Google releases Gboard, a third-party keyboard app, for iOS

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Date: Thursday, May 12th, 2016, 08:25
Category: Google, iOS, iPhone, News, Software

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Google is now offering a third-party keyboard for iOS.

Since iOS 8, Apple has supported third-party keyboards for iOS, each with their own unique features. As such, Google has released Gboard for iOS, a third-party keyboard that also incorporates a search functionality.

Third-party keyboards can be accessed from any app and Gboard features a dedicated Google Search function right from the keyboard. This means you can search Google from Messages, Twitter, Facebook, or anywhere else you can type on iOS without leaving that specific app. Google’s pitch here is that it minimizes the need to switch between various apps and rely on copy and paste to grab information.

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Proposed California State Assembly Bill could work against smartphone encryption

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Date: Friday, March 11th, 2016, 07:22
Category: Android, Google, iPhone, News, security, Software

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For California smartphone users, this hits pretty close to home.

Assembly Bill 1681, a California State Assembly bill, would ban default encryption on all smartphones. The bill, introduced in January by Assemblymember Jim Cooper, would require any smartphone sold in California “to be capable of being decrypted and unlocked by its manufacturer or its operating system provider.” This could be even more drastic than what’s going on with Apple’s legal showdown in the San Bernadino iPhone unlocking case.

Both Apple and Google currently encrypt smartphones running their iOS and Android operating systems by default. A.B. 1681 would undo this default, penalizing manufacturers and providers of operating systems $2,500 per device that cannot be decrypted at the time of sale.

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Justice Department cites Apple as “having raised technological barriers” in San Bernadino iPhone unlocking case

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Date: Thursday, March 10th, 2016, 22:52
Category: Archive, iPhone, security, Software

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This is probably the next step in the escalating war between Apple and the Justice Department.

The Justice Department on Thursday issued a statement claiming Apple’s rhetoric of privacy protection in the San Bernadino iPhone 5c unlocking case to be “false”.

Last month, the Federal Bureau of Investigation obtained a court order requiring Apple to write new software and take other measures to disable passcode protection and allow access to shooter Rizwan Farook’s iPhone.

Apple has yet to comply, stating that the government’s request would create a back door to devices that could not be removed from existence and could be used by criminals and governments. Apple added that Congress has not given the Justice Department the legal authority to make such a demand.

Apple has also attacked the FBI investigation as “shoddy” and portrayed itself as “the primary guardian of Americans’ privacy,” federal prosecutors said in a court filing on Thursday.

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Google Photos updated, now features Live Photos, improved backup support

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Date: Tuesday, March 8th, 2016, 15:53
Category: Google, iOS, iPhone, News, Software

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This is sort of nifty.

The Google Photos app for iOS has been updated and now allows users to back up and view Live Photos taken with the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. The latest version of the iOS app has finally received support for the format, nearly six months after Apple introduced Live Photos in the latest iPhone.

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Google posts record profits, highlights Alphabet holding company details

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Date: Monday, February 1st, 2016, 14:26
Category: Finance, Google, News

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Google just turned in some amazing quarterly numbers.

Alphabet, Google’s holding company, reported its fourth quarter earnings on Monday, the first ever in two segments, with separate figures its core business and its motley moonshots.

Google altogether beat expectations, reporting net revenue, minus partner site payout, of $17.3 billion on $8.67 earnings per share. Wall Street was looking for something around $16.9 billion on $8.10 in profit.

More important to Wall Street’s concerns, Google was able to show a meaty profit margin, especially when its costly venture projects are stripped away.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook criticizes White House policies towards encryption

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Date: Wednesday, January 13th, 2016, 10:21
Category: News, security

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In spite of how well received last night’s State of the Union was, Apple CEO Tim Cook still had harsh words for the Obama administration regarding encryption last night.

Cook, who’s currently in favor of unbreakable encryption, offered the following statement:

“The White House should come out and say ‘no backdoors’ Cook said. That would mean overruling repeated requests from FBI Director James Comey and other administration officials that tech companies build some sort of special access for law enforcement into otherwise unbreakable encryption. Technologists agree that any such measure could be exploited by others.”

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Fiat Chrysler announces CarPlay support for assorted Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler models later this year

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Date: Tuesday, January 5th, 2016, 08:26
Category: CarPlay, Google, Hardware, iPhone, News, Software

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A certain number of Fiat Chrysler models, including Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler models, will arrive will Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto support this year.

And that’s a nifty thing.

The automaker announced on Monday that a certain group of the three brands would feature CarPlay and Android Auto support, but didn’t say which exact models would gain the support in its official announcement. CarPlay will bridge with the company’s proprietary Uconnect dash system, which is also being upgraded with things like faster startup times, more responsive touchscreens, and better overall performance.

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Nielsen ratings show more than 54.5 monthly Apple Music app users in 2015

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Date: Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015, 04:56
Category: Android, Apple Music, Google, News, Software

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While specific Apple Music user numbers have yet to be released, the early estimates are looking good.

A year end report from consumer research firm Nielsen states that Apple Music was one of the most popular smartphone apps of 2015, and with more than 54.5 million monthly users ranked among offerings from Facebook and Google.

Apple’s streaming music service came in at No. 9 on Nielsen’s Top Smartphone Apps of 2015 chart, notching over 54.5 million average monthly users in the U.S. from January to October. That number is up 26 percent compared to the same time last year, a growth rate second only to Facebook Messenger.

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Apple Maps comes back, trumps Google Maps usage on iOS devices

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Date: Friday, December 11th, 2015, 12:04
Category: iOS, News, Software

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When Apple Maps was released in the fall of 2012, it was shaky at best, an industry joke at worst.

iOS users, frustrated with Apple Maps, flocked to Google Maps, which included features such as transit directions.

Now, they may be flocking back to Apple Maps.

Over time, Apple has quietly but steadily improved both the usability and reliability of Apple Maps. And with the recent launch of transit direction support in iOS 9, Apple Maps signaled that it was finally ready to be taken seriously. While the notion of Apple Maps as a serious rival to Google Maps was admittedly laughable just a few years ago, Apple Maps today is now more popular on the iPhone and iPad than Google Maps.

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Software update allows Ford Sync users to use Siri Eyes-Free, adds feature to over five million vehicles

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Date: Thursday, December 3rd, 2015, 13:29
Category: Google, News, Siri, Software

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It’s pretty cool what a firmware update can do.

Owners of the Ford Sync can now download an update that will allow the Sync to tap into Siri to perform a variety of tasks while keeping their eyes on the road.

Ford on Thursday announced the Siri Eyes-Free update, noting that the software is available for more than 5 million Sync-equipped vehicles dating back to 2011. Siri Eyes-Free will allow the iPhone to work with the Ford Sync software to help drivers make and receive phone calls, listen to music, get driving directions and check calendar appointments via voice commands.

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