Google has announced that Google Checkout will be closed in six months. Google is encouraging users to switch over to their Wallet product instead. Merchants who make use of Google Checkout will be able to keep using the service until November 20, 2013.
If you don't have your own payment processing, you will need to transition to a different solution within six months. To make things easier, we've partnered with Braintree, Shopify and Freshbooks to offer you discounted migration options.
If you are a U.S. merchant that does have payment processing, you can apply for Google Wallet Instant Buy, which offers a fast buying experience to Google Wallet shoppers.
Today at Yahoo's press conference, the recovering Internet company unveiled an updated Flickr product. Flickr is Yahoo's photo sharing and storage offering. Yahoo's senior vice president, Adam Cahan, announced that Flickr will now offer a massive one terabyte of free photo storage space.
Flickr had become about words, little images, blue links. It was not about the photo anymore.
Flickr's new homepage does away with words. It features a clean photostream that makes use of full-resolution images and puts the emphasis on the pictures. New features also include iPhoto-style slideshows and new sharing options. Users can now push photos to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Pinterest.
Android will also be getting a new Flickr app that has similar features to Flickr's iOS app. According to Cahan, "Upload once, send to any device, any screen, any friend, any follower, on any service, and make it absolutely beautiful."
At this year's Google I/O, Google introduced a unified chat platform under the Hangouts branding. For most, this is a great thing, however, for some, it's terrible. As discovered by danib62 on Twitter, switching to the new Hangouts removes the ability to use Google Voice from Gmail.
If you'll recall from last summer, I wrote about traveling with technology. While abroad, I made extensive use of this Gmail Voice calling feature to make free calls home. Removing it seems like either a gross oversight by Google or a directed attempt to shy away from the Voice product.
Luckily for those who use Google Voice in Gmail, Google is allowing users to revert to the old Google Talk. This doesn't mean that Google won't eventually force all users over to the new Hangouts, but it does help those who accidentally upgraded without realizing it takes away the Google Voice ability.
Google have been tinkering with their Blink engine, and have removed a crazy 8.8 million lines of code. Blink is a rendering browser engine, with the team behind Blink removing those 8.8 million lines of code in just over a month.
Alex Komoroske, a product manager on Chrome's Open Web Platform, spoke to a group of Google I/O attendees that removing so much code had more than one improvement - not only did it improve the engine itself, but it had a huge effect on the engineers, too. The engineers are more productive and the team is now exploring new rendering techniques and code contribution requests from Abode, Intel, and Microsoft.
Google is well-known for hiding Easter eggs within its products and the new Hangouts is no different. There are at least six Easter eggs present in Hangouts that have been detailed by a Google+ user. You'll need to be using the desktop version of Hangouts on Google+ or the Chrome Extension.
Head on over to Google+ Hangouts and try these Easter eggs out. Some people have reported a few issues with the web interface for Hangouts, but these same reports say the Chrome app works flawlessly.
Yahoo has scheduled a product event in New York City for Monday, May 20. This comes at a time where rumors are flying around that Yahoo is interested in picking up Tumblr. It follows that Yahoo could use this event to announce a buyout, partnership, or something else related to Tumblr, which gives the Tumblr rumor a bit of fire.
There are plenty of other things Yahoo could be planning for the event, but the rumored Tumblr deal seems the most likely, especially since this event has been hastily thrown together. Of course, we'll cover the event and let you know just what happened at the event. Until then, we'll keep speculation to a minimum.
Time Warner Cable (TWC) has in the past mentioned that it would like its own Aereo-like service and we may have just figured out how they plan to reach that goal. Bloomberg is reporting that TWC is considering buying a major equity stake in Hulu so that they "could offer Hulu to its customers as a bundled service inside and outside of the home with its current products."
This would allow TWC customers to watch their favorite shows on Hulu without having to purchase a Hulu Plus subscription package. The deal would see Time Warner Cable taking a 33 percent stake in Hulu with the other 67 percent being held by Disney, Comcast and News Corp.
Glenn Britt, CEO of Time Warner Cable, said that this move would offer TWC customers more value and would fill a void in the industry where cable customers need more flexibility. He said that he wants to offer customers "smaller, more affordable packages that don't cost them upward of $100 a month."
