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Google I/O and the year of the Context Ecosystem

Google I/O and the year of the Context Ecosystem

We went into Google I/O hoping for hardware and gadgetry; instead, we got three and a half hours of software and services - gaming, messaging, Larry Page wistfully envisaging a geeky utopia. You can perhaps excuse us for getting carried away in our expectations. I/O 2012 was a huge spectacle, with lashings of shiny new hardware only overshadowed by skydiving Glass daredevils and Sergey Brin looking moody on a rooftop. In contrast, 2013's event brought things a whole lot closer back to the developer-centric gathering that the show had originally been established as. Glass was conspicuous by its on-stage absence, and the new Nexus tablets that had been rumored were also no-shows; the emphasis was firmly on how the components of Google's software portfolio were being refined as the mobile and desktop battles waged on.

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The New Google Maps hands-on with personalized results

The New Google Maps hands-on with personalized results

This week Google I/O 2013's single keynote session focused not just on Chrome and Android, but on Google Maps as well. In an update that Google simply calls "The new Google Maps" and won't be available to all users until later this year. Developers attending Google I/O 2013 as well as those that get early invites to the system will be able to take part in the roll-out first: here Google begins to truly integrate their smart search results and their maps systems, here that Google's promise that the map itself will become the user interface.

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What Google DIDN’T announce at I/O 2013

What Google DIDN’T announce at I/O 2013

This weeks' Google I/O developer conference was the first in several years where the company limited its keynote appearance to a single day. In this single 3-hour session, what Google abstained from speaking about may very well have been more telling than what they did announce - Android, Chrome, Google Services, and everything in-between. Because this now-yearly event is a very special time in which Google's words mean as much spoken as unspoken, it's become just as important to discuss what we've seen as it is chatting about what we didn't.

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Google Voice search hits Chrome with Hotwording: “Ok, Google”

Google Voice search hits Chrome with Hotwording: “Ok, Google”

Google's Conversational Voice Search system has been living on both iOS and Android for either weeks or months - this week it's coming to the Chrome web browser for all devices complete with a command familiar to Google Glass users: "Ok, Google." This system will allow users to speak with natural language - conversational, that is - on any desktop computer with a microphone.

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Chromebook Pixel marks first Google I/O 2013 developer gift

Chromebook Pixel marks first Google I/O 2013 developer gift

This week the folks at Google have begun their traditional giving away of a series of devices with the Chromebook Pixel. This device is the highest-definition display-toting notebook on the market running Chrome, and it works with a touchscreen interface to round-off its abilities as Google's choice for "best notebook in the world." This system is the same unit SlashGear reviewed earlier this year.

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Chrome OS experience comes to Android mobile browser

Chrome OS experience comes to Android mobile browser

Here at Google I/O, the company is discussing their Chrome web browser, and they've announced that the browser has reached 750 million active users, which is up from 450 million users last year, which is quite the increase. However, the company showed off how they're working to evolve the Chrome browser in order to enjoy desktop experiences on mobile devices.

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Google I/O 2013 behind-the-scenes preview tour: we’re here!

Google I/O 2013 behind-the-scenes preview tour: we’re here!

It's day zero at Google I/O 2013, the company's developer event made for and by developer groups and Google to strengthen their world of software, services, and everything in-between. SlashGear has gotten the opportunity to step behind-the-scenes at this event on registration day - that is, the day before everything begins. Here we'll begin to explore what's actually at the event with the hard evidence that only comes from on-site investigation right in the midst of the big setup.

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Google’s Sundar Pichai talks Android-Chrome merge and I/O focus

Google’s Sundar Pichai talks Android-Chrome merge and I/O focus

Google's big Android shakeup, replacing OS founder Andy Rubin with Sundar Pichai back in March and thus bringing Android and Chrome under the same umbrella, won't lead to a merge in the short-term, but developers can expect big software - though perhaps not hardware - news at Google I/O this week, the new chief says. The big developer event this week will focus predominantly on getting the most out of Chrome and Android, not launching new hardware or combining them, Pichai told Wired, though the freshly-empowered exec also took the time to discuss Google's broader attitudes to mobility and personal devices. Perhaps most controversially, Pichai isn't convinced that people-centric Android modifications, like Facebook Home, quite deliver what they should. "I think life is multifaceted" he argues, "people are a huge part of it, but not the center and be-all of everything."

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Google reveals kiosk-centric Chrome OS update

Google reveals kiosk-centric Chrome OS update

Google has updated Chrome OS with a new feature called Managed Public Sessions, which - as its name suggests - allows customers to use Chromebooks as a public kiosk of sorts, whether for business or browsing purposes. Google boasts that the feature is "highly customizable," and that it operates without requiring a login. In combination with the management console, the machine can be set up to meet a variety of requirements.

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ZTE gets Microsoft patent license for Android and Chrome OS devices

ZTE gets Microsoft patent license for Android and Chrome OS devices

Last week, Microsoft announced that it had entered a patent licensing agreement with Foxconn parent Hon Hai, covering devices that run Android and Chrome OS. Today, it has made the same announcement, this time concerning ZTE. Says Microsoft, the agreement grants the Chinese smartphone maker license to its "worldwide patent portfolio."

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Chromium announces new open source rendering engine project Blink

Chromium announces new open source rendering engine project Blink

WebKit makes the web go 'round, and yet it is soon to be joined by a new kid on the block: Blink, which was announced on Chromium's blog earlier today. Says Chromium, the decision to create a new rendering engine "was not an easy" one, but ultimately good will come from it. Developers don't need to worry, as the announcement reassures that little will change for them during the initial rounds of work.

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Google Chromebook Pixel LTE model shipping April 8

Google Chromebook Pixel LTE model shipping April 8

Google announced the Chromebook Pixel late last month, and said that it will begin shipping sometime next month, but no specific release date was disclosed. However, the LTE model of the new laptop looks to have a solid ship date of April 8, according to the product listing on the Google Play store. The entry level model still has yet to display a ship date, however.

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