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I/O 2015: What’s next for Google?

Posted by wicked May - 27 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

Google IO

On Thursday, thousands of people will take to the Moscone Center in San Francisco for Google I/O 2015. The event, which runs for two days, shows us what Google has been working on to be released this year and beyond. The schedule actually gives us an idea of what to expect. Between the keynote and abundance of workshops, there is plenty to see from Google this week.

Android M

With so much going on with the next version of Android, it would be better to provide some key links:

The team behind Android is continuously working to extend battery life and reduce memory use. Hardware manufacturers can keep stuffing batteries of larger sizes into devices, but, ultimately, Google has to do its part. The company plans to optimize the operating system so that it does less work on the battery and memory. Google will also bring fingerprint authentication to Android, a feature that has only been included by hardware manufacturers themselves. Furthermore, Android Pay will be heading into the mobile payments arena with Apple Pay. Prepare for the Google-Apple battle to intensify once again this fall.


Android M should be available in preview relatively soon as a full release, paired with two Nexus phones, is expected in October.


Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, Garmin, Basis, HTC, Razer, and Pebble are all among the companies fighting with each other and Google for placement on wrists around the world. Since Android Wear launched last year, the wearables industry has only become more complex. This year, Android Wear could lean more towards health and fitness as Google Fit and biometrics are being spotlighted with sessions of their own.

Google’s wearable platform will also get a new always-on feature that allows apps to be opened for as long as the user needs them to be.


Perhaps new hardware will be announced during the Android Wear segment of the keynote considering the platform’s hardware is due for a refresh. Who knows, maybe we will see something less like a smartwatch and more like a fitness band. Remember, Android Wear is for wearables as a whole and not just smarwatches.

Home Automation / Internet of Things


Nest didn’t come cheap and is finally being put to work:

For years, we’ve been talking about home automation. There are universal remotes, wall panels and apps to control devices in your home. But Works with Nest is more than just an on/off switch. It’s about making your house a more thoughtful home, working securely behind the scenes to interact with things you already use every day. And, as a result, making your home safer, more energy efficient, and more aware. Learn more about the Works with Nest developer program and join us in making this vision become reality.

An entirely new platform, possibly the rumored Brillo operating system, will bring together things that don’t even have a screen. Screen or not, from your thermostat to your refrigerator, Google wants to be involved.

Virtual Reality

Those in attendance at Google I/O 2014 thought they were on the verge of seeing the company’s first shot at virtual reality enter the world. Instead, they were given materials to get started with Cardboard. People didn’t think Google was serious. Well, they were, and now it’s an open source platform.

Google enjoys showing what people can do with its software, so having Cardboard present at the event would be a great celebration. It would be nice way for Google to show Oculus, Samsung, and HTC that virtual reality doesn’t have to be so expensive.

The next iteration of Google Glass will likely miss this year’s event to take a breather.

Android TV


Did you notice that NVIDIA’s SHIELD TV set-top box has yet to be released? The powerful set-top box was announced months ago and, still, no one can buy it. Google may be the reason behind that. The company will be focusing on gaming with dedicated sessions for both Android TV and Google Cast. Having the SHIELD TV present would certainly help because of the strength of the new Tegra X1 processor. Then, following the event, the SHIELD TV could become available to everyone.


More interestingly, we could see Android TV receive a feature that resembles its predecessor. One session is described as a way to “install channels on TVs that blend in seamlessly with traditional linear channels.” Users are seemingly going to be able to give Android TV access to information from their television provider. Apps and services from the Play Store, such as Netflix or Hulu, would then be embedded into a program guide to exist alongside traditional channels. The phrase “media playback” is included but I doubt that means DVR-like features.

There is absolutely no way that the company will allow Android TV to go in the way of Google TV.


It has been two years since Google introduced Chromecast to the world. This little dongle darling exceeded everyone’s expectations and millions of people are enjoying its versatility. In fact, the Cast button has been hit more than 1 billion times. People love Chromecast due to its price and affordability. The once meager section of the Play Store for compatible apps is now overflowing with content.


Now, though, could be time to repackage the device. Amazon, Roku, and even Intel all have competing products on the market. The Nexus Player seems to have been a miss and Google should be looking to knock them down. The next Chromecast could support 4K content and gaming capabilities with improved power inside. A Marvell processor with 512MB of RAM may not cut it anymore. Also, increased WiFi support would be nice to increase range and reduce lag. Consumers wouldn’t mind paying around $50 for those benefits.

That’s it?

Of course not! Google will have much more to say. The keynote will run for about 2-3 hours, leaving room for in-depth demonstrations and surprises. Almost anything is possible.

