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Google Unveils Android 5.0, It’s Officially ‘Lollipop’

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Android Lollipop

Google pulled the curtain off the platform few hours earlier, announcing the next breed of Android Operating System, Android 5.0 Lollipop. Android 5.0 was announced at this year’s I/O Conference back in June where Google teased us with the new Android OS, calling it Android L. And now, It’s officially announced – Android Lollipop, the fifth major update to world’s most popular OS.

Android Lollipop is set in a whole new UI, Material Design, which takes the OS even more further in terms of Flat design and fine typography, and the UI elements have gone more responsive and realistic. The Lollipop update has significantly geared some of the great features including Notification, Battery, Security, Device Sharing, Performance and many more.

Android Lollipop Device

Breaking down the Battery bundle, The Lollipop OS offers you some handy features to enhance your device’s energy level. A new battery saver feature has been integrated into the OS which increases the device battery life by up to 90 minutes and also indicates the number of minutes required to fully gear up your android phone or tablet (phablet as well) while the device in plugged in.

Android Lollipop Screen

Another major improvement goes for the Notification cycle, Android 5.0 Lollipop just clears the clutter from the Notification end, allowing you to get interrupted when you want to. Now you can simply view and reply back to messages directly from your locked lock screen. Plus, the OS now gives you the power to hide sensitive content for such notifications. You can easily view all your pinged notifications at a glance by a simple tap on the screen.

The Lollipop makeover gives the Android platform to turn on multiple profiles, which is really a great option to maintain full privacy on your open device. Alongside that, Google has injected a new Kill Switch gig into the Lollipop OS that can make the operating device totally worthless if It’s stolen or lost somewhere. Moreover, Android Lollipop comes with data encryption turned on by default which is much more secure and safer. Plus, the flavor of SELinux enforcement ensures that you’re not harmed  by any system vulnerabilities and malware.

Google Android 5.0 Lollipop is scheduled to land on Google Play devices including Nexus 4, 5, 7 and 10 along with some Motorola members, the Moto X, Moto G, Moto E, Droid Ultra, Droid Maxx, and of-course the Droid Mini in coming few weeks Over-The-Air.

Well, above mentioned are just few sample features of Android 5.0 Lollipop but you don’t worry, we’ll publish the full and official changelog of the Lollipop update anytime soon. Till then, Stay Tuned.

Update: Take a look below on the official change-log of Android 5.0 Lollipop.

[toggles style=”toggles”][toggle title=”Android 5.0 Lollipop Changelog”]

  • Material Design

    A bold, colorful, and responsive UI design for consistent, intuitive experiences across all your devices

    • Responsive, natural motion, realistic lighting and shadows, and familiar visual elements make it easier to navigate your device
    • Vivid new colors, typography, and edge-to-edge imagery help to focus your attention
  • Notifications

    New ways to control when and how you receive messages – only get interrupted when you want to be

    • View and respond to messages directly from your lock screen. Includes the ability to hide sensitive content for these notifications
    • For fewer disruptions, turn on Priority mode via your device’s volume button so only certain people and notifications get through. Or schedule recurring downtime like 10pm to 8am when only Priority notifications can get through
    • With Lollipop, incoming phone calls won’t interrupt what you’re watching or playing. You can choose to answer the call or just keep doing what you’re doing
    • Control the notifications triggered by your apps; hide sensitive content and prioritize or turn off the app’s notifications entirely
    • More intelligent ranking of notifications based on who they’re from and the type of communication. See all your notifications in one place by tapping the top of the screen
  • Battery

    Power for the long haul

    • A battery saver feature which extends device use by up to 90 mins
    • Estimated time left to fully charge is displayed when your device is plugged in
    • Estimated time left on your device before you need to charge again can now be found in battery settings
  • Security

    Keep your stuff safe and sound

    • New devices come with encryption automatically turned on to help protect data on lost or stolen devices
    • SELinux enforcing for all applications means even better protection against vulnerabilities and malware
    • Use Android Smart Lock to secure your phone or tablet by pairing it with a trusted device like your wearable or even your car
  • Device Sharing

