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A bag named Agua will keep your camera dry

Today, 07:21 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
When a camera bag claims to be water resistant, it feels a little like the brand is hedging its bets. It will protect your gear up to a point. But the designers at miggo have a bag they declare confidentlymf.gif


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Google introduces competitors to Apple Pay, Photos, HomeK...

Today, 07:12 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Google just wrapped up the opening keynote for its I/O developer conference taking place this week, and not surprisingly many of the announced products and services are direct competitors to Apple’s. Android Pay gets an official coming out party to compete with Apple Pay, Project Brillo is Google’s answer to HomeKit, and the new Android M gets a focus on quality, much like what Apple has in store for iOS 9 at WWDC in June. The company also announced a new Photos app with unlimited photo and video syncing and iOS support, as well as a number of other iOS app announcements.

Head below for a roundup of everything Google announced today from 9to5Google:

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Google announces Android ‘M’ with a focus on ‘quality end to end,’ developer preview coming soonGoogle announces Android Pay mobile payment service, launching with Android M this yearGoogle unveils Project Brillo, its stripped down version of Android for connected devicesGoogle introduces Photos app with unlimited photo and video syncing on Android, iOS, and the webHBO NOW for Android coming to the Google Play Store this summerTest Android apps on the top 20 Android devices via the cloudGoogle Cardboard VR viewer updated for bigger phones, now supports iOSGoogle Maps to add offline search/navigation, Places API for iOS now available to allGoogle I/O: 4000 Android devices & Wear apps, 17M Chromecasts sold, Android TV/Auto growth, 1B+ users, moreGoogle’s ‘Inbox’ email app now open to all, updated w/ new features

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Google Cardboard VR viewer & SDK now support iOS

Today, 06:52 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Google revealed today at the I/O conference that its Cardboard viewer for creating virtual reality experiences easily from Android apps will now support the iPhone for the first time.

The added support for the iPhone comes as Google has added support for iOS to its Cardboard SDK for developers. This means that iPhone apps can now include virtual reality experiences when paired with the Cardboard viewer.

In addition to adding support for iOS, Google is releasing an updated version of its Cardboard view that supports larger phones with up to 6-inch displays. The new version also features an improved input button and can be assembled in just three steps rather than twelve.

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Google’s new mobile wallet is just like Apple Pay

Today, 06:42 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
Google’s first attempt to revolutionize mobile payments didn’t work out so well. Nearly four years after introducing Google Wallet, the company announced at Google IO this morning that it’s replacing its first mobile wallet solution with a new app calledmf.gif


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Google Places API for iOS now available to all, Maps to a...

Today, 06:31 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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As part of its Google I/O developer conference today, Google is offering some updates on its Google Places API for iOS as well as future updates arriving for its Maps app.

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The Google Places API for iOS, first launched in beta mode a few months back, is now available to all developers and will be arriving soon in a number of notable iOS apps. The API lets devs tap into Google’s database of points of interest. 

The company highlighted a couple notable apps working to integrate the Places API including Lyft and PicsArt:

Lyft will be coming out soon with a new version of their iOS app that uses Google Maps and Places APIs to know where you want to be picked up and dropped off… In the next version of PicsArt, you’ll be able to simply use the place picker and the chosen location will be added to your post!

Google also noted that the Google Places API for iOS now has all of the features as the Android version:

  • Add a place picker: a drop-in UI widget that allows your users to specify a place (see the Picsart screenshot above)
  • Get the place where the device is currently located
  • Show detailed place information, including the place’s name, address, phone number, website, and more
  • Use autocomplete to save your users time and frustration typing out place names, by automatically completing them as they type (see the Lyft screenshot above)
  • Make your app stand out by adding new places that are relevant to your users and seeing the places appear in Google’s Places database
  • Improve the map around you by reporting the presence of a device at a particular place.

As for Google Maps, Google said on stage during its keynote presentation that an offline search mode and offline turn-by-turn voice navigation is coming soon. The company said the feature would arrive sometime later this year.

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Filed under: Apps Tagged: Google I/O, Google Maps, google places API for iOS, iPhone, Lyft, navigation, offline mode, search 382020 382020 382020 382020 382020 382020 382020 b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos

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Google’s Now on Tap takes contextual answers to next level

Today, 06:29 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
Google Now is about to get far more powerful, thanks to a promising new feature called Now on Tap that leverages contextual search to offer quick answers to quick questions from within various apps. “We’re working on a new capabilitymf.gif


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Google Photos brings you machine intelligence and ‘unlimi...

Today, 06:26 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
Organizing the flood of photos and videos we all have is the central challenge of today’s photos apps. Director of Photos for Google, Anil Sabharwal, took the stage Thursday morning at the annual I/O conference to detail the company’s newmf.gif


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Google Announces Android 'M' Developer Preview, A...

Today, 06:15 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
Google today previewed Android "M," the next major version of its mobile operating system featuring Android Pay for mobile payments, app permissions, an improved web experience with Chrome Custom Tabs, app linking, Doze power management, USB-C support, direct sharing, simplified volume controls and a handful of other incremental improvements and bug fixes.

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Android M prompts users with app permissions when access is required to certain elements of the operating system, including the microphone, location services, camera, contacts, phone, SMS, calendar and sensors. The new software version also features app linking, with verified links automatically redirecting to their related app without a cumbersome dialog popping up.

