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Evening news roundup for January 9, 2014

Good evening! Here's the Apple news for Jan. 9, 2014: Google has rolled out a new feature for Gmail that allows Google+ users to email you directly without knowing your email address -- unless you opt-out. Once again, this move is raising some privacy concerns. Numbers from Gartner show that...

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Afternoon News Roundup - the January 6 ice-cold edition

With many parts of the US experiencing record-breaking ice-cold temperatures today (the high in Chicago today is minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit for those keeping score at home), here are some afternoon Apple news items to help keep you warm, or at the very least, distract you from the biting...

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This one weird Siri feature turned me into a Bing user

Even Spider-Man couldn't make Bing cool. So when Apple introduced Bing integration into its Siri voice assistant for iOS 7, I wasn't exactly thrilled by the change. Bing is basically the search engine equivalent of the sixth Doctor, loud clothes and all. Sure, Apple included a Google workaround for...

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When Google engineers first learned about the iPhone: 'What we had suddenly looked just so . . . nineties'

The iPhone turned the tech world on its head and ushered in the modern era of the smartphone. In unveiling the iPhone, Apple not only captured the attention of the masses, but also delivered a huge kick in the arse to competitors who quickly realized that their current product roadmaps were...

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'iPhone 5s' third most-searched-for term on Google in 2013

Google has released its annual Year-End Zeitgeist results on the top 10 search terms that dominated the search engine this year. Announcing the results on its official blog, Google said: In our annual Year-End Zeitgeist ("spirit of the times"), we reflect on the people, places, and moments that...

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Google Maps for iOS update can manage travel plans

Google has rolled out a minor, yet noteworthy update to its Google Maps app for iOS, which sprinkles a little Google Now functionality into the mix. Now, authenticated users can use Google Maps to check on the status of their flight, hotel and restaurant reservations. To do so, users simply need to...

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Google releases Mac desktop Chrome App Launcher

Google has released Chrome Apps Launcher for Mac to the general public. Previously, the software was only available to beta testers. Chrome apps are dedicated apps that, thanks to the new Chrome App Launcher, live in your OS X Dock in an icon that has a bunch of colored squares in it. Click the...

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Apple had no say in Rockstar's decision to sue Google

Three weeks ago, we reported that Rockstar, a consortium backed by companies like Apple and Microsoft, sued Google and a host of other companies for patent infringement. As a quick primer, the Rockstar consortium in June of 2011 jointly bid US$4.4 billion in an auction for more than 6,000 Nortel...

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Google agrees to $17 million settlement in Safari privacy case

It's sometimes easy to forget, what with all of Google's various ventures and services, that the search giant's impressive revenue stream comes almost entirely from advertising revenue. To that end, Google has an extremely strong interest in keeping tabs on what users are up to online so that they...

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Thoughts on the Google Nexus 7 from the perspective of a longtime iOS user [updated]

I bought my first iPhone in 2008 and my first iPad in 2010, and I've upgraded both devices several times since then. Over the last five years, iOS has easily been my second-most used operating system by hours of usage after Windows (which I have to use for my day job as a Java developer). I've...

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Google Search app for iOS gets "OK Google" voice search, more

Google has updated its Google Search app for iOS with several new features and improvements. For starters, users can now use the "OK Google" voice command to conduct hands-free searches via the app. Another major improvement is the addition of Notifications and Reminders, both of which have long...

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Apple-backed consortium sues Google, Samsung and others over Nortel patents

In late June of 2011, Apple was part of a consortium of tech companies that banded together to purchase more than 6,000 Nortel patents. The winning bid checked in at US$4.5 billion and came from a group that included Apple, EMC, Ericcson, Microsoft, RIM and Sony. Together, Apple and co. were...

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Google Maps get updated for iOS 7, adds transit features

Google has updated Google Maps for iOS, adopting iOS 7 design elements and some additional features. While the app has been iOS 7-compatible since the new OS became available, it still featured older iOS 6 elements, most noticeably in the iOS 6-style keyboard. Version 2.4.3 features the new...

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Google Fiber comes to iPhone, iPod touch with DVR functions

Google Fiber is nowhere near close to being available in my area -- or in most places in the US -- but to those few lucky enough to score the golden ticket, the companion iOS app has been updated to include support for iPhones and DVR management. Those features include a shortcut to reach your...

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Reality Absorption Field: Why Microsoft was no Google part two

A previous Reality Absorption Field examined three ways in which Google has taken on Apple in ways that Microsoft never could. in this week's column, we'll look at three other ways that Google has distinguished itself as a more worthy Apple rival. Design Microsoft has made a lot of progress in...

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