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Articles Tagged:

io2019

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Android Q Bluetooth settings and notifications will focus on battery levels, Find My Accessories coming to Fast Pair

Google's streamlined Bluetooth pairing protocol for Android devices, Fast Pair, is about to support way more devices — not just Chromebooks, as previously promised, but more headphones, earbuds, speakers, and even smartwatches — and get a lot more useful for people who have lost a wireless earbud around the house. The company is also preparing a UI revamp for Bluetooth settings in Android Q.

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Google says Assistant is available in more than 30 languages and 80 countries, though many seem to be in beta

I/O's main keynote was a blur of announcement after announcement, so you'll forgive us if we didn't notice this two-second slide where Google's Scott Huffman showed off Assistant's worldwide expansion and explained that it was "now [...] available on over 1 billion devices, in over 30 languages, across 80 countries." We love milestones like this, but many of the countries he pointed out appear to be in beta.

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Android electronic ID support targeting driver's licenses first, passports later

Smartphones already store tons of privileged information from credit cards and boarding passes, but they may soon replace our driver's licenses, our passports, and maybe even our keyfobs, too. We got a hint of this with the reveal of a new support library back in March, now, Google has laid out a roadmap for Android devices to store identity credentials in a future version of the OS. That roadmap, however, is highly dependent on how the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) will implement its standards on electronic IDs.

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[Update: Device limitations] Live Caption will caption all content in real time

Among the many Assistant announcements at Google I/O 2019, perhaps some of the most heart-warming came from the new accessibility features. One of those, built for the many who are deaf or are otherwise hard of hearing, is called Live Caption, a captioning service that displays a transcript of what's said in a video, a video call, or even an Instagram story in real-time.

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Android Q will include gesture and 3-button navigation as default options, but OEMs can still add their own

Google's latest attempt at gesture navigation in the third Android Q beta has caused quite a stir. Some commend the decision to finally rip off the superior iOS-style home gesture, while others aren't happy with the new swipe-from-the-side back button. No matter what you think of it, it's here to stay, but the trusty old three-button navigation will be included as an option on all phones going forward.

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Review: The Pixel 3a and 3a XL make almost any phone under $500 look bad

The Pixel 3a, Google’s new entry-level smartphone starts at an attractive $399, and comes in only two configurations: regular and extra large. The 3a XL is the phone I’ve been using for over a week now, and it costs a bit more, at $479. But that seems eminently reasonable for the larger 6” screen and 3700mAh battery the extra $80 net you. Otherwise, there really aren’t any noteworthy differences: both phones have 64GB of storage, 4GB of RAM (yes, yes, I know), Snapdragon 670 processors, and identical cameras. And no doubt, many people’s first question with a cheaper version of any phone will be “what am I giving up?” To be sure, that’s important - and you can find the answers over here.

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Google I/O 2019 roundup: All the announcements, news, and devices

Google I/O is nearly at an end, and Google made a ton of announcements regarding Android, search, the Assistant, and - this year - even new hardware. Our coverage has been fast and furious, so this post is meant to help you wrap your head around everything we've dug into here at the show. From Pixel 3a to Android Q Beta 3 and beyond, it's all here. Day three of the show sees things wind down, but we've still got new items in the list here, and more will be added as our coverage concludes on Friday.

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Android Q will bring mandatory disk encryption to even low-end devices with Adiantum's help

Google's tug of war with hackers is never ending and we're stuck right in the middle of it. Given that Android is such a big target with billions of active devices out in the world, the company has to keep on the offensive. And with the latest security improvements in Android Q, more people than ever before will be able to stay safe.

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Developers offering subscriptions on Google Play will have more ways to grab users and retain them

Although most of the excitement of Google I/O has passed since the first day, the developer conference is still ongoing and smaller announcements are trickling one by one. Many of these are geared toward developers, but will impact end-users at some point, as is the case with these new tools for devs who offer subscriptions on the Play Store.

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The Play Store gives users a new cash payment option

A few days ago, we reported that the Play Store is beginning to offer a new payment option for users. Starting in Mexico, users can top up their balance at a convenience store, so they don't need to have a credit card, carrier billing, or any other payment method linked to their account. At I/O, Google officially introduced the feature and explained how it works.

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