[Full Schedule]

Be sure to stick with us for our live coverage of Google I/O 2015. And let us know in the comments what you think Google will introduce.

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Google VR to be shown off at Google I/O this week

Posted by wicked May - 26 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off


With the Google I/O all set to kick off later this week, a few pointers about the company’s plans have leaked out. The company is seemingly holding a myriad of VR related events during the course of the 2-day event.

A new revelation suggests that Google could be pushing the virtual reality envelope further this year with Google VR expected to be shown off. This plan was in motion since last year’s I/O event where the company gave away attendees something known as Google Cardboard, which was a simple VR headset that anybody could make at home.

But things could be different this year with the company looking to take the platform further. This is not to say that Google will actually show off hardware this week, but merely that they could encourage OEMs to come forward and leverage Google’s VR platform.

We’ll know more about Google VR and its plans for the future over the course of the week.

Via: Slash Gear

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Google rumoured to be concentrating on Battery Life and RAM optimisations in Android M

Posted by wicked May - 26 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

Google IO

It isn’t long to go until its May 28th, the opening day of Google I/O 2015, and that means that we are getting closer to finding out what Android M will bring, and the surprises Google has in store for us.

Until then though, we have a new rumour to consider  courtesy of AndroidPolice, who have heard that Google will (once again) be focusing on battery life and RAM usage in Android M (or Macadamia Nut Cookie or MNC). This is hardly a new focus, as Google has previously attempted to tackle battery life issues with Project Volta in the Android 5.0 Lollipop edition. Still, no one will ever say no to getting more efficient use of their smartphones battery life.

Google has apparently told its teams to concentrate on reducing location check-ins, cutting off-charger activities and optimising RAM usage. Google’s own Play Services app often heads the list of guilty parties when it comes to battery usage, so hopefully it will receive a check-up along the way as well.

The other part of the rumour is that Google plan to release a developer build of Android M, just like they did with Lollipop before it. Android M is alleged scheduled for a final release sometime in August. This date should be taken as a provisional date, rather than being set in stone due to possible delays in developing this latest version of Android.


Source: AndroidPolice

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Two Nexus phones coming from LG and Huawei while the Nexus 9 sticks around

Posted by wicked May - 26 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off


This year, the Nexus lineup from Google could look slightly different. The company is allegedly preparing to offer two Nexus phones in the Google Store while an existing device remains available.

LG and Huawei will each produce their own Nexus phone, according to Android Police. The code names attached to the phones are Angler and Bullhead, respectively. The LG Angler is set to have a 5.2-inch display, Snapdragon 808 processor, and 2700mAh battery. The Huawei Bullhead raises the size with a 5.7-inch display, Snapdragon 810 processor, and 3500mAh battery. The LG Angler would be closer to the Nexus 5 while the Huawei Bullhead resembles a newer Nexus 6. Rather than changing its gameplan entirely, Google is going for a refreshed lineup.

They are to be joined by the Nexus 9 that was released in late 2014. Google seems to find their flagship tablet in no need of change.

The two phones are expected to be released around October, the usual time for Nexus devices to arrive. All of this could change, of course, as we progress into the summer.

Source: Android Police

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According to Google’s research, Security Questions aren’t all that secure

Posted by wicked May - 25 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

Beutler_Google_passwords-v6 (4)

So, you are trying to use an account online, and because you’ve forgotten your password, you are asked to answer a security question in order to recover your account. This time, you are being asked to enter the name of your first pets name. Is it Fluffy, Muffy or Tuffy? And is it your very first pet or the first pet you remember growing up with as a child? It can all be very confusing, and worse still, apparently not very secure at all. These random questions often have all too familiar answers, and according to Google’s research, are  straightforward enough to be correctly guessed in less than 10 attempts.

Google has released a great little infographic (below), detailing the different ways that we make it easy for online criminals to breach our online security. You might think that one of the more obvious ways to make our online accounts more resistant to attacks would be to simply ask more security questions, making it more difficult to guess correctly. While more security questions does make it more difficult for the attacker, bringing their success rate down to 1%, it also means that the account holder (you), will be less able to actually remember what the answers are, dropping from above 74% down to 59%.

Google came about this information by analysing the hundreds of millions of secret questions and answers that had been used for millions of account recovery claims

If adding more and more security questions isn’t the answer, what is? Google believes that websites should rather us SMS-based reset codes and alternate recovery email addresses, something that Google and other big websites already offer in one form or another. If you aren’t sure if your account is safe, why not visit Google’s Security Checkup to make sure. In the meantime, you can have a look at the various security questions that are asked, and the criminal’s success rate at guessing the correct answers.