This morning a video has surface which is said to be of Microsoft origin and was never meant for the public's eyes. The video takes aim at Microsoft and points out that Google earns its revenue by targeting you with personalized ads.
Set to the tune of Beethoven's 5th Symphony, the video features Google's Chrome logo as a sort of bouncing ball and it highlights how the evil Google is cashing in on you by targeting ads at you through all of your devices. It fails to point out that TV services, magazines, newspapers, and pretty much everything else in the world is doing exactly the same thing.
Ads have always been targeted, and always will be. It would be foolish and a waste of money to place an ad that none of its viewers would be interested in. Let's not forget either that Microsoft buys ad space on Google's services, and that it too has been the focus of seemingly shady business moves in the past.
Google had a massive opening day at Google I/O. Today, the company announced that they are expanding livestreaming options by opening the platform up to more users. Now, any channel that has more than 1,000 subscribers will be able to use YouTube to livestream events.
This will cover most major channels, meaning livestreaming will be more available. However, by setting this arbitrary barrier, it will help keep out less useful or lower-quality livestreams. It will also help YouTube manage costs as livestreams cost more to produce and host than a normal YouTube video.
- You get real-time transcoding in the cloud, so you only need to send us your highest quality stream and we make it instantly available in all resolutions and device formats
- You can show multiple camera angles, add closed captions, and insert ads and slates
- Viewers can watch the live stream from any device, get the best quality constantly adjusting to their Internet connection, and can skip back and forth in the live stream
Time to report on another Google update announced today at Google I/O. Google has integrated its Wallet product into Gmail to allow people to send money with an e-mail. This makes the product competitive with PayPal, which also allows you to send money to other people. However, PayPal doesn't allow you to attach money to an e-mail.
The new attach money feature will allow you to send money to everyone, including people who don't have a Gmail account. According to Google, all transactions are stored on secure servers in encrypted form. Google monitors transactions for fraud and Wallet Purchase Protection covers 100 percent of "eligible unauthorized transactions."
It's pretty cool to be able to attach money to an e-mail just as you would attach an image or other attachment.
If you happened to miss Google's I/O keynote because you weren't there, you can check out our coverage on our new Live Blog feature. Or, you can spend the 3 hours and 30 minutes to watch a recorded version of the keynote on YouTube. We've embedded the YouTube video below for your viewing pleasure:
In the keynote, Google unveiled a bunch of new products, features, and updates. Changes include a completely revamped Maps interface and updates to Knowledge Graph. New features include an unlimited music-streaming service through Google Play Music. We will have continuing coverage of Google I/O here on TweakTown, so be sure to stay tuned!
As part of today's Google I/O keynote, Google debuted its upgraded Music product. Under the Google Play naming scheme, Google Play Music All Access provides unlimited streaming via the web and up to 10 authorized devices for just $9.99 per month, the same fee as charged by Spotify. Better yet, if you sign up for the free 30-day trial before June 7, the monthly charge will be just $7.99.
As you can see above, I've already signed up for the service. It's important to note that the service is only currently available in the United States. I've also been unable to get All Access working on my iPhone via Google's web app. In order to compete directly with Spotify, Google will need to develop a desktop app and an iOS app.
During Gogole's keynote at Google I/O today, the company showed off a new version of Google Maps. The new Maps features a completely redesigned interface, along with numerous new features. For instance, Maps will now know more about a user and use that information to help with location discovery.
Maps will now integrate imagery from all of Google's different products into a single location. This means Earth, Street View, and other projects, such as undersea and space imaging, will all be available through the Maps product. This means Photo Spheres will now be included and these cool images can be added to Maps by anyone.
If you'd like to get a chance to try out the new Maps before others, head on over to the page Google has set up for previewing. There you can request an invite to be one of the first to use the new Maps product.
Just hours before Google I/O begins and we go all Google crazy for days on end, a new look Google Maps for desktop has been unveiled by Droid-Life. The site noticed a description on the revised Maps landing page that reveals we should expect a "tailored map for every search".
Not only that, but we should expect a new user interface (UI) which features the same kind of look as Google's recent mobile apps, a WebGL-powered overhead views borrowed from Google Earth, Flight Search integration, and the ability to compare multiple modes of transportation on the map itself. We should also expect some Google Now-like interactions such as your map suggesting restaurants you might enjoy on your way to your destinatiojn.
