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Google's Pichai touts wearables SDK, 'APIs for hardware'

AUSTIN, Texas -- Google plans on releasing an Android software developer kit for wearables within two weeks.

That was the biggest announcement from Sundar Pichai, Google's head of Android and Chrome, during an on-stage interview with John Battelle on Sunday at South by Southwest.

But during the hour-long talk, Pichai also discussed a wide range of issues related to how Google imagines its two operating systems being rolled out around the world, and how people will use and implement them.

Pichai's announcement of the new Android wearables SDK came as he discussed the potentially huge market for the … Read more

Five super useful features in Chrome mobile

For a smartphone browser that's fast and feature-packed, Chrome is a no-brainer choice. Not only did it crush the competition in our browser speed test, but its countless desktop-like tools and settings make it a hot contender against whatever default browser you're currently rocking.

For the best Chrome experience, make use of these built-in features.

How to open iCloud tabs in Chrome, Firefox on a Mac

One of the issues with using Safari on an iOS device and using Chrome or Firefox on a Mac is the inability to sync open browser tabs. Safari uses iCloud to keep track of open tabs on all of your Apple devices, but those tabs aren't accessible in third-party browsers. And of course you can't access third-party tabs in Safari. So what's a person supposed to do?

Well, as MacStories points out, a person should download a free OS X app called CloudyTabs.

With CloudyTabs installed, you can now access your iCloud tabs on a Mac and … Read more

Drag to resize YouTube videos with Youtube Resize

When you visit YouTube and hit play on a video, the video player offers Small, Medium, and Large size options. You can select either the small or large player, or go full-screen. With the Youtube Resize extension for Chrome or Firefox, you can drag to resize the video player to any size you'd like. It's helpful if you have a particular video player size preference for your particular display that falls outside of YouTube's three options.

You'll notice that with the extension enabled, when you mouse over YouTube's video player, the cursor turns into a … Read more

Enable Chromecast streaming in latest Chrome Beta for Android

On Monday, Google pushed out an update to Chrome Beta for Android. As usual when it comes to the beta build of its popular browser, Google included some new features for users to try out. The features are often not ready for the stable build, but ready enough for beta users to use, or at least try to break.

The update included the ability to push any HTML5 video from Chrome Beta on an Android device to a Chromecast.

To use the new feature, you'll need Chrome Beta installed on your device, and then you can enable it with … Read more

Chromebooks compared: New and upcoming Chrome OS laptops

With a small but growing slice of the PC market, Chromebooks are finally a viable choice for anyone looking to buy a secondary or travel laptop. Unlike the similarly priced netbooks of old, these systems, running Google's Chrome OS instead of Windows, tend to focus on doing one thing and doing it well -- giving you low-cost access to online tools and services.

But with myriad models available from Acer, HP, Toshiba, and even Google -- many with annoyingly similar names -- which is the Chromebook to beat?

Compare our hands-on reviews and impressions of the major Chromebook entrants … Read more

The Fix: Optimize your smartphone

Welcome to the second episode of The Fix! This is CNET's newest show, and each episode revolves around ways to make the most of the technology in your daily life.

This episode will change how you use your smartphone. They've become an indispensable part of our lives, and when they underperform or run out of power, it's enough to make you scream. To help you out, we've got some simple advice that can make your phone faster and its battery last longer.

First off, to see if your phone's browser is slowing you down, Eric … Read more

Samsung's new Chromebook to get leather makeover?

Samsung appears to have a new Chromebook in the works that sports the company's new trademark faux leather cover.

Images tweeted by @evleaks shows what appears to be a Chrome OS-powered notebook featuring a back wrapped in textured fake black leather and framed by stitching on the edges, much like last year's Galaxy Note 3 and the recently announced Black Edition of the Galaxy S4 smartphones. The images, which evleaks identified as a Chromebook 2, features a notebook with the familiar Samsung and Chrome logos.

Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 design language marches on... pic.twitter.com/YpbfjeygfHRead more

Clean up the look of Gmail with Gmelius

Gmail is just about the perfect e-mail client. Quite frankly, I can't imagine my life without it. (Well, I can but don't want to because it involves my old Hotmail account.) As time goes by, however, Google tweaks the look and feel of Gmail, adding new features while removing or changing others. If you'd like to have some say about how your Gmail experience goes, Gmelius is a browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera which lets you customize what elements show up on Gmail and where.

Gmelius has been around for a couple of years, but … Read more

How to get Google Now everywhere

Google has made it easier to get Google Now on your desktop. If you're unfamiliar with Google Now, it's Google's personal assistant that loads information such as weather, sports scores, traffic, and more in one location.

Before you can get Google Now on the desktop, you'll have to activate Google Now on your mobile device (either your phone or tablet). Google Now is available within the Google Search app on both iOS and Android. In either app, Google Now is in the Settings section. For iOS, click the gear, and turn on Google Now. On Android, … Read more