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Live from Google’s 2015 I/O keynote!

The stage is set, the Moscone Center is tricked out with leopard print Androids, and Google I/O is just about to start. You know the drill here: The first order of business is an hours-long keynote address that’ll show us exactly what Google’s been working on behind closed doors these past few months and what we can expect to play with in the future. Android M? More insight into Android Pay? VR announcements? It seems like this year’s show is really going to have it all. We’ve got a little more time before the keynote kicks off, so hang tight, thumb through our I/O preview for as a quick refresher, and stay tuned for more shortly.

May 28, 2015 12:30:00 PM EDT

Don’t miss out on all the latest news and updates from Google I/O 2015. Follow along at our events page.

Hey y’all, we’re here inside the Moscone Center waiting with intensity for Google’s 2015 I/O keynote to start.

By “we,” I mean myself (Chris Velazco), fellow word-slinger Nicole Lee and photo guru Roberto Baldwin.

Since we scrambled to our seats close to an hour ago, we’ve seen people duke it out in a Pong game that stretched across an entire room, and a whale lazily float around on the walls.

So yeah, it’s one of those days.

Just a quick reminder: the show will start in earnest in about ten minutes, so you’d best run to the bathroom/make some popcorn/get the mail NOW.

There were people taking selfies and posing for photos earlier at the keynote. Who knew this was such a party?

I spy with my little eye Matias Duarte and a very festive shirt right up front. If you’re reading this, Matias, where can I get one?

The music… the music is slowly fading out. Psych! There’s more of it now.

Just had to shut my phone off. Nothing will get in the way of our delivering you sweet, sweet Google liveblog action. Speaking of action… there isn’t any right now.

Anyway, what are y’all hoping to see today? Android M is a given; Android Pay is a given, but I’m hoping against hope for some new hardware to play with. Google’s ATAP division is going to show off some new wearables at a workshop tomorrow, but *maybe* we’ll get a glimpse today.

Pong finals are over, lights are going dark, here we go!

We’re drifting through outer space, or at least a facsimile of outer space with labeled galaxies and star clusters.

The screen, I should re-mention, wraps around 60 percent of the whole room. If this isn’t some sort of nod to VR plans, I don’t know what is.

Getting closer to Earth, it seems — we just passed Uranus. (No jokes please)

By the way, all this flying through the galaxy stuff? Major hints as to a potential VR push, I’m sure of it.

OH MAN THERE’S EARTH. In the words of Carl Sagan: That’s home; that’s here; that’s us.

One minute until go-time. All of you: get hyped.

COUNTDOWN ON THE SCREEN. Get ready to rumble.

We’ve got a cavalcade of app icons personified in some weird animated world. Twitter birds flying around, Uber cars tooting down the street.

OK, this countdown has been almost over for about 3 minutes now.

THERE WE GO. “Here’s to what you build next.”

And who else joins us onstage than Google SVP of Product, Sundar Pichai

Quick shout-out to the 2 million people watching I/O via livestream.

There are folks watching the I/O keynote from Mexico, Germany and Kenya. Cool.

“This is, of course, the moment of mobile and the smartphone.”

Google’s about building products for everyone in the world. Google Search, for instance, works the same for everyone in the world.

(Tell that to China, Sundar.)

“Why does email have to be slow? That’s why we made Gmail.”



SwiftKey update for Android adds a Carbon default theme

The popular replacement keyboard app SwiftKey are rolling out an update today to the Google Play Store with a number of new features.

Included in the update is a new default theme called Carbon, which replaces Nickel as the default SwiftKey theme for Android users.

Carbon’s base color is inspired by the element Carbon. The theme features solid key backgrounds that seamlessly blend into the keyboard, a contrasting key font for readability, improved visibility of secondary characters, and a gentle teal color pop.

In addition, the SwiftKey Hub, which was originally restricted to the Android Beta version of the app, is now available for everyone to use. In the Personalize section of the Hub, things like SwiftKey Cloud, states, and social sharing are all grouped for easy access.

Grab the update using the link below.

The post SwiftKey update for Android adds a Carbon default theme appeared first on AndroidGuys.


