Google Buys Songza

google-songza Google has acquired music streaming service Songza after weeks of speculation around a potential buyout. Songza uses information about the user and context to determine the best playlists for you at any given time, all of which are curated by music experts (DJs, Rolling Stones writers, etc.). Read More

This Week On The TC Gadgets Podcast: Google I/O, GoPro IPO, And Aereo

gadgets140627 It was a big week for gadgets, with GoPro’s public offering, Aereo losing in the Supreme Court, and Google holding its annual I/O Developer conference. Read More

Google Invests $50 Million In “Made With Code” Program To Get Girls Excited About CS

Screenshot 2014-06-22 15.12.01 This week, Google launched a new initiative called Made With Code, aimed at getting young women excited about learning to code and close the gender gap in the tech industry. The idea behind it is to show young girls that the things they love, from apps on their smartphones to their favorite movies are made with code, and they can apply the skills they learn to their own individual passions. Read More

Transportation Department Looks To Regulate Navigation Apps

maps The Transportation Department is angling for regulatory control over navigational apps as a part of the Obama administration’s proposed transportation bill, which is expected to pass later this year. This particular part of the bill would give the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the ability to enforce a set of rules for navigation apps on smartphones, which many drivers… Read More

Conan Shows Us A World Where Google’s Self Driving Car “Has A Few Bugs”

Screenshot 2014-06-04 11.00.12 Last week, Google showed off the prototype for its self-driving cars. Designed from scratch, the little bug-like vehicles look like gumdrops on wheels (and they even have little faces,) inviting us into a relatively uncertain future where technology and a set of sensors literally take the wheel. Some are stoked about it. Others are more skeptical. Conan O’Brien, ever the jokester, seems… Read More

Google Launches An Instagram Account

instagram Instagram is so hot that no one can resist joining in. Not even Google. The search giant, in a joint-celebration over the 40th anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube (??), has today launched its own Instagram account. So far there is one video post, showing today’s time-sinking Google Doodle. In other words, Google’s first Instagram is kind of, sort of (though not technically), a… Read More

I Dare You Not To Spend Your Entire Day Playing The Rubik’s Cube Google Doodle

Screenshot 2014-05-19 09.37.52 The Rubik’s Cube, both a torture and a delight to many of us, today celebrates its 40th birthday, and Google has joined in with an interactive Rubik’s Cube Google doodle. I’ve already spent about 15 minutes playing around with it, so before you type in “www.google.com” to your browser just take a moment to prioritize the tasks of the day. Otherwise,… Read More

This Week On The TC Gadgets Podcast: Lockitron, Nintendo, Google’s Smart Contacts, And Nest

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It’s been a big week for smart things.

Coming off the heels of CES, this week we learned that Lockitron hasn’t been shipping the majority of their smart lock pre-orders, Nintendo hasn’t been selling many Wii Us, that Google has been building smart contact lenses and buying smart thermostat companies, and that our dear Chris Velazco is leaving us.

It may not be the happiest Gadgets Podcast you’ve ever heard, but at least it’s honest.

We discuss all this and more on this week’s episode of the TC Gadgets Podcast, featuring John Biggs, Matt Burns, Jordan Crook, and Darrell Etherington.

Enjoy!

We invite you to enjoy our weekly podcasts every Friday at 3 p.m. Eastern and noon Pacific. And feel free to check out the TechCrunch Gadgets Flipboard magazine right here.

Click here to download an MP3 of this show.
You can subscribe to the show via RSS.
Subscribe in iTunes

Intro Music by Rick Barr.


Toshiba Unveils 13″ Chromebook For $279, Available February 16

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Here at CES 2014, Toshiba has just unveiled a new Chromebook, running Google’s Chrome OS on a 13.3-inch display for the first time, and priced below the $300 mark.

This is the company’s first step into Chrome territory, while competitors like Dell, Lenovo, HP, and Acer have been pumping out the light-as-air notebooks for a while now.

The Toshiba Chromebook is powered by an Intel Haswell chip, with a promised battery life of nine hours.

Meanwhile, the laptop sports a 13.3-inch 1366 x 768 display, with a .8-inch profile at 3.3 pounds.

On the inside, alongside that Haswell processor, you’ll find 16GB of SSD storage, 2GB of RAM, as well as dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wifi. And once you have Wifi on a Chromebook, the magic really begins.

These devices run on a Chrome OS, which is essentially a beefed up Chrome browser. This means that access to various applications and programs is limited to web apps.

However, Google is working to make the browser experience as complete as possible with the help of Google Apps and Gchat + Hangouts.

Toshiba’s Chromebook is available for $279 starting on February 16.

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Chromecast Gets 10 New Apps, Including Songza, VEVO, And Revision 3

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Slowly but surely, Google’s Chromecast devices is beefing up with content partners. The company just announced 10 new apps landing on the $35 smart TV dongle, including VEVO, Revision 3, PostTV, and Songza, to name a few.

For those of you who don’t already know, Chromecast is a device developed by Google that plugs right into your TV to add various streaming services like YouTube, Netflix and most recently HBO Go.

Here’s what Google had to say about the new apps:

Beginning today you can enjoy action sports, news, music videos, and more with the addition of VEVO, Red Bull.TV, Songza, PostTV, Viki, Revision 3 and BeyondPod.

And for those many holiday gatherings, you can also cast your personal media straight to your TV using Plex, Avia, or RealPlayer Cloud apps. There’s no need to huddle around small screens when you can share your own photos and videos using your phone, tablet, or laptop.

To learn more about Google Chromecast, click here.

Songza Holidays

Along with the launch on Chromecast, Songza is also launching new Holiday Playlists.

Songza has been relatively quiet since the launch of iTunes Radio in September, but that might have to do with raising $4.7 million and launching Club Songza, the company’s ad-free premium service.

Or perhaps they were just hard at work on bringing a variety of holiday-related playlists to the apps. Songza has developed over 75 different Christmas playlists ranging from Drunken Christmas Party to Christmas on the Beach.

You can check out the app here.

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