Opinion: Now that Allo for web is here, it’s time to give Google’s messaging app a second chance

Ever since Allo made its debut last September, one of the biggest missing features for the messaging service was a proper desktop client for continuing your conversations while at your computer or laptop. We finally got that with the release of Allo for web today, and now that the feature is here, it’s time to give Google’s messaging client the second chance it deserves…

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Google’s Feb. Android distribution numbers reveal drops for KitKat, Nougat surpasses 1%

Google has today released its monthly set of statistics regarding Android version distribution. Like in previous months, we haven’t seen any major drops or gains here, but we are seeing good progress across the board, with new versions like Nougat and Marshmallow seeing gains, and older versions taking slight drops.

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Google’s custom self-driving car to begin testing in Austin, Texas

Google today has announced that it is expanding its custom self-driving car project to Austin, Texas. Previously, the company had only been allowing the car to roam the streets of California. Google now says, however, that it is brining “a few” of its self-driving cars to Texas. The cars will stay in the northern part of Austin, like its modified Lexus vehicles have been for the last several months.

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Patents for Google’s self-driving car detail inside controls (and external traffic signs?)

Some parts of Google’s self-driving car are still mysterious, but slowly more pieces of that mystery are being uncovered. One mystery, in particular, has been the inside of the car. While Google has allowed dozens of journalists, random lucky souls, and Google employees (of course) to ride in the car, only on very few occasions have we been able to see the inside. The company specifically told journalists not to take pictures of the inside at an event earlier this year, and we barely got a glimpse into a very early prototype in Google’s “A First Drive” video last summer. Now, with a couple of patents Google has received, we’re getting a more detailed look inside for the first time… more…

Google’s self-driving cars drive three million miles a day, without leaving the lab

Google’s self-driving cars have notched up almost 1.5 million miles in autonomous mode since the project began in 2009 – but they drive twice as many miles every single day in the lab. Google’s latest monthly report reveals that every software change is tested by using it to simulate driving the entire driving history of the fleet, autonomous and manual.

One benefit of teaching a computer to drive is that it has great memory and recall. With our simulator, we’re able to call upon the millions of miles we’ve already driven and drive those miles again with the updated software. For example, to make left turns at an intersection more comfortable for our passengers, we modified our software to adjust the angle at which our cars would travel. To test this change, we then rerun our entire driving history of 2+ million miles with the new turning pattern to ensure that it doesn’t just make our car better at left turns, but that the changes creates a better driving experience overall …

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Google’s Duo will also support audio-only calls soon

A few months after its announcement, Google finally released Duo earlier this week. Google originally introduced us to Duo at Google I/O with the idea that it would make video chat as simple as it could be, and it does, however, most video calling apps also feature the ability to make voice calls. Right now Duo does not, but it will soon.

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Google’s Pixel Launcher will reportedly bring rounded icons and 3D Touch-like shortcuts

Ahead of the release of Google’s upcoming Pixel smartphones, we’ve heard a lot regarding a new Android launcher originally known as the “Nexus Launcher”, which has now become the “Pixel Launcher” to reflect Google’s new smartphone branding. The launcher brings a new look and feel compared to standard Android launchers, but as it turns out, that’s not all it will bring…

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Nest mistakenly shows what looks to be Google’s upcoming Pixel phone in a commercial

We’re only a couple short weeks away from what we assume will be Google’s announcement of the Pixel and Pixel XL, and the leaks are really heating up. We’ve seen detailed renders, terrifying pricing, and now, we’re getting an unofficial look at what might be the Pixel in an ad from Nest…

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Google’s Pixel won’t be waterproof, sports an IP53 rating just like the HTC 10

Perhaps this won’t come as a surprise considering some of the other disappointing tidbits we’ve heard lately about Google’s forthcoming Pixel flagship. Not only will the phone come at a premium, it appears more with every new leak that it won’t be much of a premium phone no matter the cost.  The latest is word (via Android Police) that the phone won’t be waterproof — it’ll only be rated at IP53…

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