Google introduced a new level of search at the Google I/O 2016 keynote today. Noting that a combination of technologies including better voice recognition, natural language processing, translation, and machine learning have advanced the state of search far beyond the blue links produced by Google when they first launched, Google is calling the new capabilities the Google Assistant. A hallmark of the new Google Assistant is the conversational nature that makes it seem more like a two-way dialogue that is occurring between users and their computer devices. Read more
The keynote speech is well on the go at Google I/O 2016, and Google has shown off Google Assistant and its Google Home device to a warm reception. One area that Google has traditionally struggled to master is messaging, with neither Hangouts nor its Messaging app quite being up to standard. In another attempt to get it right, Google has just announced a brand new messaging app called ‘Allo’ (pronounced Aloe) that leverages machine learning (AI) to generate smart replies. We have more details after the break. Read more
At Google I/O 2016 today, Google announced a pair of communication platforms they are making available for users. The first of these is their new messaging platform called Allo. To go along with that, Google also introduced attendees at the conference to Duo, a one-to-one video calling platform for mobile devices. Like the Allo app, Duo will be tied to a user’s phone number and it will work on both Android and iOS. Read more
Fitbit’s newest devices aren’t actually new and they aren’t even made by the tech-first health and fitness company.
With Facebook Live and SnapChat offering live video services, Twitter has decided that it needs to further integrate with its own live video service, Periscope, by incorporating a ‘Go Live’ button into the official Twitter app. Read more
Samsung is rolling out a new update to Samsung Pay, bringing with it support for loyalty cards as well as support for additional banks and credit unions.
Google I/O 2016 is kicking off later today, but Android fans in the UK have a different reason to be excited, the launch of Android Pay. There was a somewhat premature launch yesterday, but the service is definitely live today, with the Android Pay app ready and available to be downloaded from the Play Store in the UK. Join us after the break for details on how to set up Android Pay, as well as which banks support it and where you can use the mobile payments system. Read more
The note-taking app from Samsung has transitioned into a standalone app in the Play Store, and you won’t need a device from the Korean company to download and install it.
Google just can’t figure out exactly which way it wants people to communicate. When Android launched, Google Talk silently existed alongside a generic messaging app for SMS and MMS. Hangouts took over in May 2013; however, that didn’t turn out to be the Apple iMessage competitor everyone was waiting for. So people have been waiting years to get their hands on an all-in-one messaging platform from Google. It just doesn’t seem like consolidation is happening anytime soon.
Because you can never have to many messaging platforms on your mobile devices, Google is launching Spaces. At least this one has a focus, though, even if it could’ve been folded into one of the company’s other offerings. Spaces, according to Google, is mean to be for “small group sharing” with the company’s services built right into it.
This past April WhatsApp added automatic end-to-end encryption for messages moving through the service. This was done as a way to help protect users and improve security of the communications platform. According to some recent claims by media outlets, John McAfee, the creator of the well-known anti-virus software package, tried to trick reporters into thinking he had managed to hack WhatsApp in order to get around this new encryption scheme. McAfee has fired back claiming he was only demonstrating a security flaw in Android.
According to the information shared by sources, McAfee tried to send some reporters some smartphones to demonstrate how he could read WhatsApp messages from a remote location. After some checking though, it appears McAfee was sending phones that were pre-cooked with malware that included a keylogger. These pre-configured phones would allegedly be opened by “experts” sent by McAfee to meet with the press representatives.
Sources indicate McAfee shopped this “story” to both the International Business Times and Russia Today and possibly to Business Insider. Things apparently unraveled for McAfee when some of the reporters contacted a security expert, Dan Guido, for guidance. Guido suggested to them that they buy their own phones for the test, a move that clearly would have thwarted McAfee’s plot.
For his part, McAfee says he never claimed to be able to hack WhatsApp or break their encryption. Instead, McAfee is saying that the reporters and others who were contacted missed the point of his claim that he was able to identify a “serious flaw in the Android architecture” that allowed him to install malware on the devices.