google

Robert Cookson

It’s personal, attention-grabbing, and highly effective: email is one of the most important ways that companies market their products to the masses.

So no wonder that email marketers are concerned that Google has redesigned Gmail in a way that filters deals, offers and promotional messages into a less prominent part of the inbox.

How worried should marketers be? To answer the question, FT Tech Blog has rustled up some striking data about how Gmail users are behaving following the changes. Read more

Robert Cookson

German publishers just can’t seem to make their minds up about Google.

Publishers such as Axel Springer pushed hard this year for a new law that only allows Google to include snippets of their articles in Google News if they have explicitly opted in to the service.

That law was introduced today – but nothing has changed. Rather than withholding their content, Germany’s top publishers have given Google News permission to continue as before. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

The Federal Trade Commission is probing Google’s $1bn acquisition of Waze, the social navigation app.

A Google spokesperson confirmed that the company had been contacted by the FTC about the mapping deal but did not comment on the nature of its investigation. Read more

(and only one is, can we play with it?)

In a letter to Google chief executive Larry Page, the officials – from the EU, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Israel, Switzerland and three Canadian provinces – have formally raised their concerns about Glass.

Here are their questions and our brief commentary: Read more

The privacy row over Google Glass has forced Google do an unusually Apple-like thing: block applications.

Despite repeated attempts to reassure the public that Google would not include face recognition in its Glass project without the appropriate privacy controls, the search giant has been unable to silence privacy campaigners or curb the aspirations of third party developers who are keen to exploit the new technology. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Google shares rose past the $900 mark on Wednesday as it announced 900m Android activations at its annual developer conference, Google I/O, in San Francisco. Google also launched a new subscription music streaming service, Google Play All Access, and a bunch of new services for developers, including improved gaming capabilities, mapping services and voice-controlled search tools.
Here’s a transcript of the liveblog by Chris Nuttall and Tim Bradshaw, who were reporting from the Moscone Center. 

Interesting commentary from around the Web on the tech story that made headlines this week.

Only a lucky group of applicants was selected to participate in testing the Explorer version of Google Glass. As early reviews started to trickle out this week, so too did a growing backlash against the “glassholes”.

While the elite of the tech world may be smitten – like Robert Scoble, who wrote he’s never taking his Google Glass off – others weren’t as easily impressed by the breakthrough in wearable computing, comparing it to overhyped tech toys such as the Segway and pocket protectors. Read more

Earlier on Friday, Wired reported that Apple’s voice app Siri, which is perhaps most famous for its comical misinterpretations, keeps users’ data for up to two years.

Now Google has told the FT that it stores queries to its voice search service for the same period. The difference is that Google stores the actual audio samples for up to two years, unlike Siri which deletes the audio after six months and then just retains the queries. So, is two years too long? Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Facebook is an incredible innovator, but one of its greatest strengths is its ability to absorb – the less charitable might say copy – its competitors’ best features. We saw it with Twitter and status updates; with Foursquare and Places; with Pinterest and last autumn’s Collections tool; and most recently Snapchat and the Poke app.

That’s fine when startups are nipping at your heels, but does that work when you’re competing against the tech industry’s biggest platforms?

 Read more

By Andrew Betts of FT Labs

Google has announced a major change to its Chrome browser this week. While it represents a divergence in a key part of Chrome previously shared with Apple’s Safari browser, the move should enable Google ultimately to up its pace of innovation.

So for those who might think that a ‘rendering engine’ is a piece of farm machinery, we offer the following overview of this development, which represents a substantial fork in the road in the development of the web. Read more