InformationWeek publishes a report by Evalueserve, a consulting and research firm, which shows that Google holds a number of patents related to mobile phones, such as patent application number US20060004627, “Advertisements for Devices with Call Functionality Such as Mobile Phones” and patent application number US20050185060, “Image Base Inquiry System for Search Engines for Mobile Telephones with Integrated Cameras.”
The Open Handset Alliance, a collection of 34 firms including T-Mobile, HTC, Qualcomm and Motorola, announces they plan to collaborate with Google to develop Android. They hope it will be the first open platform for mobile phones. Google CEO Eric Schmidt says:
Today’s announcement is more ambitious than any single ‘Google Phone’ that the press has been speculating about over the past few weeks. Our vision is that the powerful platform we’re unveiling will power thousands of different phone models.
The T-Mobile G1, also known as the HTC Dream, is released. It is the first phone to use the Android operating system. The MSRP is $179.99, and the phone has 192 MB RAM, a 3.2 megapixel camera, and a QWERTY keyboard.
The Nexus One, the first phone in Google’s line of Nexus Android devices, is released at a cost of $529. The device has 512 MB RAM, a 5 megapixel camera, and a 4GB removable SD card. All devices in the Nexus line of products are not tied to any specific carrier:
Through the web store found at www.google.com/phone, consumers can buy the Nexus One without service (meaning any GSM network SIM card can be inserted into the device), or purchase the phone with service from one of Google’s operator partners. As new phones come to market through this channel, consumers will benefit from the ability to match a phone of their choice with the service plan that best meets their needs.
Google announces[email protected], a set of protocols that enables users to control household items like light switches, alarm clocks, and kitchen appliances through an Android device. They intend to partner with the Lighting Science Group to create compatible appliances and hope developers will build applications to utilize these features.
Andy Rubin, co-founder of Android Inc., decides to leave Android and work on other projects at Google. He is replaced by Sundar Pichar, one of the lead managers of Google Chrome’s development:
Having exceeded even the crazy ambitious goals we dreamed of for Android—and with a really strong leadership team in place—Andy’s decided it’s time to hand over the reins and start a new chapter at Google.
The founding partner announces he is leaving Crunchfund:
Google Ventures sits in a truly unique space within the venture capital industry. They have the resources to make investments at any stage, but more importantly, they have the talent and knowledge required to do so. The partnership is brimming with experience when it comes to starting companies, building products, and scaling.
The firm also has teams in place to help with basically everything an entrepreneur could ever need. These are the highest caliber people in their respective fields all working under one roof to help the portfolio.
Google launches Project Loon, whose goal is to provide internet access to rural and remote areas. An additional project goal is to improve communication during natural disasters. Google names it Project Loon because of its far-out mission objectives. The project places balloons in the stratosphere to create a wireless network system that has speeds up to 3-G. The internet signal will travel between the various balloons then connect to a station on the ground to connect to the internet. The balloons launch in a rural area in New Zealand, which can provide service for an area twice the size of New York City. If successful, the project will expand to globally.
Google updates its Verify Apps virus scanner to include post-installation scans, which ensure that applications do not become malicious after installation:
Building on Verify apps, which already protects people when they’re installing apps outside of Google Play at the time of installation, we’re rolling out a new enhancement which will now continually check devices to make sure that all apps are behaving in a safe manner, even after installation.
Copyright holders accumulate a total of two million Google take-down notices for URLs leading to the “thepiratebay.se.” The two million requests were submitted in 93,070 separate notices, averaging more than 20 links per notice. The Pirate Bay is listed as 29th on Google’s list of domains that receive the most URL removal requests.
Cook criticizes Google for not encouraging users to upgrade to a new version of Android. He says that nine out of ten iDevice users have upgraded to the latest version of iOS, but fewer than one out of ten Android users have the latest version, which introduces security risks:
This [upgrading] is particularly important for Android, which dominates the mobile malware market.
