Today The Most Important Google I/O In Years Begins

As developer conferences go, Google I/O stands out for a lot of reasons.  Unlike Microsoft’s Build Conference or Apple’s WWDC, Google tends to bring to light countless projects each year, some of which never make it any further than I/O… but they get exposed.  The last few years, however, I/O has become synonymous with Android.  In 2014, we saw Android Lollipop.  In 2015 we saw Marshmallow.  Sure there were other things but fundamentally, that’s what remember these last two conferences launching.

Google I/O 2016 is going to be different.  Very different.  Starting today, we see the Mountain View company’s vision for the future.  Yes we will hear about Android N but it won’t be front-and-center.  It is, after all, already available in beta.  That vision is going to include a wide range of products, services and solutions, all of which will not only shape the future for Google but the future of everyone who touches their technologies.

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T-Mobile Adds Google Play Music And Others To Binge On Service

T-Mobile continues to expand their Bing On Service with an announcement today that they have added 13 new providers.  If you aren’t familiar with Binge On, it is a part of most T-Mobile plans that allows you to stream content without counting against your data allowance each month.  There are now over 80 video providers alone in the program and music content continues to expand.  In today’s announcement, the big news for Android users was the addition of Google Play Music to the service.  Now you can stream your music on your T-Mobile account without eating any data.

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Twitter To Stop Counting Links Against The 140-Character Limit

Bloomberg is reporting that Twitter is considering making a small but important change to how they handle links to photos and URLs in Tweets, perhaps as soon as next week.  According to the report, the company is considering not counting links to photos and other web links against the 140-character limit that is place for Tweets today.  It is a small change but with URLs taking up to 23 characters, that adds a lot of space for users to get more content in their posts.

The social media company will soon stop counting photos and links as part of its 140-character limit for messages, according to a person familiar with the matter. The change could happen in the next two weeks, said the person who asked not to be named because the decision isn’t yet public. Links currently take up 23 characters, even after Twitter automatically shortens them. The company declined to comment.

While Twitter themselves did not comment on this article from Bloomberg, there has been plenty of rumblings about the company making changes to their character limits.  This, it seems, is a good compromise.

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Sony Launches The Xperia XA Ultra – The Ultimate Selfie Phone?

There are phones with good selfie front facing cameras and then there is the new Sony Xperia XA Ultra.  The latest offering from Sony was announced today and the new Ultra comes with an impressive 16MP front facing camera for the perfect selfie shot.  The new phone though doesn’t stop at just this one feature.  It is packed and flagship quality features and specs including a MediaTek MT6755 eight-core processor, 3GB of RAM and 16GB of storage.  That storage can be expanded up to an additional 200GB thanks to the MicroSD slot built into it.

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Google Releases New Mobile Testing Tool for Webmasters

I don’t post a lot of news around Google’s webmaster tools because, frankly, it will appeal to a small percentage of you who come to the site.  However, this one was important and those of you who have sites big and small will want to make a note of this new feature.  Google has launched a revamped mobile testing tool for webmasters that not only points out if your site is mobile friendly but will highlight specific areas where you need to improve your site.  It also gives you a link to your site’s usability report with more details on what can be improved.

So why is this important?  Mobile traffic to websites continues to grow and that is certainly true for tech oriented sites.  Looking at the traffic here at, well over 1/2 of you come to the site via a mobile device or the app.  This site is not unique and why much of my design efforts over the course of the past six months have been focused on making sure that readers can visit the site on their mobiles without issues.

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Chrome OS Receives Another Minor Update

The Chromium team at Google has pushed out another small, midstream update to the platform today, bringing a handful of minor fixes and improvements.  The new build versions are  50.0.2661.103 or 50.0.2661.104 (Platform version: 7879.74.0 or 7978.76.0) and it is available for all devices with two notable exceptions:  The Pinky 11.6″ Chromebooks and the Asus Chromebit.  No word is given in the release on if these devices will see a separate update later but if you own one of those devices, keep checking.  There are not a huge number of changes in this update, with the release stating stability improvements, bug fixes and security updates are included in it.

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Anker 20100mAh Charger With USB Type-C Support Down to $49.99 on Amazon Today

Over at Amazon today, you can pick up a pretty good deal on an excellent external charger for your devices.  The Anker PowerCore+ 20100mAh pack is down to $49.99, a 58% savings off the regular price of $119.99 and not only does it support USB A (what we think of as standard USB) but also USB Type-C support for some of the latest Android devices as well as the latest Macbooks.  In fact, Anker states that this pack can fully charge your Macbook once on a single charge.  With a 20100mAh battery inside, it’s not hard to see that being possible.

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