Microsoft has gone and added Gchat support to Outlook.com and Skydrive.com. Users who are logged into their Microsoft account on Outlook.com or Skydrive.com will gain the ability to chat with their Google contacts over the next few days. This comes at an interesting time as Google is rumored to be launching its unified Babel chat platform at Google I/O, which kicks off tomorrow.
It's rather interesting to see Microsoft build in support for a competitor's product, especially such a fierce competitor as Google. However, they say that they heard customers wanted support for Google Talk. Currently, video and voice isn't supported. Microsoft's Dharmesh Mehta says, "If it turns out a lot of people want the voice and video with Google, that's certainly something we'll go talk to them about."
It's nice to see a company working with a competitor to make their own product better for the consumer. Microsoft is still working on increasing its public image, and this is probably part of that push.
Google is well-known for hiding Easter eggs in its search engine. For instance, typing "do a barrel" into the all-knowing Google search bar will result in the whole web page doing a barrel roll. The latest Easter egg to be discovered celebrates Atari's classic game, Breakout.
To initialize the latest Easter egg, simply do a Google Image Search for "Atari Breakout." This will cause the game to start. Simply control the platform with your mouse to bounce the ball and destroy the pictures of, you guessed it, Breakout. Successfully beating that level will result in more levels generating with random pictures.
Bloomberg TV recently interviewed John Wiley and found some incredible statistics. Wiley, the lead designer for Google Search, says that each and every day, Google sees an average of 500 million search queries that it has never seen before. These queries make up roughly 15 percent of the daily search volume.
To keep up with ever-changing queries and websites, Google crawls 20 billion web sites per day, an impressive feat. To help combat these unseen queries, Google is working on its Knowledge Graph product. Wiley says that Knowledge Graph has an incredible 530 million entries and 18 billion facts about connections between the entries.
Google has decided to lump all of your free storage into one plan. Instead of having a separate 10GB of data for Gmail and Google+ and 5GB for Drive, users will be presented with 15GB that can be used in any combination. Don't have a lot of e-mail saved? You now have more room for your cloud storage needs.
Conversely, if you don't use Gmail at all, you have just been given an extra 10GB of storage space to use for Google Drive. Google's Drive page now features a visualization of how much space you are using next to available upgrade plans. The changes will roll out to users and Google Apps users over the next few weeks, so don't worry if you don't have the change quite yet.
We want to hear your thoughts on this change. Let us know what you think in the comments!
Google is teasing Chrome developers ahead of this year's I/O. Posted to the Google Chrome Developers' Google+ page, the picture simply shows a pallet of boxes with the caption, "Boom. Chrome swag has arrived. #io13" Of course, there is no way to tell what's inside, though we can tell you what Google has given away before.
Previous Google I/O's have seen attendees getting everything from smartphones to tablets and notebook PCs. It could be the rumored upgraded Nexus 7 or simply shirts, though it's much more likely to be the former. We shouldn't have to wait too much longer to find out what is actually inside those boxes as Google I/O takes place next week.
Apple has rolled out its new two-step verification process to several new countries. Now Apple users in Canada, Argentina, Mexico, Germany Netherlands, Russia, Austria, Brazil, Belgium, Portugal, Italy, and Poland have access to the feature that will ultimately make their Apple ID much more secure.
Two-step authentication is often thought of as a holy grail for security. Instead of just requiring a password to log in on an unidentified device, websites will send a code to an e-mail, mobile phone, or other piece of technology that must then be entered. This makes phishing much harder to do successfully.
Users are required to opt-in to the two-factor verification and are greatly encouraged to do so. Users can find out more about Apple's two-step verification here.
Google's cloud storage system known as Drive experienced a bug earlier today. Some users reported that their list of documents, spreadsheets, and other synced files were blank. Many hearts collectively sank as they thought that their files were gone for good. However, it turned out that the files were still available locally, if synced to their computer, and could be found using the search bar.
Google quickly resolved the issue, but it still brings up the interesting question about cloud storage and file security. What would these users have done had they actually lost all of their files? What could have been done by Google to fix the problem or right the wrong? One tip that can be provided is always have your file in at least two separate locations.
12pm PST: We're investigating reports of an issue with Google Drive. We will provide more information shortly.
12:12pm PST: The problem with Google Drive should be resolved. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support. Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better.