Google launches its Street View map service in Greece after it receives approval from the Data Protection Authority of the country. The privacy authority had objected to the service in 2009 and after protracted negotiations accorded approval for the service. Greece becomes the 56th country where the map service is available. Greece expects Google’s service to benefit the country’s beleaguered tourism industry.
Google creates the Open Automative Alliance to bring the Android system to cars. The companies in the alliance include Google, GM, Honda, Audi, Hyundai and Nvidia. The group’s focus is to integrate Android into the entertainment system. They will develop new features that will allow developers to add car modes to the apps. The alliance plans to launch the first cars in late 2014.
Audrey Zhang of New York wins the Google Doodle art contest. Zhang’s drawing will be animated and displayed on the search engine’s homepage. The doodle, entitled Back to Mother Nature wins out of 100,000 submissions. The scene shows a system that can convert polluted water to clean water for both humans and animals. About her doodle, Zhange comments:
I was thinking that if we didn’t have water, we couldn’t live.
In addition to her work on display, Zhang will receive a $30,000 college scholarships and a $50,000 grant for technology towards her chosen school. Google also will donate $20,000 towards clean water in Bangladesh.
Google announces a new tool for business owners called Google My Business. The tool allows businesses to update all of their information in one system. After information is input, the app populates it in Google Search, Google Maps and Google+. This helps businesses get found more easily in the search engine. The app also provides businesses with insight into the background of their viewers, by giving them some tools from Adwords Express. A mobile application will soon be available.
Google Hangouts adds the ability to draw in your chat window. The tool is similar to Microsoft Paint and allows drawings on blank canvas as well as over pictures. The addition is currently only available to Google+ users.
Google names its first certified partners for the Glass At Work program. These partners include APX, AugMedix, Crowdoptic, GuidiGO and Wearable Intelligence. The companies will work to integrate Google Glass for business as well as medical uses. APX Labs’ app will provide business professionals with real-time enterprise data. Augmedix will provide medical professionals with a system to make patient visits efficient. Crowdoptic will create an app that will detect broadcast events in various categories. GuidiGo will work with museums and cultural institutions to enhance visitors’ experience. Wearable Intelligence will create an app for various categories including energy, manufacturing and healthcare. The Glass At Work program will allow the companies to co-brand as well as list on the program website.
Google removes the ISIS app ‘Dawn of Glad Tidings’ from the Play store after it is widely reported by media. The app, which posts ISIS-created content including hashtags, links and images over users’ Twitter accounts, has been available for around two months and has been downloaded thousands of times. Google spokesman:
We remove any applications that breach our community guidelines.
Google will comply with a European court ruling to remove links to certain online content. The rule protects individuals and requires search providers to remove links that an individual says violates their online privacy. The case was brought by Mario Costeja González, after he failed to remove an old auction listing that adversely affected his name.
Within the first 24 hours of the option being available, 12,000 requests are made. An internal team will review each request, then remove the link from access in the European Union and four other countries. Although the link will not be accessible in the EU, it can still be found in any location through the original Google.com domain.
In a joint project with Code Club and Technology Will Save Us, Google donates $100,000 towards children’s tech education. The funds will allow children to learn the basics of technology and build their own game consoles for just $100. Currently, the program is available only for 900 children. These children will receive assemblly help from Code Club for free. The self-assemble kits are on sale on a first-come, first-served basis.
Google introduces Google Auto Link (GAL), an in-car system that will be able to sync with Google Android smartphones. The system will rival Apple’s current Apple Car Play. It is the first product developed under its new partnership with Open Automotive Alliance. The partnership includes Audi, Honda, General Motors, Hyundai and chipmaker NVIDIA Corp . Developers who attend the Google I/O Conference in late June will be able to view the interface and a demonstration.
Google pledges $50 million over the next three years into its Made With Code effort. The Company hopes to connect more girls to CS courses available through Khan Academy or Code academy. Susan Wojcicki, the CEO of YouTube says that less than 1% of high school girls expressed an interest in majoring in computer science.
Coding isn’t just a skill useful for working at a tech company; engineering isn’t just for engineers. Interior design. Medicine. Architecture. Music. No matter what a girl dreams of doing, learning how to code will help her get there.
