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Briefly: Microsoft All-in-One Media Keyboard, Chrome Remote Desktop

04/16, 5:05pm

Microsoft unveils All-in-One Media Keyboard for living room use

Microsoft has launched its All-in-One Media Keyboard. Designed for use in the living room, the peripheral offers a full-size spill-resistant QWERTY keyboard, and connects to a device using a USB wireless transceiver. On the right-hand side is a multi-touch trackpad that supports gestures, and a row of three buttons above which can be customized for quick access to specific apps. Shipping tomorrow, the All-in-One Media Keyboard is priced at $40.

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Chrome 34 adds responsive image support, updated Web Audio

04/08, 3:45pm

Images can be picked to match device specs

Google has released Chrome 34 for Windows, Mac, and Linux users. The main addition is support for "responsive" images. This allows web developers to set multiple versions of a graphic, improving speed and bandwidth consumption on less powerful devices. Whereas a Windows desktop user might see the full-quality version of an image, for example, someone on an iPhone might see a lower-resolution file. The iOS and Android apps haven't been updated yet, however.

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Briefly: Crackle, Rdio, receive Chromecast support

03/31, 9:11pm

Crackle adds Chromecast, iOS 7 optimization

Movie and TV show streaming app, Crackle, has received an update today. Central to the app's update is its new support for Google Chromecast, allowing Crackle users to stream content from its service through to one's Chromecast device ($35), and view content on one's HDTV. Crackle features a wide variety of video media for free, including original content such as Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Available for iOS and Android devices, Crackle is free to download.

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Google Now makes official debut in stable versions of Chrome

03/24, 2:25pm

Feature being rolled out gradually

Google Now notifications are beginning to roll out to users of the stable versions of Chrome, according to an official announcement. Until this week, Now was only available in Android, beta editions of Chrome, and the Google Search app for iOS. Only a small percentage of Chrome users will see notifications today; the full rollout is set to last several weeks.

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Chrome Beta version 34 adds hands-free 'OK Google' voice search

02/28, 8:19am

Hands-free voice search could hit public Chrome release in near future

Google has updated the beta version of the Chrome browser to add hands-free voice search, among other updates. Version 34 of the beta adds the same voice search functionality the company added to the Chromium browser last month, and allows users to search for items using the "OK Google" command, without needing to install an extension beforehand.

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Google details Chrome beta JavaScript performance improvement

02/14, 11:24am

Beta browser uses concurrent compilation to avoid JavaScript latency issues

Chrome users could see an extra boost in performance, thanks to the way the most recent Chrome Beta handles JavaScript. The company detailed how beta version 33 uses "concurrent compilation" to speed up the JavaScript functions of a web page by compiling it into native machine code while it is still running, in an effort to reduce latency in the browser.

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Google Now notification cards arrives on Chrome Beta for desktops

02/03, 2:19pm

Range of cards from mobile Google Now shown in beta version of Chrome

Google has rolled out Google Now to the beta version of the Chrome browser, just weeks after the Chrome Canary experimental browser received it. Available for OS X, Windows, and Chrome OS, the update to Chrome Beta adds the card-based notifications, previously seen on iOS and Android mobile devices, to the desktop browser.

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Redirect bug hints at iCloud Bookmarks coming to iCloud.com

01/29, 3:08pm

Web portal could soon become more robust

An unusual URL redirect bug suggests that iCloud.com may soon get access to iCloud Bookmarks. The feature lets people sync Safari bookmarks across platforms, including not just different versions of Safari but also Chrome and Firefox. Currently, people trying to install the Chrome extension from the iCloud Control Panel for Windows will briefly see "iCloud Bookmarks are coming soon. Please check back later" at this URL before being shunted to the Chrome Web Store.

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Briefly: Chrome for iOS' additions, Starcraft II's new mod patch

01/27, 9:23pm

Chrome for iOS update now available, introduces data-compression tool

Google has released its latest Chrome for iOS update, which includes several features previously unannounced. Security improvements and the addition of Google Translate are now live, as was previously reported, however the update has also introduced a new data-compression tool. Aiming to help reduce data usage while browsing, the data-compression feature can reduce browsing data usage by up to 50 percent.