Runtastic’s latest workout app puts more junk in your trunk

Runtastic already offers dedicated apps for ab and bun workouts, and now the company takes aim at your lower half. Leg Trainer delivers over 50 exercise videos that’ll allow you to select activity based on goals and fitness level. There are pre-selected routines — like the 7-Minute Workout or Junk in the Trunk (yes, seriously) — or you can choose individual exercises to build your own. Get ready to squat, lunge and kick your way to toned legs. Similar to the Six Pack and Butt Trainer apps, a 3D avatar guides you through the process so you know exactly what you should be doing. The Leg Trainer app also works with the Apple Watch, so you can follow the virtual trainer there or keep tabs on progress and workout stats. It also leverages the wearable to let you know when to start/stop a set and when the rest time between sets is over on tops of tracking heart rate. Perhaps the real question is what you gon’ do with all that junk? All that junk inside your trunk?

Filed under: Software, Mobile



Lenovo declares war on Chromecast with Lenovo Cast

Lenovo has declared war against Google by announcing its own media streaming gadget that is compatible with Android, iOS as well as Windows devices. Costing merely $49, the fancy looking Lenovo Cast connects to TV and other large screens via HDMI port, and streams media to bigger screens.

Unlike the Chromecast that is reliant on Wi-Fi to establish a connection between a mobile device and a big screen, the Lenovo Cast uses Miracast and DLNA – something that almost every Android device comes preloaded with. Once the media streaming device is attached to a TV, it is capable of mirroring your phone or tablet’s screen to TV.

The Lenovo Cast supports 5GHz Wi-Fi networks, which is definitely better than the Chromecast. And if you count its compact look and compatibility to devices across entire mobile ecosystems, the Lenovo Cast is going to be a great buy this August.

Via: Android Police

The post Lenovo declares war on Chromecast with Lenovo Cast appeared first on AndroidGuys.


Google’s URL shortener deeps links directly to iOS and Android apps

You know those shortcuts you regularly come across on Twitter or Facebook and other places online? They now open the exact pages they link to either on the website’s official app or on your browsers. For instance, if you click on a shortcut that links to a Google Maps page showing how to go from San Francisco to LA by land, it will automatically launch the navigation app if it’s installed and load those step-by-step directions. If you haven’t downloaded the app to your device, it will launch a browser instead. This change affects both new and old shortcuts, so long as the website or app developer took steps to set up App Indexing for Android and iOS. Yup, that means the new feature works on both iOS and Android devices, and you can try it out for yourself right here:

Filed under: Misc, Google


Source: Google


Lenovo’s ‘Magic View’ smartwatch concept hides a private display

Smartwatches, you know the drill: a touchscreen display, and it feeds you notifications and stuff. Pretty boring, right? Lenovo agrees, so has cooked up a “Magic View” concept to show things don’t need to be this way. The problem Magic View solves is simple: the small displays inherent in watches. The answer? A small, second screen in the strap that initially appears cosmetic, until you hold it to your eye. Once you do, you’ll see an image the company claims is 20 times larger than the watch’s main display. Lenovo says it’s using “optical reflection” to achieve this, and that the second display can be used for viewing maps, looking “around” images (using the accelerometer in the watch we gather) and even viewing videos — should you be ok with holding your wrist to your eye to do so.

The prototype was on show at Lenovo’s Tech World show in Beijing, and bares more than a passing resemblance to a Moto 360 — hardly surprising. Android Central say that the demo device was running an Android-based OS that was different to both Wear and Google’s main mobile operating system. The second display might seem a little goofy at first, but Lenovo is likely pitching it as a security feature, too. Given that only you can see what’s on the second screen, it’s ideal for private viewing, or showing notifications you don’t want the person next to you catching. Given that Lenovo also showed some smart shoes, that display your mood on a screen, the Magic Eye doesn’t seem so crazy after all?

Filed under: , , ,



Lenovo announces Lenovo Cast streaming device


Google introduced its Chromecast nearly two years ago and since then, we’ve seen a myriad of competitors also launched. Today, at its TechWorld keynote in Beijing, Lenovo has announced the Lenovo Cast, a competitor to Google’s streaming device with a difference as it also supports the DLNA and Miracast standards.

