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Inside Google & Alphabet

Inside Google & Alphabet (Jan 12th, 2018)

$GOOG (2:45 p.m. EST): $1,121.83 (↑ 1.48%) // More info

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Google is planning a revamped consumer push to better compete with Amazon Alexa. Google is said to be launching a new online retail site in February, where it will sell its entire line of products, including Google Home and Nest devices. Google is also discussing a strategy to further expand buying products and services via Google Assistant, a signature feature of Alexa. Walmart has already partnered with Google to expand this feature, but the company wants to further expand that push. — BLOOMBERG

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Google quietly acquired sound tech startup Redux last year. Redux, based in Cambridge, U.K, uses vibrations to turn phone and tablet screens into speakers. The acquisition happened in August 2017, however, the terms of the acquisition are unclear. Although Redux has developed technology likely to be interesting to customers, no major hardware producer has included it in a product to date, and Redux has 178 granted patents. It is likely that Google envisions either using Redux’s technology into its line of smartphones and Pixel devices or a patent play. Google declined to comment on the acquisition. — THE VERGE

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Google is preparing to launch a new suite of parental controls for Chrome later this year. As a result, its current parental controls suite, Chrome Supervised Users, will be shut down on Monday, January 15. The feature allowed parents to block access to certain websites, among other safety features. Google suggested users can use Family Link in the meantime to manage and supervise web activity, but managing browsing history is only available for Android mobile users — TECHCRUNCH

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Google plans to vet premium YouTube content. The announcement follows a controversial video from YouTuber Logan Paul, which resulted in Paul’s removal from the top-tier Google ad platform. Some top content creators participate in Google Preferred, a group of YouTube channels Google sells to advertisers at a premium rate. Google has also partnered with top content creators in collaborating on shows it makes for its “Red” premium service. Google will now take a closer look at content made by premium content creators, using a mix of human moderators and artificial intelligence. — BLOOMBERG

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Google deleted 60 apps, many designated for kids, from its Play Store. The move was made after security firm Check Point found malware on these apps that could display pornographic content, and trick users into installing fake “security apps” and signing up for premium SMS services. Some of the apps removed include those that have been downloaded over 1 million times, including the McQueen Car Racing Game, which is based on the Disney Pixar film “Cars.” The malware may remain on users’ phones after the apps have been deleted. — CNBC 

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