paying to be an ‘acceptable ad’ in addition to just being an add taking up space on a web page. This sounds a tad hypocritical, and will likely be a step to be criticized by other advertisers.

All speculation aside, the Wall Street Journal’s sources say that details are still being ironed out, and if it comes to pass, Google could announce it within weeks. Google itself declined to comment when contacted by the Wall Street Journal.

Everyone needs a helping hand sometimes. Enter the Google Assistant, which is conversational, personal and helps you get things done—from telling you about your day to taking a selfie. The Assistant is already available on Pixel, Google Home, Google Allo and Android Wear. Now we’re bringing it to even more people. Starting this week, the Google Assistant is coming to smartphones running Android 7.0 Nougat and Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Whether you need to know how to say “nice to meet you” in Korean or just a simple reminder to do laundry when you get home, your Assistant can help. With the Google Assistant on Android phones, you have your own personal, helpful Google right in your pocket.

And here are a few other things to try out—just long press on the Home button or say “Ok Google” to get started:

  • What’s my confirmation number for my London flight?
  • Take me to Museu Picasso.
  • Show my photos of sunsets in Tahoe.
  • Do I need an umbrella today?
  • Turn on the living room lights.

The Google Assistant will begin rolling out this week to English users in the U.S., followed by English in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, as well as German speakers in Germany. It will continue to add more languages over the coming year.

The Google Assistant will automatically come to eligible Android phones running Nougat and Marshmallow with Google Play Services. You’ll also see the Google Assistant on some newly announced partner devices, including the LG G6.

Three months ago, Google announced it would in early 2017 launch support for high-end graphics processing units (GPUs) for machine learning and other specialized workloads. It’s now early 2017 and, true to its word, Google today officially made GPUs on the Google Cloud Platform available to developers. As expected, these are Nvidia Tesla K80 GPUs, and developers will be able to attach up to eight of these to any custom Compute Engine machine.

 

These new GPU-based virtual machines are available in three Google data centers: us-east1, asia-east1 and europe-west1. Every K80 core features 2,496 of Nvidia’s stream processorswith 12 GB of GDDR5 memory (the K80 board features two cores and 24 GB of RAM).

 

ou can never have too much compute power when you’re running complex simulations or using a deep learning framework like TensorFlow, Torch, MXNet of Caffee. Google is clearly aiming this new feature at developers who regularly need to spin up clusters of high-end machines to power their machine learning frameworks. The new Google Cloud GPUs are integrated with Google’s Cloud Machine Learning service and its various database and storage platforms.

 

 The cost per GPU is $0.70 per hour in the U.S. and $0.77 in the European and Asian data centers. That’s not cheap, but a Tesla K80 accelerator with two cores and 24 GB of Ram will easily set you back a few thousand dollars, too.
 

The announcement comes only a few weeks before Google is scheduled to host its Cloud NEXT conference in San Francisco — where chances are we’ll hear quite a bit more about the company’s plans for making its machine learning services available to even more developers.

If your daily routine involves accessing Gmail through Google Chrome on a system that’s running on Windows XP or Vista, you might want to consider transitioning over to newer pastures soon, as Google has recently announced that Gmail will no longer support Chrome browsers that are running on version 53 and below beginning December 2017.

Why are Gmail users on Windows XP and Vista being singled out? Because the most recent (and very last) Chrome version that was released for the aforementioned two operating systems is version 49. Google officially stopped churning out updates for Chrome browsers on Windows XP and Vista in April 2016.

Of course, if you’re still adamant on sticking with Windows XP and Vista, you will still be able to access Gmail via Chrome, just that you will automatically be redirected to the basic and less secure HTML version of the service in December 2017.

Not entirely sure if your Chrome browser is updated to the latest version? Google will prompt you to have it updated via a banner that will be displayed at the top of the Gmail web interface beginning this Wednesday, February 8, 2017. If you don’t see it, it could mean that your browser is already running on version 53 and above – or that you’re running on Windows XP or Vista.

Google’s Chrome browser has always been open source on Android and PC, but never available on iOS. This is because Apple demands that browsers use its own WebKit platform instead of their own rendering engines, so Google can’t just use its typical code base for iOS Chrome. However, that’s all changing today, as Google has just added the iOS Chrome code into Chromium.

Not only should this speed up the development of Chrome for iOS, Google also points out that as all of the company’s usual Chromium tests now apply to the iOS code, it’ll also be easier to implement cross-platform features, which means more frequent updates that will help the iOS browser more closely match its Android counterpart.

music-app

Google has announced a big update to Google Play Music. The update brings machine learning to the table in an effort to figure out what music you like based on what you are doing. The machine learning algorithm takes into account your location, activity, weather and playlists to personalize the music for where you are and what you are doing. The new updates roll out this week on Android, iOS, and the web.

 

The rollout will be global with 62 countries eventually getting the new music features. The update also brings improved music recommendations with contextual tools available that power other Google products. These features are opt-in and those that sign up will get personalized music for where you are and why you are listening. That means if you are relaxing at home, you will get an optimized playlist and if you are at work you will get a playlist customized for that location.

 

The update also makes it easier to get motivational music for your workout at the gym. Play Music has a new home screen that puts your favorite music at the top of the screen. Google says the more the new machine learning algorithms get to know you, the better the music selections will be. The updated app also keeps a playlist for offline listening ready to go. The tunes you listened to recently are packed into an offline playlist ready to go when you lose signal.

 

googlemusic-update
Google says that it wants the perfect music to find you with this update. The exact time frame for the rollout of the new features is unknown. The rollout is starting this week, but Google isn’t clear on if the rollout is going on with all 62 countries at the same time.

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Google wants to be in your home, “to be there when you always need it to be” as Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO puts it. At least thats the plan for Google’s new Wi-Fi connected speaker/virtual assistant/smarthome controller, Google Home.

Google Home is a small Wi-Fi connected speaker with a built-in voice-activated assistant that will let you control connected home devices. At launch it will be compatible with any device from Nest, SmartThings, Philips or IFTTT.

You’ll also be able to use it control other Google devices such as a Chromecast. For example, with a Chromecast connected to your TV, you can say, “OK, Google. watch Stranger Things on my TV” and it will launch Netflix and start streaming the show. You can ask it to play YouTube videos too.

Since it has a built-in speaker, Google is also promoting the Home’s music playing abilities. It will stream music from YouTube Music, Google Play Music, Spotify, Pandora, Tunein and iHeart Radio. The device is powered by Google’s OK Google algorithms, so its smart enough to find music even if you don’t know the actual name of the song. On stage, Google demonstrated this by asking Home to play “that Shakira song from Zootopia.”

If you connect Google Home to your Google Account, it will also access your calender and schedule and inform you about any important events before you leave in the morning, as well as the weather conditions, and traffic status.

 

 

chrome

Google’s Chrome is the world’s most popular web browser, and for good reason. Chrome is mostly quick, and it features lots of extensions and add-ons that users can download to customize their browser and web browsing experience.

However, Chrome also has a nasty reputation for being a resource hog. This problem is particularly acute on Macs, where Chrome consumes significantly more memory and power as compared to Safari.

Fortunately, Google claims that the upcoming version of Chrome (Chrome 55) will have much better performance. According to reports, Chrome 55 will have a much more memory efficient Javascript engine that will reduce heap memory usage by 50 percent and zone memory usage by 40 percent.

In addition, the team is working on optimizing Chrome on entry-level devices that have less h than 1GB of RAM.

Chrome 55 is expected to be released in early December, but users who want to try it out now can download it through Google’s beta program.