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Google to pay $19m for bogus kids app purchases

Unauthorised in-app purchases have been in the FTCs crosshairs

Google on Thursday agreed to settle a Federal Trade Commission complaint over the unfair billing of millions of dollars worth of in-app purchases, to the tune of at least $19m. The case also forced a change in Google’s billing practices as children were the users of the applications which allowed in-app purchases without authorisation.

Google snaps up Siri developer and messaging app

Emu features a full fledged assistant

Google has acquired a Californian startup which created a highly praised rich messaging application featuring a full fledged personal assistant along the lines of Apple’s Siri. Emu, which was started by veterans of Apple and Google, will be short lived however. The app only launched a few months ago and Google has confirmed it will be shut down later this month.

Google Glass creator jumps to Amazon

The brains behind Google Glass, Babak Parviz, has left one internet giant for another

The brains behind Google Glass, Babak Parviz, has left one internet giant for another, this week revealing his departure from Google and new employment at Amazon. The move comes as interest in the wearable computing space continues to heat up.

O3b doubles network size with satellite launch

Avonline to deliver 20 Mbps satellite broadband

Emerging markets-focused satellite operator O3b Networks has announced the successful launch of its latest constellation of satellites. Four satellites were launched from the Space Center in French Guiana at the end of last week.

Google snaps up Songza

Songza curates music playlists

A battle of the beats is brewing after it emerged that Google has acquired curated mobile music service Songza for an undisclosed sum. According to various sources on the web, Google has splashed out anything between $15m and $49m on the three year old startup.

Google Play sees strong growth driven by freemium model

google play logo

As the Google I/O developer conference kicks off, a report has emerged charting the stellar growth of the Google Play app store over the past year. According to research and analytics firm App Annie, Google Play has steadily made gains as one of the largest app stores and app publishers are taking note, with the Google app store recently reaching over 1.5 million apps after adding 200,000 more in just six months.

Nest developer programme connects to wider Internet of Things

Nest is getting connected

On the eve of the Google I/O conference, the company’s annual developer shindig, home automation pioneer Nest Labs launched a developer programme to connect its thermostat and smoke alarm devices to the wider Internet of Things.

Google looking to 60GHz band for connectivity?

Google's acquisition is somewhat mysterious

Web giant Google has been revealed to have acquired Seattle-based wireless tech startup Alpental Technologies in a somewhat mysterious transaction. It has emerged that the deal went through in May and Google has managed to pull most of the company information, including Alpental’s website, off the internet.

Google buys satellite specialist; but for connectivity or cars?

Avonline to deliver 20 Mbps satellite broadband

Towards the end of last week, Google quietly dropped $500m on a satellite company that specialises in super high quality imaging. Now that the market has had a few days to digest the purchase, it seems the possibilities for Google are several – including connected car applications and connectivity for remote regions.

Google+ founder leaves firm

Google+ founder Vic Gundotra has left the firm

Web giant Google has been left without a leader for its Google+ social networking site after Vic Gundotra has stepped down as senior vice president for social at Google after almost eight years at the firm.

AT&T to extend fibre rollout

AT&T has announced plans to expand its fibre network across the US to up to 100 further cities and municipalities

US operator AT&T has announced plans to expand its fibre network across the US to up to 100 further cities and municipalities. The operator will be extending the footprint its triple play U-Verse TV, fixed internet and telephony service which it claims delivers speeds of up to 1Gbps.

Android builds global dominance around central European ‘stronghold’

Apple's iPhone has been dropped by MTS and Megafon in Russia

Apple’s iOS devices generate the most traffic on mobile networks in many mature markets, while the rest of the world relies on Android, according to research released this week.

Google looks to get stylish with Ray-Ban partnership

Google has announced a tie-up with eyewear specialist the Luxottica Group

Web giant Google has announced a tie-up with eyewear specialist the Luxottica Group as part of its Google Glass project. The Group is parent to several eyewear brands, including Ray-Ban and Oakley, and has over 5,000 retail outlets in the US. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Google launches platform for wearables

Google has announced that it has extended its Android mobile platform to support wearable devices

Software giant Google has announced that it has extended its Android mobile platform to support wearable devices. The Android Wear extension is intended to bring a common user experience and a developer platform to wearable devices.

Tunisiana partners with Google to improve customer engagement

Tunisian telco Tunisiana announced Wednesday that it is partnering with search giant Google to bolster its digital services strategy and increase customer engagement by offering more cloud services to mobile users.

Google faces lawsuit for unauthorised in-app purchases

Google is facing a lawsuit in the US relating to its sale of in-app purchases to children without obtaining their parents’ permission

Web giant Google is facing a lawsuit in the US over in-app purchases made without the bill payer’s permission. The case is similar in scope to charges filed against Apple in January, in which the company agreed to pay $32.5m in refunds to consumers to settle a complaint made by the US Fair Trade Commission (FTC).

Nokia launches smartphones for emerging markets with Android app support

The Nokia X will go on sale immediately, priced from €89

Handset maker Nokia has launched a family of smartphones that run Android apps and are targeted at emerging markets. The Nokia X, will go on sale immediately, is priced from €89 and will be available in Asia-Pacific, Europe, India, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.

Google acquires audio authentication startup

Google has acquired Tel-Aviv based security solutions provider SlickLogin for an undisclosed sum

Tech giant Google has acquired Tel-Aviv based security solutions provider SlickLogin for an undisclosed sum. The start up, founded less than a year ago, specialises in sound based password alternatives.

Sowing seeds of distrust

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Germany’s opposition to security agency eavesdropping was in the news again this week, with Deutsche Telekom outlining the opportunity to liberate citizens being monitored by national spy agencies and encouraging European operators to focus on providing data security and data privacy.

Lenovo’s Motorola acquistion a good move for all parties

Motorola's RAZR MAXX smartphone

Lenovo’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility from Google looks like it could be a winning move for both firms. On one hand, handsets appeared to be a peripheral business for Google. The firm has its fingers in so many pies, from mobile operating systems to search, wearables, connected cars and robotics. And the Motorola handset business has been bleeding cash since the acquisition – in the past six quarters reporting operating losses totalling $1.455bn.

@telecoms