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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ubisoft has released Assassin's Creed Identity for Android on Google Play. Identity is a third-person action game, much like the PC and console entries in the series. You take control of a customizable assassin in the Italian Renaissance, completing mission while trying to keep ancient artifacts out of the hands of the Templars.
Fitbit has announced it has acquired both the payment platform and key personnel from the "smart card" company Coin. The specific financial terms of the deal, which was completed on May 12, were not disclosed.
The Tronsmart Vega S95 is an Android powered 4K media player that comes in three flavors: Pro, Meta, and Telos with more RAM and better networking capabilities as you go up the range.
I've been using the Telos variant for a month, and while it's a pretty good device, it could've been much better with just a few small improvements. It works well for the most part, and you wonder why Tronsmart didn't go the extra little bit to make it truly compelling.
Samsung has announced official support for membership and loyalty cards in Samsung Pay. According to Samsung, the average American household carries almost 30 loyalty cards to different places, and this causes lots of clutter. How many times have you been shopping, only to find out that you can't find your discount card or membership to make the purchase you want to make?
Football fans looking to watch the upcoming Europa League Final will have another option to do so tonight. While the match will air on television and on BTSport.com, anyone will be able to watch Liverpool take on Sevilla it for free on YouTube.
Your Galaxy S7 edge has a beautiful screen just waiting to crack. You want protection against everyday wear and drops, but don't want to create a behemoth that doesn't fit in your pocket. Is this the case for you?
Let's take a look at the case in terms of style, features, and design.
The Liquid Crystal case is a one-piece, flexible TPU sleeve that slips easily over your S7 edge. You might have already guessed by the name, but the case is completely clear. This case does not offer a lot of grip other than the raised button covers, but you will notice a difference between not having a case at all.
Note that the clear TPU cases are known to yellow as they age.
This case allows your phone to charge wirelessly at full speed — ideal for those of you concerned about leaving your phone unprotected while it sits on the shelf.
Due to the case's simple design there is no built-in kickstand. The back of the case is, however, flat, and will easily take on a separate kickstand. Spigen sells their own great product called a Style Ring that is compatible with this case.
The S7 edge screen is particularly prone to webbed cracking when dropped on its corner. Spigen's solution is to make the case a bit thicker on the corners without adding too much bulk. Keep in mind that some Spigen cases feature air-cushion technology on corners, whereas the Liquid Crystal does not.
There is a raised bevel along the top and bottom of the case, meaning you can set your phone face-down without any damage to your screen. Because the edge's screen wraps down the side of the phone, the case cannot offer protection without compromising the phone's use. Dropping the phone on its side or on an edge could result in damage.
All side buttons are covered and remain functional. The bottom ports and speaker are not covered, nor is the entirety of the S7 edge screen. The case is very thin; a quick glance might miss that it's even on your phone.
The bottom line
If you'd like to show off your phone in all its glory without skimping on protection, this case might be the one for you.
T-Mobile has announced that the HTC 10, Samsung Galaxy J7 and LG K10 are now available for purchase on the U.S. Un-carrier. The highlight is HTC's latest flagship smartphone, which is available on T-Mobile for $0 down and $28.34 for 24 months. Should you pick up the HTC 10 before May 24 and T-Mobile will bundle an HTC Rapid Charger and Ice View case (worth $85 total) for free.
Update: These plans are now available, so if you will be traveling in the near future be sure to give Fido a ring and add them to avoid other hefty fees.
Fido has introduced Fido Roam to its Pulse plans, which allows customers to roam in the U.S. and other international destinations without worrying about the cost. For the U.S. it is a flat $5 per day, and other destinations are $10 per day. Previously, when you were roaming you were charged for whatever you used, and things could get really pricey when using your phone outside of Canada.