KitKat, the latest version (4.4) of Android, has been downloaded to only 1.1% of active Android smartphones and tablets since its debut on Halloween nearly five weeks ago. What's the hold-up?
Christopher Nerney is a freelance technology writer living in upstate New York. Chris began his writing career in newspapers before joining Network World in 1996. He went on to become executive editor of several IT management sites for internet.com, including Datamation and eSecurity Planet. Chris is a regular blogger at ITworld, where he has written about tech business and now writes about science/tech research. Chris also covers big data and analytics as a freelancer for Data Informed. When he’s not writing, editing or spending time with his wife and three children, Chris performs original music and covers in bars, coffeehouses and on the streets around Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
By extending Google Now's impressive capabilities to the desktop via Chrome, the search giant is a step closer to its goal of creating an integrated, interactive universe of devices and features fully adaptable to the next wave of digital technology.
The knock on Chromebooks -- the notebooks that run on Google's Chrome OS and have very little storage or processing power -- is that users have to be connected to the Internet to get anything done. But the Chrome web store features a number of productivity and entertainment apps for desktops that work offline and outside the Chrome browser. And nearly all of them are free.
Millions of people use Google every day to search the Internet. But even the most experienced Google users may be unaware of a number of features, tips and tricks developed by the search giant over the years. Some are mobile-specific, some will boost your productivity, and some will enable you to de-stress in an entertaining fashion.
Devices running on the Tizen mobile OS may be available early next year, according to the director of the Tizen Association.
Google Now can be a fantastic productivity tool for mobile users. But just as a human assistant will do a better job once he or she becomes familiar with your wants, needs and expectations, so too will Google Now. That takes time, but you can get Google Now off on the right foot by beginning its education.
While Google has included some nice security features in Android 4.4, the search giant's quiet disabling of Android Device Manager in the latest Google Play Services update was irresponsible.