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Briefly: O2 alters new contracts, Google voice search in Chromium

01/23, 6:18pm

O2 adds price rise clause to contracts to avoid Ofcom rule changes

British carrier O2 has updated its contracts, requiring new customers and subscribers who upgrade to agree to a price plan increase every year. The change, noted by Engadget, comes after UK regulator Ofcom clarified rules that allowed customers to exit a contract early without penalty their contracts are changed mid-commitment, except in specific circumstances. As O2 has managed to find a loophole, it is likely that other carriers in the United Kingdom may employ similar tactics in the future, in order to earn more from their customers without the early termination risk.

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Eavesdropping exploit for Chrome leaked after Google inaction

01/23, 5:12pm

Vulnerability allowed websites to secretly record from a microphone

A security vulnerability in the Chrome browser that allowed malicious websites to secretly record audio through a microphone connected to the computer has been revealed. The exploit, which has been revealed following an apparent lack of progress by Google to implement a patch, could have allowed for the private conversations of nearby individuals to be eavesdropped upon, a developer claims

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Google ejects extensions from Chrome Web Store for ad injection

01/20, 7:33am

Two Chrome extensions pulled under new Chrome Web Store rules

Less than one month after it introduced a number of Chrome Web Store rule changes, Google has removed two Chrome extensions from its store for spamming. Add to Feedly and Tweet This Page were both excluded from the store after complaints emerged that they were serving up unwanted advertising to their users, shortly after the extensions were sold by their original developers to another company.

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Chrome Canary browser gets experimental Google Now support

01/16, 10:27am

Currently tied to mobile devices

The newest build of Chrome Canary -- Google's experimental browser -- adds preliminary Google Now support. Once the option is on, Canary will push notifications to the taskbar in Windows, or the menu bar in OS X. There are some caveats, however -- users must run Google Now on a mobile device first, and location-based cards are tied to that device, rather than the computer Canary is on.

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iOS, Android versions of Chrome update with data compression, more

01/15, 12:22pm

iOS gets Translate, Android gets homescreen shortcuts

Google is today updating the iOS and Android versions of Chrome with several important features. Both platforms now have access to a promised data compression option, which can cut bandwidth use up to 50 percent. The option is toggled through the "Bandwidth management" section under Settings, where people can also track how much data the browser is consuming on a monthly basis. Switching on compression automatically enables Safe Browsing, which screens for phishing and malware.

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Chrome 32 adds sound warning icons, Chrome OS UI to Windows 8 mode

01/15, 5:32am

Icons in Chrome update warn of tabs playing sound, using webcam

The latest update to Google Chrome allows Windows 8 users to try out the Chrome operating system from within the browser itself. The addition to Chrome 32, seen earlier in a developer version of the browser, is accompanied by a new set of icons that are designed to help the user monitor which tabs are creating noise, among other functions.

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Chrome Web Store rule changes block multi-function extensions

12/20, 2:16pm

Policy update effectively bans toolbars from Chrome Web Store

Google has updated the rules for its Chrome Web Store, requiring browser extensions to have a single purpose. The change, one which will effectively block toolbars and other similar pieces of code, is hoped to streamline and simplify the browsing experience for Chrome users, as well as speeding up the web browser by removing unnecessary extra weight.

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Google intros Chrome Apps launcher for OS X

12/11, 2:33pm

Integration optimized for native feel

Google has formally introduced Chrome Apps for OS X, enabling the web-coded apps to "behave and feel" like native software on Macs. Titles can be placed on the Dock or searched for by name in Spotlight, opening in separate Chrome windows that omit the search bar, tabs and other browser-specific features.

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Google adds mobile device emulation for developers to Chrome 32 beta

12/03, 9:49pm

New technology allows for screen casting, better multiple device development

Google has released an update to its Chrome 32 beta browser today, adding significant improvements to its development tools for mobile. The new update allows developers to construct mobile apps that will run in the Chrome browser, loading content on mobile without leaving the development environment. The improvement facilitates viewing the app on multiple devices, insuring proper usability cross-platform.

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Internet Explorer 11 doubles browser market share over November

12/02, 2:03am

IE 11 now approaching Safari's install numbers

Microsoft's Internet Explorer 11 web browser more than doubled its share of the worldwide browser market in the month of November. This according to new figures from research firm Net Applications, which showed Internet Explorer 11 at 3.27 percent of the worldwide web browser market. The November surge saw IE11 leaving Opera far behind, and the Microsoft-made browser is now approaching Apple's Safari browser in terms of market share.

