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Technology Google's Next Android Overhaul Is Said to Embrace IPhone `Notch'

06:52  13 february  2018
06:52  13 february  2018 Source:   bloomberg.com

Nougat is now the most-used version of Android, 17 months later

  Nougat is now the most-used version of Android, 17 months later Google hasn't quite licked its problems getting users to adopt the latest version of Android. Its latest Play Store user share stats show that Nougat has become the most-used Android release at 28.5 percent... just over 17 months after its summer 2016 debut. Not exactly a speedy transition, then. That still gives it the edge over the older-still Marshmallow release, mind you, and indicates that a large chunk of the user base is running a modern take on Android.There's a smaller piece of good news, too: Oreo has climbed above 1 percent after sitting below that milestone since its fall premiere.

An Apple Inc. iPhone X smartphone is displayed during the sales launch at a store in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017. The $1,000 price tag on Apple Inc.'s new iPhone X didn't deter throngs of enthusiasts around the world who waited -- sometimes overnight -- in long lines with no guarantee they would walk out of the store with one of the coveted devices.: Apple Inc. iPhone X Goes On Sale© Bloomberg/Bloomberg Apple Inc. iPhone X Goes On Sale (Bloomberg) -- Google is working on an overhaul of its Android mobile software for a new generation of smartphones mimicking Apple Inc.’s controversial new "notch" at the top of the iPhone X, according to people familiar with the situation.

Google Photos uses AI to make videos for multiple occasions

  Google Photos uses AI to make videos for multiple occasions Google Photos has been making themed videos from uploaded pictures for a while now. The themes are pretty self-explanatory; themed movie titles include "They Grow Up So Fast," "Meow Movie," "Selfie Movie," "Valentine's Day Movie" and "In Loving Memory." All you need to do is open the Google Photos app, tap on the Assistant tab and then tap on Movie. You can also make a quick flick on the web, too. Once you've chosen a theme and the people or pets to start in it, Google will do the rest, adding appropriate photos and canned music.

The Android update, due later in the year, will also more tightly integrate Google’s digital assistant, improve battery life on phones and support new designs, like multiple screens and foldable displays, the people added.

A key goal of this year’s update to the Google mobile operating system is to persuade more iPhone users to switch to Android devices by improving the look of the software, the people said. They asked not to be identified discussing the private plans. A Google spokesman declined to comment.

Google Home Can Now Show The Weather On Chromecast

  Google Home Can Now Show The Weather On Chromecast Google Home now shows the weather on the user's TV if they have a compatible Chromecast connected.When users want to hear information about the weather, all they have to do is say “OK Google what’s the weather?” and listen to Google Assistant’s response. With Google’s new contextual visual responses activated, users can now tell Google Home to show them weather information by asking “OK Google show me the weather on my TV” or simply “show me the weather,” according to Android Police.

While Android dominates the middle and low-end of the global smartphone market, Apple controls much of the high-end with users who spend more on apps and other services. Embracing the notch may help change that. The design will mean more new Android phones with cutouts at the top of their screens to fit cameras and other sensors. That will likely support new features, helping Android device makers keep up with similar Apple technology.

What’s unlikely to change much is Android’s nagging problem: Most of the billion-plus Android devices globally run outdated versions of the operating system, exposing security holes and holding back Google’s newest mobile innovations.

Alphabet Inc.’s Google controls the Android software, while other companies manufacture the devices. These partners can also tweak the software to their specific needs, so not all Android phones will have notches. Indeed, when the iPhone X came out in November, Samsung Electronics Co., the largest Android phone maker, mocked the feature in a commercial.

Google explores texting from your browser

  Google explores texting from your browser Google's Android Messages app could soon get a dramatic makeover with some interesting new features, judging by an APK teardown by XDA Developers and Android Police. Unlike Allo, however, Android Messages could allow you to send mobile SMSes rather than web messages, making texting a fair amount easier. To use it, you may have to scan a QR code on your PC or Mac, then pair your device each time you want to text. The feature appears to be partially implemented in the latest Android Messages 2.9 APK, but you can't yet send an actual text.

Still, building notch capabilities into Android suggests Google expects the iPhone X look to catch on more broadly. Currently, a smartphone from Essential, run by Android’s former boss Andy Rubin, is the only other major handset on the market with the feature. Huawei Technologies Co., a large Chinese vendor, is working on a similar model, according to people familiar with its development.

The operating system refresh, Android P, will emphasize Google’s Assistant, a digital helper that competes with Apple’s Siri and Amazon.com Inc.’s Alexa. Developers will be able to integrate Google’s voice-based technology inside of their apps. The company has also weighed integrating the search bar on the Android home screen with its assistant, although neither of these changes are finalized for introduction this year, according to one of the people familiar with the situation.

The dramatic redesign will be a contrast this year to the iPhone’s operating system, which will lack a clear outward-facing upgrade in favor of system improvements for performance and reliability, Bloomberg News has reported.

Every year, the new Android version is named after a dessert. Internally, Google is calling the latest one Pistachio Ice Cream, but the company typically uses different official names, the people also said.

Google Pay is the new Android Pay .
Google recently admitted that Android Pay and Google Wallet probably didn't need to exist as two different services. For that, you still have to use Google Wallet, which is now called Google Pay Send to keep it on-brand, if a bit awkwardly. The services won't be split for too much longer, though, as people in the US and UK will be able to send and request cash through the actual Google Pay app "within the next few months." So, beyond the new naming scheme and Android Pay redesign, not a great deal is changing on day one.

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