Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has agreed to refund at least $19 million to parents and consumers whose kids unknowingly made expensive in-app purchases for apps. This is the second major settlement that the FTC made with a large tech company over in-app purchases. Apple agreed to pay $32.5 million in January to in-app purchasers.
The Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) Android app has hit 1 billion downloads on Android. That means that it is the first non-Google app to hit 1 billion downloads on Google Play. The Facebook Android app beat several individual Google apps like Chrome, Hangouts, and Google Search. Some of Google’s Android apps that surpassed 1 billion downloads include Gmail, Google Maps, and YouTube.
Apple releases a small number of products that run on iOS, but Google Android is open source. Hundreds of manufacturers have built Android devices. Apparently, there are nearly 19,000 Android devices, according to OpenSignal.
“Ok Google” is the expression that triggers voice commands on Android devices and Google Glass. The expression was previously limited to the home screen of Android 4.4 KitKat on the Moto X, but now the voice-activated command will soon be enabled on any screen, including the lockscreen on smartphones and tablets.
Google’s new Android Runtime (ART) technology is doubling the app performance over Dalvik, which is what is used today. The next “L” version of Android uses a new software foundation that doubles software performance said Google at the I/O conference.
At the Google I/O conference, Google announced that come Android apps will be able to run on Google Chromebook laptops. When a user approaches his or her locked Chromebook while carrying a smartphone, the Chromebook can automatically unlock. And when the user’s phone battery is running low, a notification will appear on the Chromebook desktop.
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At the Google I/O event, Google announced a new Android-based screencasting feature for vehicles called “Android Auto.” The service sounds just like Apple CarPlay. This means that you can access the music, navigation, and communication features from your phone in your car.