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Briefly: Wooden Moto X options, 'OK Google' voice search in Chrome

11/27, 6:20am

Moto X wood options will be available in coming weeks

The Moto X will have options for a wood backing in the future, but not in time for Thanksgiving, according to a Reuters reporter on Twitter. Despite this, Motorola is allegedly aiming to offer the backing option to customers through Moto Maker in the coming weeks, "in time for some holiday shopping." Original sightings of the backing showed options for Ebony, Rosewood, Teak, and Bamboo, though it is not clear which of these will be offered to customers.

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Briefly: iBooks Author support, Dropbox restyles for iOS 7

11/22, 2:15am

Apple now offering telephone support for iBooks Author to publishers

Apple is now offering telephone support to publishers in a dozen major countries to support its iBooks Author program, that allows the easy creation of e-textbooks and e-books for all types. The move is designed to make iBooks Author more welcome among book publishers and large publishing enterprises that require high-level technical support for core applications and navigating a project from its initial stages through to publishing on the iBookstore.

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Android 4.4 shipped to device manufacturers without a browser

11/21, 11:12am

Tablet, smartphone makers must license browser or make their own

Smartphone and tablet manufacturers hoping to use the latest version of Android in their product will not receive a browser as part of the mobile operating system. Instead, mobile device producers will be forced to either license Chrome from Google or build their own browser for customers to use straight from the box.

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Chrome for iOS to get autofill functions soon, Google says

11/15, 9:20am

Will allow forms to sync from desktop version of Chrome

The iOS version of Chrome will soon be getting Autofill support, Google promises in a new blog post. The feature is already in the Android app, and has long been present in desktop editions of Chrome. Google hasn't said when the iOS app will be updated, but when it is Autofill information will sync automatically with Chrome on other platforms.

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Chrome 31 improves web payment support, makes security fixes

11/13, 12:41pm

Mac client going without web payment tech for now

Google has released Chrome 31, an update of its web browser for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and Chrome OS. The primary addition is better payment support, in the form of allowing site access to Chrome's auto-complete data (with user permission). This lets people save payment information in the browser for quicker access. Google says, however, that Mac compatibility will only be included "in a future release."

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Google adds Chrome OS mode to developer browser for Windows 8

10/05, 7:43pm

Browser mode mimics Chrome OS within Windows 8 Metro app

Google is working on allowing Windows 8 users to run the Chrome operating system on their machines without requiring a separate OS installation, via the search engine's browser. The latest version of the Chrome browser released for developers has a mode that allows it to mimic the Chrome OS experience, while running full-screen as a Windows 8 Metro-style app.

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Google releases redesigned Chrome 30 with new tab page

10/01, 1:40pm

Rollout affects desktop platforms, Android

As expected, Google has begun rolling out Chrome 30 to desktop platforms and Android. The major update brings several redesigned elements, including a different new-tab page that includes the Google search bar above the grid of frequently visited sites. Desktop users can also right click on an image and quickly use it for an image search.

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Apple makes Chrome, Firefox plug-ins for iCloud on Windows available

09/18, 5:55pm

iCloud bookmark sync for Chrome still not available for OS X

Amidst the high-profile iOS 7 launch, Apple has also made available a pair of plug-ins for Windows users to enable bookmark syncing. Available today in conjunction with the iCloud Control Panel for Windows 3.0 upgrade are plug-ins for alternative browsers Chrome and Firefox on Windows. Notably, Apple has not added the functionality to Chrome on OS X.

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Chrome iOS app gets bandwidth monitoring, more efficient search

09/12, 4:02pm

Voice search allows informal follow-up questions

Google has updated the iOS version of Chrome with several significant changes. Two of these involve search. When hitting Back to return to search results after tapping a link, the app will now reload the results instantly, making it easier to get to other items. Voice search has been updated to allow follow-up questions with pronouns, one given example being "Who is his wife?" after asking "Who is the president of the United States?"

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Google adds Snapseed-based photo editing tools to Google+

09/12, 8:01am

Non-Chrome browsers able to use basic Google+ image tools

Google has introduced some new photo editing tools to its Google+ social network. The new tools, a product of its Snapseed acquisition last year, provide a wide array of basic editing and adjustment tools to the Android and iOS Google+ apps as well as through Chrome, with users of other browsers having relatively basic tools to use.

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Google's new Chrome Apps work offline, support USB and Bluetooth

09/05, 12:26pm

Search giant continues web platform push

Google is celebrating Chrome's fifth birthday by introducing a new generation of Chrome apps "for your desktop." As an evolution of the Chrome Web Store, the new Chrome Apps are capable of supporting many features, such as USB and Bluetooth integration, that had been limited to native software.

