Interested in testing out beta versions of Google Maps on Android?

Google Maps_TA

Google has toyed with beta apps on the Play Store for a while, but now they’re finally getting in on the action themselves. Google Maps has been opened up for anyone to join the beta, which means you’ll get prerelease builds of the app that may or may not be 100% functional in exchange for helping Google squash bugs so the newer versions can go live for the rest of us. Read more

Google’s latest open-source software makes it easy to create huge, interactive displays

google anypixel

Google has announced some new software called AnyPixel.js that’s designed to make it easy for anyone to create a large, interactive display. kind of like a really cool, really big Lite Brite. The idea came after trying to figure out what to put in Google’s New York office where the company pieced together 6,000 light-up buttons with a web page controller. Read more

Google Now may soon have ‘character’ with a backstory


Not long ago, Google changed the voice tone of its Google Search assistant. At Google I/O, the tech giant announced ‘Google Assistant,’ which will soon answer one’s follow-up questions, be able to play mini games, and provide users with more accurate and detailed information. A new report from yesterday suggests Google Now will soon have ‘character,’ meaning it will have a personality and a background story.

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Sundar Pichai sits down with Walt Mossberg at the Code Conference


Google CEO Sundar Pichai sat down with Walt Mossberg of The Verge on Wednesday morning at Recode‘s Code Conference. Topics covered in the half hour-long conversation were the future of the Nexus line, Google’s play with artificial intelligence, the launch of Google Home and its duel with Amazon, his hope that everyone (including Apple) could work on messaging together, Samsung being Android’s biggest partner, and a lot more.

Hit the break for details.

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Google adding Google Cast to Google Fiber TV boxes


Although Google Chromecast devices are immensely helpful to content viewers who have existing hardware that need the support, Google is making the technology, Google Cast, that drives their dongles available outside of those devices. We are seeing more support for Google Cast built directly into televisions. Now Google is adding one of their own, in-house products, by making Google Cast available via their Fiber TV set top boxes. Read more

Don’t be upset Android TV is dying, Google Cast is where it’s at


By December 2017, Android TV will be dead. Google could barely care any less about it, and there’s another platform that is way better for both the company and consumers. So let’s just be honest: being upset Android TV is on the way out is ridiculous. Who cares about it? You don’t. I definitely don’t. Even Google doesn’t. The mountain of hardware partners Google announced when Android TV launched was impressive, but they’ve all left the platform high and dry because of little flexibility and and poor demand. Seeing what Android is capable of on mobile devices makes Android TV look like a boring, locked-up product from a company who doesn’t play nice with others. Android TV should be open and change-friendly. Instead it exists like Apple TV where what you buy is all you get.

Yet again, Google is going to let its platform for the living room slip away without ever trying to fix things. At least this time there’s a replacement that can do better than anything we’ve ever seen. It would be best if Google cut off Android TV today and shifted those resources to Google Cast.

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