Google to eventually back off on control of Android Wear, Android TV, and Android Auto

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When Google announced Android 5.0 Lollipop yesterday, one of the points that they tried to really drive home was the fact that Android is an open architecture and system. That statement is a bit of a contrast with developments over the past year that have shown Google seemingly exerting more control over Android and how it is deployed rather than really opening things up. Google vice president of engineering, Hiroshi Lockheimer, indicates in a new interview that we should see Google back off moving forward and that the company had a good reason for the approach they took this past year.
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Google releases new Translate extension for Chrome

google_chromeGoogle Chrome revolutionized translation tools in web browsers when it first launched, and they’re improving it today with their new Translate extension. With the new extension, instead of translating the entire page as was required in the past, you can just translate certain parts of the page by highlighting, right clicking, and choosing “Google Translate”.

The extension is available in the Chrome Web Store, and is free for use.

Source: Official Chrome Blog

Here are the first camera samples from the Nexus 6

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Nexus phones traditionally have average to lousy cameras, and I am not expecting anything different with the Nexus 6. Let’s face it, Motorola makes great hardware, but camera quality is something they never figured out.

Google’s Nexus 6 page has the term “More epic shots” with the 13 MP rear camera and f/2.0 lens. I continue to remain skeptical since I have already seen what the Moto X (2014) is capable of doing.


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Google posts Android Lollipop Statue Unwrapped video

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Unless you have been living under a rock all day, you are well aware that Google announced that Android 5.0 will officially be called Lollipop. Per tradition, a statue was added at the Googleplex. However things are a little different this year in that the statue is usually erected well before the release of the SDK. Maybe they waited this year because of the leaked Nexus 5 from last year’s KitKat statue video?

Who knows, but Google did release a video of this year’s unwrapping of the Lollipop statue, well after all Nexus devices have been announced. Let us know if you see next year’s Nexus in it.

You can hit the break to see it.


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Android Lollipop features “Factory Reset Protection” to stop thieves from wiping stolen phones

Android-5.0-LollipopSecurity and device encryption are hot topics lately, and Google is staying ahead of the game by building a ton of useful new features into the latest version of Android. We already know that Lollipop will feature device encryption by default, but it looks like Google is taking an extra step towards making sure that a stolen phone can’t be wiped and re-used.
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Androidify update overhauls with new design, GIFs, and new items

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When Google introduces something new, it seems like everything happens at once. One of the lesser known but certainly fun announcements from today’s Nexus extravaganza is the update to Androidify. The app allows users to create themselves (or anyone else) in the form of an Android-like character. Google has brought a ton of exciting new features to Androidify including character animations, GIFs, new items, and additional language support. Of course, you will notice a new user design with the introduction of Android 5.0 Lollipop.

Finally, Google encourages everyone to share characters on the Androidify website for use in a television commercial or YouTube video.

Hit the break for the gallery and download links.


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Android 5.0 Lollipop statue arrives at Google headquarters in Mountain View

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There is your first look at the statue representing the latest version of Android. Google has put a statue representing Android 5.0 Lollipop on the lawn of its Mountain View campus. It is the Android bug holding a lollipop that towers over him while giving the peace sign to onlookers. His placement does seem to be a little distanced from the other statues. This could be to represent the next phase for Android.

Source: +Alex Ruiz

Google posts video showing how Lollipop name was decided on

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Google’s Android team has posted a new video describing “The sweet search for L” that takes a humorous approach to all the possible names they could have gone with in naming Android L, which we now know is Lollipop. The video shows several options that may have been considered or perhaps Google just figured out there was some buzz around the name, like Lemon Meringue Pie.
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Nexus 6 to be available on all major U.S. carriers

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With Google’s official release of the Nexus 6 earlier today, buyers may be trying to figure out whether it will be available on their network. The good news for customers on the five major U.S. carriers is that Google is going to make the Nexus 6 available on all of those networks with the initial release. The networks include AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless. This is a welcome change in strategy from Google as they try to get the latest Nexus smartphone into the hands of as many users as possible. The biggest impediment could end up being the price, which at $649 off-contract, puts it right up there with other high-end devices. By not backing off on specs and the corresponding cost of the unit, Google is also employing a new strategy compared to previous releases.

Anyone interested?