Google

Google speeds WebP image format, brings animation support to Chrome

Google has built a new version of its WebP software into Chrome to let browsers display its image format 25 percent faster, the company said Friday.

The better performance new libwebp 0.4.0 is part of Google's general effort to speed up the Web, and the new software also uses less memory and fixes an issue that had blocked Google from supporting animated WebP images. The updated WebP support is built into the version of Chrome that's currently in beta.

Animated GIF images, popular on sites such as Tumblr and Imgur, are the last remaining holdout for … Read more

Gmail: Encryption is now mandatory

Google has removed your ability to get out of encrypting your Gmail, the company announced Thursday.

This follows a 2010 decision to make HTTPS the default for Gmail communications, but up until today Google had given users the ability to not use encryption. Four years ago, the company explained the opt-out as necessary because encryption could "make your mail slower."

"The team has been working hard to mitigate any performance costs, which now puts us in a position where it no longer makes sense to allow HTTP connections," a Google spokesperson told CNET. "The large … Read more

Flowery Google Doodle heralds first day of spring

I hate winter. I despise it. I loathe it. I detest it. I abhor it. In case you haven't gotten the message, it's not exactly my favorite time of year. That's why I welcomed the latest Google Doodle celebrating the vernal equinox, otherwise known this time of year as the first day of spring.

Occurring twice a year, once three weeks into March and again at the same point in September, the equinox marks the time when the sun aims its rays directly at the equator. That means people in both the northern and southern hemispheres enjoy … Read more

Google Maps hack turns any Street View into an urban jungle

If you want to see New York as a wilderness area, you can watch the CGI makeover in "I Am Legend," or turn to the Urban Jungle Street View site. Urban Jungle takes advantage of a little-known part of Street View called depth data. This allows the positioning of objects in the correct 3D space, so it really looks like a tree is growing out of the middle of Times Square.

It can be hard to navigate around once you're in the Urban Jungle map because the usual Street View directional cues are absent. Also, everything that might look familiar is covered in vegetation. This is really more about the novelty of slathering Street View locations with greenery. It works best in locations with tall buildings, but feel free try it out on your own house.… Read more

Facebook sees surge in mobile ad sales -- report

Google still owns the biggest slice of mobile ad sales. But Facebook is increasingly carving up more of that pie, according to eMarketer.

The two giants together snagged more than two-thirds of last year's $17.96 billion in mobile ad sales, eMarketer reported Wednesday. Mobile ad spending worldwide surged by 105 percent last year and is forecast to jump another 75 percent this year to $31.45 billion.

Google is by far still the top recipient of all that spending, grabbing 49.3 percent of mobile ad revenue last year. But that number showed a small dip from 2012 … Read more

Google Chromecast arrives in Europe: undercuts Apple, Roku

Google is unleashing its Chromecast video streamer in Europe today, nearly eight months after it debuted in the US. Costing just £30 ($50) in the UK or 35 euros elsewhere, it's cheaper than its competitors such as Apple TV or the Roku Streaming Stick, although currently there's less to view in Europe.

The 2-inch dongle plugs straight into an HDMI port on a TV and streams video from YouTube and Netflix along with Google's own music and movie services. In the UK, it will also support the BBC's iPlayer.

For the services it supports natively, … Read more

This is how much you get on Google's nerves

Will you just look at yourself?

You spend half your day making doltish queries of sublime technology. You can't write a coherent sentence. You have no idea how to tell if you're pregnant. You can't even pronounce Dogecoin.

That is the view Google would have of you, if Google was a regular guy.

This, though, is the second edition of College Humor's "If Google Was A Guy."

The first merely skimmed the surface of the pain an ordinary guy would have being Google.

This one introduces a vital new character: the NSA Guy.

He … Read more

LG to launch G Watch with Android Wear

LG is getting in on the Android Wear game.

The company has built a smartwatch in partnership with Google that it will call the G Watch, LG confirmed on Tuesday. The G Watch runs Google's modified wearables platform, Android Wear.

Engadget earlier reported the news.

LG didn't provide any details on the device, but an image in the Engadget report shows the device with flight times. The G Watch will work with voice commands and will come to market sometime in the second quarter, LG said.

Google on Tuesday announced Android Wear. The platform is a modified version … Read more

Motorola unveils Android Wear-powered Moto 360

Motorola Mobility is trying to bring the sexy back to wearables with the Moto 360.

Motorola confirmed in a blog post Tuesday that it will join the ranks of hardware partners who have lined up to use Google's Android Wear, a modified operating system designed for wearables. The company had previously disclosed at a press conference in Mobile World Congress that it had plans to build a smartwatch.

That watch is the Moto 360, which the company said would launch in the summer, starting in the US. Motorola only offered a small glimpse, but the device looks like an … Read more

Google unveils Android Wear, its modified OS for wearables

Google is dipping its toes into the wearables world with Android Wear.

In a blog post on Tuesday, the Internet titan unwrapped the details of a modified version of its mobile Android operating system. The OS will be heavily based on its Google Now voice-recognition technology, and it's designed to be applied to wearables, with the initial push being smartwatches.

Google also introduced LG, Asus, HTC, Motorola, and Samsung as hardware partners to utilize Android Wear, and Broadcom, Imagination, Intel, MediaTek, and Qualcomm as chip partners. The Fossil Group will bring Android Wear-powered watches later this year.

CNET previously … Read more