Microsoft is in the midst of its annual Build conference. This is sort of like Google I/O or WWDC, but with fewer online viewers. Wednesday's keynote presentation was filled with announcements about Windows 10, the Microsoft Edge browser, an augmented reality headset, and quite a bit more. One product failed to earn stage time: the Visual Studio Emulator for Android, but developers may find renewed interest since the latest version is showing maturity as it expands through the addition of Device Profiles and a number of other recent enhancements.
When Google Play services receives an update, there's almost always something interesting to discover. Many of our future experiences – good and bad – are shaped through the new features Google adds to this one framework. Google Play services 7.3 recently rolled out to users, and like previous versions, it contains some hints about new features and capabilities we can expect for the future. With this update, we've got signs of a built-in invitation system for apps, more forward progress on the long-rumored Nearby feature, and more.
Okay, not everything was unveiled. One piece of information we were waiting to see confirmed was the processor. Rather than adopt the Snapdragon 810, LG has opted for the 808. It and Qualcomm boast that with this processor the device is able to get more than a full day of battery life.
Back in January, Google announced initial support for forty third-party apps (including Runtastic, Zillow, Waze, and more) hooking into Google Now. Even if Google limited participation to hand-picked partners, the news was exciting - it marked Google's first publicly visible steps toward opening Now to users' favorite apps in ways that developers could control.
Google is still keeping details about developer participation close, but today 70 new apps have been added to the Google Now roster.
Over the past few days, we have learned of two new ways that Google has been integrating its desktop Search with Android devices: finding your phone and sending directions to yourself. The Google Operating Systems blog (not associated with Google) found that other similar "searches" now make it possible to set an alarm or send a note to your phone as well.
To send a note to yourself, you simply search for "note to self," or "send a note." A card appears with a text field to write the content of the note and a device picker so you can choose which phone or tablet to send it to.
No one is going to claim that tablet designs are exactly innovative. After all, they're pretty much all thin slabs of plastic or metal with big touchscreens. Maybe they need more pointy bits? Acer certainly thinks so, which is why it's planning to release a gaming tablet called Predator. It's not an attractive device.
SwiftKey has announced beta version 5.3 of its third-party keyboard, and this time the highlight feature concerns a new menu for accessing content and settings. It's called the SwiftKey Hub.
This little menu appears to the left of the prediction bar. It serves as a quick way to access the app's most popular settings. This is a change from having to activate a separate key's secondary function, as SwiftKey (using the 123 key) and many other alternative keyboards have done.
The SwiftKey Hub is divided into three sections: Personalize, SwiftKey Store, and Settings. The first includes SwiftKey Cloud, usage stats, and access to the support.
LG has officially announced that availability of the Watch Urbane will begin this week in South Korea, with twelve other countries getting it on the Google Store some time before the month is out (as in, before the end of next week). The thirteen countries in total are: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Ready for Google's vision of a modern cell phone service provider? So are we. Google Fi isn't quite prepared to open its doors, but right now it's accepting sign-ups for invitations at this site. The service isn't quite ready to launch, but according to the site and the video, lucky invitees will be allowed in sometime in the next week. Google will allow batches of customers in each week, but you should get a "yes" or "no" answer within 30 days.
We know pretty much what to expect from Google Fi thanks to a couple of high-profile leaks. Check it out here, after you're done getting your invitation in - there are likely to be hundreds of thousands of applicants, so do it quickly.
Hey, how hilarious would it be if NVIDIA managed to update its SHIELD Tablet to Android 5.1 before Google updates the Tegra-powered Nexus 9? Wait, no, hilarious isn't the right word. ____ is the right word (which the Android Police style guide won't let me publish), according to N9 owners.
A recent post by an NVIDIA forum administrator indicates that the 5.1 update is coming to the SHIELD Tablet sooner rather than later. If the company gets the update out in its usual quick fashion, it might indeed beat Google to the punch.
Hey guys, As part of the SHIELD tablet experience post-OTA 2.0, we heard your feedback about performance and responsiveness issues related to the Android OS.