Google is now selling audiobooks on Play Store, available on iOS as well

Google today announced that it’s Play Store is now carrying audiobooks in addition to existing content such as apps, movies, music, TV shows and electronic ebooks…. Read the rest of this post here



Google is now selling audiobooks on Play Store, available on iOS as well” is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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How to enable Dark Mode on YouTube for iOS

After rolling out a dark theme for its web interface last year, YouTube is getting a dark interface on its official app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and it looks best on your iPhone X…. Read the rest of this post here



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Google’s Allo messaging app will soon let you create personalized stickers from your selfies

Google is working on a new feature for its mobile messaging app Allo that will permit iPhone users to create stickers based on their selfies. Taking advantage of neural networks, machine learning and the work of artists, the app will create virtual avatars personalized to match the user’s own distinct look, said the company.

“Photography in the form of a selfie is a very direct form of expression. It comes with a set of rules bounded by reality,” wrote Google. “Illustration, on the other hand, empowers people to define themselves—it’s warmer and less fraught than reality.”

The feature is pretty straightforward: you just snap a selfie and the app returns an automatically generated illustrated version of you. You can also customize your new sticker manually with various facial features and other options.

What makes you, you?

Rather than algorithmically determine the colors, shapes and textures in selfies, Google’s system takes advantage of an advanced algorithm that picks out qualitative features of one’s face in a manner similar to the way people do.

“While we could have trained a large convolutional neural network from scratch to attempt to accomplish this, we wondered if there was a more efficient way to get results, since we expected that learning to interpret a face into an illustration would be a very iterative process.”

Toying with its existing more general-purpose computer vision neural networks, Google found out that a few neurons in these networks were good at focusing on things they weren’t explicitly trained to look at.

The company explains:

By virtue of being large general-purpose neural networks, they had already figured out how to abstract away things they didn’t need.

All that was left to do was to provide a much smaller number of human labeled examples to teach the classifiers to isolate out the qualities that the neural network already knew about the image.

They fed the neural network illustrations created by an artistic team which captured a wide variety of facial features, such as different hairstyles, skin tones and nose shapes. Human curators then trained the network to match the right illustration to the right selfie.

Google’s research team has taken special care to ensure that the illustrations cover a range of race, age, masculinity, femininity and androgyny. Furthermore, they’re working with a range of artistic voices because “it’s not enough to make an avatar that is a literal representation of yourself when there are many versions of you.”

The feature began rolling out today in Allo for Android, and will come soon to Allo on iOS.

The most recent update to Allo for iOS included Incognito chats for group conversations and new notification settings for selectively enabling and disabling individual notifications.

Google Allo is a free download from App Store.



Google’s Allo messaging app will soon let you create personalized stickers from your selfies” is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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Google inks deal with CBS for upcoming YouTube TV service

youtube

Google has reached an agreement with CBS to carry the broadcast network on its upcoming TV service, reports The Wall Street Journal. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the deal marks the first major TV network to sign on to the service, which is expected to launch in 2017 on Google’s YouTube platform.

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Google inks deal with CBS for upcoming YouTube TV service” is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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Google’s iOS keyboard gains 3D Touch trackpad, new themes, iOS 10 emojis & more

Gboard 1.2 for iOS 3D Touch trackpad iPHone screenshot 001

Google’s Gboard keyboard for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch was bumped to version 1.2 on the App Store this morning, gaining a few new features such as more than a dozen new themes, support for trackpad-like functionality on 3D Touch devices akin to the stock QuickType keyboard, the ability to search and share your contacts without leaving the conversation and support for the new iOS 10 emojis…. Read the rest of this post here



Google’s iOS keyboard gains 3D Touch trackpad, new themes, iOS 10 emojis & more” is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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Apple Music for Android tops 10 million downloads in less than a year

Apple Music 1.0 for Android screenshot 002

Apple Music for Android has passed ten million downloads, according to meta data from Google’s Play Store. Apple Music’s Android app was last updated on August 25, bumping version number to 1.1.1 and bringing out various app and performance improvements. The app made its debut on Google’s ubiquitous mobile platform as a public beta in November 2015, six months following Apple Music unveiling at WWDC 2015. In August 2016, it exited beta and is now for the most part on par with its iOS counterpart in terms of features…. Read the rest of this post here



Apple Music for Android tops 10 million downloads in less than a year” is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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Google Photos amps up advertising with funny new ad focused on automatic backup feature

Google Photos ad automatic backup 001

Like many photo-syncing apps, Google’s Photos online service and the mobile app provide an optional feature that automatically backs up to the cloud every image and video in a user’s photo library. Apple, too, offers such a feature with iCloud Photo Library but its free five-gigabyte iCloud storage tier is no match for Google Photos unlimited cloud storage for your (recompressed) images (up to 16MP) and videos (up to 1080p). To drive that point home, they’ve put together an amusing new ad solely focused on that feature…. Read the rest of this post here



Google Photos amps up advertising with funny new ad focused on automatic backup feature” is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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Storage full: new Google Photos ad is amusing

Google Photos Storage Full ad image 001

We were first to tell you about the most recent update to the mobile Google Photos app, which packs in 3D Touch shortcuts on the Home screen whilst highlighting a storage optimization feature. The following day Google published this video, a nice play on the widely criticized problem of entry-level 16GB iPhones having nowhere near the capacity to hold all of the photos people take on their iPhones.

“Because life shouldn’t stop when your phone storage does,” says Google. “Free up space with Google Photos and never run out of storage again.”… Read the rest of this post here



Storage full: new Google Photos ad is amusing” is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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Google Photos gains 3D Touch shortcuts and storage optimization feature

Google Photos 1.13 for iOS iPhone screenshot 001

Google today issued a minor refresh to its native Photos app on the App Store, introducing 3D Touch shortcuts for the Home screen and a much-needed new feature designed to optimize storage space on your device. Bumped to version 1.13, Google Photos for iPhone and iPad produces a 3D Touch menu upon pressing its Home screen icon, giving you access to the following shortcuts: I’m Feeling Lucky, Free Up Space and Make Shared Album.

In addition to these 3D Touch shortcuts and the new storage-optimization feature, this edition of the app packs in unspecified performance improvements…. Read the rest of this post here



Google Photos gains 3D Touch shortcuts and storage optimization feature” is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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Google Photos adds new cropping tool, reduces battery and cellular data usage

Google Plus for iOS (full size photos teaser 002)

Google Photos, the search giant’s free mobile photo and video manager and cloud storage app, was updated in the App Store this morning with a few new features. Google Photos 1.12.1 for iOS packs in improved support for burst photos and offers a brand new cropping tool. Thanks to under-the-hood tweaks, the app should launch faster than before, promises Google. Last but not least, iPhone users will experience reduced battery and cellular data usage when using the refreshed software…. Read the rest of this post here



Google Photos adds new cropping tool, reduces battery and cellular data usage” is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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