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Google I/O

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In Case You Were Wondering, Google Is Working On App Ratings And Reviews For Android TV

I had a quick sit-down with leads on the Android TV and Google Cast team today, and while it's not exactly a huge deal, one of Android TV's oddly lacking features came up: app star ratings and reviews. They don't exist on Android TV.

Well, unsurprisingly, the Android TV team is very much aware of this. Sascha Prüter, Program Manager of Android TV, confirmed that Google is working on the feature, and that challenges on implementation in the area of user experience have been the hold-up. Admittedly, that does seem like a good reason - how are Android TV users, especially those not in the habit of using their phone as a remote, going to input text in an app review?

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Hands-Off: Google's Android In-Car Concept Is A Surprise Showstopper

If you've read any of my articles on Android Auto, you'll know that my thoughts - for the sake of brevity - are that it's just kind of OK. This is because Android Auto's philosophy of projection via smartphone over USB and Bluetooth is inherently limited in what it can actually do with a vehicle. And so, many of you have asked on Auto articles I've written in the past: "Why doesn't Google just build an Android Car OS?" While Google may not have been listening per se, they definitely had the same idea, and have created just that. You can also check out our video quickly going over the concept below.

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Android TV Will Support Picture-In-Picture, Live Recording, HDR, And New Apps - Google Cast Functionality Will Be Included In More Televisions

Android TV didn't get much screen time at the opening keynote of the Google I/O developer conference, but there were a few goodies mentioned for upcoming builds. Specifically, VP of engineering David Burke showed off a new picture-in-picture mode that allows users to continue a streaming video while doing something else in the main ATV user interface, such as performing a voice search or downloading an app.

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Google Assistant Will Mash All Of Google's Search Tools Together For A Powerful Conversational AI

One of the more exciting revelations at the opening keynote of Google I/O 2016 is "Assistant," Google's upcoming expansion of its search tools. Explaining exactly what Assistant is and isn't is a bit tricky, because it both integrates a lot of existing Google technology and spills over into other upcoming services, like Google Home and Allo. Essentially, it's a new way to interact with Google Search, with the intention being that you "speak" with it in a more human fashion.

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Google Home Is Google's Voice-Controlled Smart Home Hub, Coming Later This Year

Amazon Echo is about to have company. As the New York Times reported, Google has a competing device in the works, and it has the full weight of the search giant's natural language processing behind it. If you haven't already heard the name, you could probably take a guess. It's Google Home.

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New Sessions Added To Google I/O 2016 Schedule

Google posted at least some of the events and sessions for developers to check out at the Google I/O trade conference already. It looks like the Big G wasn't quite finished ironing out the details, because several new sessions have been added to the official website as of today. Here are a few of them that are particularly relevant to Android:

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Android VR Placeholder Pops Up In The Google Play Developer Console

Yesterday we reported on a rumor that Google would unveil a new "Android VR" platform at Google I/O next week, along with a standalone headset. Today we're seeing what looks like additional evidence. Folks who sign into the Google Play Developer Console are seeing Android VR alongside Android Wear, Android TV, and Android Auto.

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[Rumor] Google Is Working On An Amazon Echo Competitor Codenamed "Chirp"

About two months ago, when Amazon announced two new Alexa-powered devices, the Echo Dot and Amazon Tap, many of you voiced the same thought: this is the kind of product Google should be working on. With "OK Google" commands being some of the most powerful voice search and personal assistants on the market, Google shouldn't have a lot of trouble inviting itself into your home and living room or making automation independent from your phone and more integrated with your life.

At the time, we knew (check Artem's comment) that Google was indeed working on an Echo competitor, codenamed "Chirp," and we were rooting for a Google I/O announcement.

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Google Is Still Sending Waves Of I/O Invites To Some Lucky Applicants

Google I/O is only a couple of weeks away and by now, if you haven't received an I/O lottery ticket, which started going out in mid March, you have probably given up on attending the conference. But hold your horses. It seems that Google still has a few open slots, probably after giving others who signed up the chance to buy a ticket and not hearing back from them. Their "no" could be your "yes."

Several users have reported to us getting an email from Google, giving them the chance to buy an I/O ticket between today and Monday May 9.

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Event Map For Google I/O 2016 Released

Probably the biggest event on the Android calendar is Google I/O, and it's just around the corner, running from the 18th of May to the 20th. This year's event will be held at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, where the first Google I/O event took place in 2008, rather than the usual Moscone Center in San Francisco.

There has been much speculation as to what this will look like. This is, after all, relatively new territory for the company. But thanks to a custom map released by Google, and built using Google Maps' MyMaps feature, we now have an idea.

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