You can now unlock Google Docs, Slides and Sheets for iOS with Touch ID

Google is on a roll this week with updating its iOS apps. Yesterday we saw Chrome for iPhone and iPad pick up a big update bringing Material Design to the browser and adopting Handoff support with OS X Yosemite. Following Chrome’s release, Google today shared new versions of its Docs, Slides, and Sheets apps for iPhone and iPad taking advantage of another Apple technology: Touch ID.

Beginning with Docs version 1.2.6448, Slides version 1.0.5754, and Sheets version 1.1.7297, iPhone and iPad users can now lock and unlock each app using the Touch ID fingerprint scanner as an alternative to the passcode lock screen. Read more

Samsung brings in new design chief from Apple designer Jony Ive’s former firm

Glam_Galaxy-S5_Group

Samsung announced last year that, after negative reviews of the design of its Galaxy S5, its head of mobile design Change Dong-hoon was being replaced by then VP of mobile design Lee Min-hyouck. Today, however, it was revealed that the company is bringing in an outside designer to help refresh its product lineup. A report from the Korea Herald states that Samsung has hired Lee Don-tae to be its new head of design. Don-tae would lead design of all Samsung gadgets, including smartphones.

Read more

Google Hangouts iOS app updated with intelligent location sharing, status messages and more

hangouts

Google has updated its text, video and voice messaging app Hangouts, adding all the new features added to the Android version last month – including intelligent, one-tap location sharing.

Google promised that it would be building more intelligence into the app, and the new location-sharing feature is the first step along that path. The app automatically detects when a contact in a text chat asks where you are, and allows you to share your location with a single tap …  Read more

Google Cast for audio is an AirPlay competitor for music streaming from Android, iOS & web

Google today announced Google Cast for audio, which the company says takes advantage of Chromecast tech to send audio to third-party hardware like speakers, A/V receivers, and sound bars. The feature will allow users to tap a “cast” button from within music and radio apps on Android, iOS and the web to stream audio to Google Cast enabled speakers. Read more

Google iOS app updated w/ Material Design, Street View integration, more

Google is rolling out a completely redesigned version of its iPhone and iPad app with its Material Design look and feel right down to the app icon.

The latest version of the search app now presents a bottom navigation bar (which can slide out of view) that presents a persistent Google button for searching for new information. The navigation bar also offers a button for quickly accessing recent search pages, something that feels similar to multitasking between apps on Android.

Also notable as part of the redesign is the optimization searching for photos has received. In the latest version of Google’s iOS app, image results now take on a full-screen, mosaic look for presenting larger results. The update also packs in deep Google Maps integration for location searches including support for Google Street View right in the app for iPhone users. You can read the full change log below: Read more

Did Apple drop Google Maps for good? Apple Maps now rolling out on iCloud.com

Apple-Maps-Find-My-iPhone-01

Apple appears to have finally dropped Google Maps from iCloud.com, replacing it with its own in-house maps almost two years after removing Google Maps from iOS and most of its other products. Apple started slowly rolling out the feature to its iCloud beta site for select users earlier this year before pulling it, but it now seems to have replaced Google for all users of iCloud.com’s Find My iPhone feature (pictured above). Read more

Dashlane password manager can now automatically change your password on 50 top US websites

dashlane

Password managers are a great way to have strong, unique passwords for each website you access – but vital as it is these days, there’s no denying that it’s a chore to change them. Dashlane, a Mac and Windows password manager app, aims to take away the pain by doing it for you automatically across 50 top US websites like Apple, Amazon, Dropbox, Facebook, PayPal, WordPress and Twitter.

Importantly, the app can even cope with sites that employ two-factor authentication to login or change a password, prompting you for the code when required …  Read more

Apple and Amazon refuse to make full federal workforce diversity data public

From Apple's diversity microsite

From Apple’s diversity microsite

Although Apple published its own employee diversity report back in August, USA Today reports that the company has refused to make public the full data from its federal diversity filing. While companies are required to file this information annually in a form known as EEO-1, they are not legally obliged to make the data public.

Facebook, eBay, Google, Yahoo and LinkedIn are among the technology companies that have made public their EEO-1s […]

Chief among the companies that decided not to disclose their EEO-1s were Microsoft, Twitter, Apple and Amazon.

When USA Today pressed the matter, Twitter released its filing and Microsoft agreed to do so by the end of the month, but Apple and Amazon did not respond …  Read more

Mark Zuckerberg describes Tim Cook’s views on ad-supported businesses as “ridiculous,” suggests Apple products over-priced

Mark Zuckerberg during a Facebook press event to introduce 'Home' a Facebook app suite that integrates with Android in Menlo Park

In an interview with TIME, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has described Tim Cook’s comments on ad-supported businesses as “ridiculous,” and suggested that Apple’s products are over-priced.

Zuckerberg was referring to comments Cook made back in September about Apple’s approach to security and privacy, when Cook said:

A few years ago, users of Internet services began to realize that when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product. 

While Cook was taking a shot at Google without specifically naming the company, the comment could apply equally well to Facebook, which has the same need to monetize its subscribers …  Read more

Samsung appeal against Apple’s $930M award for patent infringement begins today

Men are silhouetted against a video screen with Apple and Samsung logos as he poses with Samsung S3 and Samsung S4 smartphones in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica

The latest court battle between Apple and Samsung begins today, with Samsung appealing against the $930M it was ordered to pay Apple for patent infringement in the first trial between the two companies. Samsung is arguing that the amount awarded was “excessive and unwarranted.”

It’s of course not the first time that the sum awarded has been disputed. Apple was initially awarded $1B in damages, with $450M of that later cut and a retrial required to determine a revised sum. The retrial awarded Apple $290M instead for that element of the case, giving Apple a revised total award of $930M …  Read more