Google IO 2015

Google highlights, awards best Material Design apps

Google highlights, awards best Material Design apps

Like it or not, and some definitely do not, Material Design is going to be what Google will be talking about for a long time, at least in terms of design. And rightly so, considering it is poised to unify Google's visual identity not just on Android but across its other software products as well. And while some are still scampering to implement its tenets, a handful few Android apps have managed to use it almost to perfection. At least according to the eye of the beholder, which, in this case, is Google.

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Test Android apps across devices with Google’s in-house Cloud Test Lab

Test Android apps across devices with Google’s in-house Cloud Test Lab

Android developers need to make sure their apps work on a wide variety of mobile devices, while iOS developers only have to worry about iPhone and iPad variations. According to an Open Signal report, there were over 18,000 distinct Android devices in existence in 2014. To ensure that apps don't encounter unforeseen bugs on such a fragmented device market, developers have been enlisting third-party testing services. Google announced at its I/O conference that it will be launching the in-house testing service, Cloud Test Lab.

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Unsend emails using Inbox by Google—no invitation needed

Unsend emails using Inbox by Google—no invitation needed

Inbox is Google's Gmail-based app that offers deeper integration with calendars, photos, and your daily life that basic Gmail. The mobile app's goal is to "help you spend less time with email," which is a welcome goal for any smartphone user. Inbox debuted in October, but just like the early days of Google+, the app was available through invitation only—until now. Google has opened up Inbox to the public, so now is your chance to get organized, or at least get an organized inbox.

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Android Pay hands-on: Google wants your money

Android Pay hands-on: Google wants your money

Android Pay is coming, and it's impressively streamlined compared to the overly-complicated and feature-bulging Google Wallet. Officially revealed alongside Android M at Google I/O today, the mobile payments system supports both NFC for dropping virtual cash out in the wild, and in-app integration for retailers wanting to enable easy payments. I grabbed a Nexus 6 and a Nexus 5, both equipped with pre-release versions of Android Pay, to go shopping on Google's dime.

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Inside Google Photos: A super-smart cloud for your memories

Inside Google Photos: A super-smart cloud for your memories

Google Photos isn’t the first cloud photo storage service, or the first media management platform, but first impressions suggest Google has raised the stakes with its smart new system. Announced at Google I/O today, and further detailed in a later session by Bradley Horowitz along with the rest of the Google Photos team, much of the near-magic is what’s going on behind the scenes, such as how it uses landmark recognition to fill in missing geotags, intelligently deals with diminishing storage on smartphones, and even differentiates dogs.

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Google+ isn’t dead, but blood has been shed

Google+ isn’t dead, but blood has been shed

Remember Google+? Google’s social network has long been the butt of jokes, positioned first as the Facebook killer for the whole family but failing to hammer the killer nail into Zuckerberg’s empire. Turns out, though, that Google+ isn’t going away, though the broadly-misunderstood network is certainly going to change according to VP of Product Bradley Horowitz speaking at Google I/O today.

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Hands-on with Google’s VR headset Cardboard for iPhone

Hands-on with Google’s VR headset Cardboard for iPhone

Google gives away their second virtual reality headset Cardboard at Google I/O 2015, the first to officially support Apple's iPhone. What you're going to see here is a simple piece of equipment, one made of cardboard (literally), glass, and a bit of conductive foam. No more magnets. Still velcro, but a little bit different use of metal than before. This allows not just Android devices to work, but any smartphone. Even devices that aren't necessarily running iOS, if you want to be especially explorative with it.

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This is GoPro’s crazy 16-camera Google Jump rig

This is GoPro’s crazy 16-camera Google Jump rig

GoPro has been busy lately, first showing off a spherical rig yesterday and then following up today with this, a 16-camera 360 Array to work with Google Jump. The first example of a Jump-compatible rig for recording entire panoramas of footage, the 3D-printed framework holds more than a dozen GoPro cameras and, optionally, a microphone with them, so that users can capture everything going on around them and share it on the new YouTube service.

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Google I/O 2015 round-up: the main keynote

Google I/O 2015 round-up: the main keynote

Google focuses on Android, development of Internet of Things, Photos, and virtual reality at this year's Google I/O developer conference. The conference began with a brief introduction to Android M, Google's next software for mobile devices. From there, they went on to celebrate their first billion user products and the release of Android Pay. Needless to say, this wasn't a super Chrome-focused sort of day. This was a day of mobile engagement from the start of this first keynote to the end. All about movement and tiny device software.

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Google JUMP made for cameras shooting VR video

Google JUMP made for cameras shooting VR video

A rig and software for shooting virtual reality video in 360-degrees is presented by Google as "JUMP". This system will include schematics that'll be given away by Google to the public. With these plans, you'll be able to build your own JUMP system with whatever cameras you have on hand. The second part of this equation is the JUMP software which stitches all of the video together. They make it seem so very easy - and super pumped for YouTube right out the gate.

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Google Expeditions takes classes on a Cardboard fieldtrip

Google Expeditions takes classes on a Cardboard fieldtrip

Google is taking Cardboard into classrooms, with a new Google Expeditions pack containing everything a teacher needs for their class to go on a virtual reality fieldtrip. Taking advantage of the affordable VR viewer that folds up around a regular smartphone but turns it into a 3D eyepiece, Expeditions will feature content from high-profile providers like the Palace of Versailles.

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Google Cardboard 2 is made for iPhone, and everyone

Google Cardboard 2 is made for iPhone, and everyone

Google reveals their second virtual reality headset for phones, a larger Google Cardboard. Clay Bavor of Google Cardboard spoke up today at Google I/O about the starting run of the company's virtual reality efforts. The second Google Cardboard unit will have a button instead of a magnetic washer mechanism, and it'll be large enough to support 6-inch display-toting smartphones. This release will include a Cardboard SDK - developer kit for creative types to get ready for the oncoming wave of Virtual Reality apps.

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