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technology android king

Technology For Android Takes Center Stage As The Internet’s Most Used Operating System

Technology / Research from web analytics company Statcounter found Android technology now accounts for a larger share of internet usage than Windows for the first time. During March 2017, Android users represented 37.93% of activity on Statcounter’s network versus 37.91% for the Microsoft operating system. It’s a small gap for sure, and it refers to usage not necessary users, but it marks a notable tipping point that has been inevitable for the past couple of years.

technology android king

Statcounter, which bases its findings on 2.5 million websites that it claims generate over 15 billion monthly page views, tracked the gradual converge of usage for the two operating systems over time. The chart highlights Microsoft’s failure to challenge with its ill-fated Windows Phone platform. For Apple, the switch happened some time ago. During March 2017, Apple’s mobile users (iOS) were close to three times more active on the internet than users of its desktop machines (OSX).

The wider Android-Windows trend has been evident for some time. Windows dominated, and continues to dominate, the desktop landscape, but worldwide PC sales have declined for the past five years to reach the same levels as 2008. In contrast, sales of smartphones continue to grow, and Android is the operating system for the lion’s share of internet users worldwide. Growth is highest in emerging markets like India. There, Apple has increased its sales but remains a niche player with Android accounting for upwards of 90% of smartphones.

While the balance between iOS and Android is more level in Western markets like the U.S., the influx of new internet users from regions like Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America has tipped the scales in favor of Android. Indeed, a Statcounter report issued last week showed that mobile accounts for the vast majority of internet usage in countries like India (79%), Indonesia (72%) and China (57%) while desktop remains king in markets such as the U.S. (37 percent), UK (35 percent) and Germany (30%).

Those numbers have seen some shift in global revenue for developers, with China overtaking the U.S. as the most lucrative market for iOS apps worldwide, but Android continues to lag despite a larger base of users. A recent App Annie report found that iOS accounted for just over 25 billion of the 90 billion app downloads made in 2016, with Android taking the remainder. Yet iOS apps pulled in the majority of the $35 billion paid out to publishers across the iOS and Android app stores. That might change soon, though. Thanks again to its vast dominance in the emerging world, App Annie is predicting that 2017 could be the year that Android app earnings overtake iOS for the first time. That would be another important milestone.

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technology_Google

Technology Advances With Google and Fiat Chrysler

Google self-driving car project is now working with the Fiat Chrysler and Alphabet. Currently Google is teaming with the automaker for in-car system technology and using Android as the base for a new advertorial and connect car platform. The new FCA in-car system is called Uconnect. It uses Android 7.0 to deliver a scope of features, like terrestrial radio and AC/ heat controlled with the Android app.

technology

Google is working with FCA and is going well beyond the Android Auto model. The company clearly wants to advance onward in a way that is more integrated with carmaker systems themselves.

Director of Android Engineering Patrick Brady said when announcing the news in a press release, “Google is committed to building Android as a turn-key automotive platform that integrates deeply with the vehicle in a safe and seamless way.”

Android and Google offer uncommon flexibility for the carmaker that give them the convenience of being able to offer customers app compatibility, but without having to give up total control of the branding and consumer relations.

FCA Head of Electrical Engineering Chris Barman stated in the same press release, “With Android, we are able to maintain our unique and intuitive Uconnect user interface, all while integrating our easy-to-use systems with Android’s features and ecosystem of applications.” This is a convenience that is not accessible to Apple. It’s not likely that Apple would ever give up control over the look and feel of the interface to automakers.

Allowing automakers to maintain responsibility for the look and feel of the in-car software interface is not the most fitting solution. However, carmakers also face harsh guidelines for prohibiting distraction, and would not be likely to give up control of interface design entirely to operating system makers anyhow. Android’s flexibility could be crucial to getting it more attention in cars heading into the future.

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streaming technology

So there you are just driving along the road, you stop at a red light and look to your left and see…NO ONE DRIVING! Now I know, normally you’d be scared but technology is quickly making this a possible “norm of the future”.

Between Google, Uber, Tesla, and a host of other tech companies focusing on “the driver-less car,” this has begun to turn more into reality than science fiction. California, for example, has amendments to a bill before its legislative assembly that would essentially allow for the testing of cars without any driver present in the driver’s seat. And this could be conducted on actual roads!

Michigan’s state legislators introduced a bill that would also give the right to test cars without a safety driver present. Both bills limit the situations where these kinds of vehicles can operate. For instance, the bill in California specifies that pilot projects cannot have their autos exceeding 35mph. Also, only approved areas will be allowed for use during the testing phase. There’s also a provision that automobile manufacturers along with their suppliers will be held liable for any accidents that would result from these trials.

