What’s new at Google?
Google I/O 2015, the annual software developer-focused conference, was held last week in San Francisco (I/O = Input/Output and Innovation in the Open). Announcements include:
- Google Photos for Android, iOS and Web – unlimited storage for photos and videos (see below)
- Chrome and Android both have over 1 billion active users
- Android Pay (Apple Pay competitor)
- Brillo OS and common language Weave for the Internet of Things
- Jump – people create and share virtual reality experiences; compatible with GoPro cameras; 16 cameras will work as one to combine images
- Inbox – new email app
- Cardboard Expeditions (see below)
- Advancements in deep learning (AI) for image and speech recognition – Google’s speech recognition has just an 8% error rate (23% in 2013)
- Launch of the Family Store in Google Play for children and parents – find apps for children by their age
- Chromecast allows you to use mobile gadgets to play games on your TV and stream videos and photos from your laptop
Google Cardboard and virtual reality platform Cardboard Expeditions
A smartphone (Android and iOS) slides into the cardboard gadget, creating a virtual reality headset. 1 million Cardboard viewers are being used with hundreds of apps in Google Play. Cardboard Expeditions brings virtual reality into classrooms – students with multiple Cardboards can see the same content as the teacher. Cardboard kits cost about $25.
Launched last week. All your photos and videos synced on all your devices , automatically backed up and easy to share. Find photos by content; transform still photos into movies, animations, GIFs and panoramas; automatically created photo stories; easy editing tools. Free storage for images of 16 megapixels or less and videos of 1080p or less (the most common smartphone files); larger items get compressed. App for Android and iOS; browser version for Mac and PCs.
The unrealized vision of Google Glass
The project was paused in Jan 2015 after protoypes were released in April 2013. Some people feared privacy violations and some places banned it eg. theatres and bars. Google are possibly working on a new model that is more acceptable, fashionable and user friendly – foldable, so it can easily be removed and stored, with a red light to show it is recording to alert others. Should they be banned when driving?
Apple WWDC 2015
Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is on 8-12 June in San Francisco. Some predictions: Apple TV update; new versions of Mac OS X and iOS9 (the operating system for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch); new Macs and iMacs; relaunch of iTunes Radio and music streaming to rival Spotify.
Emoji and other cool words added to dictionary
The free online Merriam-Webster Dictionary last week added 1700 new words, including hip internet words!: emoji; meme; net neutrality; click fraud; clickbait; photobomb; NSFW; WTF.
New Scrabble words
6 500 words have just been added to the official dictionary. Updates usually happen every 5 years, based on the Collins dictionary, but this update came after only 3 years, reflecting the pace of language change. Words include: onesie; lolz; tweep; bezzy; twerking; hashtag; sexting; thanx; lotsa; ridic; facetime; obvs; grr; eew; wuz. Twitter seems to be a driving force for many of the new words. However, lol is not permitted.