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Devs criticize Google over unprotected Chrome passwords

08/07, 11:37am

URL exposes saved passwords

Google has come under fire for leaving saved passwords unprotected in its Chrome browser. Web developer Elliot Kimber has brought attention to the issue, noting that a user's saved passwords are easily exposed when the browser is directed to a settings URL. Although viewing the passwords requires direct access to the computer on which they are saved, Kimber argues that many users are unaware that such information is accessible without entering a master password.

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Motorola Connect, Motorola Migrate apps out before Moto X launch

08/01, 11:33am

Apps to back up data, manage text messages surface online

Software tools for the Moto X have appeared online, ahead of the smartphone's launch later today. The previously-leaked Motorola Migrate Android app and the Motorola Connect extension for Google Chrome are all available to download, with Motorola Connect showing that it will also function with the Droid Ultra, Mini, and Maxx smartphones launched late last month.

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Google introduces Chromecast media streamer for $35, ships today

07/24, 1:53pm

USB-powered media player remotely controlled by mobile devices, computers

After revealing the latest version of the Nexus 7 tablet, Google today introduced an HDMI dongle that will stream videos and show other content from smartphones, tablets, or computers to a HDTV or other large displays. Hinted at by an FCC filing in May, the Chromecast plugs straight into a TV, and can be controlled remotely via mobile devices or the Chrome browser over a local Wi-Fi connection.

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Google makes Chrome App Launcher a full release for Windows users

07/19, 7:11am

Linux, OS X version of Chrome App Launcher remains in developer preview

Google has quietly released its Chrome App Launcher for Windows. Previously only available as a developer preview, the full-release app allows for rapid access to various Google services and installed Chrome apps directly from the Windows 7 and Windows 8 menu bar, as well as through the start page on Windows 8.

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Chrome for iOS gets hooks for opening links in other Google apps

07/17, 3:59pm

Also adds browser histories, iPad fullscreen mode

Google has pushed out an important update for the iOS version of Chrome. Users can now choose to open Google-related links in appropriate apps, including Drive, Maps, YouTube, and Google+. Previously, tapping links would take people to the content's web counterparts.

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Google updates notifications in Chrome, gives developers more APIs

07/09, 2:23pm

Future Chrome Packaged Apps could use Bluetooth 4.0, access camera

Google has updated notifications in Chrome with a new user interface, that brings notifications externally to the browser. At the same time, the company has updated its Chrome developer tools with improved support for behind-the-scenes aspects of Chrome Packaged Apps, including a new group of APIs that provide more access to important tools.

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Briefly: 16GB iPod touch teardown, Chrome and Drive for iOS updated

06/03, 2:13pm

iPod touch teardown

Following last week's release of a stripped-down iPod touch, iFixit has posted a complete teardown that shows the internal modifications. The 16GB iPod touch lacks the internal post that is used for the Loop on the 32GB and 64GB variants, however features the same curved speaker that was designed to avoid the post in the first place. With the exception of the flash memory, it appears that the other components on the logic board are identical to those found in the 32GB and 64GB models. iFixit also notes that Apple has moved the microphone from the back of the device to the top.

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Google posts Chrome 28 beta, integrates services into search results

05/23, 7:30pm

Main, Gmail searches pull results from other Google apps

Google has released a beta version of Chrome 28 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. The most significant change is in the Windows release, where a native notification center for apps and extensions has been turned on. These can include not only text and images, but optional actions such as making a phone call or sending email. Notifications can appear even when Chrome is closed. Google is promising Mac notifications "soon."

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Voice search coming to Chrome for iOS in 'coming days'

05/22, 4:46pm

May eliminate need to jump to separate Google Search app

A voice search option is being added to the iOS version of Chrome in "the coming days," according to Google. Users will just have to tap a microphone icon and ask the same sort of queries Google supports in Android and the iOS Google Search app. The change should in fact reduce the need to use Search, although that app is still iOS' gateway to Now and various other Google services.

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Briefly: Google voice search in Chrome, Amazon Cloud Drive in Canada

05/22, 1:54pm

Google adds voice search to home page in Chrome update

Google has updated Chrome to enable voice search, among other additions. Chrome version 27 enables conversational search through the Google homepage, providing a clickable microphone to start it off, and then switching to a larger Google Now-style mic logo. The update, spotted by Searchengineland, also provides a new API for Chrome Store developers, 14 security fixes, and a 5-percent speed boost to page loads.