The puck-shaped Lenovo Cast is compatible with just about any Miracast or DLNA device and can be connected to any display that supports HDMI. The Lenovo Cast features a microUSB and a micro HDMI port along with dual-band Wi-Fi support (unlike Google’s Chromecast, which is limited to 2.4GHz Wi-Fi only), support for broadcasting in full HD and a range of 20 metres, including streaming through walls.

The Lenovo Cast comes measures 70mm diameter by 15mm thick and weighs just 50 grams; unlike the Chromecast, which just sticks out of your TV’s HDMI port, you can mount the Lenovo Cast to the back of your TV if you so wish. The Lenovo Cast is compatible with iOS, Android 4.3 and higher and selected Windows 8.1 devices.

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The Cast will launch at the beginning of August at a cost of $49, which – although higher than the $35 Chromecast – is cheap enough to still be an impulse-buy item that offers value for money.


How to recover data off of your microSD card: a valuable lesson in backups


If you have important or sensitive data on the microSD card of your smartphone or tablet, it’s important to make sure that data is backed up immediately. You could store it in the cloud or on another device without paying a dime.

If it’s too late for that, there are still a few things you can do to try and recover the data off of your microSD card. Keep in mind that nothing is a guarantee when a microSD card malfunctions, has physical damage or can’t be read by the computer. It’s quite possible that critical components for the microSD to work have stopped functioning.

Hardware failure

If your smartphone has just started sending you warnings that it cannot read the microSD card, restart your device. A lot of the time a simple restart of your phone will fix the problem. At least, that’s the hope in most scenarios. If it doesn’t, there are other options, but not many.

There’s a small and rare possibility that the contacts on the microSD card are dirty. While this rarely shows results, get a swab or cotton ball damp with Isopropyl alcohol. Take that swab and gently rub the contacts of the microSD card. If that doesn’t work, that’s nearly all you can do to try and fix it at home.

The worst case scenario is that the flash chip went bad on the microSD card. At that point, there’s no way you or professional help can recover the data. Let’s hope that didn’t happen.

The best case scenario is that the controller is damaged or that the controller and flash chip are intact, but something else isn’t functioning properly. There’s still nothing you can do on your own, but if you feel your data was sensitive or important enough, such as photos of your child’s first step or that close friend or family member that passed away, you can seek assistance from a professional. Unfortunately, professional data recovery services aren’t known to be gentle on your budget.


For instance, if you were to ship your shattered iPhone to DriveSavers, a professional data recovery service, it could cost you anywhere between $500 and $1400 to retrieve your data. Rates change for different types of hardware, but that gives you an approximation of what you might be looking at spending.

Luckily, the problem doesn’t always have to deal with hardware failure.

Software Recovery


Aside from hardware issues with the microSD card, sometimes you inadvertently delete data. Luckily, there is a way to recover that data rather easily with Recuva, a data recovery program you can download to your computer. You can get it for free here.

Once it’s finished downloading, grab your microSD card and throw it in a SD card adapter (like this). Then, put that SD card adapter in your computer. Next, load up Recuva. From there, the software should have a wizard to take you step-by-step in recovering your lost files. It’s quite helpful in guiding beginners through the process until they are able to learn how to do it on their own.

One of the awesome things about Recuva is that it’ll let you recover data off of your smartphone, too. It’s extremely helpful for popular devices that don’t sport external storage anymore, such as the Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 Edge.

Keep in mind that sometimes Recuva isn’t going to be able to recover every lost file. It has an indicator that will show you how probable the file recovery will be. You can usually try the recovery no matter what, but it won’t always turn out successful. If that doesn’t work, this turns into a hard lesson on backing up your files.

A lesson on backing up files

While these two options will help you get your files back, the best course of action is to never lose your important data again. Backing up your data is a simple way to combat this. It sounds like hard work at first, but there are free or cheap tools available that help you easily backup your data.

We recently put together a comprehensive guide on how to backup your data, whether that be in free cloud solutions, on other devices, and etc. This guide is especially helpful for those that don’t have the luxury of external storage or for those of you that often inadvertently delete data.

