Google I/O Highlights Android Pay, Driverless Cars, Photos App

Google I/O Highlights Android Pay, Driverless Cars, Photos App
Android Pay Enters the Tap-to-Pay Market
Android Pay Won't Totally Replace Google Wallet
Google Photos Uses Full Power of Search
Seven Android Watch Models Now Available
GoPro Camera Development
YouTube Gets More Options
Lots of Androids Out There
Good News for Developers
Android Wear
Google's Gen 2 Driverless Car
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Google I/O Highlights Android Pay, Driverless Cars, Photos App

By Chris Preimesberger

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Android Pay Enters the Tap-to-Pay Market

At Google I/O, the company introduced Android Pay (pictured: Dave Burke), which will take the place of Google Wallet on smartphones. It appears to be very similar to Apple Pay in that it will power in-app and tap-to-pay purchases on mobile devices. The company described Android Pay as a typical Google open platform for developers to use and one that other Google apps will support.

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Android Pay Won't Totally Replace Google Wallet

More than 700,000 stores in the United States will be supporting Android Pay from the get-go, Google said. Google Wallet will still be supported, but it will be used only to conduct Play Store purchases on the Web. It also will facilitate peer-to-peer payments through the app and on services such as Gmail.

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Google Photos Uses Full Power of Search

Google Photos, which provides unlimited photo storage in the Google cloud and features a fast, efficient way to find and display individual and groups of images and/or videos. Google has put its considerable search capabilities to work in the Photos app so that users can find images and videos fast. Everything is chronologically marked and saved, and by simply swiping down quickly, users can scroll through months and years of photos in seconds. By using simple keywords, as one would do in any search engine, groups of photos that fit that description pop up quickly on the screen. It's available now in Google Play and the Apple App Store.

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Seven Android Watch Models Now Available

Android had a mere two watches in the markets up until this week. Now, there are seven, with more on the way. The latest wearables from the Google shop include this one, which uses the Android M operating system to run Google Now on Tap. This app connects many data-stream dots to coordinate and carry out tasks for its user, such as indicating on a map where the closest Uber car is in real time, and estimating how long it will take to arrive.

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GoPro Camera Development

Google's partnership with GoPro enables the two companies to work together on extended video offerings, such as 3D, surround video and virtual reality, in addition to standard connections to the Google cloud. The company demonstrated the surround capability in impressive fashion at Google I/O, when it simulated a trip through outer space on screen that encircled the auditorium for 3,000 attendees to experience.

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YouTube Gets More Options

If you find yourself out of WiFi range and really need to show someone a YouTube video, you now can do that offline. Google Maps, much to the admiration of anybody who's ever been lost in a city or on the open road, also will become available offline later this year. Turn-by-turn instructions also will be included.

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Lots of Androids Out There

Google estimated that 80 percent of all smartphones and tablets on Earth run on the Android operating system. To illustrate this, the company set up a display showing a number of the tablets and phones now being used in the world. Each of these is a different model.

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Good News for Developers

Google is quite aware that developing apps for Android devices isn't the easiest or most efficient, compared with other platforms, so management has taken the initiative to simplify as many of the tools and services as it can. For example, the software development kit now includes intelligence; it can ask the developer questions, such as this one in the photo. In this way, the developer gets some inside help and advice from the very machine and software for which he is writing code.

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Android Wear

It's a ways behind Apple in this department, but Google is bringing its own sense of fashion to the IT markets with its watches, watchbands and other wearables. Partnerships with GoPro, FitBit and others also play into this part of the business. This booth was one of the more popular ones at Google I/O.

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Google's Gen 2 Driverless Car

Looking a lot like a SmartCar, the second-generation Google car is just about to hit the roads in the United States. Google Chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt took this one for a ride recently. Google estimates that common use of driverless cars is less than five years away.

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