    More flexible sharing with family and friends

    • Multiple users for phones. If you forget your phone, you still can call any of your friends (or access any of your messages, photos etc.) by simply logging into another Android phone running Lollipop. Also perfect for families who want to share a phone, but not their stuff
    • Guest user for phones and tablets means you can lend your device and not your stuff
    • Screen pinning: pin your screen so another user can access just that content without messing with your other stuff
  • New Quick Settings

    Get to the most frequently used settings with just two swipes down from the top of the screen

    • New handy controls like flashlight, hotspot, screen rotation and cast screen controls
    • Easier on/off toggles for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and location
    • Manually adjust your brightness for certain conditions. Then, adaptive brightness will kick in based on ambient lighting
  • Connectivity

    A better internet connection everywhere and more powerful Bluetooth low energy capabilities

    • Improved network handoffs resulting in limited interruption in connectivity. For example, continue your video chat or VoIP calls without interruption as you leave the house and switch from your home Wi-Fi back to cellular
    • Improved network selection logic so that your device connects only if there is a verified internet connection on Wi-Fi
    • Power-efficient scanning for nearby Bluetooth low energy (“BLE”) devices like wearables or beacons
    • New BLE peripheral mode
  • Runtime and Performance

    A faster, smoother and more powerful computing experience

    • ART, an entirely new Android runtime, improves application performance and responsiveness
      • Up to 4x performance improvements
      • Smoother UI for complex, visually rich applications
      • Compacting backgrounded apps and services so you can do more at once
    • Support for 64 bit devices, like the Nexus 9, brings desktop class CPUs to Android
      • Support for 64-bit SoCs using ARM, x86, and MIPS-based cores
      • Shipping 64-bit native apps like Chrome, Gmail, Calendar, Google Play Music, and more
      • Pure Java language apps run as 64-bit apps automatically
  • Media

    Bolder graphics and improved audio, video, and camera capabilities

    • Lower latency audio input ensuring that music and communication applications that have strict delay requirements provide an amazing realtime experience
    • Multi-channel audio stream mixing means professional audio applications can now mix up to eight channels including 5.1 and 7.1 channels
    • USB Audio support means you can plug USB microphones, speakers, and a myriad of other USB audio devices like amplifiers and mixers into your Android device
    • OpenGL ES 3.1 and Android extension pack brings Android to the forefront of mobile graphics putting it on par with desktop and console class performance
    • A range of new professional photography features for Android Lollipop that let you
      • Capture full resolution frames around 30 fps
      • Support raw formats like YUV and Bayer RAW
      • Control capture settings for the sensor, lens, and flash per individual frame
      • Capture metadata like noise models and optical information
    • State of the art video technology with support for HEVC main profile to allow for UHD 4K 10-bit video playback, tunneled hardware video decoding to save power and improved HLS support for streaming
  • OK Google

    Easy access to information and performing tasks

    • Even if your screen is off, you can say “OK Google” on devices with digital signal processing support such as Nexus 6 and Nexus 9
    • Talk to Google on the go to get quick answers, send a text, get directions and more
  • Android TV

    Support for living room devices

    • User interface adapted for the living room
    • Less browsing, more watching with personalized recommendations for content like movies and TV shows
    • Voice search for Google Play, YouTube and supported apps so you can just say what you want to see
    • Console-style Android gaming on your TV with a gamepad
    • Cast your favorite entertainment apps to your big screen with Google Cast support for Android TV devices
  • Accessibility

    Enhanced low vision and color blind capabilities

    • Boost text contrast or invert colors to improve legibility
    • Adjust display to improve color differentiation
  • Now in 68+ languages

    15 new additions

    • Basque, Bengali, Burmese, Chinese (Hong Kong), Galician, Icelandic, Kannada, Kyrgyz, Macedonian, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Sinhala, Tamil, Telugu
  • Device set up

    Get up and running in no-time

    • Tap & go: instant set up of your new Android phone or tablet by simply tapping it to your old one (requires NFC)
    • Whenever you get a new Android phone or tablet, you can bring over your apps from Google Play automatically from any of your old Android devices
  • And a whole lot more

