Many of the services that Google operates have been given a new look over the last few months. Providing users with the same look across different services allows for easier use and, of course, it looks great. An area that has seriously lacked for Google is Google Contacts. Finally, Google has redesigned Contacts on the web to feature contacts, circles, and frequently contacted people.
Hit the break for the a list of the new features:
On Monday, Sundar Pichai confirmed that Google is indeed developing its own MVNO carrier. We have learned today that the service, backed by existing wireless carriers, will be called Google LTE-A. The company launched a Twitter account for the MVNO carrier and that exposed the name and the image seen above. It is rather generic; however. Google likely wanted to keep things as simple as possible for consumers.
At MWC 2015, Waze announced they have been added to the list of apps that phone manufacturers and carriers can include as a pre-installed app on new Android devices. Waze says the list of apps are part of the Google Mobile Service. The move makes sense since Waze was purchased by Google last year and the people-provided traffic information can show up in the Google Maps platform on mobile devices. As part of their announcement, Waze shared that they are up to 50 million users. Read more
Google has officially updated Play Services to version 7.0 bringing several new features and enhancements for developers to take advantage of. They had previously mentioned some additions to AdMob and Google Play Games, but now the entire service has been updated.
The new Places API seems like the biggest new addition to Play Services, as it will allow apps to get information from Google’s database of locations, venues, and restaurants, and users can quickly get info about the business in particular including addresses and phone numbers. Read more
Google has released their latest Android commercial, titled Selfie Slam. If you’ve ever wanted to see an extremely tall Android dunk a basketball over a team of other Androids while everyone (including the guy with the ball) takes a selfie, this is the commercial you’ve been waiting for.
The video cashes in on the selfie craze and uses the tagline “Be together, not the same.” I guess the point behind the video is to show how varied and versatile Android devices are, and even though they’re made by many manufacturers with all kinds of different hardware and software, everyone can take selfies in the middle of basketball games together. Read more
Last fall in the lead up to the release of Android Lollipop, Google let it out that they were planning to enable encryption of storage by default on new devices. This was going to be a change from previous versions of the Android operating system which had the capability of encrypting storage space, but left it up to the user to enable the encryption. As several new devices are starting to finally come to market loaded with Android Lollipop out of the box, Google has apparently decided not to make encryption the default, at least not for their partners manufacturing mobile devices. Read more
The latest distribution of Android was published earlier today and it shows that Lollipop has reached 3.3% of devices with Google’s operating system. This is an increase from January when Lollipop was not able to be registered, so it took the current version of Android about 3-4 months to become noteworthy. The most commonly found version is still Android 4.4 KitKat with 40.9% of the distribution. All of the other versions, with the exception of Android 2.2 Froyo, are continuing to fall.
Source: Android Developers
While Mobile World Congress is happening in Barcelona this week, there is also another important event going on at the same time. The Game Developers Conference (GDC) is taking place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
Today is Google’s Developer Day and they just unveiled a few new features for Google Play Games and AdMob.
The MWC last morning was abuzz with news about the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the new Samsung Pay service that was announced along with the handset. Google’s Senior VP Sundar Pichai has now confirmed that Android will get a default payment service known as Android Pay, which will be supported by VISA, MasterCard and American Express. Read more
Earlier last month, it was revealed that Google was readying their own MVNO carrier plan. In other words, a seller of other carrier networks, namely Sprint and T-Mobile. Today Sundar Pichai as confirmed that Google will indeed offer some sort of plan. That’s the good news. The bad news is that he didn’t reveal anything else other than it will be “in the coming months.” Reading between the lines, you have to think that they will make an announcement at Google I/O.