Google appears to be winding down for the Christmas holidays, as it had a relatively quiet past seven days that saw it release a new version of Chrome, snap up some more renewable energy, and join forces with Disney to create a Star Wars-themed virtual reality experience.
However, the search giant did court controversy over allegations that it has been snooping on student data through school-issued Chromebooks, something it stepped in to refute.
Google denies spying on student Chromebook data
Google denied accusations that it has been spying on data on Chromebooks issued to school students.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) raised concerns that Google was data mining the students’ browsing history and other information, something it had apparently promised not to do.
Google brings Chrome 47 to the desktop, abandoning the Notification Centre
Google released a stable version of the latest build of its Chrome web browser, currently in its 47th iteration, which it began to roll out to Windows, Linux and Mac users.
The most significant change to the new version of Chrome was the removal of the Desktop Notification Centre, which has been in place for the past three years, but Google decided its lack of use meant the feature was worth canning.
Google Cardboard awakens the force with Star Wars VR app for iOS and Android
The Inquirer reported that Google has worked with Disney to create a Star War-themed virtual reality app that makes use of the Google Cardboard headset.
“Coming on December 2 is a new virtual reality experience developed along with Google and Verizon. This will feature the first-of-its-kind serialized Google Cardboard Virtual Reality experience that combines a compelling story, which ties directly into the [film], with the very latest cutting-edge virtual reality technology,” said the promotional material on the Star Wars website.
Google splashes out on more renewable energy
The Financial Times reported that Google is stepping up its use of renewable energy generated by wind and solar farms across the world.
The news came as delegates gathered in Paris for the latest UN conference on climate change, and is indicative of Google’s push to become a more eco-friendly company.