ONCE AGAIN THIS week we've typed the word 'Google' into Google on your behalf to see whether it breaks the internet (it doesn't) but it does throw up some interesting news. Mostly it's tweaks to apps this week, so we'll skip the TL;DR and dive in.
First up, there's a new stable version of Chrome OS for anyone with a Chromebook. The main feature of 43.0.2357.125 is that it updates Adobe Flash Player.
Incidentally, we did notice this week in the process of setting up Skype for Chromebook that the default feature to offer to turn pages into web apps and add them to the 'shelf' (aka task bar) has been removed. It can, like so many things, be brought back in the flags settings. Just look for chrome://flags/#enable-add-to-shelf.
There have been several tweaks to Android apps. Bizarrely, the stock clock app from AOSP has been given an entry on the Play store. Apparently, there were six unofficial mirror apps, so they gave in.
Meanwhile, Inbox, the experimental Gmail replacement, gets even cleverer. It can now set reminders for you to achieve tasks by using the context of emails. For example, if you get an email saying 'Please make an appointment with us to discuss your test results' it knows to set a reminder to phone the clinic. In addition, Google Keep now syncs reminders with Inbox.
A couple of important non-Google apps have come to light. The big news is the arrival of Cortana, Microsoft's virtual assistant and a cornerstone of the new Windows 10.
We could see her on Android as soon as July, perhaps tying in with the 29 July release date of Windows 10 itself. It's expected that Cortana for Android won't be as fully featured as the real deal, but will nevertheless give Google Now and the recently launched Hound a run for their money.
Also new is Kodi. If the name isn't familiar to you, don't worry. We know it better as open source media centre XMBC. It had a name change recently to distance itself from its Xbox roots, and now, after years of being hidden in the shadowy world of sideloading, it has arrived in the Google Play store and Amazon Appstore.
The only slight problem is that Amazon, completely misreading what the app is for, has pulled it claiming that it invades privacy. We're not sure when yet, but we are expecting it to be put back up.
Finally this week, it's news of a failed experiment and a slightly embarrassing climb down as the new Google Bookmark Manager, only recently added as default in place of the plain-ish text one that had been in place for years, has been unceremoniously relegated again following an outcry from users that, well, just plain hated it.
Originally tested under the name Stars, it's still available in the Chrome Store but will no longer be the default bookmark manager. It's the first time in quite a while that Google has got it totally, utterly wrong.
Don't forget, if you have any juicy Google related news, tips or app updates you can let us know in the comments field. More next Thursday. µ
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