Author Archives: Chris Davies

Writing for R3 Media since 2006, Chris Davies is currently executive editor for SlashGear and Android Community. Based in San Francisco, he's responsible for SlashGear's editorial decisions and covers all forms of consumer technology. You can follow him on Twitter.

Gung-ho on Project Tango, Google bakes it into Android N

Gung-ho on Project Tango, Google bakes it into Android N

Google's Project Tango isn't just a big focus as the skunkworks team aims to map the world, it's a full-fledged component of Android N. The company isn't spilling the beans on Lenovo's upcoming Tango smartphone - details on that will have to wait until Lenovo's own event on June 9 - but it is talking about how it has paved the way for a whole range of Tango-capable devices in future.

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This is Xiaomi’s Mi Box, the new Android TV superstar

This is Xiaomi’s Mi Box, the new Android TV superstar

Android TV hasn't quite managed to clamber aboard the hype-train yet, but if any company can light a fanboy fire for the set-top box platform, it's Xiaomi. The Chinese firm - and outspoken VP Hugo Barra - brought the Xiaomi Mi Box along to Google I/O this week for its first public outing, complete with 4K Ultra HD resolution and a pair of very different controllers.

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Expect Play-focused Chromebooks when Android app support arrives

Expect Play-focused Chromebooks when Android app support arrives

Android apps on Chromebooks will arrive with brand new hardware and the possibility of much more expensive software, Google has said. The news today that Google is bringing Android app support to Chromebook also brings the promise of new Chromebook devices; while there's no specific news to share at I/O 2016, the company said, when Android apps arrive later in the year it'll be accompanied by "new hardware built with the Play store in mind," Kan Liu, director of product management for Chrome OS, said.

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Google will make its own Daydream VR kit

Google will make its own Daydream VR kit

Google won't be leaving adoption of Daydream, its virtual reality platform built on Android, to chance: it's going to make its own headset, just to be sure. The plans were revealed during a VR-focused session at Google I/O this morning, the company's annual developer event, with VP of VR Clay Bavor confirming that, while third-party firms would be free to develop their own Daydream hardware, they'll face Google-made competition on store shelves.

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This is how Hyundai is breaking into Android Auto

This is how Hyundai is breaking into Android Auto

Android Auto may be all about burying the car company's infotainment system under a familiar Android UI from your phone, but Hyundai is showing off a new, more seamless integration. Demonstrated for the first time at Google I/O 2016 today, the system relies an on upcoming version of Android Auto that allows automakers to insert their own custom cards into the interface.

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Google Home versus Amazon Echo: Alexa’s Prize Fight

Google Home versus Amazon Echo: Alexa’s Prize Fight

Amazon may already have a foot in the smart home with Echo, but does its Alexa assistant have what it takes to fend off Google Home? The new virtual companion won't be the first of its kind to market - in fact, with a release date pegged only for sometime later in 2016, it could lag Echo by as much as two years - but that's not diminishing Google's confidence that its embodiment of the Google Assistant will take the top spot.

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Waze for Android Auto is coming plus “Ok Google” triggers

Waze for Android Auto is coming plus “Ok Google” triggers

Android Auto is about to get a whole lot more useful, with wireless connectivity, "Ok Google" hot-word triggering, and Waze integration all set to be added. Google's attempt to colonize the dashboard through plugging in Android phones is set to receive a number of convenience features in the coming months, including the ability to hook up your smartphone via WiFi rather than plugging in a USB cable.

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Android Wear 2.0 adds a tiny on-screen keyboard, bizarrely

Android Wear 2.0 adds a tiny on-screen keyboard, bizarrely

Does your smartwatch need a keyboard? That's what Google thinks is the next stage for wrist computing, previewing Android Wear 2.0 at Google I/O 2016 today. The next generation of Google's wearable platform follows Apple's watchOS in some respects, with new support for native apps for instance, while in other ways Google's idea of interaction is very different.

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Android N’s multi-window takes on iPad Pro for laptop-ditchers

Android N’s multi-window takes on iPad Pro for laptop-ditchers

Android N won't just be faster and more secure, but offer serious productivity improvements to multitasking and a new multi-window system. Closing the gap between what Apple's iPad offers for content-creators looking to replace their laptop with a tablet, Android N's ability to show two apps on-screen simultaneously will bring a new degree of usability for hybrids like Google's own Pixel C. Meanwhile, there'll be changes to how notifications are managed in Android N too.

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No friends? Don’t worry, the Allo @google bot will love you

No friends? Don’t worry, the Allo @google bot will love you

If you've ever gone looking for a friend to chat to, but nobody's online, don't worry: Google has your back. In Allo, the company's new messaging app, there's not only a friends list made up of your human contacts, but "@google", the chatting embodiment of the Google Assistant.

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This is Google Home, the answer to Alexa

This is Google Home, the answer to Alexa

Google has taken the wraps off Google Home, its push to bring the Google Assistant into the heart of the family, and push back at Amazon's Alexa in the process. A compact, almost teardrop-shaped gadget, Google Home works as a WiFi speaker but also a way to navigate Google searches by voice, and more.

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Volvo’s 40 Series Concepts preview compact EVs and hybrids

Volvo’s 40 Series Concepts preview compact EVs and hybrids

Volvo has given us the first glimpse of its new 40 Series cars, in the shape of two new concepts: an aggressive crossover and a punchy sedan. Built on Volvo's Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), the new cars aim to distill the style, safety, and technology of the award-winning XC90 SUV and the upcoming S90 and V90 luxury sedan and wagon, down to a mass-market price.

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