#368 June 30, 2014 – The Latest from Google I/O

This week’s headline story: The Latest from Google I/O

google-cardboardHot on the heels of Apple’s developer’s conference, Google held a developer’s conference of its own: Google I/O, and echoed many of the same new directions and developments as Apple. Like Apple, Google is updating and expanding its influence over many types of devices. The next version of Android, that Google is calling Android L for now, will be getting a major make-over incorporating more colors, visual depth and animations in a style that Google is calling Material Design. It will feature more convenient switching between apps and web tabs, and notifications that pop up on the lock screen and over apps.

Google announced that Chromebooks can now run Android Apps which allows seamless integration across smartphone, tablet and notebook. Android is also being leveraged for Automobiles, TV, smart homes, and wearable technologies starting with smart watches. Two new smartwatches were introduced, running Google Wearr to interface with Android phones to provide notifications and information to your wrist. The Google Wear watches also feature Google Now which allows users to ask their watch questions and get a verbal response. This expansion of Android into all types of electronics gives Google a leg up in the burgeoning Internet of Things.

Google unveiled the GoogleOne – a low cost smartphone designed for emerging markets.

Google demonstrated Google Fit, an app that collects health related data from wearable technologies in order to track the users health. The company also unveiled numerous apps to assist businesses that utilize its Cloud services. Perhaps the most unique of Google’s announcements was Google Cardboard, a method of transforming an Android phone into a Virtual Reality headset utilizing cardboard and $20 of commonly available parts.

and elsewhere in Tech News.

  • Google Will Finance Carnegie Mellon’s MOOC Research (Chronicle)

    It looks like Google’s interested in higher education. The Internet giant has partnered with Carnegie Mellon to study MOOCs – Massively Open Online Courses. The research will focus on “data driven” approaches to research “techniques for automatically analyzing and providing feedback on student work,” according to a news release. The goal, it said, is to develop platforms intelligent enough to mimic the traditional classroom experience.

  • Supreme Court cellphone ruling a big win for digital privacy [Computerworld]

    The U.S. Supreme Court has passed a ruling requiring police to obtain a search warrant before searching through the contents of an arrested person’s cellphone.

  • Sharp Demonstrates Ultra-Efficient Solar Cells [Technology Review]

    Researchers at Sharp have built a more efficient solar cell prototype that, if commercialized, would double the amount of power a solar cell can generate, offering a way to make solar power far more economical.

and in Information Security news this week..

  • A New Class of Mobile Malware Steals Banking Information (MIT Technology Review)

    Mobile devices are increasingly used for financial transactions, and cybercriminals are taking notice. The amount of mobile malware designed to steal banking information has more than doubled this year, with most attacks taking advantage of Android’s open app store. Apple’s iOS remains relatively safe from trojans since Apple apps are all screened. That’s not to say that iPhones and iPads aren’t vulnerable to web-based attacks.

  • How to Make Smart Watches Not Worth Stealing [Technology Review]

    There may be a way to keep your new handy-dandy smartwatch or fitness band safe from thieves. Technology honed at Dartmouth uses four pairs of electrodes around the wrist to collect biometric data that it is unique to individuals and can be used for authentication.

and in Tech Industry news…

  • Verizon Lights Up Its XLTE Tech in 300 Markets (NewsFactor)

    Verizon has activated its XLTE technology in over 300 of its 500 markets. The XLTE technology employs the company’s AWS, or Advanced Wireless Services, spectrum, which is intended to at least double the capacity of the network.

and finally…

  • Microsoft’s New Nokia X2 Smartphone — Running Android (NewsFactor)

    Micorosft- owned Nokia has unveiled the Nokia X2. An low-cost Android-powered handset designed for emerging markets where cost is a huge consideration. The Nokia X2 UI has a Windows Phone appearance, but is able to provide access to the much larger library of apps available for Android. It’s predecessor, the Nokia X has top-selling status in Pakistan, Russia, Kenya and Nigeria and the third-best-selling status in India.

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