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Two new features coming to Chromebooks

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GNU
Linux
Google

One of these new features added today is a way to control the volume of the Chrome OS media player with the Arrow keys. Chromebooks come with master volume keys built into the keyboard, but now this new basic feature allows you to push the up and down arrow keys to change the volume of the Chrome Media Player itself.

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Google Mounts $100K Project Ara Dev Challenge

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Android
Google

Modular product design is the wave of the future, said Shardul Kazi, Toshiba America senior VP, who sees the concept being extended to tablets and other products. Google is offering developers a carrot to help make that future materialize, in the form of a $100,000 prize for Project Ara innovation. The rules for the competition will be released in May

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Will Android TV kill Google’s Chromecast?

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Android
Google

When I first heard about Android TV I also wondered why Google was bothering with it given how successful the Chromecast seems to have been with consumers. It seemed quite odd to me that Google would suddenly decide to take on Amazon and Apple when it already had a very popular TV product.

But I think if you take another look at this it actually makes some sense. The Android TV device will most likely sell for around the same price as the Apple TV and the Amazon Fire TV: $99. So it will be competing at a slightly higher spot in the market than the Chromecast, which sells for about $35.

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Google Beta Testing Android App for Chrome Remote Desktop

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Android
Google

For about a year now, Google has been working on an Android version of its Chrome Remote Desktop app and new reports from Engadget, PCMag and other outlets claim that it is imminent. The origins of the project go all the way back to a short post from The Chromium Team, and many people have been waiting for the ability to access a remote computer or device from Android.

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Wanna build a module for Google's Project Ara mix-and-match phone? Here are your specs

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Android
Google

Just days before its first Project Ara Developer Conference is scheduled to begin, Google has released the device's Module Developers Kit (MDK), a set of plans and documentation designed to get hardware hackers started building modules for the componentized, mix-and-match experimental smartphone.

Google first unveiled Project Ara in 2013 as a research project within its Motorola Mobility division. But although it's in the process of selling off most of Motorola to Lenovo, the Chocolate Factory has kept Ara in-house, where it appears to be moving full steam ahead.

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Google adds more Android features to Chrome OS

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Android
Linux
Google

Chromebooks are also getting support for folders in launcher. What it means is that now, like Android, you can create folders and club your apps in a much organzied manner. Google has also implemented the “OK Google” search feature with the launcher and the voice search can be triggered with hotword “Ok Google”. Google has also implemented support for ‘Captive Portal’ which makes it easier for users when they try to connect to the wireless of cafes, hotels, airports, and other locations which requiers them to go to an authentication page.

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Google Chrome Beta Upgraded to Version 35 for All Platforms

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Google
Software

Google Chrome, a browser built on the Blink layout engine that aims to be minimalistic and versatile at the same time, has been upgraded yet again, has just received a new update, promoting the 35 development branch to Beta.

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We May See Chrome OS Tablets Arrive Soon

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OS
Google

As Chromebooks--portable computers based on Google's Chrome OS platform--continue to carve out a healthy niche for themselves, there are strong signs that we are soon going to see Chrome OS tablets. This, of course, has been in the rumor mill for some time. Last October, I reported on a developer-focused version of Chrome OS that included an on-screen keyboard, which of course would be ideal for use on a tablet. Now, the Chrome OS team has confirmed that the latest Stable Channel version of Chrome OS has such a keyboard, and it's likely we'll see tablets based on Google's operating system soon.

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Google Starts Early Dogfooding Of Android 4.4.3, Public Release Expected In Coming Weeks

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Android
Google

Android 4.4.3, also known as KitKat MR2 (Android 4.4.1 and 4.4.2 are known as KitKat MR1), has entered the dogfooding stage and has started rolling out to 1% of Google employees outside of the Android team. Currently, the dogfooding rollout is limited to the supported Nexus line (Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 2012, Nexus 7 2013, and Nexus 10), with GPE and Moto X updates to follow.

The final public releases should be out in coming weeks. Unsurprisingly, the exact schedule is unknown at this point because it depends on the success of the dogfooding tests which will presumably first have to expand from the limited 1% to a larger portion of employees. The point is - don't expect an OTA just yet.

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Google jumps on Windows XP's demise with Chromebook for business offer

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GNU
Linux
Google

GOOGLE HAS BEEN QUICK to jump on the demise of Windows XP, and is looking to persuade businesses still running the operating system to buy Google Chromebooks instead.

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Leftovers: Software

Intel Beignet Is Working Out Surprisingly Well For OpenCL On Linux

Beignet is the project out of Intel's Open-Source Technology Center for exposing GPGPU/compute capabilities out of Ivy Bridge hardware and newer when using a fully open-source Linux stack. While Beignet differs greatly from Gallium3D's Clover state tracker, this Intel-specific open-source OpenCL implementation is working out quite well for Ubuntu Linux. While I've been writing about Intel's Beignet project since early 2013, it's probably been about a year now since I tried out the code, which is developed by Intel's OTC graphics team in China. This weekend I tried out Beignet v0.9.2 as trying out the newest Intel OpenCL code has been on my TODO list for a while and it's been working out rather well in my initial tests. Read more