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Fitbit has had a busy 2016 so far, having launched two new fitness trackers: the $200 watch-like Blaze and the slimmer $130 Alta. It’s also found time to acquire payments hardware firm Coin. The company hasn’t revealed terms of the deal that closed on May 12, but said that “the acquisition accelerates Fitbit’s ability to develop an active NFC payment solution that could be embedded into future Fitbit devices, broadening its smart capabilities.” Coin made a splash in 2014 when it announced its smart card-like gadget, which allows you to digitally store and use all your actual credit cards to… This story continues at The Next Web

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It looks like 2016 is the year that Apple learns to show India some love. It’s already working on plans to open its first official retail stores in the country and announced yesterday that it would set up a support facility for iOS developers in Bangalore early next year. Today, the company revealed that it’s opened a new office in Hyderabad, another major IT hub in the country. The new facility, located on the Waverock SEZ campus, will house 4,000 developers who will work on Apple’s Maps product and features. CEO Tim Cook, who is currently touring India after a… This story continues at The Next Web

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Although it’s well known across Asia for its excellent smartphones, Xiaomi’s presence in the US has been minimal, with only accessories like headphones available for sale since it opened its online store there last May. But at Google I/O 2016, the Chinese hardware maker had a surprise for the American market: a 4K-ready Android TV-based set-top box for all your video streaming and gaming needs. The company says that, unlike all its other products, it will first launch in the US. Xiaomi says its Mi Box will be capable of running 4K UHD video at 60fps and supporting HDR10, a… This story continues at The Next Web

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After making a big splash in 2014 by acquiring Nokia, Microsoft has effectively sold it off to Apple supply chain partner Foxconn for $350 million. The actual buyer is listed as FIH Mobile Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Foxconn. In the deal, FIH will also get Microsoft’s phone manufacturing facility in Vietnam. Microsoft is also relenquishing the Nokia brand, software, services, care network, supply agreements and customer contracts. This doesn’t mean Microsoft is moving away from phones in any way — it will just stop producing Nokia devices. In announcing the sale, Microsoft says it “will continue to develop Windows… This story continues at The Next Web

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The keynote was great, the demos are cool and there’s free food and drink for everyone there — but don’t kid yourself, Google IO 2016 is the conference version of hell. Lines that span 90+ minutes, attendees being turned away at the door after waiting in said lines, and 93 degree heat with no discernible way of cooling off aside from grabbing an Uber and bailing are the talking points (at least amongst attendees) of IO, not tech. Having to skip every other session so I can stand in line for an hour to be sure of getting in. @google didn't… This story continues at The Next Web

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Google is taking a page from Apple’s book and letting families share apps. Discovered in some developer documentation by Android Police, the program — called Family Library — will allow groups of up to six people share access to apps. Developers have been given a date of July 2 to decide if they want older apps to be eligible for the program. Apps that have been purchased after July 2 will automatically be listed as Family Library apps. Here’s the full documentation: When Family Library becomes available to users, up to six family members will be able to share purchased… This story continues at The Next Web

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Google has conventionally named its Android versions after desserts, but earlier today, the company announced it would let users choose what the ‘N’ in Android N stands for. For a brief moment, it seemed like a fun idea to make users to feel involved in Android N’s release. Then the Internet happened: people complained. Leaving Android N’s name to a free-for-all is a recipe for disaster. From ‘Nipple’ to ‘Nazi’ – let’s not get into the variety of racial slurs – people started submitting all sorts of inappropriate things. How could Google ever assure its well-mannered users that the masses of immature internet denizens wouldn’t… This story continues at The Next Web

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Android apps are coming to Chrome OS. First spotted by 9to5Google in the session ‘Bring your Android App to Chrome’ officially discuss the merger of mobile and desktop: Today we announced that we’re adding the best mobile app experiences in the world, Android apps and the Google Play store, to the best browser in the world, Chrome! Come to this session and test your Android apps for Chrome OS. You will get hands on help from our friendly engineers on how to optimize your Android app for Chromebooks. Oh, and we will also be giving the first 50 developers to show up… This story continues at The Next Web

