Must Read Bits & Bytes

Google responds to Apple’s Android snark: You’re playing catch-up

Google responds to Apple’s Android snark: You’re playing catch-up

Apple's WWDC 2014 contained more than a few shots at Android earlier this month, but Google isn't going to let it go past without a reply. Google's Sundar Pichai took to the I/O 2014 stage to call out Apple's new iOS 8, pointing out that Android had things like widgets and user-customizable keyboards - both highlight features of the new iPhone and iPad platform - many versions ago.

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Google Material Design adds pixels with depth

Google Material Design adds pixels with depth

Google has revealed its new Android and Chrome design language, Material Design, cleaning up the smartphone and tablet UI by taking inspiration from paper and ink along with depth. "We took real inspiration from paper and ink," Google's Matias Duarte said during the I/O opening keynote, "but unlike real paper our digital material can reform and shape."

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Nest Google privacy row resumes as thermostat hacked

Nest Google privacy row resumes as thermostat hacked

Nest's announcement that it will share user data with Google as well as third-party services like Logitech and Jawbone has unsurprisingly reawakened privacy concerns, coinciding with a new hack of the Smart Thermostat that could in theory give nefarious backdoor access. The Nest Developer Program will allow fitness wearables like UP24, Mercedes-Benz cars, and Logitech Harmony remotes to link with the thermostat, but it's Google Now integration - and what that means for Nest's privacy promises - that have some concerned.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S review: 10.5 and 8.4 Android glamour

Samsung Galaxy Tab S review: 10.5 and 8.4 Android glamour

Samsung has always been at the forefront of envelope-pushing when it comes to slim tablets, and the Galaxy Tab S is no exception. Challenging Apple’s iPad line-up head on, and borrowing the Super AMOLED technology and fingerprint biometrics from the Galaxy S5, the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 and Tab S 10.5 promise to finally give the Android tablet world what it’s arguably been missing: a little glamour. Read on for the full SlashGear review.

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Epson Moverio BT-200 Review: Smashing Glass

Epson Moverio BT-200 Review: Smashing Glass

Google didn’t invent wearable technology, it just made it contentious. Glass’ play for the mass-market isn’t going smoothly, but Google isn’t the only company pushing head-mounted displays. Epson’s Moverio BT-200 may have been dismissed by many as another “me too” Glass clone when it was unveiled at CES earlier this year, but in many ways it’s the true augmented reality headset we’d hoped Google’s might be, and all it took was pretending to be a drone pilot, an engineer, and a space explorer to figure that out. Read on for the full SlashGear review.

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What to expect from Google I/O: Android

What to expect from Google I/O: Android

Ready for I/O later this week? Google’s annual Developers conference is typically rife with interesting new programs and neat updates to their various platforms and services, so it’s easy to get geeky about it. Android is prime for a few big changes, especially with the incoming wearable surge from Google. Today, we’re taking a look at what we’re expecting from Google this week as it relates to Android.

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Why the Fire Phone is no gimmick

Why the Fire Phone is no gimmick

Amazon’s Fire Phone, set to launch next month, comes with a wide range of features that some critics are calling gimmicks. They argue that the device’s four cameras on the front that allow it to deliver a 3D-like effect and some extra Dynamic Perspective features, like tilt and swivel, makes little sense. And Firefly, they say, is little more than a way for Amazon to make more money off a given product. The truth, however, is much different.

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Acer Aspire Switch 10 review: 2-in-1 utility with a tablet price tag

Acer Aspire Switch 10 review: 2-in-1 utility with a tablet price tag

The 2-in-1 isn’t a new platform, but it is a questionable one. Do you need a computer that snaps off into a tablet? The genre has its use cases, and Acer hopes to make a strong entry into the forum with their Aspire 10, a tablet-cum-computer offering that strikes a balance. With a 10-inch screen, the Aspire Switch 10 is an appropriately sized tablet, but does it work as a laptop, too?

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Google doesn’t need Dropcam to see your family

Google doesn’t need Dropcam to see your family

Google-owned Nest's acquisition of security camera company Dropcam may have left privacy advocates worrying again at the search giant's potential intrusiveness, but the company doesn't need a webcam on your wall to tell advertisers what's going on in your home. A new update to Google's AdWords platform is promising the ability to filter potential advert viewers by Parental Status, a valuable insight into demographics.

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