Google just made its Amazon Echo competitor official: meet Google Home

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Ever since Amazon released the Amazon Echo over a year ago, the tech world has been awaiting Google’s competitor. The excitement really ramped up earlier this month when some leaks reported that Google was working on a competitor codenamed “Chirp.” Well it looks like those leaks have been proved true at Google I/O today; meet Google’s new home assistant Google Home!

Watch the Google I/O 2016 keynote right here!

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Today, Google I/O 2016 kicks off with a keynote where all areas of the company will be showcased. We’ll see Android, Project Tango, home automation, and other areas get attention during the lengthy presentation. The livestream is up and ready to go, and you can choose to watch the keynote with us in a standard format or in a 360-degree experience if you have a virtual reality headset capable of running YouTube.

Android Pay has officially launched in the UK

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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.

[Video] First look at Android Wear’s MODE bands

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Wearing the same watch day in, day out can be a little boring, but if you only have the one watch, what can you do? Luckily, if you have an Android Wear smartwatch you can now change straps, and thus the appearance of the watch, with the recently announced swap-and-switch MODE bands. Justin has got his hands on a couple of MODE bands, which you can see getting unboxed in the video below.

Spaces is yet another messaging platform from Google

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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.

Russia delays decision on Google anti-trust violation

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Google and parent company Alphabet will wait a bit longer to find out how much of a fine they may have to pay the Russian government after being found to violate Russian anti-trust laws. The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) was expected to announce a decision today, but instead delayed a ruling until May 31st. This move appears to have come at the request of Alphabet.

Google makes Full OTA Images available for Nexus devices, allows you to keep bootloaders locked

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Being able to flash the latest version of Android to your Nexus device is one of the most appealing benefits of owning a Nexus handset or tablet. The only real downside was having to unlock your bootloader to do so. That’s no longer the case, though, as you can now access full OTA images for all supported devices, allowing you to sideload the image via adb in recovery, even if your Nexus device has a locked bootloader.