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The much-awaited Amazon Echo competitor from Google is finally here – while we heard a lot about its features and its rumored name, we were all pretty clueless on what the device would look like. And well, it seems the internet is still confused. Anyone else think @google Home looks like an @glade air freshener device? pic.twitter.com/TmFsSyU7BR — Evan Spielberg (@EvanSpielberg) May 18, 2016 Google Home looks like it should diffuse Essential Oils. — Trent Nix (@trentnix) May 18, 2016 Air fresheners seem to be the first thing people are picking up on, but perhaps for a good reason. After all, home fragrance… This story continues at The Next Web

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Android Instant Apps is a game-changer for the mobile Web. Announced at Google I/O today, Instant Apps lets developers take advantage of modules that allow mobile Web users to use an application without actually installing it. When clicking a link, Google Play runs the app instantly by only fetching the pieces of the app you need at that moment. The first example showed the user clicking a Buzzfeed Video link to view a recipe and being transported to the appropriate part of the application — all in a span of about two seconds. In another example, the presenter used B&H’s Android… This story continues at The Next Web

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At Google I/O, the company announced some major changes to Firebase, which now has analytics for developers that it says is “like Google analytics for apps.” Google says Firebase will now be able to do crash reporting by finding bugs and issues in apps. It looks at user behavior and session information to diagnose problems and point developers to the right way to solve the problem. Developers can also test configurations at scale using Firebase Remote Config, which lets you toggle features on and off as needed. Engagement is also important, so Google is leveraging Google Cloud Messaging to help… This story continues at The Next Web

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At its IO conference today, Google announced Android Wear 2.0, the biggest update to its wearables platform yet. First up, any watchface will now be able to show information “from any app.” Basically, it’s Google’s take on the Apple Watch’s complications. Google is also including two keyboards; you can use either handwriting or a full-fledged QWERTY keyboard. It also implements Smart Reply to provide contextual answers to messages without requiring you to type anything. Finally, Google is untethering your watch from your phone with standalone apps. That means LTE-enabled watches will let you run apps without having your phone nearby… This story continues at The Next Web

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VR is coming to Android N. Bouncing off of Cardboard, which has 50 million app installs, Google is accelerating its VR initiatives. Noting that cardboard is a bit limited, Google is releasing a new platform named Daydream that is focussed on a better VR experience for Android. Daydream has a series of specs for devices that want to run VR on Android. While any device can run VR, Google will have an official ‘Daydream-ready’ tag for those devices that meet its specifications. Samsung, HTC and LG will all have phones ready this Fall. There’s also a VR mode in Android… This story continues at The Next Web

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Google always names its newest version of Android after a dessert, in alphabetical order. This year will be the first time Google will let users choose the name. You can head on over to android.com/n to submit your vote. While it seems it doesn’t have to be dessert this time around, my vote still definitely goes to Nutella (because it’s Nutella, duh). That said, don’t think you can campaign for a raunchy name. Google is still reserving the right to choose the final title. Developing…

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Today at I/O, Google debuted its new chat app, ‘Allo’ as well as a companion app (for video) ‘Duo.’ Duo is lightening-quick, encrypted and works on both iOS and Android. The team worked with WebRTC to create a new protocol that allows for instant creation of an encrypted connection, a feature that keeps you from answering the call only to be faced with a blank screen while you wait on both ends’ video feeds to catch up. It uses the same technology — as well as hand-tuned and optimized codecs, bandwidth probing and other quality measures — to ensure that not… This story continues at The Next Web

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Today at Google I/O, CEO Sundar Pichai announced some new tweaks for Google Photos, which he says now has over 200 million users. You’ll now be able to communicate via Photos with two new apps — yes, really. A new messaging app named Allo is a “smart messaging app” that learns over time to be more expressive and productive. It’s based on your phone number, so there’s no fussy sign-up process to worry about. It also has the new Google Assistant built in, so you can both chat with friends and Google Search. In Google’s example, a feature in Allo… This story continues at The Next Web

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At Google I/O today, Google CEO Sundar Pichai detailed a future that featured a whole lot of talking to your devices. 20 percent of queries on Google are performed via voice search. Because voice assistant’s, such as Google Now, are making up progressively larger percentages of our searches, Google wants to ensure its “industry leading” voice processing natural language processing platform is up to the task. Google Assistant, Google’s own natural language processing platform has high aspirations that exceed mobile devices. It’s designed to work with Google Home, an Alexa-like always-on listening device that helps you manage everything from search,… This story continues at The Next Web

