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google i/o 2015

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Google I/O 2015 App's Source Code Hits GitHub To Inspire And Educate Android Developers

Google releases an Android app each year providing Google I/O attendees with the schedule for the upcoming conference, and it uses the opportunity to show off how an Android app is supposed to feel. Then a couple months later it releases the source code, providing developers with a look at best practices. The source code for 2015's app has taken longer to arrive than last year's, but at last, it's here.

The Google I/O 2014 app arrived during the pre-Lollipop time when full material design wasn't yet possible on most Android devices due to the lack of the necessary APIs.

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[Weekend Discussion] What Was Your Favorite Android (Or Non-Android) Announcement At Google I/O This Year?

Google I/O this year was absolutely packed full of exciting announcements not just for Android, but all sorts of stuff. From Project Soli and Jacquard to less exciting but much more practically relevant things like new Cast APIs, along with an absolutely slew of Android M features, there was a ton going on at this year's show.

So, what at this year's show got you most excited? There really was a lot, so much that we're still digging through it at all (especially in regard to Android M), so think carefully, and check out our feature spotlight series if you're not sure you're remembering everything.

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Google Teases Hands Free, The Public Name For "Plaso," Yet Another Android-Based Mobile Payment System

Are you unexcited about Android Pay? Not liking your Wallet Card? Maybe you just want another Google payment platform... because? Then I've got great news: Google Hands Free will be a thing at some point later this year.

How's it work? I've got no idea, because Google doesn't actually tell us. Well, actually, we sort of do know, because Hands Free leaked as Plaso over three months ago.

The idea here is similar to that of the now-defunct Square Wallet, which used a combination of proximity detection and a picture of your face to allow you to buy stuff without ever having to pull out a credit card, phone, or even your ID.

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[I/O 2015] Google's Cardboard Now Works With Phablets And iOS, Pushes For 360 Degree Videos, And Brings Expeditions To Classrooms

What everyone thought was an innocent little experiment from Google during last year's I/O has turned into a full-on Virtual Reality venture from the company. Cardboard, a piece of actual cardboard that you fold and insert your phone in for a make-shift low-cost VR display, has been getting more focus and momentum over the past year with 500 compatible apps and over 1 million viewers sold or given away. That rise culminated with a few announcements at yesterday's I/O keynote.

First, the Cardboard hardware has been redesigned to be simpler to disassemble and put together, as well as work with bigger devices that have screens up to 6" in size.

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[I/O 2015] Brillo And Weave Are The Foundations Of Google's Internet Of Things Push

We're still weeding through the fantasmagoric dump of announcements, features, and all the new things that Google has gifted us with yesterday during its I/O keynote, and we now reach the company's push for a unified and improved Internet of Things ecosystem. It was only a week ago that we heard rumors of this new venture, which seems to be a rethought [email protected] initiative that is adapted for broader purposes, and it's now official.

There are two pillars to Google's new ecosystem: Brillo and Weave. While information on both is still sparse for now, Brillo will be the OS that runs on the smart "things", while Weave is the communications layer between Brillo devices.

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[I/O 2015] Google Maps Is Getting Offline Search And Turn-By-Turn Navigation

Let's face it, Google Maps' current offline functionality sucks. Even saving an area for offline viewing is a relatively hidden option that you either stumble upon by mistake once or that you have to actively remember how to get to when you need it. But Google seems intent on making offline maps better.

It doesn't look like they're changing the way saving offline maps work, which is a shame because it's difficult to find and there's no option to easily download a state or city, but they are adding more functionality that will be accessible when you're offline. During the I/O keynote yesterday, Jen Fitzpatrick, vice president of engineering at Google, announced that both search and turn-by-turn navigation will be possible if you don't have a data connection.

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[I/O 2015] Android Studio v1.3 Developer Preview Adds C/C++ Support With Refactoring, Code Completion, And Debugging Capabilities

Google I/O is first and foremost a developer conference. New products may be announced at the keynote, but just about everything is really meant for the people that build the apps. For Android developers, there are few things that matter more than their tools. Today, a fresh release of Android Studio hit the Canary channel, and it brings one of the most often requested features: C/C++ support.

Android apps, as most people think of them, are usually written in Java and have a runtime environment that imposes some additional overhead on execution. Games and other performance-critical software are usually built with C or C++ and the Native Development Kit (NDK) so that they can avoid most of that overhead.

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[I/O 2015] Google Introduces Family Star, A New Set Of Kid-Friendly Filters And Parental Tools For The Play Store

The Play Store has a crap-ton of content, much of which you might not want your kids to access. Google is aware of this, and at I/O 2015 the company has announced a new set of tools specifically designed to help parents find age-appropriate content, plus a few extras to help kids engage with the content itself. It's all being introduced to the Play Store under the "Family Star" label and logo.

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Family Star extends across apps, games, video, and book content, but it's primarily intended for games. Searches specifically for kid-friendly content filter out everything else, and content under the Family Star logo is separated by age range.

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[I/O 2015] Android M 'Doze Mode' Can Extend Low-Power Operating Time By As Much As 100%

Mobile electronics use power. And as the software becomes more complex, they use more and more of it. At Google I/O 2015, the company has announced an improvement on the ultra low-power mode found in Lollipop. They're calling it "Doze," for obvious reasons, and it will debut in the M release of Android scheduled to go into a developer preview soon. It should debut in public builds later this year.

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Specifics on the improvements made to the low-power mode are scarce, but apparently they are extensive enough for some dramatic power savings. According to the I/O presenter, a Nexus 9 equipped with an Android M developer preview build saw nearly two times the battery life in low power mode versus the same hardware running Android Lollipop.

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[I/O 2015] Chrome Custom Tabs Will Add Easy And Rich Web Content To Any App With Chrome Capabilities

At the Google I/O 2015 keynote address, Google is moving fluidly between broad Android improvements for the upcoming M preview build and more specific improvements for the company's apps and APIs. One of the first reveals was for a new Chrome feature, Chrome Custom Tabs. This is basically a more robust alternative to embedding a web view in an app, adding a minimal and customized window of Google Chrome on top of the active app.

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