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

 
 
By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2015-05-29
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Google I/O Highlights Android Pay, Driverless Cars, Photos App
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.
 

SAN FRANCISCO—As it always does, Google brought its "A" game to Moscone West May 28 and 29 for its annual Google I/O conference, which attracted some 10,000 attendees from six continents on-site and an estimated 2 million others watching on livestream television. Although the conference featured a lot of news for developers—which is the main purpose of the event—there was even more news about devices and the company's plans for the future. Thus, shows such as this one have become almost as noteworthy for general marketing purposes as for explaining to developers where the company is going so they can find and use the right tools for the apps they are developing. Google unveiled a snappy new Photos app; expanded its explanation of Google Now on Tap, a real-time digital assistant-type app;  introduced Android Pay to compete in some ways with Apple Pay; and set YouTube and Google Maps free to work without being connected to the Internet. This slide show touches on highlights from Google I/O 2015. (Photos by Chris Preimesberger)

 
 
 
 
 
Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz
 
 
 
 
 
 

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