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In Brief

Apple appears to be continuing on its path to ever more vertical integration as Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported that the consumer electronics giant is in talks with Japan’s Renesas Electronics to take over a unit that supplies all of Apple’s iPhone liquid crystal displays. Displays aren’t only the “face” of the phone, they are also the largest consumer of battery power. With such IP in-house, I’m sure Apple’s engineers can not only create a reliable supply of these components, but also improve the most important customer-facing aspect of a phone or tablet. Apple is reportedly seeking to buy a 55 percent stake of Renesas SP Drivers, a joint venture Renesas has with Sharp and Powerchip.

In Brief

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Rdio is the next top-tier name to work with Google’s Chromecast streaming stick. On Monday, the music service said its entire 20 million song catalog can be streamed to television through the Chromecast by using the Rdio app on iOS and Android. Don’t skip a step if you don’t use those mobile apps though: Rdio says its web client can also be used to stream music to a Chromecast. Using the apps, Rdio users can tune in to their favorite songs or create a personalized station for streaming, along with album art, to a Chromecast. In addition to Rdio, Crackle and VUDU also launched new apps that support Chromecast Monday.

In Brief

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After months of appearing in experimental and beta versions of Chrome, Google is rolling out Google Now notifications in its mainstream edition of the Chrome browser for Windows and OS X. If you’re signed in with your Google account when using Chrome, you’ll begin to see contextual notifications from the Google Now service, such as when to leave for appointments due to real-time traffic data or reminders for favorite television programs. The Google Now service already supports mobile devices and Chromebooks and will also be the basis of smartwatches built using the Android Wear software platform.

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