    • Tap & pay: easily manage multiple payment apps by quickly switching between them
    • Print preview and page range support
    • Revamped display for battery, Bluetooth, data usage, and Wi-Fi settings and new search functionality
    • New device level feedback for Nexus devices in Settings > about phone > send feedback
    • Easier sharing withWhere supported by the hardware, your device will wake up as soon as you pick it up or tap the screen twice
      • Improved ranking of your options within the share menu
      • Android Beam: lets you share a file with someone nearby by gently tapping the two devices together
    • Improved hardware keyboard accessory support including support for multilingual, emoji input, search key, and improved app and system key chords

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Blocks modular smartwatch is finally available to purchase

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Blocks SmartWatch

Blocks has begun selling the modular smartwatch, which the company launched on Kickstarter in 2015. True to its name, the Blocks modular smartwatch is a full add-on gear, powered by a proprietary OS, and works with both iOS and Android.

Once upon a time back in 2015, when Apple Watch had just launched, Android Wear was still a good deal to bet on. Meanwhile, Blocks launched on Kickstarter, and also made its trip to CES in Vegas. The company promised to ship the product in May of 2016, however, constant delays made it possible today. The company has begun shipping the watch to Kickstarter backers, and is using CES to tell the world that it is now ready for everyone.

Blocks SmartWatch Module

Blocks’ Core smartwatch has fitness tracking, Amazon Alexa, notification support, alongside some modular add-ons. Of course, the Blocks smartwatch can display time.

Blocks says it will continue developing new modules, including a fingerprint sensor, extra batteries, if things go well with the ecosystem.

The Core comes in either black or silver finish, with black and red straps on offer. The add-on modules cost $35 each on top of $259 for the Core base unit. Even after years of delays, Blocks isn’t confirming an exact date yet, saying that the devices should ship sometime in Q1 of 2018.

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Oculus partners with Xiaomi to launch Oculus Go and Mi VR Standalone

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Oculus Go
Image Credit / Facebook

Oculus announced partnerships with Xiaomi and Qualcomm at this year’s CES in Las Vegas. As part of the new partnerships, the company also revealed details about the upcoming Oculus Go along with a new Mi VR Standalone headset.

Oculus Go, which the company announced at last year’s Oculus Connect, will be manufactured by Xiaomi, in partnership with Qualcomm to power the headset. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 Mobile VR Platform is what powers Oculus Go and Mi VR Standalone.

Mi VR Standalone and Oculus Go

We’ve worked closely with Qualcomm to deliver the highest possible level of performance to meet the high computing demands of the standalone VR product category.

The Go and Standalone both share the same core hardware technology and features, sporting same design aesthetics (except the logo). While the Oculus Go headset will be available worldwide, the Mi VR Standalone will be available exclusively for the Chinese market. The Oculus Mobile SDK support will allow developers to easily port their content to the platform in China. Plus, the company says Xiaomi is working directly with Oculus developers to localize popular content from the Oculus Store.

No word on the availability of the devices yet!

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Google Pay brings Android Pay and Google Wallet together

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Google Pay
Look for Google Pay at checkout in Google apps, online, and in stores

Google has announced that it is merging Android Pay and Google Wallet into a new brand name, Google Pay. Sounds familiar? Well, it has now been a common naming convention in the industry — especially in the payment space.

After Google launched Wallet in 2011, the service once supported NFC payments for goods and services. However, the company later launched Android Pay in 2015 for online and real-world payments, making Google Wallet a person-to-person payment system. All that now has changed to Google Pay.

Google Pay Logo

For current Android Pay and Google Wallet users, it is just a change of name and logo. Google says it will be easier to use payment information saved to Google Account, speeding up the entire checkout with peace of mind. Plus, the new Google Pay logo will be visible online, in-store, and across Google products in the coming weeks. In fact, Google Pay is already available on Airbnb, Dice, Fandango, HungryHouse, and Instacart. The company is also offering promotional offers to the users.

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