To give you a quick summary, backing up to the cloud is important because of the peace of mind it gives you. If you have important data on your smartphone or tablet, whether it be financial documents for your company or a precious photo of your child, you don’t have to worry if your device experiences a fatal crash on the concrete. You’ve already either backed up all that data in the Cloud or another device at home. So, not only can they be easily accessed by you, but when you get that new device, transferring those files over is an easy task.

Obviously it’s hard to keep constantly backing up your devices as you continuously accumulate files. There’s a phenomenal way to automate that process without you having to worry about it at all, besides the initial setup, of course.

Wrap Up


Photo credit: Ben Harrison

After these helpful steps, hopefully you’ll never have to deal with lost data again. It’s difficult to deal with, especially if you have critical files on a lost microSD card. Letting go of those precious moments of your children in their young age isn’t easy. You’ll never get those photos back. That’s why it’s good to make backing up data a habit to get into.

Since we accumulate data so rapidly, I like to create a new backup every few weeks. Depending on how much content you create, you may not need to do that. Making it a habit to create a new backup every few months would be a wise and risk-free decision, though.

Have you lost data on a microSD card before? How did you solve the problem?

Come comment on this article: How to recover data off of your microSD card: a valuable lesson in backups


Android Auto coming to Chevy vehicles this year

Earlier today, General Motors announced their plans to incorporate both Android Auto and CarPlay into their 2016 lineup of Chevrolet cars. Announced last year, we haven’t seen much movement in the market, due to restrictions as well as development. Companies like Toyota have stated that they will not bring compatibility to any of their models due to preferring their own interface with their cars.

If you’ve been looking, surely you’ve found that there are multiple head unit options available through after-market manufacturers such as Pioneer. In regards to car manufacturers who have stated that their new models will come standard with CarPlay or Android Auto head units, it’s been slim-pickings. The 2015 Hyundai Elantra was the first to have Android Auto compatibility with Honda following up after them.

However, after today’s announcement from General Motors and Chevrolet, this just may be the kick-start that Android Auto and CarPlay need in the manufacturing marketplace. Now there will be two different options for select vehicles. Anyone looking to get a new Chevy, will have the option for either the 7-inch or 8-inch MyLink displays. As with most things nowadays, there’s always a catch. So here it is. CarPlay will be available for any cars with either the 7 or 8 inch MyLink screen, while Android Auto will only be supported with the 7 inch MyLink screen. There are plans to move support for the 8-inch model, later this year.

The Chevy Tahoe, Chevy Suburban, and Chevy Volt will be the first vehicles available with Android Auto. As for the rest of the models that will be bringing these two head-unit interfaces, here is a list of what was announced today:

  • Spark
  • Cruze
  • Malibu
  • Camaro
  • Camaro Convertible
  • Silverado
  • Silverado HD
  • Impala
  • Corvette
  • Corvette Convertible

As for when exactly you will be able to get your hands on one of these new cars? Chevy is expected to roll out the Chevy Cruze on June 24th, so that’s a little less than a month away before you can be driving a great car with a great head unit system already installed.

Let us know what you think about the expected rollout of CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility from GM and Chevy in the comments below. Are you excited? Were you holding off on getting a car until this came to fruition? I’m sure that number is quite miniscule, but hey, I’m sure somebody thought about it. Right?


The post Android Auto coming to Chevy vehicles this year appeared first on AndroidGuys.


Office Lens for Android is ready to scan your documents

Office Lens for Android on a Nexus 5

Need to quickly capture that taxi receipt, or the notes from a meeting? You can now pull out your Android phone to do it. After several weeks of testing, Microsoft has released the finished version of Office Lens for Google-powered devices. As a recap, Office Lens’ party trick is its ability to scan all kinds of documents (even at less-than-ideal angles) and translate them into usable files on OneDrive and OneNote — it’ll even make text searchable. The complete Lens app should work on a wide range of devices, so you’ll definitely want to swing by Google Play if you’re eager to give this scanner a spin.

Filed under: Cellphones, Software, Mobile, Microsoft


Via: Android Central

Source: Google Play, Office Blogs


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