Android M delivers an improved web experience with Chrome Custom Tabs, which function as a Chrome web view overlaid in third-party apps with prefetched content. Google partnered with Pinterest, for example, to integrate Chrome Custom Tabs, providing all of Chrome's benefits such as signing in, saved passwords, autofill and multi-process security. Chrome Custom Tabs are available on the Chrome developer channel today and in Q3 for the public.

Android Pay

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Android Pay, essentially a rebranded and improved version of Google Wallet, is an NFC-based mobile payments service with virtually identical functionality as Apple Pay. Android Pay keeps payment information secure by generating a virtual account number and requiring fingerprint authentication for secure identification.

Android users can add their supported credit and debit cards to the Android Pay app and easily tap to pay at over 700,000 retailers and businesses that accept contactless payments, such as American Eagle, Bloomingdale's, McDonald's, Macy's, Staples, Target and Walgreens. Android Pay can also be used for in-app purchases in supported apps.

Google announced that four major credit card companies in American Express, MasterCard, Visa and Discover will support Android Pay, alongside major financial institutions and AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile in the United States. More partners should be added in the future.

Project Brillo

Brillo is a slimmed-down version of Android that's designed to power the Internet of things. It's an operating system that will be made available to manufacturers, who can build it into devices like thermostats and lightbulbs. It includes support for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.

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Weave goes along with Brillo and serves as a communications layer that allows Internet of things devices to talk to one another. With Weave, Brillo devices, smartphones, tablets, and the Internet can communicate. Weave is cross-platform, so it can work with non-Android devices, and Android devices can auto-detect Brillo and Weave devices. Brillo will be available to devs in Q3, while Weave will be available in Q4.

Google Now

Google announced a new feature for Google Now in Android M: Now on Tap. With Now on Tap, you can tap on the home button of an Android device to get more information about what's on the screen.

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For example, when listening to music in Spotify, if you tap and hold on the home button and ask a question about the artist, Google Now understands the context and will reply. When tapping on the home button, Google Now is able to read the content of any app that's running and bring up relevant, contextually aware Google Now cards. Apps don't need to implement support -- it works automatically.

Another example: On stage, a chat window with a discussion about laundry and a restaurant was brought up. A tap on the home button brought up a to-do card and cards for Maps, Yelp, and OpenTable.

Google Photos

Google announced a new Photos app centered around three ideas: a "home" for all your photos, deep organization, and sharing. Google Photos includes unlimited high-quality photo (16MP) and video (1080p) storage at no cost. It's launching today on Android, iOS, and web.

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Google Photos backs up all photos from an Android device, much like iCloud Photo Library. The smartphone app looks quite similar to the Photos app on the iPhone, supporting a main view with all photos with pinch gesture controls for zooming in and out on albums and timelines.

Google Photos includes auto-organization that organizes photos by people and place. Its facial recognition capabilities are impressive, able to recognize a person even as that person ages. A Photos Assistant feature automatically creates GIFs and videos from your content, which you can share or delete. Sharing is simple -- you can group multiple photos and instantly get a link that lets other people see the images.

Juli Clover contributed to this report.mf.gif


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Google’s Inbox iOS app now open to all, updated w/ new fe...

Today, 06:14 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

After first launching its new Inbox app as an alternative email experience to its main Gmail service last year, Google today announced that Inbox is now open to all sans the original invite system while it also introduces a number of new features for the service.

As for features, Google highlighted a new “Trip Bundles” feature that keeps emails related to travel in one place, and improved controls for things like Undo Send, Signatures, and Swipe to Delete:

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  • –With Undo Send—now for the first time on your phone—you can take back an email right after sending in case you spotted a mistake, or have second thoughts
  • –If you’d rather get rid of messages, you can make ‘Delete’ the default swiping action
  • –If you want to personalize your sent messages, you can now add a custom signature

Other new features in the update: Inbox will now show reminders you’ve created in Google’s Keep app, as well as getting suggestions to create reminders when someone emails you regarding a task with a to-do. You’ll also be able to hop right into the HotelTonight and Eat24 apps from emails for reservations and orders.

In addition to everyone now being able to freely download the app, Google also noted it’s “expanding the Inbox early adopter program so any Google Apps for Work customer who wants to join can do so.”

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Filed under: Apps 382009 382009 382009 382009 382009 382009 382009 b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos

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Google introduces Photos app w/ unlimited photo & vid...

Today, 06:11 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Googled revealed its new cross-platform Photos app and service today at its I/O developer conference taking place right now. The idea is similar to Apple’s own Photos app and iCloud Photo Library. Google is automatically backing up and syncing photo and video libraries using Google Drive storage and not local device storage, but Google’s killer feature for its version comes down to price: Google Photos is completely free.

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Without any subscription free or access charge, Google will backup and sync your photo collection across your devices and the web while maintaining photo quality up to 16MP and video quality up to 1080p.

Apple’s own free tier is limited to an impractical 5GB while it offers up to 1TB of iCloud storage for a monthly cost of $19.99 with tiers in between including 20GB for 99¢ and 200GB for $3.99 or 500GB for $9.99.

Google Photos features a similar design to Apple’s own app for viewing images and videos by day or year, and it includes built-in sharing functions for sending photos and videos online easily even if the recipient doesn’t use Google Photos.

I’m personally pretty invested in Apple’s iCloud Photo Library and appreciate the native Mac app, but Google’s “free” price should be a compelling offer for a lot of iOS users looking for a more approachable price for a similar experience.

Google Photos is also cross-platform with access from the web for computers and a native app for Android and even iOS. Google says its new Photos app will be available later today.

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