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Google offers 2GB of Drive storage for a quick security checkup

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Google has always put high emphasis on security. Seeing how most everybody nowadays has a Google account it is only natural for the tech giant to constantly take steps to secure its primary asset and source of income – its users.

But rooting for proper online behavior and aiding with security concerns all over the internet means little if Google can’t be sure that their own subscribers are safe. Naturally there are several tools available to users for improving Google account security and in order to promote their frequent usage and spread the word the company is now offering 2GB of free additional Drive cloud storage to anyone who takes the time to run their security checkup. Read more »

The $24 per year Imgur Pro service is now available for free

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To mark its sixth birthday, the image hosting/sharing service Imgur has announced that it is making its Pro service free for all. Imgur Pro typically costs $3 per month or $24 per year (if you pay in advance).

The company has ditched its subscription-based model in favour of ad-supported business. Read more »

Google acquires photo/video backup and sharing service Odysee

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Google has acquired Odysee, a company offering an iOS and Android app that allows you to automatically backup photos and videos from your mobile devices to your personal computers, as well as lets you privately share them with others. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

“Odysee’s vision was to be the easiest way for everyone to capture unlimited memories and access them everywhere. We are very excited to join Google where we’ll continue to focus on building amazing products that people love,” the company said in an announcement post on its website. The company will now be a part of the Google+ team. Read more »

Cortana update brings a new Lifestyle interest with Fitness Tracker

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Just a couple of days after there were reports that Microsoft will soon integrate Cortana into its Office productivity suite the Redmond-based company has updated its digital assistant with a new interest category.

Dubbed Lifestyle, the category contains a Fitness Tracker that claims it will “keep up with your workouts.” The update seems to be rolling out slowly, as not everyone has received it yet. Read more »

Google brings live video chat with a salesperson to the Play store

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Google brought live chat with a salesperson to the Play store. The feature allows buyers to have their questions answered before they splurge on new Android hardware.

The free service is called Google Device Experts. Read more »

Microsoft Office will soon have Cortana integration

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According to a report in The Verge, Microsoft will soon integrate Cortana into its Office productivity suite. The highly capable virtual assistant will be available in both mobile and desktop guise in the near future.

A Microsoft Office “Work Assistant” application is reportedly in testing. Read more »

Twitter lost 4 million users in Q4, blames iOS 8

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While reporting its Q4 earnings, Twitter revealed that it added 4 million new monthly active users (MAUs) in the quarter, bringing the total number to 288 million, which was clearly short of the 292 million figure expected by analysts. But Twitter is not to blame for that, or so say its executives, who are claiming that the company lost 4 million users due to Apple’s roll-out of iOS 8.

The company says that it lost 3 million of those users after Apple rolled out iOS8, effectively changing the way the Shared Links feature in the Safari web browser works. Read more »

Google Search will soon include tweets

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According to a report in Bloomberg, Google Search will soon include tweets. Google and Twitter have apparently reached and agreement, which will include the social network’s posts in its search results.

The feature is allegedly set to launch in the first half of this year. Read more »

Google reportedly preparing to launch its own ride-hailing service

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Just a few hours after Uber announced that its has entered into a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) to create a new tech center focused on developing autonomous driving vehicles, among other things, Bloomberg is reporting that Google is preparing to offer its own ride-hailing service, “most likely in conjunction with its long-in-development driverless car project.”

That’s particularly interesting given the fact that Google Ventures, the search giant’s venture capital arm, has already invested $258 million in Uber, and just last year the Mountain View, California-based company integrated Uber functionality in its Maps application. Read more »

The $399/year Google Earth Pro service is now available for free

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If you are a Google Earth user, here is some good news: the Pro version of the service, which was previously priced at $399 per year, is now available for free. This means that you can now use detailed imagery of the service as well as its advanced tools – that help you measure 3D buildings, print high-resolution images for presentations or reports, and record HD movies of your virtual flights around the world – all without paying a penny.

“Starting today, even more people will be able to access Google Earth Pro: we’re making it available for free,” Google said in a blog post. “To see what Earth Pro can do for you – or to just have fun flying around the world – grab a free key and download Earth Pro today. If you’re an existing user, your key will continue to work with no changes required.” Read more »

Google Now gets deep integration with third-party applications

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An update to Google Now brought deep integration with third-party apps to the already mighty personal assistant. Initially, there will be 40 apps available as as a source of Google Now cards.

Those 40 new apps include popular titles such as The Guardian, Pandora, Lyft, Shazam, The Economist, and Ebay among others. Read more »

UK users can now send and receive money straight through Gmail

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Google Wallet is just one of countless Google services that have become so intertwined in our everyday lives that we hardly notice it. And if you own an Android device and have ever purchased an app from the Play Store that money did indeed get wired through this very service.

The payment platform is now becoming even more readily accessible thanks to a recent Google update that integrates payments straight into Gmail. For now only UK users, aged 18 and up can enjoy the new functionality and it does look like a time-saver. Read more »

WorkMail by Amazon wants to take on Microsoft Exchange

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Amazon Web Services introduced secure email and calendar client for business. Dubbed WorkMail, the solution aims to take on the likes of Microsoft Exchange and Google Gmail.

WorkMail is priced at $4 per month for each user. Read more »

Sony announces PlayStation Music powered by Spotify

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Today Sony has unveiled a new music streaming service that will become available in the spring. It’s called PlayStation Music, and it will be powered by Spotify. It will be available on PS3 and PS4, as well as unnamed “Xperia smartphones and tablets”.

You may be wondering what this means for Sony’s in-house developed service called Music Unlimited. Well, nothing good as it turns out. Music Unlimited will be shut down on March 29 in all the 19 countries where it’s available. Prior to that, from February 28, all of its users with active subscriptions will get free access to the service until it closes down. Read more »

YouTube switches to HTML5 video as default

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YouTube has revealed it has switched to using HTML5 video by default. The company had already been doing so on certain browsers, including Chrome and Safari, but will now do so even on IE 11 and the latest beta versions of Firefox.

YouTube originally relied on Adobe Flash player to support all its features and be browser independent. Flash, however, is a bit of a resource hog, and also required installing the plugin on most browsers. Read more »