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How Google Street View lets people reconnect with lost loved ones

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Technology is changing the way we connect with our family and friends, so it only makes sense that it would also change how we remember them — something Google Street View is facilitating in surprising new ways. 

In recent years, more and more users of Street View have been harnessing the power of the service’s time shift feature, which allows you to move backward and forward in time to sometimes catch loved ones as they were captured by Google’s Street View cameras. 

Google’s street mapping tool offers images of a wide range of locations dating all the way back to 2007. Because of that, some users are taking nearly decade-long trips back in time and discovering images of deceased members of their families as they were photographed at their addresses.  Read more…

More about Maps, Family, Memories, Google Street View, and Google


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Google may ‘shame’ carriers and manufacturers into updating Android faster

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Google may be taking a new tactic in persuading phone manufacturers and carriers to push out Android updates faster.

The company is considering a plan that would publicly “shame” device makers and carriers who don’t keep up with the latest Android software updates, according to a new report in Bloomberg

SEE ALSO: Android is boring

Google has created a list that ranks smartphone manufacturers and carriers “by how up-to-date their handsets are, based on security patches and operating system versions,” according to the report. Though the list has only been shared with Google’s partners for now, the company is apparently considering making it public in the hopes of “shaming” the companies into doing a better job at keeping their customers’ devices up to date.  Read more…

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Google wants your data to do great things. That’s not such a bad deal.

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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — As I watched Google’s many unveilings this week, I could sense a certain confidence in the proceedings. That was no doubt partly because the company was, for the first time in 10 years, hosting its Google I/O developer conference at its headquarters in Mountain View instead of San Francisco, so the executives and project managers were literally playing in their own backyard.

But I think there was something else at play. Looking back at the opening keynote, CEO Sundar Pichai decided to kick things off with two interesting — and related — products: the so-called “assistant” that seeks to proactively offer help as you navigate Google’s many services, and Home, an Amazon Echo-like speaker that infuses the assistant in your house as a kind of ambient presence, ready to help the moment you utter the activation phrase (“OK, Google,” of course). Read more…

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Google expands APIs to import other apps’ data

Google this week began offering APIs to help the flow of data between users’ apps and those Google offers.

APIs introduced include Sheets, for programmatic access to features users can add to a Google Sheets spreadsheet, and Slides, for exporting business data from apps to provide content and visuals for Google Slides slide decks. The Classroom API, launched last year, has added coursework endpoints for developers to sync grades and assignment data between the Google Classroom tool and applications.

The Sheets API offers programmatic access to Sheets Web and mobile interfaces, including pivot tables and charts. “For example, developers can use Sheets as part of a rich workflow that pushes data from their app into Sheets and allows users to collaborate on that data before the updated data is pulled back into the original app, removing altogether the need to copy and paste,” said Tom Holman, Google Sheets product manager. The API is available today. Documentation for Google Sheets is on Google’s developer site.

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