Nest thermostats add compatability with third-party home automation products

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It was only a matter of time before the now Google-owned Nest Learning Thermostat (and smoke detector) became even more integrated in the “Internet of things.”

Now, the device can be paired and controlled with other home automation products, including Pebble smartwatches (to check and control the temperature in your home), ivee (voice-controlled home manager) and Life360 (an app used to check the location of family and friends and can adjust the temperature when people enter and leave your home).

WallyHome, a device that checks for water leaks, is also on the list of compatible products, as is Rachio, which controls sprinklers in the house for fires. Expect more and more products to become compatible with Nest, as Google is looking for more partners to expand the capabilities of its device.

Source: Engadget

Firebase, a cloud database company, joins Google’s Cloud Platform team

firebase_logoGoogle has announced that they’ve acquired a new cloud database company, Firebase. The Firebase team will join Google’s Cloud Platform developers in an effort to make development for mobile devices even easier.

Firebase exists to allow developers easy ways to keep data synced between mobile applications and web sites and apps, which can be a pretty tricky and difficult task otherwise. By bringing this technology under Google’s cloud platform fold, it should help speed up development for mobile apps as it gives developers one less thing to worry about.
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Solar eclipse and police activity cards now showing up in Google Now

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Good news for heavy Google Now users; you’re getting two new types of cards in your automatic information feed. Google has added in support for police activity as well as solar eclipses. The police activity is pretty useful, as it shows nearby criminal activity which can give you a heads up on areas or roads to avoid.

The solar eclipse card is pretty weird, but it gives you information on ways you can safely view the eclipse, so that’s pretty cool. Not life changing, but a cool feature regardless.

Fortunately, these cards won’t require an update to the Google Now app (as long as you’re already on the latest version) since the info comes from Google. Keep an eye out and let us know if you see either of them on your device.

source: Reddit

via: 9 to 5 Google

Google may sell Project Ara modules in a Play Store type marketplace

project_ara_the_verge_1Google’s Project Ara is one of the most highly anticipated developments in the modern smartphone world, assuming it gains traction with developers, manufacturers, and consumers. We know the basic idea behind it, but one thing that Google has never truly clarified was how potential customers could purchase smartphone “modules” for their devices. Thanks to a new interview at a Purdue Presidential Lecture, the head of Project Ara, Paul Eremenko, talked a bit about how the modules would be sold, and it’s shaping up to be pretty interesting.
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Google introduces ‘Inbox’, an alternative to Gmail that works for you

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Google just unveiled “Inbox,” which sounds a lot like our earlier story on Bigtop. It’s a completely separate app from Gmail, which aims to be a better alternative for those that find they are overburdened with email. When Email started, it was a simple way to pass messages, and it made you more efficient. However, as email as grown over the years, it’s gotten so distracting that it sometimes is hard to actually get things done. One could argue that it no longer makes us efficient.

According to Google, Inbox works for you and helps you get to the important information quicker. This is all done by new features such as Bundles, Highlights, Reminders, Assists, and Snoozing.


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Google rumored to be working on task-oriented email client Codenamed Project Bigtop

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Email is an aging form of communication, and many people have stopped using it simply because it has become so hard to manage their inbox. Apps like Mailbox have come along to make email management easier, and Google have added a few features like Priority Inbox to streamline your mail, but new rumors seem to indicate that Google has something planned that could change the way we use our email.
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Chromecast users Cast 650 million times and its successor is on the way

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The Chromecast is an incredibly valuable piece of equipment for anyone. The device was launched in 2013 by Google and no one knew what to expect. Well, the Cast feature for the $35 darling has been used 650 million times. This is up from 400 million back in August. That shows just what you can expect from Chromecast. It is so powerful due to the tens of thousands of applications available. In fact, there are more than 6,000 developers working on upwards of 10,000 apps.

Hit the break for a Google executives comments about what is next for Chromecast.


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Shots of Google Calendar material design overhaul surface

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The calendar app on a smartphone may not be the most interesting app users access, but it is typically one of the core functions of our mobile devices. Although they may not be “sexy,” calendars play an important role and people are interested in attempts to make the data contained within their calendars easy to access. With the updates rolling out for a host of Google apps to implement their new material design guidelines and appear as part of Android Lollipop, the calendar app is on the list. Some new screenshots of the updated app have been obtained that reveal some of the work Google has done to refresh the calendar.
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