Google Press Event: Breakfast with Sundar Pichai

Google Press Event: Breakfast with Sundar Pichai

Feel free to speculate. I’m guessing we’ll find out about Android 4.3 and a new Nexus 7.

Live Stream URL added.

Android 4.3
New Nexus 7
H2G2 media streaming device
New Chromebook
Chrome Dongle for TV (Chromecast?)


“Chromecast” device appears on Google’s support page


Earlier this afternoon, several eagle-eyed people noticed that an odd device dubbed “Chromecast” was listed on Google Play’s device list (via Droid-Life). Many people have since speculated that the device, which has now been removed from Google’s support site, is some sort of Chrome dongle for your TV.

Droid-Life reported on something like this a few weeks ago, though that device was called the Chromekey. It’s unclear how, or if, the two devices are related, but it seems likely that they are in some fashion. Droid-Life’s source told it that the Chromekey could “cast” your Chrome browser from another device (computer, smartphone) to your big screen TV.

Several people also interrogated Google support live chat with questions about the Chromecast device and were told that it’s a TV service that’s available “only in a few areas.” When asked how and where the device could be purchased, the Google support representative simply said that she is not sure.

More than likely, we’ll hear something about the Chromecast and/or Chromekey at tomorrow’s Breakfast with Sundar event, as he is the head of Chrome and Android for Google.

Google preparing Chromecast, a media streaming product similar to Apple’s Airplay?

Google-IO-2013 Pixel chromebook 1600 aa

You might remember that a rumor made the rounds a few weeks back about a so called Chromekey, which was supposedly a dongle that would extend Chrome functionality to TVs and monitors. No other leaks followed until a few hours ago, when somebody spotted an entry on Google’s devices support page for a product named Chromecast. It’s not clear if Chromecast and Chromekey are the same thing, but the concepts seem similar.

The entry has been taken down after news broke about it, but according to Droid Life, a Google support representative told an inquisitive customer that Chromecast is a type of “TV service” that will only be available in certain areas and to users of certain devices.

Some further clarification comes from the analysis of an updated Play Music APK, which Google began to rollout ahead of the “breakfast with Sundar Pichai” event where the new Nexus 7, Android 4.3, and, very likely, Chromecast are going to be announced. According to the folks at Android Police, the new app contains numerous references to Chromecast, which will apparently be a service similar to Apple’s Airplay.

– For more on this article –   @tquintana

Gmail Has New Ads That Look Like Emails, Here’s How to Turn Them Off

Gmail Has New Ads That Look Like Emails, Here's How to Turn Them Off

When Google introduced the new tabbed interface for Gmail, it also brought along some new ads under the Promotions tab.

The ads look a bit too much like legitimate emails, which is problematic for many users. However, they’re also limited to the Promotions tab, which makes it super easy to turn them off if you want to avoid confusion. Here’s how:

  1. Click the Settings icon in the top right corner of the Gmail tab.
  2. Select “Configure Inbox.”
  3. Deselect the “Promotions” tab and click Save.

Of course, if you want to keep the Promotions tab, there’s not much you can do. You can also disable the tabs entirely by unchecking everything except “Primary” on this same menu, if you prefer.   @tquintana

Making calls from Hangouts — in Gmail and across the web

For those of you who have taken the plunge and are using desktop Hangouts in Gmail, Google+, and the Chrome extension, we’ve heard loud and clear that you miss the ability to make calls from Gmail, so today, we’re happy to announce it’s back – and better than before! Even better: calls to the US and Canada are now free from all countries where Hangouts calling is available. And international rates remain super, super low.

Today’s launch also improves the desktop calling experience in a number of ways. For example: you can add multiple phone numbers and video participants to the same call; and you can play sound effects (like applause or laughter) with the Google Effects app.

To make a call from Hangouts, just look for the new phone icon in Gmail, or for the new “Call a phone” menu item in Google+ and the Chrome extension. And of course: if you haven’t yet tried Hangouts in Gmail, you can always click your profile photo in the chat list and select “Try the new Hangouts.”

 Making calls from Hangouts is rolling out over the next couple of days. As we’ve said before: Hangouts is designed to be the future of Google Voice, and making and receiving calls is just the beginning. So stay tuned for future updates.   @tquintana

Export Google Latitude Friends

Google Latitude has been discontinued and a help center article offers more information about this. Unfortunately, there’s something inaccurate: “you can’t export your friend information out of Latitude”.

Well, you can export your Latitude friends because they’re added to a hidden Gmail group. Here’s how to do that:

1. go to this Google Contacts page

2. select all contacts

3. click “More”, then “Export” and pick one of the exporting options.

Then you can go to the People section in Google+, click “connect services” in the left sidebar, select “open address book” and pick the .csv file you’ve exported. You’ll get a list of people you can add to a new Google+ circle, let’s call it Latitude. Enable location sharing at the bottom of this page and restrict it to the circle you’ve created: pick “Custom” and select the Latitude circle. Unfortunately, Google only shows location dataon profile pages.

“Google Latitude will be retired on August 9th, 2013. Products being retired include Google Latitude in Google Maps for Android, Latitude for iPhone, the Latitude API, the public badge, the iGoogle Gadget, and the Latitude website at We’ll delete your list of friends on Latitude. You won’t be able to see or manage friends. Any existing friends will no longer see your location in Google Maps for mobile on Android, Latitude for iPhone, the public badge, the iGoogle Gadget, and the Latitude website at, if you continue to use these products,” says Google.

Location History will continue to be available, since it’s used by Google Maps, Google Earth and Google Now. “Google Location History is an opt-in feature that allows you to store your past Google location history and see it on a Google Map or in Google Earth. Your Location History is visible only to you.” Location Reporting will also be available, since it “allows Google to periodically store and use your device’s most recent location data in connection with your Google Account”.   @tquintana

Google retiring Latitude on August 9th, Google+ Locations the chosen successor

Google+ Locations

Google is now starting to roll out an updated Google Maps for Android & iOS, which was demoed at last month’s I/O. Alongside today’s news, the company has confirmed that Latitude, its location-sharing service, will be closing on August 9th.

All Latitude components, which include mobile apps, website, API, and badges, will be shut off in August. The service will be replaced by Google+ location-sharing and check-in features.

Google+ Locations launched earlier this year, providing similar functionality to Latitude allowing your circles (you may also choose it to be shown publicly, to certain individuals, or just you) to see where you are currently. Also, any places you check-in to will be shared with them. Today’s news should come to no surprise, as Google pushes its social network into more of its products.

After August 9th, Google will delete your friends on Latitude, stop sending privacy reminders, and remove the check-in option from the mobile apps. Google will continue to support itsLocation Reporting and History tools but will aim to push users to Google+ Locations over time. Android users already have access to Google+ Locations, with the feature landing in iOS soon.

Google Latitude was originally called Dodgeball, until Google acquired the service 2005. Rebranded in 2008, Latitude was Google’s competitor to Foursquare, allowing users to track their friend’s movements and check-in to locations.   @tquintana