Google IO 2016 Coverage

Speaker found in ZenWatch 2, fuels speculations of audio support in new Android Wear update

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Recently there was a lot of buzz about the discovery of an uncredited speaker inside the Huawei Watch, fueling speculation that Google may provide a speaker support in the new Android Wear update. Now, even the ASUS ZenWatch 2 has been found to feature an unused speaker, indicating that the speculations may not be far fetched.

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ASUS releases ZenWatch FaceDesigner for their DIY watch face makers

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One of the benefits that Android fans enjoy with the operating system is the ability to customize so many parts of what is displayed on their smartphones. Launchers add several customizable options and an untold number of widgets give users the ability to get just the look they want, all without involving programming or graphic design skills. It should be no surprise then that similar capabilities are starting to expand through the Android ecosystem, like the ZenWatch FaceDesigner from ASUS that gives users the ability to design their own watch faces for ZenWatch smartwatches running Android Wear. Read more

ASUS’ ZenWatch 2 is being sold through the Google Store

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Another Android Wear device has been made available through the Google Store. ASUS’ ZenWatch, the smartwatch that was announced way back in June, is being sold by Google for $149. The Google Store is offering the ZenWatch 2 in two sizes, each with its own color option. The 45mm size comes in Light Aqua with a rubber strap while the larger 49mm size is Navy Blue and has a leather strap.

The ZenWatch 2 features all-day battery life and is said to take sixty minutes to reach a charge of 80%. This is in addition to powering the built-in biosensor that measures a user’s activity and relaxation levels for the ZenWatch Wellness Manager app to analyze. For smartwatches with square-edge displays, ASUS definitely has one of the nicer models.

[Google Store]

Asus illustrates the dangers of selfies while promoting the ZenFone Selfie

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According to media reports, more people die taking selfies than from shark attacks, which is a staggering thought considering the fearsome reputation that sharks have. Thinking back, though, how often have you lost sight of your surroundings in the search for the perfect selfie? Whether you are leaning over a bannister, stepping backwards without looking or simply sticking your head out of a window, they are all decidedly risky propositions. ASUS France has published a small infographic, detailing how not to take a selfie. Of course, it’s no coincidence that the Taiwanese handset maker also sells a smartphone called the ZenFone Selfie.

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ASUS joins ‘Make in India” initiative with help from Foxconn

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As one of the hottest mobile device markets around the world today, India’s government took some steps to capitalize on the interest shown by manufacturers in selling to their citizens. The “Make in India” initiative was created to encourage production of smartphones within the country rather than having them shipped there from other manufacturing plants in other countries. The project appears to be proving successful with several smartphone manufacturers announcing plans to locate production facilities in India. The latest to join the list is ASUS, in partnership with Foxconn, which announced plans to commence production of some of their Zenfone series of devices in India. Read more

Google Expedition, their latest Cardboard solution, heading to the classroom

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Imagine being a student studying Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and your teacher is able to transport you to Verona, Italy, the setting for the play. While there you are able to examine up close a location like a centuries-old building known as “Juliet’s House” which is home to the supposed inspiration for the Capulet family. Such a field trip would be cost prohibitive for most classes and a logistics nightmare, but virtual reality can get students close. Although it is not yet to the level of stepping onto a holodeck, Google is helping make this happen through a program to provide their virtual field trip system called Expeditions that uses Cardboard free to schools. Read more