Posts by Rob LeFebvre

Google wants to be your everything. Photo: Google

Google wants to be your everything. Photo: Google

From smartphones to the Internet of Things, Google wants to be woven into the fabric of our lives.

The company detailed some of its latest hardware and software projects — some truly innovative, some strictly playing catch-up — during the annual Google I/O developer conference Thursday.

From the iterative improvements coming in Android M to the blue-sky thinking of Project Brillo, everything plays into Mountain View’s master plan, which Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president in charge of Android, Chrome and apps described as “putting technology and computer science to work on important problems that users face” — and doing it “at scale for everyone in the world.”

Google’s goals are similar to Apple’s: Both companies are trying to integrate their products (and possibly their worldviews) into every facet of our lives to make tech personal and useful. In many ways, Google’s approach is far more ambitious.

Here are the six things you need to know from the Google I/O 2015 keynote.

Making our flood of images and video meaningful again. Photo: Google

Google Photos is designed to make images and video meaningful again. Photo: Google

Organizing the flood of photos and videos we all have is the central challenge of today’s photo apps, and Google has a new offering designed to solve this problem: Google Photos.

While the first screenshots shown onstage Thursday during the Google I/O conference in San Francisco looked quite a bit like Apple’s own Photos app, Google Photos uses machine learning and algorithms to create what could turn out to be the most useful way to store and share your pictures and videos.

One TV system to rule them all. Photo: Sony

One TV system to rule them all. Photo: Sony

Aww, Google TV. We barely knew you existed.

Google officially stopped supporting Google TV today with a post on Google Plus Tuesday telling developers for the rarely-used platform that support would focus on Android TV from now on.

“Existing Google TV devices and all of the features of these devices will continue to work,” says the post, “and so will the apps you’ve developed for the Google TV platform.”

Cult_of_Mac_CES_2015The team goes on to say that a small group of Google TV devices may be updated to Android TV, but most of them won’t support this newer platform.

In a related post on the Android blog, Google shared more information about upcoming partners for the TV side of its business.

This thing is straight-up drool-worthy. Photo: Sony

This thing is straight-up drool-worthy. Photo: Sony

This new Android-powered ZX2 Walkman is for serious audiophiles only. Sony’s pushing the device as a high-resolution sound machine, and it’s set a price to match.

Cult_of_Mac_CES_2015$1,119.99 seems a bit much for a portable music player, but I really can’t seem to stop wanting one. The design is gorgeous, with a black matte finish and glorious actual buttons that just beg me to touch it.

Get your game on with even more compatibility with the Fire TV game controller. Photo: Amazon

Get your game on with even more compatibility with the Fire TV game controller. Photo: Amazon

The latest update for the Fire TV box from Amazon is live, and it’s got some compelling new features.

The new update modifies the way games interpret the signals from the controller or Fire TV remote, letting you play even more tablet-style games, like the above Sev Zero tower defense game.

Next Page »