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Well, the rumors were true. At its IO developer conference in California today, Google announced Home, the company’s own take on the Amazon Echo. Much like the Echo, Home is basically a small speaker you plug into the wall, with a series of far-field microphones tuned to hear you from across the room. It’s powered by Google’s voice technology – now the new and improved Google Assistant –  can handle all the basics: answering questions, controlling music, or controlling some gadgets. It’s a Google device, so of course it supports Google Cast. That means you can stream music from your… This story continues at The Next Web

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Most people have heard of John Sculley. And if they don’t recognize the name, you can jog their memory by saying ‘the Pepsi guy who ran Apple and threw out Steve Jobs’ and they’ll go ‘ahhh, that guy!’. But Sculley has done more than that, and is doing a lot more as well. Around the world. All the time. Despite being quite wealthy. When I was offered to do an interview with Sculley, I didn’t hesitate. I was 12 and was just becoming aware of computers and programming – right around the time Sculley joined Apple. Two years later, when Steve Jobs left… This story continues at The Next Web

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Netflix has just launched what is probably the simplest speed test on the Web. It’s called Fast.com It’s incredibly minimal, and loads pretty much immediately, probably because there are no ads. It only measures your internet service provider’s (ISP) download speed, which it will present in huge digits after a few seconds of testing. And that’s it. A frequently asked questions section that keeping the site minimal was a conscious choice: Fast.com is a simple-to-use way for consumers to estimate what speed their ISP is providing. It is not a network engineer’s analysis and diagnostic suite. Netflix does provide the option to compare your… This story continues at The Next Web

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Pornhub — the porn site that recently ruined the taco emoji for you — today announced its solution to the growing obesity epidemic: ‘BangFit.’ “Today, due to our hectic work schedules and lack of motivation, many of us do not receive regular amounts of physical activity and lead sedentary lifestyles,” said Corey Price, VP Pornhub. “Here at Pornhub, we know from experience that there’s one activity people are always motivated to do and one for which they are never too busy. That’s getting busy. That’s why we came up with BangFit, which gamifies sex and encourages users to pump while they… This story continues at The Next Web

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Every startup has a story to tell. From the conception of an idea, to the first lines of code, early hires, and preliminary funding rounds – every company has a unique narrative. But there are always shared experiences. Processes, tactics, and habits that shape the experience of the fledgling startup. In this series, Tales from the Trenches of Tech, we talk to founders to hear their perspectives on what the key element was to their successful strategies. This week, we talked with Jari Kemppinen and Vicky Kodaglou, co-founders of Education Curb. Their Brisbane-based startup focuses on the gamification of education for students years one to… This story continues at The Next Web

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PowerPoint presentations are generally pretty boring, so it takes really good design to make them stand out. Shutterstock wants to help with its new plug in. As you might expect, it’s basically an embedded search engine for Shutterstock images, but there are some tweaks in place to simplify the design process.   First of all, images are divided into categories, with a curated set of photos to get you started. Backgrounds are the first of these, as that’s what Shutterstock figures you’ll most likely to need from its database, though we know the Instagram gradient is really popular right now.… This story continues at The Next Web

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Parking is nobody’s favorite thing to do and is probably even more worrying for the people who have opted to own a ‘self-parking’ car and put all their faith into the vehicle. While self-driving (or parking) cars are definitely the way forward and mostly safe, there are still some teething problems – as demonstrated by a Tesla Model S, which rolled into the back of a lorry while parking itself in Utah, according to its owner. In an apparent response to the worrisome incident, Tesla has updated its Summon mode for all Model X and Model S cars. While the… This story continues at The Next Web

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Sharing your personal contact information can open the floodgates to spam messages, unwanted solicitations and cold calls – not to mention potential identity theft. With KeepSolid Disposable Phone Lines, you can safeguard your information while skipping the headaches of phone contracts and roaming charges. We’ve knocked 75 percent off the asking price for a lifetime subscription, because we love you that much. With your lifetime subscription, you’ll receive up to three completely private US or Canadian phone numbers with unlimited SMS, and unlimited calls (US lines only). Your calls and texts are fully encrypted with the VolP-based app for iPhone… This story continues at The Next Web

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