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With Android Device Manager already being a great tool for Android users in the case of losing their smartphone, Google has gone a few steps further. While Android Device Manager lets you remotely lock the thief out of your device, or even erase information remotely, things have gotten better.
Google has now introduced a new "find my phone" feature that allows you to look for your smartphone directly from the Google search bar. All you have to do is type in "find my phone" into any Google search bar, and it will bring up a map, and display the last known location of your smartphone.
The Mountain View-based search giant has said that this new "find my phone" feature is aimed towards finding your phone when you've only lost it somewhere close, or when you've left it in the car, or at work. The new find my phone feature doesn't have the abilities of wiping or locking your device, but it's a nice convenient step by utilizing the power of the Google search bar.
I've just tested it now, and it works perfectly. Thanks, Google.
Google has just pushed out Chrome 42, which now includes the new Push API and Notifications API. These two new APIs "allow websites to send notifications to web surfers even after they've closed or navigated away from said site", reports Techspot.
The Mountain View-based giant stops websites from being overly forward with its notifications, as it mandates that developers must have consent for permission to its the Push API. If your system doesn't automatically update to Chrome 42, you can always grab the latest version of it, for Windows, from here.
Until now, we've just been told about Microsoft's replacement for Internet Explorer, but now Project Spartan is being blasted out to users running the latest preview of Windows 10.
You'll need the latest preview built (10049) that will include Spartan, where you'll have access to playing around with Cortana and her voice commands, annotation features, and quicker rendering. It's not a polished product by any means, but it gives you the chance to play around with it before Windows 10 launches later this year.
According to the latest rumors, Microsoft might be finally replacing Internet Explorer with something by the codename of "Spartan." Spartan would feature things we all know and love in browsers like Google CHrome, such as support for extensions, and much more. ZDNet is going as far as saying Spartan could be an entirely new browser, which is something I'd love to see from Microsoft.
ZDNey's Mary Jo Foley, who is usually spot on with Microsoft rumors, has said that the underlying structure of Spartan or whatever it will arrive as, won't change that much. The new browser will arrive with Windows 10, and will be a super-light client like Chrome and Firefox, rocking extension support when it arrives. We don't know if Spartan will be supported on non-Windows operating systems, such as Android, iOS and OS X, but that's something we should find out in the New Year.
Foley says that Windows 10 should include both the new Spartan browser, and IE11, with IE11 sitting there for backwards compatibility only. For keen-eyed readers, you might notice "Spartan" refers to Halo, just like Cortana does. Replacing Internet Explorer is going to be a hard task for Microsoft, but if they can do it right, they can kill the bad word that IE has stuck to it, hopefully doing things right going into Windows 10 and 2015.
Apple will soon finish its lease with Google for being the default search engine on its Safari web browser, but who will Apple lean on for a new search engine? Microsoft? Competitor. Yahoo? Well, another competitor.
Considering there are hundreds of millions of iOS-based devices in the wild, it'll be an interesting move to see which company Apple jumps to be its new default search engine. Apple will mostly likely rely on Yahoo, as it's not going to want a direct competitor like Microsoft being splashed inside of their devices, especially when Microsoft is so nasty in their Surface Pro ads, attacking Apple and its MacBook Air.
Mozilla and Yahoo have announced a new "strategic five-year partnership that makes Yahoo the default search experience for Firefox in the United States on mobile and desktop", with the companies adding they will explore other potential "future product integrations and distribution opportunities to other markets".
Until now, Google was the default search engine in Firefox, Mozilla's popular web browser, which will be replaced with Yahoo. There was a time when Firefox was the biggest competitor to Microsoft's Internet Explorer, but now Google is the competitor with Chrome. Firefox has around 16% of the browser market in the US according to StatCounter.
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer took to the company blog, talking about the new partnership: "At Yahoo, we believe deeply in search - it's an area of investment and opportunity for us. It's also a key growth area for us - we've now seen 11 consecutive quarters of growth in our search revenue on an ex-TAC basis. This partnership helps to expand our reach in search and gives us an opportunity to work even more closely with Mozilla to find ways to innovate in search, communications, and digital content. I'm also excited about the long-term framework we developed with Mozilla for future product integrations and expansion into international markets".
Internet service provider Comcast isn't disconnecting subscribers for using the Tor browser and said rumors are "wildly inaccurate," as federal government continues to monitor the once anonymous search browser. The rumors started a few days ago, when Comcast "agents" reportedly told Tor users they must stop or face having their service terminated.
Regardless of what the U.S. government is doing to track Tor, trying to limit what its subscribers do with Web access would draw an immediately uproar. Instead, Comcast is defending itself and saying that users are welcome to use Tor if wanted:
Customers are free to use their Xfinity Internet service to visit any website or use it however they wish otherwise," according to a statement from Comcast. "Like virtually all ISPs, Comcast has an acceptable use policy or AUP that outlines appropriate and inappropriate uses of the service. Comcast doesn't monitor users' browser software or web surfing and has no program addressing the Tor browser."
Google has been playing with the 64-bit version of Chrome for Windows in beta for a while, but now the Mountain View-based search giant has rolled out the latest stable release of the 64-bit capable Chrome.
Google adds that the latest version of Chrome also increases the performance of graphics and media on supported machines, as well as decoding HD YouTube videos 15% faster. If you want to check it out, go and download the 64-bit version of Chrome for Windows right here.
Microsoft has considered rebranding Internet Explorer to try to freshen the Web browser's image, with a "very recent" discussion among team developers. The revelation was made during a recent Reddit AMA, an effort by Microsoft to promote its Internet Explorer 11 platform to users.
Considering the checkered past IE has had, as many users remember unsupported error messages and UI problems, renaming IE wouldn't be the worst idea. Internet Explorer is still No. 2 in the Web browser market, with 21.2 percent, behind Google Chrome, but has seen popularity slide in favor of alternative browsers, according to the W3 Counter.
Looking ahead, Microsoft is prepping Internet Explorer 12, with newer versions of IE providing better security and enhanced features when compared to older versions. Microsoft will continue to try to draw developers back to IE, but it's going to be a continued battle as more people become familiar with Google products.
An agency commissioned by Microsoft has been offering to pay bloggers to produce pro-Internet Explorer content, it emerged, after one such pitch was accidentally sent to TechCrunch.
Advocate marketing firm SocialChorus sent TechCrunch's Paul Stamatiou an offer to pay for Internet Explorer coverage, the journalist said in a tweet. Founder Michael Arrington was also emailed. "In this program, we are looking to spread the word about the new Internet Explorer web experience in a cool, visual way, which is where you come in," the proposal read.
It's not exactly unusual for marketing companies to push a client's an agenda through a network of underpaid bloggers, but it is a little more unusual to approach a publication such as TechCrunch, particularly for a top tier customer. This is usually called an "unmitigated PR disaster." Microsoft has now distanced itself from the campaign, and put the blame squarely on SocialChorus. A spokesperson for the Redmond company said, according to Techspot: "action by a vendor is not representative of the way Microsoft works with bloggers or other members of the media."