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Facebook Share Dialog for iOS ready; Chromium Mac gets app launcher

05/20, 6:29pm

Should simplify sharing from Facebook-connected apps

Facebook has brought a native Share Dialog for iOS out of beta via an updated SDK, v3.5.1. The change means that third-party iOS 6 apps will be able to share activity to Facebook without always requiring a login first. People should also be able to tag friends from within those apps.

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Google adds extra cards to Google Now, voice search to Chrome

05/15, 3:11pm

Reminder cards, suggestions for media part of Google Now additions

Google Now, the predictive information service, has received a number of updates, in how it works and what it shows. The Google I/O attendees saw Google Now showing options for new cards, including ones for dedicated reminders, as well as activating voice recognition without pressing a button, and adding it to the Chrome browser.

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Spotify web player exploited for free downloads by Chrome extension

05/08, 11:01am

Weak security resulted in DRM-free MP3 file downloads

A vulnerability found in Spotify's web player has been exploited, allowing users to download permanent copies of songs from the service. A Chrome extension by the name of Downloadify used the exploit to download MP3 files that were free of DRM, rather than just stream them, something which Spotify has been quick to rectify.

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Chromium for Mac gets early version of notification center

05/07, 4:00pm

Should pave way for Google Now on OS X

The Chrome OS notification center -- already in the Windows releases of Chromium and Chrome Canary -- is in the process of being ported to the Mac version of Chromium, says Google's François Beaufort. The Chromium evangelist points to a logged Chromium issue titled "[Mac][MC] Implement notification updates and relayouts." He comments that the Mac version of the notification center is still "under heavy development," but that it can already be toggled on by running Chrome with an "--enable-rich-notifications" switch.

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Google adds Chrome extension for viewing Office files

04/25, 3:27pm

Sandboxes files to prevent malware

Google has released a beta Office Viewer extension for the Mac and Windows editions of Chrome. The add-on requires either the Chrome 27 beta or the latest Canary release, but enables viewing Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files within Chrome instead of separately. To protect against trojan attacks the extension is sandboxed, limiting the reach of any malicious code hackers might insert into a document.

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Chrome for iOS gets fullscreen on iPhone, new printing options

04/09, 4:36pm

Exports pages as PDFs

Google has updated Chrome for iOS with a handful of new features. iPhone and iPod touch users now have access to a fullscreen view, which hides the toolbar after a brief scroll. Scrolling back down again should cause the bar to reappear.

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Chrome beta released, promises five percent speed gain

04/04, 4:15pm

Other fixes implemented, including developer improvements

Google has released a new beta of its Chrome browser for the desktop and mobile. New in this release is a revamped user interface for HTML5 date and time input forms, DevTools updates, the ability for Chrome Packaged Apps to use the Sync FileSystem API for offline storage, support for live audio input with the Web Audio API, and up to five percent faster content loading.

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Briefly: Google updates Google Now, Chrome for Android

04/04, 8:15am

Google Now adds real-time package tracking, improved settings menu

An update to the Google Search app on Android has added package tracking to Google Now. New cards will show updates to shipped online orders from retailers in real-time, including an estimated arrival date, according to Droid-Life. Individual cards also have an info button, providing quick settings for the card's contents, while the overall settings menu for Google Now has been reorganized with each section having their own toggle options, and a separate "My Stuff" section for quicker alterations to sports teams and stock choices.

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Google intros Blink rendering engine for Chrome, dismissing WebKit2

04/03, 6:27pm

Move aims to streamline innovation

Google has introduced its own browser rendering engine, Blink, that will serve as Chrome's alternative to the WebKit2 engine used by competing browsers such as Safari. The search giant suggests its WebKit-based engine will enable developers to streamline innovation, eliminating approximately 4.5 million lines of code and thousands of files that only serve to support WebKit2's features, according to an Ars Technica report.

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Briefly: Evernote 5 for Android, Google Chrome update

03/26, 3:06pm

Evernote 5 for Android adds new camera modes, shortcuts

Evernote has updated its Android app to include a new camera interface, as well as a number of UI improvements. The new Multi-shot Camera mode can take multiple photographs and combine them into one single note, while Page Camera can take a shot of a notebook, line up the edges, remove shadows and improve the contrast of the image for easier reading. Shortcuts that appeared in the Mac release in October make the transition to Android, allowing for quicker navigation between notes, and premium users will be able to use a more powerful document search facility.

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