Source: Google

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Android M may bring along two-year update guarantee for Nexus devices

Posted by wicked May - 25 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

Google Nexus 6Android M is due for an announcement very soon, but we’re still hearing rumors about what’s going to come with the latest version of Google’s mobile OS. The newest rumor has more to do with how Android M will affect certain Nexus devices than general software enhancements, but it’s still very useful information when considering which device to purchase.

This rumor suggests Google will be enforcing a hard cut-off for software updates for Nexus updates. Nexus devices will receive major software updates for two years, and security updates for three years from new Android version release dates. So a Nexus device that’s released in November of 2015 will receive Android updates through November of 2017 and security updates through November 2018. That’s still a pretty long time and probably longer than anyone is keeping a phone, but that should help those of you that are buying older devices to save money. Google will alternatively provide updates for 18 months after a device is purchased from the Play Store, which seems to indicate that Google will keep a steady schedule for how long they’ll be offering devices through the Play Store.

As for current Nexus devices, this policy means the Nexus 4, Nexus 10, and 2012 Nexus 7 won’t be getting an Android M update. They’ll still be slated for security patches, but no more officially supported major OS updates from Google. The Nexus 5 will see updates up until the end of this year, then security updates for another year, and the newer Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 are good until the fall of 2016.

Google will likely clarify this information soon, whether at Google I/O, with the release of Android M, or with the launch of whatever Nexus device they have planned this year.

source: Android Police

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Google opens up code for Chrome for Android

Posted by wicked May - 22 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off


Google’s Chrome for Android development team has announced the mobile version of the Chrome browser is now “almost entirely open source.” The parts not open sourced include some media codecs, plugins, and Google service features that are restricted due to licensing issues. The team open sourced over 100,000 lines of code, including the entire user interface layer. For developers, this move means they can built their own versions of the browser for Android devices.

The mobile Android version of the browser now mirrors the desktop version in having the bulk of the code being open sourced. On the desktop, this has resulted in a variety of third-party web browsers being built. They range from the popular and relatively well-known Opera browser to lesser known variants like Vivaldi which targets developers.

Based on the ecosystem of browsers built for the desktop, users can expect to see a similar pattern develop for mobile platforms running Android, so keep an eye on the Play Store for new browsers.

source: OMG! Chrome!

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Project Fi invites should be sent to everyone by mid-summer

Posted by wicked May - 22 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off


Chances are that you still have not received an invite to Project Fi. Relax, the wait will not be much longer. The Project Fi team sent emails out this morning to those interesting to give an update on when you and everyone else can expect their invite. The team is monitoring the service as it adds more users and, because of this, everyone should receive an invite by mid-summer.

Here is the email:


Thanks for requesting an invite to Project Fi. We’re really excited that you’re interested in trying our service! Over the past few weeks, we’ve been happy to bring the first customers onto Project Fi and the initial feedback has been very positive.

We’re sending invites as quickly as we can, while ensuring a high-quality experience. Given the number of requests we’ve received, we currently estimate that it will take until mid-summer to get everyone.

In the coming weeks we’ll have a way for you to check the status of your invite – stay tuned for more information.

Thanks again for your interest in Project Fi. We’ll get to you an invite as soon as we can!

– The Project Fi team

So there you have it. Project Fi invites should be in the inbox of everyone by sometime in July.

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Google’s upcoming ‘Brillo’ operating system will be for Internet of Things

Posted by wicked May - 22 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off


Having an operating system that works with phones, tablets, wearables, cars, and televisions is no longer enough for Google. Now, the company is targeting the Internet of Things with a new operating system that connect everything from your fridge to your thermostat to your light bulbs.

The Information reports that Google’s upcoming ‘Brillo’ operating system will work with low-powered devices. It could take as little as 32MB or 64MB of RAM to allow such devices to function. This is in comparison to the usual 512MB of RAM that is normally required by low-powered and low-end devices.

The project, which is said to be watched by Android’s development team, could be branded as another Android variant.

We may see Brillo debut next week at I/O 2015 and we will be there live with full coverage.

Source: The Information
Via: The Next Web

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Google’s Hangouts Chrome app gets update with new interface

Posted by wicked May - 22 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

Google-Hangouts-logoGoogle has updated their Hangouts app in Chrome with several new UI tweaks, bringing it more in line with how things look on Android. The material design influence is very apparent, and they’ve implemented a tabbed view for checking your recent conversations, active conversations, and the Hangouts dialer.

The OS X version of the app has seen the most drastic change, but Windows and Linux users can disable transparent mode in Hangouts’ settings to see the full effect of all of the tweaks.

Anybody noticing the update in their Hangouts desktop app yet?

source: Mayur Kamat

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