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“Creepy” Google robot toys would be your smart home butler

“Creepy” Google robot toys would be your smart home butler

Google is flirting with the concept of interactive robotic toys, that could provide a personable - or just plain creepy - interface to the smart home. The research, revealed in a recently published patent, is the handiwork of Richard Wayne DeVaul of Google [X], the search giant's unorthodox skunkworks lab: like a cuddly, moving version of Amazon Echo, the robo-pals would listen out for trigger words and then subsequent spoken instructions, capable of responding with not only speech but actions and expressions.

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Five things we’re expecting at Google I/O 2015

Five things we’re expecting at Google I/O 2015

Yep, it's that time of year again. Google fans and Android faithful will be glued to their screens, that is, if they're not already preparing to make an appearance at the mothership in California. Naturally, the rumor mill is teeming with what may or may not happen at the developers conference. And of course, we have our own picks of what we believe will take place, or at least wish will take place at Google I/O 2015 next week. We start off, in no particular order, with the most obvious of them all.

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Google patents kids toys with hidden microphones, cameras

Google patents kids toys with hidden microphones, cameras

If your laptop's webcam staring back at you gives you the willies, Google's newly patented connected kids toys will bring a whole new level of creepiness. The patent details “an anthropomorphic device, perhaps in the form factor of a doll or toy, [that] may be configured to control one or more media devices.” Joining the description is an illustration showing a stuffed teddy bear and bunny rabbit with embedded microphones, cameras, speakers, and motors. We've a copy of the illustration after the jump!

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Google’s new ‘Literata’ font makes ebooks beautiful

Google’s new ‘Literata’ font makes ebooks beautiful

You expect different fonts in the books you read than on the Web pages you read, and so it is common for some fonts to only be found in books -- they're tailored for the long-form reading experience, and altogether visually pleasant. Apple will reportedly be switching up its system fonts for better readability, and Google is doing something similar with its Google Play Books specifically. The Internet giant has unveiled a new font specifically for ebooks, and it's called "Literata".

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Galaxy Note 5 Edge is better off S Pen-less

Galaxy Note 5 Edge is better off S Pen-less

Samsung's Galaxy Note 5 Edge edition is tipped to be released without the standard S Pen. This follows well with feedback from commenters on their experience with the S Pen and the first Galaxy Edge, as slipping off the bend isn't all that uncommon. A much larger edition of the Galaxy S6 Edge is what this new Galaxy Note 5 Edge would be, with two edges like its smaller relative and no S Pen inside. A simple way to move beyond the required stylus, or a mistake waiting to happen?

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This is the Iron Man Galaxy S6 Edge

This is the Iron Man Galaxy S6 Edge

This week the folks at Samsung have revealed a big teaser - the entire device, that is to say - for the Iron Man edition Galaxy S6 Edge. The teaser image is shrouded in black. Amp up the levels and you'll see the whole device. This machine is hot rod red and gold, just like Tony Stark ordered it. Ready to be low-key as the Mark 2 itself. Now we've just got to see the front - but we can pretty much guess the rest from here.

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Google’s Hangouts for Chrome updated with slick new design

Google’s Hangouts for Chrome updated with slick new design

Good news if you use Google's messaging app Hangouts on your desktop! The company pushed out a new interface design for the Chrome app, featuring the now commonplace Material Design aesthetic that debuted with Android Lollipop. The app now better matches the mobile versions on Android and iOS, and is all-around more pleasing to the eye. The update is available for Chrome users on Mac, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS, however those last three operating systems will require users to go to the settings menu and choose "Disable transparent UI."

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Google Project Fi to send out all invites by mid-summer

Google Project Fi to send out all invites by mid-summer

If you've been quite anxious to get your hands on Google's latest crazy experiment, you might just have to practice some extra restraint. Although Project Fi invitations have already started to go out to some lucky few, not everyone who has put in a request has had their prayers answered. At least not yet. Google claims that the reception has been quite hot and its doing everything it can to ensure that it offers quality over quantity. As such, it might not get to all those request until later next month.

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Google Brillo: another OS made by Android (for IoT)

Google Brillo: another OS made by Android (for IoT)

Google is tipped to be developing another new operating system, this time for the Internet of Things. This new operating system is code-named "Brillo" and will connect all devices connected to the internet. This software may be launched under the Android brand and could have the ability to run on low-powered devices. This would be another open source operating system that would allow companies of all sorts to join in on the web-connected party with ease, and more importantly, cheaply, too.

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Shazam brings lyrics to Android Wear

Shazam brings lyrics to Android Wear

The app known as Shazam receives an update which allows it to work with Android Wear devices, putting song lyrics on wrists. This update allows users to use some - not all, but some - of the functionality available with the full version of the Shazam app on smartphones. The Android Wear extension for this app allows users to see what's playing on My Shazam, as they're added to users' My Shazam Tracks playlist for connected Rdio or Spotify users - that's you.

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