Google announces Appurify app testing service, new Play services features for devs

Google announced some new additions to Google Play services for developers today with the biggest being that the Appurify team, an app testing platform, is joining Google. That means that the freemium service will soon be available to developers through Google Play services. Google also announced some other new services for developers and users today including new features for gaming and direct carrier billing for more devices.  Read more

Google announces new enterprise features, “Drive for Work” program, Slides app for Android and iOS

During its annual developer conference today, Google announced several new enterprise features that are coming to Android with its “L” update and a new “Android for Work” program. Thanks to a plethora of new APIs, the “L” version of Android will be able to seamlessly unify personal and business apps and data. Google claims that currently, many employees are required to carry two phones: one for work and one for personal use.

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Google talks Chromecast: Casting without WiFi connection, new Backdrop feature with news, weather, photos, and mirroring

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 12.54.48 PM

Not only did Google discuss Android TV at Google I/O, the company also discussed its Chromecast HDMI stick that connects content from your smartphone, computer, or tablet to your TV. Rishi Chandra, Google’s Director of Product Management Chromecast, noted that the Chromecast “consistently outsells all other streaming devices combined” at Best Buy and similar retailers. He pointed out that Chromecast tops Amazon in a several countries as well. Since its launch last year, usage has jumped 40% with the majority if views coming from YouTube. A new dedicated site at chromecast.com/apps will now present a list of compatible apps.

Using “the cloud”, Chromecast users can now share content from devices to a Chromecast-connected television without being on the same WiFi connection. A new feature called Backdrop coming later this year will present information like news, weather, and photos on a blank Chromecast to make it useful to have connected to your TV even when you’re not sending content from a device. The Chromecast will also support mirroring from Android on supported devices from HTC, LG, Samsung, and Nexus devices. Read more

Google announces Android One program to create high quality, affordable smartphones in developing markets

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 11.18.23 AM

Today at Google I/O, Sundar Pichai announced a new program called Android One. The program will launch in India in the fall with partners including Karbon, Spice, and Micromax. The Android One Software Experience includes stock Android like what is found on Google’s Nexus devices with Play apps auto-installed with automatic updates. The program is intended to create high quality, affordable smartphones for developing markets using easily available parts to keep cost down. As an example, Pichai showed off a sub-$100 smartphone featuring a 4.5-inch display with dual SIM, SD card slot, and FM radio. After launching in India, Google will expand the Android One program. Read more

Tune in live to Google’s I/O press event live stream starting at 9 AM PT/12 PM ET

Google I/O starts today, and as per usual, the company is kicking things off with a huge 2-hour press event set to start at 9 AM PT. The event is said to be bringing a multitude of new products and service announcements, rumored to include the “L” version of Android, Android Wear smartwatches, a new line of “Android Silver” smartphones, a second-generation Chromebook Pixel, an “Android TV” set-top box, Project Tango tablets, and Google Glass announcements.

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Last-minute unlikely moonshot for Google I/O: Nano blood bots that are read by Android Wear

I missed out scooping the Google Glass skydiving unveil at Google I/O 2012 because I didn’t believe my source. He knew about the entire thing, but it was too unbelievable for me to post. I’m posting this late word from my source because I think there is a small chance that Google announces it tomorrow (by posting late, it hopefully won’t go mainstream and I don’t look like an idiot when it doesn’t happen).

According to the source, Google has some biomedical superstars working in its X Lab on some cutting-edge micro bots that can detect things like certain kinds of cancer. These bots are small enough (the size of blood cells) to fit through human capillaries, yet they can detect diseases in the blood and can trigger an RFID reader, which in turn talks to a watch – perhaps a device running Android Wear. I was told this technology is at least 2 years from being a real product (and likely more when you consider FDA and public outcry). This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of nanobots circulating human bloodstreams, with scientists working on the idea as far back as 2009.

The bots would circulate in your blood stream, and when they went through your wrist (under your watch), the watch would be capable of reading the status (cancer/no cancer etc.).

Similar technology is already well documented and in recent years has become closer to something Google could actually use in a product. Ray Kurzweil, futurist and director of engineering at Google, described his vision for nanobots that could enter our blood stream in a piece he penned for The Guardian back in 2007: Read more

Google to preview next major Android release, TV features, & wearable platform at I/O, says Sundar Pichai

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Ahead of Google I/O officially kicking off tomorrow, Google’s head of Android Sundar Pichai recently sat down with Bloomberg Businessweek for an extensive, in-depth interview. The talk covered a variety of things, including Pichai’s history growing up in India and moving to the United States. It also talked in detail about the general relationship between Pichai, former head of Android Andy Rubin, and other departments of Google. Most importantly, however, Picahi discussed what we will see the company unveil at I/O this week.

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Play Store revenues more than doubled, almost all of it from in-app purchases

appannie

New data from App Annie shows that revenue from apps downloaded via the Google Play store more than doubled between the first quarters of 2013 and 2014 – and that a staggering 98 percent of it comes from in-app purchases in apps that were free to download.

Games continue to dominate the charts, accounting for 40 percent of all downloads but 90 percent of revenues, up from 80 percent last year …  Read more

Nest to share some user data with Google, open up third-party development platform

Google CEO Larry Page (centre) with Nest co-founders Matt Rogers amd Tony Fadell (photo: technologyreview.com)

Google CEO Larry Page (centre) with Nest co-founders Matt Rogers amd Tony Fadell (photo: technologyreview.com)

Google and Nest have big plans for their partnership, the Wall Street Journal reports. The two companies plan to team up to offer a development platform around the Nest learning thermostat and Nest Protect smoke/CO detector in what appears to be the next step in Google’s connected home efforts following the Mountain View company’s $555 million acquisition of Dropcam a few days ago.

The system as it is currently said to exist allows users to issue voice commands to a smartphone to change settings on the Nest lineup or change a house’s temperature based on the owner’s proximity (so the air comes on when you’re almost home). However, the “Works with Nest” program will soon be expanded to support third-party remotes and appliances.

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Things you can expect to see at Google I/O 2014

Google I:O

Google’s annual I/O conference is only two days away but leaks and rumors leading up to this year’s show have been going strong for quite a while. In an effort to brace ourselves for Mountain View’s latest contributions to the tech world, we’ve decided to discuss what we might be seeing in the next couple of days. While some of these items are a given, others are a mix of rumors and speculation. There’s no guarantee that everything listed here will be announced during I/O, but we eventually expect to see these projects from Google at some point in time. That being said, here are some things that we might see this year in San Francisco.

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Google announces new domain registration service, currently invite-only

Photo: Associated Press

Photo: Associated Press

Google this afternoon announced that it is launching a new Google Domains service. In an effort to continue its reach to small businesses, the company has announced that it is, for the first time, offering a domain registration service. Google says that its small business-focused division decided to create Google Domains because, according to its research, 55 percent of small businesses still do not have a website.

Google Domains is still in an early, invite only beta, but the company says that it hopes to launch to all consumers soon. Currently, website creation tools Wix, Weebly, Shopify, and Squarespace have all signed up as partners. In addition to being able to register a new web address with Google Domains, you’ll also have the ability to transfer for names from other services into Google’s offering.

One big advantage to Google Domains is that it won’t charge extra for setting an address private. Google will offer 100 email addresses on the domain for free, in addition as many as 100 sub-domains. Google Domains will also use the company’s own DNS servers, which should make for fast response times.

You can request an invite code for the beta now. Read Google’s full announcement below:

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