Google announces Android Auto, which is a platform that integrates Android phones into the driving experience. Users can use voice commands to get directions, play music, set reminders, and call contacts while driving. The platform is expected be available at the end of 2014.
Android Auto: The right information for the road ahead
Google announces the launch of Google Domains, a by invitation only service that will help small business find, register and manage their domain names. The service is now in the beta testing phase. This new venture puts Google in competition with companies they have partnered with in the past, the largest being GoDaddy.com. The pricing information has not been made public at this time.
Businesses will be able to search, find, purchase and transfer the best domain for their business — whether it’s .com, .biz, .org, or any of the wide range of new domains that are being released to the Web.
Google says it plans to remove Quickoffice, a document editing program it owns, from Google Play and the Apple App Store in the coming weeks. The application has over 10,000,000 downloads on Google Play, but Google says all of its features are available from other Google office applications:
With the integration of Quickoffice into the Google Docs, Sheets and Slides apps, the Quickoffice app will be unpublished from Google Play and the App Store in the coming weeks. Existing users with the app can continue to use it, but no features will be added and new users will not be able to install the app.
Google announces that they are bringing select Android applications to Chromebooks, starting with Evernote, Vine and Flipboard. Users can nominate their favorite Android applications to be released for Chromebooks.
Google announces the Android One, a sub-$100 smartphone aimed at India and other developing nations. The phone will have a 4.5 inch display, dual SIM card slots, and an FM radio. Sundar Pichai, head of Google’s Android division, discusses the phone at Google’s I/O conference:
Our goal is to reach the next five billion people in the world. In India and other countries like that, it’s disappointing that less than 10 percent of the population have access to smartphones.
Glass is not mentioned once during Google’s two-and-a-half hour keynote speech at its annual I/O convention. This prompts speculation on social media sites like Twitter that Google wants to phase out Glass. A spokesperson for Google tells TechCrunch:
Glass announced all of our news earlier this week and ahead of I/O so the Chrome and Android announcements could take center stage today and tomorrow.
Andrew Paterson, senior technology officer at the Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK, writes in a blog post that businesses using Glass are subject to laws in the country regarding how data is stored and secured:
Organizations must not lose sight of the fact that wearables must still operate in compliance with the law and consumers’ personal information must be looked after.
A Google spokeswoman responds:
The fact that Glass is worn above the eyes and the screen lights up whenever it’s activated clearly signals it’s in use and makes it a fairly lousy surveillance device.
Google begins processing requests for search result removals because of a European Union court ruling that people have a “right to be forgotten” on the internet. They have over 41,000 requests to remove individually:
This week, we’re starting to take action on the removals requests that we’ve received. This is a new process for us. Each request has to be assessed individually, and we’re working as quickly as possible to get through the queue.
The Android smartwatch, worn by all of the Google I/O presenters, is introduced halfway through the keynote address at the Google I/O conference. LG’s G Watch and Samsung’s Gear Live will be released for sale in Google’s Play Store on June 26, 2014. Android engineering director, David Singleton, demonstrated the voice command feature on the Moto 360 smartwatch by ordering a pizza using the Eat 24 app. The Moto 360 will be available to consumers later this summer.
We have added voice actions for some key areas on the wearable (gadgets) and we’ll be adding more over the coming months
Dave Burke, Google’s engineering chief, responds to speculation that they intend to replace the Nexus line of products with a rumored line of products called Android Silver:
People have been commenting about Nexus because there is something else and they think that means the end of Nexus. That is the totally wrong conclusion to make…Android Silver is not something that we are commenting on right now.
Google withdraws the humanoid robot it bought from a Japanese design firm, SCHAFT, from the Pentagon’s DARPA Robotics Challenge so they can work on a commercial version. The robot is 4 feet 11 inches tall and uses a capacitor instead of a battery for power, giving it more strength than other robots.
SCHAFT : DARPA Robotics Challenge 8 Tasks + Special Walking
It is reported by Cuban news site 14ymedio that Google executives including Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt visit Cuba to “to promote the virtues of a free and open Internet” in the country. Only 2.6 million out of 11.2 million people in Cuba have Internet access, and it is censored in the country.
