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Everything you need to know from Google IO 2016

Everything you need to know from Google IO 2016

This morning we've collected every bit of news from Google I/O 2016, sorting it all out into easily digestible bits. Each of the news items you'll find in our list below has a link (or more than one link) to a more in-depth related story. You can get the basics here, or drop in on whichever subjects you like to keep your mind reeling. Learn a little or learn a lot - whatever you want!

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Google Daydream Dev Kit first-impressions: Nexus Smooth

Google Daydream Dev Kit first-impressions: Nexus Smooth

Google offers developers their first hands-on opportunity with their newest VR setup, the Daydream Dev Kit. The fact that I'm able to get a Google Daydream "Dev Kit" by doing some simple tweaks to hardware I've already got on-hand today is a real testament to the versatility - and future versatility - this platform is all about. While later this year Google and 3rd-party manufacturers will create consumer-ready Daydream VR kits, today we can make our own. All we need is a Nexus 6P, another Android smartphone, and a desktop or laptop computer - plus some patience.

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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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Will self-driving taxis watch you with AI eyeballs?

Will self-driving taxis watch you with AI eyeballs?

I was talking with some people recently about self-driving cars and how one day you'll be able to pull your phone out of your pocket and order a taxi, and it'll show up just like an Uber car, only without the driver (in fact, Uber's working hard to ditch all of its human drivers). Autonomous taxis are potentially great: they'll be cheaper because there's no driver to pay, they'll be more efficient and, in some instances, less creepy and uncomfortable. The conversation got me thinking, though: how will the owners of these autonomous taxi fleets deal with human nature and its tendency to destroy stuff?

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Android N could save the slumping Android tablet market

Android N could save the slumping Android tablet market

When was the last time you saw or even heard of a noteworthy, particularly high-end, Android tablet? With the except of the Google Pixel C, which has its own story to tell, chances are the last ones of note were mostly launched in 2014 or prior, with a sprinkling of a few curious ones in between. Although technically there is no dearth of Android tablets in the market, interest and sales in the device segment has waned greatly in the past years. Depressing at that may sound, hope springs eternal, and that hope could very well be brought by Android N, whatever its name will be.

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The must-read news from Google I/O 2016

The must-read news from Google I/O 2016

At the 2016 Google I/O 2016 developers conference, the company revealed software for their products and specifications for hardware for the future. Today we're running down all the bits and pieces in as simplified a way as possible for the common user - with links to more in-depth data collections for those that wish to go the extra mile. This wrap-up will be updated as Google and friends reveal more information throughout the week, and will be locked up at the end of the event series.

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Watch Android Instant Apps run on KitKat

Watch Android Instant Apps run on KitKat

This afternoon Google introduced Android Instant Apps, a system with which Android apps will be able to open as quick as a web link. With this system, developers will be able to present just tiny pieces of the apps they've already made. Users will be able to see just one part of an app without having to download the whole thing. Easy and smooth - and backwards compatible. This system will be released into the wild as soon as Google's done working on it - which doesn't appear to be all that long from now.

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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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The Google Assistant is the natural language AI sci-fi promised us

The Google Assistant is the natural language AI sci-fi promised us

"We think of [The Google Assistant] as an ambient experience," said Google CEO Sundar Pichai. This is the link that makes Google's smart search brain attach to all of your devices, making your Google experience connected. The Google Assistant is not an app, it's an idea - it's a concept. It's what ties Google's smart experience together, on all devices. This is the brand that's attached to the experience that's basically already in place on the devices you've got in your pocket today.

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It might be too late for a Nokia Android phone

It might be too late for a Nokia Android phone

The Nokia-branded Android smartphone we've demanded since before the company's ill-fated commitment to Windows Phone is finally coming, but it may be too little, too late. News today that Nokia will license its name for the next ten years to a new line of phones and tablets, only running Google's platform rather than Windows 10, seemed initially to be the perfect opener to Google I/O 2016, but it also raises one big question: does anybody still care about a Nokia device?

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Sony’s Xperia AI reinvention puts Alexa in the crosshairs

Sony’s Xperia AI reinvention puts Alexa in the crosshairs

Sony has set its sights on the "evolution of communication", and it's not content to let Google, Amazon, and Apple hog the spotlight in AI. The company may have a patchy track-record with its Xperia range of phones and tablets over the past few years, but with the rebooting of its mobile business in 2016 and a more ambitious strategy centered on smart products with more unusual form-factors and functions, it could well be time to take Sony seriously again.

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Xiaomi Nexus coming to Google IO?

Xiaomi Nexus coming to Google IO?

This morning former Google head and current Global VP for Xiaomi, Hugo Barra, announced that these two companies would come together this week. He suggested that he was "beyond thrilled to share that Xiaomi will be part of Google I/O." Barra went on to show the picture you see later in this article (in gray and orange), along with a note "a sneak peek of what you'll see from Mi at #io16." A company like Xiaomi could potentially, and very realistically, be bringing just about anything - but they'll probably be bringing an Android TV box.

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