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1 week ago

Android Studio 2.2 to feature test recording, new layout designer and more

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Google has detailed some of the changes coming to Android Studio with its 2.2 release. Android Studio, which is used in the creation of 92% of the top 125 Android apps, will be faster at building apps, and will give developers new tools to make going from an idea to a working app easier.

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1 week ago

First beta-quality Android N release is now available

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Update: The first beta update appears to be rolling out right now. Be sure to enroll your device at the link below, and check for the update.

Google has announced that it will be releasing the first beta-quality Android N release later today. This release is supposed to be good enough to install on the phone and tablet that you use daily. This is a huge step, as the previous releases were called Developer Previews, and had various issues that may have prevented you from using it daily.

You can enroll your device at Android.com/beta if you want to be ready for when it releases. Will you be enrolling your Nexus for the program, or will you be sticking to an official release for now? Sound off in the comments and let us know which side you are on.

More: Google I/O 2016 coverage

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1 week ago

HTC 10, One A9 and One M9 will all get Android N updates

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HTC has confirmed that three of its smartphones, the HTC 10, HTC One A9 and the HTC One M9, will all get the Android N update sometime after the OS launches later this fall.

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1 week ago

Handwriting, smart replies, and standalone apps coming to Android Wear 2.0

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Google has announced Android Wear 2.0, the biggest update to the platform yet. The update will evolve the platform even further, allowing any watch face to show information from any app that you wish. This means that you can take a watch face that you enjoy and customize it with your Todoist tasks, Google Fit data and more if you wish.

Google is evolving the platform to help build better experiences, with watch faces, messaging and fitness being the focus. The update will enable a handwriting keyboard input for replying to messages from your wrist. Apps will now be able to send data between themselves using the Google Fit Data API, and they will be able to automatically start tracking workouts when you start moving.

Apps are now able to be standalone on the watch, so you don't need to bring your phone with you anymore. You'll also be able to stream music to headphones from your watch directly, further freeing you up from your phone..

Developers can download a preview today, and the full release is due to arrive this fall. For much more on Android Wear 2.0 for developers, including details on the new Complications API and more, be sure to check out Google's full blog post on the forthcoming update.

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1 week ago

With Daydream, Google hopes to up the ante for VR on phones

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Google took some time to talk about virtual reality at Google I/O 2016. The company announced Daydream, its program for building great experience for mobile VR across phones and headsets. While Daydream will include a reference design for a headset and controller, there will be Daydream-ready phones coming from companies like Samsung, HTC, and Xiaomi.

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1 week ago

Google Play has seen more than 65 billion app downloads to date

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During the Google I/O keynote today, Google announced that Google Play has now seen a total of 65 billion app downloads.

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1 week ago

50 million Google Cardboard VR apps have been installed so far

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During today's Google I/O 2016 keynote, the company announced that 50 million Google Cardboard apps have been installed so far for virtual reality experiences

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1 week ago

Android N will support seamless updates similar to Chrome

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During today's Google I/O 2016 keynote, the company announced that the upcoming Android N OS will support seamless updates.

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1 week ago

Google wants your help in naming the Android N update

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Google wants you to submit your awesome naming ideas for the upcoming Android N release. The company says that it is having a hard time deciding on a name, and has opened a new site for you to submit your ideas, as long as it isn't "Namey McNameface."

There are a number of obvious suggestions, like Nerds, Nutella, Nilla Wafer and more, but dig deep and think of some new and original names. What will your suggestion be? Let us know your best ones in the comments!

Submit your suggestions for Android N's name

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1 week ago

Google hopes to make video calling magical with Duo

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Google continued its emphasis on communication today at Google I/O 2016 with the introduction of Duo, a new video calling app, and a companion to the Allo chat application. Duo, which will be available for both Android and iOS, hopes to provide a better video calling experience for everyone.

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1 week ago

Allo is Google's new, insanely smart messaging app that learns over time

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Google has announced a new smart messaging app, Allo. The app is based on your phone number, and it will continue to learn from you over time, making it smarter each day. In addition to this, you can add more emotion to your messages, in ways that you couldn't before. You will be able to "whisper" or "shout" your message, and the font size will change depending on which you select. This is accomplished by pressing the send button and dragging up or down to change the level of emotion.

You'll also be able to draw on your photos before you send them with the Ink feature, add stickers and emoji and much more. Taking a page out of its success with Inbox, Allo will also have Smart Reply built right in. You can use emoji in the Smart Reply, and it will also work when people send you pictures. For example, if you receive a picture of a dog, the replies that will pop up are related to the dog.

Assistant Integration

Google will be building its new Assistant feature right into Allo as well. For example, if you are talking with a friend about Italian food, you get a suggestion that you can tap to display to everyone in the message thread to help decide on a restaurant. Once you all agree on a place, Google Assistant will help you book a table through OpenTable right from within the messaging thread. Being conversational, all of the members are sending messages to the Google Assistant like they are talking with another human.

You'll be able to call on the Assistant at any time during a conversation by simply typing "@google" and then your query. For example, you can type "@google funny cat pics" and then get responses right in the chat. These chats can take place in group form, or one-on-one with just the Assistant.

Bored and want to play a game? Well, Assistant can help you with that as well. There is an emoji game that gives you various emoji and you have to pick what they translate into. Developers will be able to create and submit games that the Assistant can play with others.

Incognito Mode

Understanding that you don't always want everything to be seen by everyone, Allo will also offer an Incognito mode like it does in Chrome. This provides end-to-end encryption, time-deleted messages and the ability to hide the sender and receiver details. As soon as you close the Incognito mode, everything that you did will disappear, like it never happened.

Allo will be available on both iOS and Android later this summer.

More: Google I/O 2016 coverage

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1 week ago

Google Photos now has 200 million monthly active users

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During today's Google I/O 2016 keynote, the company announced that Google Photos now has 200 million monthly active users

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1 week ago

Google Home smart speaker can assist you with everyday tasks

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Google has announced Home, a new intelligent speaker that can respond to your questions. Home allows you to interact with Google's new Assistant, intelligent interface, even picking up conversations with Assistant that you started on another device. And it won't have trouble hearing you, thanks to the far-field voice recognition technology.

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1 week ago

Over 25 million Chromecasts have been sold so far

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During today's Google I/O 2016 keynote, the company announced it has sold over 25 million of its Chromecast media casting devices since it launched.

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1 week ago

Google announces Assistant, an ongoing two-way dialogue

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Google has announced Assistant, its new way to be there for users and assist in getting things done in the real world. The Assistant is an ongoing two-way conversation that understands your context, gives you control and more. Around 20% of Google's search queries come from voice on mobile devices, and this will help bring better information to those results. Google Assistant will extend beyond just phones: it will be on wearables, in your cars, on your computer, and in your home.

Once you ask a question, like "Where is the Taj Mahal?", and then ask "how old is it?", Google will know the context of your question to be able to provide an answer. Additionally, if you are searching for movie tickets, you can ask "what's playing tonight?" and Google Assistant will help automate the buying process. Be sure to stay tuned for additional information as it is made available from Google.

More: Google I/O 2016 coverage

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