Google announces that it plans to shut down its first social networking site, Orkut, on September 30, 2014. Google plans to dedicate its resources to Google+, Blogger, and YouTube. Users can download their posts from Google Takeout, and the site will be archived by Google:
It’s been a great 10 years, and we apologize to those still actively using the service. We hope people will find other online communities to spark more conversations and build even more connections for the next decade and beyond.
Google acquires Songza, a service that creates soundtracks tailored to people’s changing moods, and plans to blend Songza’s technology into its own music streaming service. This service will cost $10 per month. Financial terms of the deal are not disclosed. Songza:
We can’t think of a better company to join in our quest to provide the perfect soundtrack for everything you do.
Google blocks a Gmail user from accessing a confidential message that was accidentally sent by a Goldman Sachs contractor, a Goldman spokesperson told Reuters Wednesday. The email contained confidential and privileged client information and was sent to “gmail.com” instead of “gs.com.” The error may have caused a “needless and massive” breach of privacy, so the company asked Google to block the message, and the company complied with the request. The email is blocked but not deleted, an action that requires a court order. The previous day, Goldman Sachs files a complaint in a New York state court in Manhattan to have the email deleted. In the court documents the firm states:
Emergency relief is necessary to avoid the risk of inflicting a needless and massive privacy violation upon Goldman Sachs’ clients, and to avoid the risk of unnecessary reputational damage to Goldman Sachs.
Google notifies Google Ad Words advertisers that they will no longer show ads that contain sexual imagery including, but not limited to, hardcore pornography; graphic sexual acts including sex acts such as masturbation; genital, anal, and oral sexual activity. The company says it’s made this decision to no longer allow porn ads:
as an effort to continually improve users’ experiences with AdWords.
Brin and Page respond to a suggestion by venture capitalist Vinod Khosla that Google’s healthcare technology may become a bigger business than its social media or search business. Brin responds:
Generally, health is just so heavily regulated. It’s just a painful business to be in. It’s just not necessarily how I want to spend my time. Even though we do have some health projects, and we’ll be doing that to a certain extent.
I am really excited about the possibility of data also, to improve health. But that’s– I think what Sergey’s saying, it’s so heavily regulated.
Page says in an interview with Vinod Khosla that people work too much and that technology could allow them to focus more on the things that make them happy:
If you really think about the things you need to make yourself happy — housing, security, opportunity for your kids … it’s not that hard for us to provide those things. The idea that everyone needs to work frantically to meet peoples’ needs is not true.
Fireside chat with Google co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin with Vinod Khosla
Google restores search result links to articles by UK news outlets like the Guardian and the Telegraph that are removed to comply with a recent EU court ruling that says people have a right to be forgotten. The publishers say they did not request the removals or receive communication from Google about why exactly the articles violate the ruling.
Royal Caribbean International becomes the first cruise line to use Google Maps Business View to give customers a virtual tour of its ship, Allure of the Seas. People can get a feel for the accommodation on the ship by touring its cabins, restaurants, and pools. A spokesperson for the company says:
Consumers go online to research their holidays and this is the closest they can get to actually being on board.
The owner of the Serbian Crown restaurant in Great Falls, Virginia sues Google for a 75% drop in weekend sales because they are incorrectly listed as closed on weekends and Mondays on Google Places. The loss of revenue is so severe that they close down in April, 2013. Google’s lawyers dismiss the merit of the case:
The Serbian Crown should not be permitted to vex Google or this court with such meritless claims.
Google makes a deal with Indian cellular service provider Tata DoCoMo to offer a pay-as-you-go data streaming plan for YouTube called YouTube Recharge. Users can buy 100 MB of data for 9 rupees (15 cents) or a weekly plan with 300 MB for 39 rupees (65 cents). A YouTube spokesperson says:
This is part of our efforts to make video content more affordable to a large base of mobile Internet users in the country. This is the first of its kind partnership in India.
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