So far, every one of the 50 states require that a drive be operating a vehicle on a public road. In the case of Michigan, the bill actually represents a major economic opportunity and an option to keep car technology research and development within the state. Introducing these proposed amendments in California is also potentially going to increase Michigan’s process on the matter. Its bill already has support from Republican and Democratic legislative reps.

The bottom line is that this technology is no longer a thing of the future and state lawmakers are highly likely to give the “OK” to vehicles without human drivers!

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The acclaimed restaurant review service, Zagat, has been given (finally!) a mobile makeover, following years of only minor updates and bug fixes. Launching first on iOS, Zagat will feature a refreshed logo, as well as features that personalize the app for each individual user.

It had seemed like the Zagat app had been abandoned following Google’s acquisition, which was primarily focused on using Google’s local review with Zagat’s data. The company first used Zagat to overhaul its Google+ Local efforts, at a time where Google was hoping to compete with Facebook. As Google+ died down, the company moved to focus on gathering its own restaurant data via its Local Guides program.

The new Zagat app will make recommendations based on your location, making the “find nearby” function a lot more useful. You can also toggle this switch off to see all restaurants, as well as tap on buttons to narrow by type of cuisine or click a “Filter” button to narrow search results. You can also choose how restaurants are sorted – best match, Google rating, Zagat food score, distance, or pricing. By default, restaurants are presented in list view, but you are given the option to switch over to a maps view instead to see pins accompanying Zagat rated establishments.

In addition to finding nearby restaurants, the app’s home screen can direct you to other recommended lists – like quick bites nearby, best Italian in your city, or best wine lists, for example. Below these, a “Top Zagat Picks Near You” will point you to some of the best restaurants to try. Google has also changed the way Zagat’s ratings are being presented, moved to an easier 5-point scale.

Overall, the changes make Zagat a fairly useful restaurant finding application again, however, given Google’s abandonment of the app, it may be hard for the company to get back a loyal client base.

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Just two weeks after Twitter acquired Magic Pony, Google is following suit. Twitter aimed at advancing its machine learning intelligence, in order to improve user’s experiences of photos and videos on the platform, and it looks like Google is trying to take the same step. The search giant announced Monday that they have acquired Moodstocks, a Parisian startup that develops machine-learning image recognition technology, for smartphones that have APIs for developers. The startup is being recognized as the “Shazam for images,” and is picking up quickly with news of the acquisition.

Moodstocks’ API and SDK will be discontinued, according to an announcement on the company’s website. “Our focus will be to build great image recognition tools within Google, but rest assured that current paying Moodstocks customers will be able to use it until the end of their subscription,” said Moodstocks.

Google isn’t specific about whether it will launch its own SDK for developers, or whether it will incorporate the technology just into its consumer-facing services. However, Google did report that they will bring the Moodstocks team, and the company’s tech into its R&D operation in France. The startup was co-founded by Denis Brule and Cedric Deltheil. In a statement, Vincent Simonet, who heads the French center, said that Google sees Woodstock’s work contributing to better their image searches.

“We have made great strides in terms of visual recognition, but there is still much to do in this area,” he writes (in French).

This is not Google’s first French acquisition since they have recently acquired FlexyCore (for improving smartphone performance) and JetPac for facial recognition. Other large tech companies that are also buying up tech are Facebook and Amazon, who quietly acquired Orbeus, a startup that develops photo recognition techs. It is not clear if Moodstocks will remain intended for smartphones or applied elsewhere, but with Googles budget and creative thinking, who knows whats in store.

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Virtual reality has quickly become one of the most popular new technologies of the twenty-first century. In the future, it will likely be a part of our daily lives. Following Amazon’s entry into the education technology market, Google also decided to enter. On Monday morning, the company released a series of product announcements with the goal of expanding the use of Google products as well as technologies in the classroom setting. At the ISTE conference held, the company introduced numerous new tools to educators from a research project that would teach kids how to code called Project Bloks and new services for the classroom that would incorporate Google Docs, Chromebooks, as well as Google Cast.

The Expeditions program, which was launched in September of 2015 as a way for students to take “virtual reality field trips.” This would be made possible through a Google Cardboard viewer along with an Expeditions app that students can use to be taken to locations far away. For instance, students will be able to explore Machu Picchu, the rainforest, or other places that students would never be allowed to visit. Since the launch of the Expeditions program, more than a million students in eleven different countries have gone on these virtual field trips, according to Google. Now, Google has made a list of more than two-hundred areas to visit designed by established educational providers, such as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and soon, Pearson.

At the conference, Google adds that it will be making the Expeditions program easily available to everyone. Of course, so long as they have the Google Cardboard devices and smartphones, or a tablet in 2D full-screen mode. The Expeditions app, which works on Android today, will soon be able to work on iOS as well, Google ads. Finally, Best Buy Education is also going to be selling Expeditions kits. This is going to include a tablet, the virtual reality viewers, and a router. These can already be pre-ordered for the 2016-17 school year.

