Google is rolling out a switch to Gmail that will let Google+ members — so, basically anyone with Gmail — to email each other without knowing the address.
The twitterverse immediately erupted in debate at the possible privacy breach this could lead to, and I have to admit, my first thought went to trolls. Media professionals were among the early adopters of Google+, and it’s a great place to share links to your work. But dealing with Twitter and online trolls is already tiring enough for most. Imagine all that hate-filled spam landing in your inbox? Your already jam-packed, stress-inducing inbox? Of course, there are a number of other implications here, too, including the possibility to make new connections and contacts.
Google does offer an easy way to opt out, or to narrow the range of those who can contact you (see the process after the jump, or check out the photo to the right). Also, Google won’t reveal your email address to the Google+ sender unless you reply back to their email. So, in theory, you could just delete it. Read more
Google opened up CES by unveiling a new partnership that will bring its open source Android platform to a number of automakers this year.
The tech giant partnered with Audi, GM, Honda, Hyundai and chip-maker Nvidia to create the Open Automotive Alliance. The group said it wanted to bring a “seamless” mobile experience to the ultimate mobile device: the car. Here’s more from Patrick Brady, director of engineering for Android, who blogged the news Monday:
Wouldn’t it be great if you could bring your favorite apps and music with you, and use them safely with your car’s built-in controls and in-dash display? Together with our OAA partners, we’re working to enable new forms of integration with Android devices, and adapting Android for the car to make driving safer, easier and more enjoyable for everyone. Putting Android in the car will bring drivers apps and services they already know and love, while enabling automakers to more easily deliver cutting-edge technology to their customers. And it will create new opportunities for developers to extend the variety and depth of the Android app ecosystem in new, exciting and safe ways.
Back in September, Google acquired the app Bump and Flock for reportedly $30 million, and at the end of January, these apps will cease to exist – pending the company’s new role within Google. In the original announcement regarding the acquisition, Bump’s CEO David Lieb said that Bump and Flock will work for now, but now is ending at the end of this month, per the latest announcement on the company’s blog:
We are now deeply focused on our new projects within Google, and we’ve decided to discontinue Bump and Flock. On January 31, 2014, Bump and Flock will be removed from the App Store and Google Play. After this date, neither app will work, and all user data will be deleted. Read more
Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, predicts a “new generation of applications” are headed our way. The tech titan told Bloomberg TV that as mobile devices win more market share from PCs, a new roster of apps will also be necessary.
“The trend has been that mobile was winning,” he said. “It’s now won. There are more tablets and phones being sold than personal computers.” Read more
We love the season of giving, and this year is no exception. Just a heartbeat behind Facebook’s recent charity functions, Google is also introducing an app to help you find and give to a new charity every day. It’s called One Today, and we think it’s perfect way to donate $1 every day, all year long.
The death of civil rights leader Nelson Mandela earlier this month weighed heavily on South Africa but also around the globe. Google found that Mandela was the No. 1 “trending search” for 2013. Deaths and tragedies factor heavily into the list, but you’ll also see tech in the top 10, including the iPhone 5s, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the Playstation 4.
Here’s the full global list:
Let it snow, am I right? If you said yes, you’re going to love this new update to Google Plus. It’s part of the new Awesome Effects from Google and all you have to do is add your photo and shake. It doesn’t even have to be a snowy photo.
Google Glass tends to look pretty nerdy for those who wear them, and they are typically associated with creepy stalker-style photography, white men, or hands-free GPS navigation. Now, we are finally seeing the maturation of the eyewear from nerd gear to potentially fun, artistic video and photography.
Created by filmmakers and animators, the stop-motion style video was made with 1,000 photos over the course of 4 days in a small cafe in New York. We hope you’ll enjoy CATCH: A Handimation through Glass.
Google’s Chromecast just added 10 more apps, which more than doubles its existing numbers.
The new apps are: Vevo, Red Bull.TV, Songza, The Washington Post’s PostTV, Viki, Revision3, BeyondPod, Plex, Avia and RealPlayer Cloud. Read more