The New Google Chromecast 2: Still $35, But It Does A Lot More (And Better)

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 1.35.04 PMBesides refreshing the Nexus line, Google as also dropped a new Chromecast on the world. The Chromecast 2 comes in different colors, still costs $35, and quite literally makes any TV or monitor into a smart TV. However, there have been some crucial changes this year, starting with the design: it’s more circular, but also a little wider.

Software! Let’s talk about it: Fast Play is a new Chromecast solution to playing content faster on-screen. by preloading content as soon you begin the media player app, along with a redesign app (iOS and Android) that is sleeker than before and offers relevant updates and content.

Also: Chromecast audio is a physical solution to adding 3.5mm audio to your Chromecast, so that now a decent home theater setup is possible — it’s the little things that make an iteration count.

Colors available starting today include lemonade, coral and black, in 17 countries, priced at $35 when you buy it from the Google Store, Best Buy or Wal-Mart. Also new partners for the Chromecast 2 have come onboard: Spotify, Google Photos, BBC iPlayer Radio, Showtime, NBA and MLS.

Via: Google Store

Android Pay Rolled Out To A Million Locations This Week

paycollageEver heard of Android Pay? Well, you should; it’s a spin-off from the Google Wallet app, to make mobile payments via phone and smartwatch easier, and finally put Google in viable form to compete with Apple Pay. Currently, Android Pay works with all NFC-enabled Android devices (KitKat 4.4+), on any mobile carrier, at every tap and pay ready location across the US.

Android Pay will support American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. Banks supported include American Express, Bank of America, Discover, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC, Regions Bank, USAA, and U.S. Bank. Wells Fargo will be added i n the coming days, while Capital One and Citi are coming some time thereafter — no word on Chase bank, yet.

Also coming soon: in-app payments.

Via: Official Android Blog, Android Pay

Android Wear Devices Are Now Compatible With The iPhone


Ah, the day has arrived: Android Wear on iOS. It’s totally expected, but surprising nonetheless.

All future Android Wear watches, including those from Huawei (pictured), Asus, and Motorola will also support iOS. Fitness information, Google Now commands and search queries, and plenty of notifications.

The announcement comes only days before IFA in Berlin, where Android Wear watches will be announced from nearly every major manufacture partnered with Google on the wearable project.

Via: Official Google Blog

Google, Now With CEO Sundar Pichai, Is Owned By Alphabet, Its New Parent

alphabetHere’s how it works: Google’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin have started “a collection of companies”. They have dubbed that collection “Alphabet”, and within it, the letter “G” stands for Google.

In other words, there’s a company bigger than Google, as of today.

Management positions include the appointment of a new Google CEO — none other than Sundar Pichai. Page will take the CEO spot of Alphabet, while Brin becomes its President.

Alphabet’s birth comes as a result from the creation and acquisition of companies that don’t truly make sense under the generic moniker of Google, including health-focused efforts Calico and the Life Sciences.

“This newer Google is a bit slimmed down, with the companies that are pretty far afield of our main internet products contained in Alphabet instead,” Page writes.

The new operating structure of Google means that each letter or company will receive a CEO of its own, with compensation determined by none other than Brin and Page.

Time to see where the Alphabet goes — which is revealed, after the break.

Via: Alphabet, Official Google Blog

Google Cardboard Gets Updated: Expeditions For Classrooms, iOS/Android Support

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 2.37.12 PMGoogle Cardboard supports both Android and iOS, fitting phones up to 6-inches, requires just three steps to fold together, and uses a new button to simplify the process of using it across phones. And, of course, it’s still made of cardboard.

To bring virtual reality to education, Cardboard’s Expeditions allows teachers to receive a box filled with Google Cardboard units, phones, and a teacher tablet — allowing for field trips, to everywhere, for just about any classroom.

To record and share virtual reality, GoPro partnered with Google to produce a 360 degree camera array, to be part of the Jump initiative: to easily record, share, and catalog stereoscopic VR video.

YouTube will support Jump, which means that VR experiences will be possible through the app, with Google Cardboard and a phone being the tools needed.

Google Photos: Unlimited Picture And Video Storage, In 16MP And 1080p Resolutions

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 2.10.49 PMThe new home of photos, as Google puts it, is the new Photos app for web, Android and iOS. Unlimited picture and video storage uploads, preserved through time, subject, faces, and so on. Quality of images are preserved up to 16 megapixels or 1080p HD, and considering that those are excellent resolutions, the end result is that this is a viable solution for storing images — starting today.

Oh, and in case you wanted to find images, but still can’t sort them through despite the inclusion of multitouch gestures: searching in context is possible, and can generate accurate results.

Brillo And Weave Bring Google To The Internet Of Things

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 1.46.22 PMBrillo and Weave: two implementations from Google that have been announced at I/O 2015, bringing the company to the Internet of Things. Easily explained, Brillo is an “underlying operating system for the internet of things,” with a developer preview coming in Q3 of this year. Derived from the core of Android, it’s a polished version of its underlying parts.

Weave, meanwhile, is the common language that allows for communication between physical devices, phones, and the internet.

Integration of both technologies will be worked on by Google and partners this year, in an attempt to bring the world of objects together, seamlessly to your phone.