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Google (GOOGL) has finally unveiled two huge announcements for its enterprise customers; the most noteworthy one is the revealing of Springboard, a new digital AI to assist companies that use Google’s services for business.

Springboard has been released beta form to “a small set of customers”. Google sees it as a Google Now for enterprise workers. In other words, it runs a single search interface in which the AI can use to search information within a user’s arsenal of Google products — like Google Drive, Gmail, Calendar, Google Docs and more. This is important because Prabhakar Raghavan, VP of Engineering for Google Apps, believes it allows “the average knowledge worker [currently] spends the equivalent of one full day a week searching for and gathering information.”

As well as just searching, Springboard allows users a “useful and actionable information and recommendations” to users throughout their work day.

The on the other side of today’s big news is that Google is launching a new design for Google Sites. This will allow the sites to act as a product that transports information through a portal for housing internal company information like quarterly reports and other important information. So now, when creating a Google Site, administrators have drag-and-drop editing and real-time collaboration, as well as creation features that have become standard in other services like Google Docs and Google Sheets.

To close off with, regarding presentation, Google Sites has been updated so that the content can now fit any screen from a smartphone to laptop to 30-inch TV monitor. These changes are coming from the early adopter programs that are existing Google Apps for Work a user can join. Both the Springboard program and Google Sites program are here. Now the public will have to wait and see what the search giant has teased about it having “a lot more in store” for both platforms.

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Google is not the first company to create autonomous vehicles. Tesla recently released their self driving vehicles, while Uber is testing ford vehicles in Pittsburgh. However Google is taking their cars one step forward, by giving the car the ability to honk. This tool will be useful during the transition period, when it is sharing the road with other human drivers. The cars already have sensors all over the vehicle which are designed to detect anything within two football fields distance no matter what direction.

This includes pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles. It could even include shopping bags or birds, anything moving. The software then processes the data to help the car safety drive throughout the roads without getting tired or distracted. However in the company’s latest May report, Google showed that it has been training cars to honk at absent minded or distracted humans that are driving around them. The cars will also honk differently depending on the situation.

“We’ve even taught our vehicles to use different types of honks depending on the situation,” the report reads. “If another vehicle is slowly reversing towards us, we might sound two short, quieter pips as a friendly heads up to let the driver know we’re behind. However, if there’s a situation that requires more urgency, we’ll use one loud sustained honk.”

However users cant simply flip a switch to allow the autonomous vehicle to start honking at people. Google reports that the car first simply honked the horn inside the cabin, so that test drivers could observe the situation in which it honked, and note whether the honk was appropriate to the discrepancy or not. Ironically, real drivers mostly honk at inappropriate times, such as when they’re angry. A polite, considerable beep from a nice autonomous vehicle will definitely be a good improvement to sound polluted cities such as New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago.

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At Google’s I/O conference Friday, Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) research unit announced that the tech company is collaborating with iconic jeans company Levi’s to launch a “connected” smart jacket which is aimed at urban customers and cyclists. The jacket will allow users to control their music, answer phone calls, access a GPS, and more. Control is enabled via a trackpad bar on the jacket’s sleeve. Google’s partnership with Levi’s is not a new one, as it was first announced in early 2015, however the companies never disclosed how the clothing maker would use Project Jacquard’s technology, of interactive textiles.

The project involves bleeding multi-touch sensors into the clothes in order to make a new, “wearable”, device. The idea in the Commuter jacket, is to make something that is both fashionable to wear and also implements a practical use of technology. The trackpad will be on the jacket’s cuff, and using gestures to control various functions, they can complete tasks they would normally need their phones to do. The jacket is just a small part of Levi’s Commuter collection of clothing, directed at urban residents who ride bikes to navigate throughout their city.

The famous Jacquard tag will be embedded in the jacket’s sleeve, making all of this functionality possible, and can be removed as well as charged via USB port. The tag connects with LED, battery, haptics, and woven sensors throughout the garment. The platform also includes a mobile application which connects the smart clothes to the cloud. Each user can use the app to customize what works with the connected garment. The best part is, the company stressed that the jacket can be used like any other article of clothing; crunch it up, throw it in the wash, and it will still work like new.

“There’s a unique challenge in creating a smart clothes platform— fashion and technology have to work as one but there’s inherent tension between the two,” said Ivan Poupyrev, Technical Program Lead at Google. “Technology is fragile, garments… are not.”

The jacket will be able to navigate phone calls, as well as Google Maps, Google Music, etc. Users will also be able to control Spotify Music, or connect to fitness apps such as Strava. Google will launch beta tasting as early as this fall, however will most likely become publicly available in the spring of 2017. Pricing information was not offered at the conference.

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