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Google roundup: Android Wear, Viacom, EU, Voice

Google (GOOG +1%) has officially launched Android Wear, a platform that extends its dominant mobile OS to wearable devices (previous). Built-in features include Google Now support, health/fitness monitoring, and the ability to control other devices (phones, TVs, etc.).

Initial OEM partners include Samsung, Motorola, Asus, LG, and HTC. Samsung used a modified version of Android for its panned Galaxy Gear smartwatch, but its successors use the company's Tizen OS. Apple is widely believed to be working on an iWatch featuring a slew of health/fitness-related features, and which can interact with a Healthbook app bundled with iOS 8.

YouTube and Viacom have settled their long-running copyright dispute; the companies suggest they now plan to "[work] more closely together." Sources tell re/code no money changed hands. Most of Viacom's peers have already made peace with YouTube, appeased by the video giant's ContentID copyright/ad-monetization system and hungry to reach its 1B+ users.

In spite of complaints from Google rivals and others, antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia says the EU is unlikely to revisit its February settlement with Google. However, he adds the case is "still open" for now.

9to5 Google reports Google Voice (creates a common phone/SMS system for multiple lines) will be axed by the Web giant; most of its features will be added to Google's Hangouts apps. Much like Reader prior to its shuttering, Voice has a cult following, but has failed to become a mass-market hit.

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Comments (3)
  • Anders CT
    , contributor
    Comments (271) | Send Message
    Everbody keeps talking about wearable devices. Will they ever matter?
    18 Mar 2014, 02:12 PM Reply Like
  • donlato
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
    Does anyone out there know the tax ramifications of receiving the C shares for Canadian shareholders?
    18 Mar 2014, 05:26 PM Reply Like
  • DanoX
    , contributor
    Comments (3074) | Send Message
    Only when Apple introduces a device that actually works and makes a real profit. Google's announcement is vaporware stock pump as usual.
    18 Mar 2014, 08:29 PM Reply Like
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