Tag Archives: Google

Google Fuchsia OS Gets Detailed Demo; This May Replace Android in the Future (Video)

By Radu Iorga

I don’t want to get into “memberries”, but remember when Google was prepping fresh new OSes for the future? They were coming up with Andromeda and Fuchsia, with plenty of leaks over the past 2 years. Now Fuchsia OS registered a big time leak, as it’s been demoed in the video below.

Last we heard about it was in May last year, when a series of screenshots from its UI were leaked online. Back then it ran on tablets and mobile and now it’s seen on a Pixelbook, courtesy of Ars Technica. The call it the “experimental, top secret OS” from Google. In May last year it was pretty barebones and many features were lacking, but now it seems to have evolved.

The Fuchsia system UI was written with a cross platform SDK dubbed “Flutter” and over the past year had shut down the compatible iOS and Android builds. Fuchsia comes with a Vulkan-based graphics stack and no emulator can support the new graphics API. It was only supported on the Intel NUC PCs from 2015 and the Acer Switch Alpha 12 laptop. But then recently the Google Pixelbook was added as a supported device.

Ars Technica ran the OS on that exact device, as sort of an app on top of Android. The only things that work are a guest mode used to log in, a bunch of apps and the simulation of the UI. The Internet browser can’t load full pages and the music app doesn’t work. At least you can explore its functioning modes, like smartphone, tablet and laptop.

There’s also a Quick Settings shade, multitasking UI with a variety of split screen modes for apps, probably the best thing about this release. The home screen is the “Armadillo” user shell that was loaded on Android by tinkerers months ago. This time a lot of things work instead of being placeholders. At the center of the screen there’s a status readout showing the date and time, Fuchsia button and connectivity, plus battery.

There’s a lot of work to be done, but the project is coming along fine, especially in the multitasking. Be sure to watch the Ars Technica demo video below. Expect to see a breakthrough at I/O 2018.

You can see the video at this link.

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Source:: Tablet News


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Google Hints at New Google Assistant “Quartz” Products at CES 2018; New Google Home Formats Incoming

By Radu Iorga

Google recently took over Las Vegas, adorning the place with a ton of hints related to Google Assistant and other products associated with it. They’ve taken over the monorail, gumball machine and more and there are hints that they’ll bring forth new device formats in the future.

Google announced that it would be setting up a huge “Playground” at CES 2018. They also placed ads all over the town for the Assistant and the hardware products it’s found on. The big G has already shown signs of expanding even from 2017, with headphones with Google Assistant and the integration of the service on electronics and household items. This is quite an interesting approach and even though Google I/O is the event that brings novelties in this area, in 2018 things are being rushed a bit.

Google has had enough of getting beaten by Amazon Echo and Alexa and wants to dominate. They’ve already sold 6 million Home units and now it appears there are hints about new products. Android Police recently found in the Google code hints that the company could prepare 4 hardware products with screens and Assistant on board. The product range is codenamed “Quartz” and has 4 pixel densities: 640 dp, 1280 dp, 960 dp and 1024 dp.

 

These are “density independent pixels” apparently and estimations show they’ll be between 7 and 14 inches, so basically smart tablets like the Amazon Echo Show. CES 2018 is getting hotter and hotter and I expect we’ll see new versions of the Google Home, Mini and Max.

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Google Duo Ready to Hit Tablets, With Special App Version

By Radu Iorga

Google Duo debuted worldwide in August 2016, as a video chat mobile app, available on iOS and Android. Now it’s ready to spread its wings and also arrive on tablets, according to the latest leaks. Google Duo users are able to make high def video calls to other people and there’s also optimization for low bandwidth networks.

Justin Uberti, the head engineer at Duo responded to a tweet that was asking him if support for iPad was in the cards. The user wanted to use the iPad to chat with his daughter and Uberti replied with “Stay tuned”, which sounds like good news to me. Duo works by associating its services with a phone number, so that may be a problem on tablets.

However, that has been bypassed by the likes of Skype, Hangouts and FaceTime, that work on multiple devices. Duo could hook up to your phone in order to be used on a slate. Duo has been pretty well received since it debuted, because it’s very responsive and user friendly. A cute little feature it includes is “Knock Knock”, that lets a user see a live preview of the caller before answering.

An update from April this year lets you perform audio only calls. Google Duo calls are in 720p HD video and they’re optimized for low bandwidth mobile networks. End to end encryption is available by default.

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Google Stops Selling Pixel C Tablet, Android Slates Gone From Google Store

By Radu Iorga

A new milestone in the life of tablets and mobile devices in general has been reached, as Google has stopped selling the Pixel C tablet in the Google Store. This model was launched as a premium machine in late 2015 and now it’s no longer available.

It was updated properly, it was a pricey tablet with a keyboard accessory and it received several price cuts over the years. For months now it hasn’t been up for purchase and now this decision comes to clarify everything. The product page has been removed and the Google Store also gave up on the “Tablet” category. Already the Pixel C had been bundled under the “Laptops and Tablets” area following the October 4th launch event for the Pixel 2.

The UK Google Store did have the Pixel C a while longer and practiced a generous discount to get rid of the stocks. Interestingly, accessories are still available, like the Pixel C magnetic keyboard, discounted at $99. Ever since 2014, tablets have been less and less in demand. The iPad Mini died in the meantime, big tablets and laptops came back and detachables are a hit.

Google is solely going to focus on Chromebooks from now on, that’s clear.

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Google Maps finally gets step-by-step transit navigation

By Ron Amadeo

Enlarge / Left: Google Maps Transit directions with the new “start” button.” Center and right: The new transit navigation notification. You can tap on the arrows to cycle through steps.

Google Maps is an awesome app for getting you where you need to go, but the app has always treated transit directions like a second-class citizen. For years, driving, walking, and biking directions have had a “navigation” mode, which shows you live map and gives you turn-by-turn directions. Transit has never had a “navigate” mode, though—it only ever had a flat list of directions.

Today, Google is finally adding an actionable navigation mode to transit directions. Now when you pick out a transit route, you’ll see a new “start” button at the bottom of the screen, along with the familiar navigation icon. This brings a number of improvements transit directions.

When you hit the start button, the next step in your journey becomes a stickied, ongoing notification. The old transit mode was just a list inside the Maps app, which made multi-tasking on your phone very annoying. While sitting on the bus or subway, I would rather be reading a website, texting, or playing a game, but the anxiety of possibly missing my stop would have me constantly opening Google Maps again to check on my progress. With the notification, I can now easily see where I am without leaving the current app.

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Source:: Ars Technica Gadgets


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