HTC Commits To Android N on The HTC 10, One M9 and One A9

Great news from HTC for those of you have a One M9, One A9 or are considering a HTC 10 as your next device.  All three of these will be seeing the Android N update when it is released by Google.  The information came from HTC’s main Twitter account and it makes HTC, outside of Google, one of the first manufactures to commit to the new version of Android.

The tricky bit, of course, is when exactly it will be available.  HTC did not make that clear in their Tweet nor did they in replies to it.

Google Photos Now Has 200 Million Monthly Active Users

One of the tidbits of news that came out of the Google I/O keynote yesterday was around Google Photos.  The app and service were launched last year at I/O and the growth has been nothing short of impressive.  In his keynote, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced that the service is now seeing an impressive 200 million active users per month.  Perhaps even more impressive, users of the service had created 2 trillion labels.  Those labels help users find things faster in their photos.

Google Play Store Is Coming To Chrome OS

After weeks of rumors and speculation, Google announced this morning at I/O that the Google Play Store, and subsequently millions of Android apps, are coming to Chrome OS.  The announcement means that later this year, all Chrome OS users will be able to download, install and use their favorite Android apps on their Chromebooks without compromising performance or security.  This, folks, is a big deal.  It means that the OS will have honest-to-goodness apps, not web apps, which means you can get the same user experience on your Chromebook as you do your tablet or phone.

Google Docs, Sheets and Slides Update Brings Improved Offline File Handling

A new update to Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides is hitting the Google Play Store that brings a more effortless way to get to your files while you are offline.  In the update, recent files you have been working on are automatically downloaded to your device so you will have them when you are offline.  Right now, if you want to work on a file while you are offline, you have to flag that file to download to your device.  If you forget, you are out of luck until you get back online.  This new feature removes this manual step.

Bank of America To Support Android Pay on Thousands of ATMs

Bank of America has announced that they are rolling out Android Pay support to 5,000 ATMs across the United States over the course of this year.  The new support will allow users of Android Pay to tap their phone at the ATM to withdraw cash from their accounts as well as check balances and make transfers between accounts.  The good news is the banking giant isn’t waiting around.  2,400 ATMs are expected to have Pay support by the end of this month.

Download The New Android N Preview 3 Wallpapers

As part of the 3rd Developer Preview of Android N, four new wallpapers made their way into release.  The better news is you can download them all here on the site.  The new wallpapers continue the trend of having natural scenes for wallpapers and all four of them are beautiful.  Three of the four are beach/surf scenes while the fourth is a close up texture image.  They look great on phones and tablets and are all 2880 x 2560 resolutions for your large screen devices.

To save everyone who isn’t interested from having to have the page render, I’ve added the images after the break.  You can tap on each one then right-click to save it or you can visit the wallpaper page and check out the hundreds of wallpapers I have over there.

What is interesting to this point is that there have been no Material Design wallpapers in any of the Previews so far.  All five of the wallpapers in N have been nature scenes so it will be interesting to watch if a new Material wallpaper or set of them comes when the final build of N is released later this year.

Enjoy these new wallpapers on all of your devices and given their size, you may even find them pretty nice to view on your PC, Mac or Chromebook too.

Android N Developer Preview 3 Now Available

As expected, Google announced yesterday at I/O that the 3rd Developer Preview of Android N is now available for those registered in the beta program.  What is more interesting is that the company was quite clear that they believe this build is stable enough for general consumption on your every day devices.  It is a significant difference from the language used in the first two previews which was very clear in their “developer only” messaging.  While I would still caution those who don’t want to put up with odd behaviors or diminished battery life from download it, if you have an eligible device, you can get it through the Android Beta program site.

You Can Now Add Google’s New Allo and Duo Apps to Your Wishlist

There were a huge number of announcements yesterday at Google I/O but two of them that are sparking a lot of interest are Google Allo and Duo.  Allo is the new messaging app from the company that brings a significant amount of personalization and leverages Google’s machine learning on the back end to allow you to get quick replies that are more personal to you.  Duo is the company’s new one-on-one video app that allows you to make video calls seamlessly with other people, even if they are on iOS.  While both apps aren’t expected for a few months, you can add both of them to your wishlist in the Google Play Store today.

Fitbit Can Now Track Your Steps Without A Tracker On The Nexus 5X and 6P

Fitbit has made an update to their Android app that brings the ability to track your steps using your Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P without having a tracker device from the company.  The move is an interesting one as, to this point, you had to have a Fitbit device to track your steps on Android with the tracker connecting to your phone via Bluetooth.  Thanks to the Android Sensor Hub coprocessor that is in the 5X and 6P, that is no longer required.  If you have another phone, however, this new feature won’t work for you.

Watch The Google I/O 2016 Keynote Message on YouTube

Google I/O 2016 kicks off in just a few hours and the first day highlight, as always, will be the keynote message.  While space was limited to actually attend the event in person, you can view this important message live on YouTube.  That message is expected to be a mix of product updates and announcements as well as a vision that Google has for the future.  It should be a great couple of hours and you won’t miss any of it.

As I put in my post earlier this morning, this year’s I/O could be the most interesting and exciting in years.  A lot of the vision and path Google has for the future will be discussed in this keynote so if you have the time to watch, it is certainly well worth the effort.  If you can’t watch it live however, the link above should give you the recorded session after the fact too.

As for things expected to be discussed, there will be discussion of course of Android N but also Project Chirp, the new smart home solution, Virtual Reality, Project Tango and probably a few other tidbits that will shape the future of how we compute.

Android Pay Lands In The UK

After months of speculation and rumor, Google has announced that Android Pay is now available in the United Kingdom.  The tap-and-pay service rolled out with support from eight nationwide banks and is supported by dozens of retailers across the country.  That support includes the Transport for London network.  Now users in the UK will be able to use their phones to make purchases without having to pull a card out of their wallet, making purchases faster and more conveniently.

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.

Google Photos Turns 1 Year Old Today
Google Wins Case Brought On By Oracle Over Android APIs
Skype Update Brings Material Design Improvements to Tablets
Microsoft Updates Excel, PowerPoint and Word for Android
ZTE Announces The Axon 7 Android Flagship Phone
Security Update Comes to The Galaxy S7 Lineup on T-Mobile
Samsung Galaxy S5 Starts Seeing Android Marshmallow on T-Mobile
Original NVIDIA Shield Tablet Gains Android Marshmallow Update
HTC Commits To Android N on The HTC 10, One M9 and One A9
Download The New Android N Preview 3 Wallpapers
Android N Developer Preview 3 Now Available
Two New HTC-Built Nexus Devices In The Works
Google Play Store Is Coming To Chrome OS
Chrome OS Receives Another Minor Update
Latest Chrome OS Update Brings Material Design To The Browser
Google Drops The Entry Level Chromebook Pixel From the Google Store
T-Mobile Set to Acquire More 700MHz Coverage In The Chicago Area
Project Fi App Update Addresses Mobile Data Usage Leak and Adds Call Blocking
Project Fi Turns 1 Year Old
Project Fi App Update Brings A New Widget For Your Home Screen