Google IO 2015 Coverage

Phone Buddy smartphone stand review

Phone-Buddy Smartphone Stand (52)-COLLAGE2

A few weeks ago, I was sittingĀ in a coffee shop trying to watch a soccer match on my smartphone, and while the video quality was more than good enough, the actual experience was quite poor. The reason I say this is because I was having to hold the phone with my hand which in turn meant that the display was not exactly stable. When the display shook, it invariably caught a reflection that obscured the picture and causing me to miss vital moments.

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Xiaomi launches its Mi Store in the U.S. and select European countries

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Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi has brought its online store to four new countries. The Mi Store, as it stands today, offers a limited selection of products to customers in the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Germany. The company aggressively priced its products with a power bank starting at $9 and premium headphones going for $79. People have apparently noticed the value because all of the products listed are out of stock at the moment.

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Tweets now appear in Google Search results on mobile

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Results when using Google Search are going to look a little different starting today. Google has worked with Twitter to bring tweets to the search engine’s results on mobile devices. Most searches will have tweets appear organically, but users can force them to appear by attaching “twitter” to entries. Tweets come from both official accounts and users discussing the searched topic.

Google plans to bring support to desktop and additional languages over time.

Source: Google

Samsung launches Flow, a direct competitor to Apple’s Continuity

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Another service from Samsung has launched as a direct competitor to an offering from Apple. Flow, which is a response to Apple’s Continuity, transfers activities between devices in real-time. Users can also use one device with the other. For example, hitting an address link on a tablet will bring the option to view a map on a phone. Information stays on one screen while the other device manages another task. Activities can be transferred or paused immediately with Flow.

The app, which is labeled as a beta, works with the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S5, Galaxy Alpha, Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge, and Galaxy Tab S.

Hit the break for the gallery and download links.

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Coalition of tech companies, others urge Obama to reject encrypted data backdoors

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Leading tech companies like Apple and Google, along with a host of cryptologists and other advisors, have penned a letter to President Obama urging him to protect privacy rights from attempts by law enforcement agencies to create backdoors to encrypted phone data. The move is in response to several months of statements from officials like FBI Director James Comey who have criticized tech companies for building encryption into their devices possibly at the expense of public safety. Against that fear, the letter notes that “strong encryption is the cornerstone of the modern information economy’s security.” Read more

Microsoft opens beta testing for Office for Android on smartphones

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This past January Microsoft released Office for Android on tablet devices that were at least 7-inches in size. Today they announced another step in their effort to make the suite of desktop applications truly cross-platform and cross-device with the launch of beta testing of the app on Android smartphones. Microsoft says the interfaces for Word, Excel and PowerPoint have all been optimized for use on Android phones while preserving formatting and content. Read more

New Light Phone wants to be “your phone away from phone”

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In some areas of the U.S., the tiny house movement is leading consumers to build small, simple houses and eschewing the size and complexity of most normal houses. A new project on Kickstarter appears to be bringing a similar mindset to cell phones. The Light Phone is being designed as a credit card-sized cell phone that does one thing – phone calls. The device is being marketed as a way for people to get away from all of the distractions and intrusions created by today’s typical smartphones. Read more