Google

Google Announces Amazon Echo Competitor: "Google Home"

Episode 1290

Google Home

At Google's I/O developer conference this week, Google announced a new product called Google Home. This is essentially an Amazon Echo competitor. It's a small device that kind of looks like an air freshener, and you talk to it to get information and perform tasks. It won't have the Amazon services, though. We don't know yet when that will be available or what the price will be.

Find out more at home.google.com

Google to Add Google Play Store to Chromebooks

Episode 1289

Google announced that it would be adding the Google Play Store to its Chromebooks starting this fall. As of now, Chromebooks only were able to run things inside the Chrome browser with extensions that would have limited functionality offline. The announcement at Google I/O this past week means it will be possible to run nearly all Android apps on the Chromebook. Some of those apps may still be specific to phone use, but this would mean the Chromebook would suddenly be able to run photo editing apps, Microsoft Office apps, and much more that wasn't ideal in a browser window.

Should I buy a Chromebook?

Malcolm from Canada

Episode 1290

Malcolm broke his laptop and instead of buying a new Windows machine, he's thinking of going with a Chromebook. Leo says that more and more software companies are putting their software online and with Google Docs in the cloud, as well as saving data to Google Drive, a Chromebook is an ideal option for most people. Dell, HP and Acer are great options for Chromebooks and some are very tough and durable. If he wants, he could even put Linux on it. That would be a little less secure, but it runs fast and gives him an alternative operating system.

Oracle v. Google Case Being Decided by People Who Don't Understand the Technology

Episode 1288

Oracle is suing Google for 9.3 Billion over the use of Java in the Android operating system. Java was written by Sun Microsystems which had been acquired by Oracle. The claim is that Google borrowed a little too liberally from Java in the Android operating system. Google claims they did clean room development, and merely figured out what Java expected from the software running it, and duplicated the API, or the programming interface. Oracle says their API was copyrighted. The whole computer industry relies on APIs, though, and the ability to use similar interfaces.

Google's April Fool's Joke Backfired

Episode 1275

Google had two April Fool's jokes this year, one being the introduction of Google Cardboard Plastic, which is a VR headset to experience real life. It's simply clear plastic that you'd wear on your face just to see the real world through it.

The other April Fool's joke actually altered the way Gmail behaves, and it had some disastrous results. It was called "Gmail Mic Drop," and it replaced the "Send & Archive" button with "Send and Mic Drop." This inserted a goofy animated GIF of a Minion doing a mic drop.

How can I scan something with my Chromebook?

Wade from Minneapolis, MN

Episode 1275

Wade has a Chromebook and wants to know how he can scan with it. Leo says that the Epson All-In-One will scan to Google Drive. He can set up his Chromebook with Google CloudPrint and Google Drive, and then he can scan directly to it. Leo says that a Chromebook really is the answer for most people because they can store everything in the cloud and it's just simpler, more secure, and there really isn't anything you can't do with it.

(Disclaimer: Epson is a sponsor)