Google Timelapse shows how any location on Earth has changed over the past 32 years

Launched in 2013, Timelapse is a global, zoomable map built on top of the Google Earth Engine that allows you to explore how a location has changed from 1984 to 2016. A huge update today adds petabytes of new data and an additional four years of imagery that makes for sharpest historical view of Earth ever.

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First major upgrade to Google Street View cars in eight years promises higher-res images

Google revealed today that the Street View cameras that sit atop the roofs of vehicles that roam and catalogue the world have received a quality bump. While this results in higher resolution images, it also means better data for its image recognition systems.

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Sketchy report says HTC could be Google’s Nexus partner for three years

While we do know that LG will likely not be joining Google to build the very next Nexus, which is expected to come towards the end of the year, a sketchy rumor coming from Chinese website MyDrivers suggests that HTC might have been given the green light for a three-year long partnership with Mountain View. Directed towards bringing Nexus devices to the market, the deeply troubled Taiwanese phone maker could be part of Google’s plan to take more control over its hardware offerings…

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Next year’s fingerprint sensors could fit into volume rocker buttons, guard against spoofing

Synaptics has provided fingerprint sensors for a number of different smartphones, the HTC One Max among them, but Engadget says that it has a much sleeker version in the works.

Synaptics’ latest fingerprint sensor for mobile devices measures only 3.5 mm wide. It’s so thin and tiny, it can fit inside a volume rocker switch on the side of your smartphone or tablet.

The company says it has also found a way to prevent the use of fake fingerprints by a new algorithm that can distinguish live fingers from printed replicas.

We probably won’t be seeing the new reader make it into phones until next year, though, as Synaptics says mass-production isn’t due to start until the third quarter of this year. There’s as yet no word of which phone brands might be looking to include it.

We’re also expecting to see the company’s pressure-sensitive screens coming to some Android devices later this year.

Image for illustration only: 91mobiles.com

YouTube Rewind 2016 highlights the year’s best videos, memes, and several Google Pixels

It’s hard to believe that we’re only a couple of short weeks away from the end of the year. As it has over the past few years, YouTube has taken that opportunity to release a mashup of all the top events, memes, videos, and songs from the year.

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Voting is now live for this year’s Doodle 4 Google finalists

Voting is now live on this year’s Doodle 4 Google contest where kids from around the country can have their drawing showcased on one of the most visited sites on the web. Internet voters will have until February 22nd to choose the best doodle from each of the five grade groups. In turn, a panel of Googlers will choose the best one to display on Google’s homepage at a later date.

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After over two years, Google quietly ends the Google Play for Education program

CRN reported over the weekend that Google is quietly shuttering its Google Play for Education program, and now we have confirmation of the plans via a statement made to TechCrunch. According to this statement, Google will no longer be selling Google Play for Education licenses effective March 31st of this year. That said, existing customers should not be seeing an interruption of services…

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Samsung announces its Gear S3 smartwatch, a more capable iteration on last year’s model

Samsung has today announced the Gear S3 Frontier and Gear S3 Classic, two watches which succeed the Gear S2 smartwatches that the Korean company announced last year. The new watch is an iterative improvement on the previous, not a groundbreaking step forward. And by that I mean it’s still a smartwatch, it still has a high-quality build with a rotating bezel, there’s still an LTE model, and it still runs Samsung’s own Tizen operating system…

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Opinion: With Pixel in the picture, 2017 could be one of Google’s most important years ever

Google has finally, officially entered the hardware game. When SVP Hiroshi Lockheimer took to Twitter a few days prior to the event and stated that eight years down the line we would remember October 4 as a day just as important as the birth of Android itself, I strongly believe that this move is what he referred to. Not just the Pixel phones, not just the Assistant, but rather a unified — if a bit prototypical — package that marries the two under the label “Made by Google”.

And what that means, if my understanding is correct, is that over at Mountain View things are just getting started…

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