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All the Software Google Announced at I/O 2022

WIRED

Google kicked off its annual I/O developer conference Wednesday. As usual, the company took the occasion to announce a bunch of new hardware products and software updates. While the shiny new gadgets might have stolen the show--you can learn about the Pixel Watch, new Pixel phones, and other objects that were announced in our separate story--I/O is still primarily a software affair. To that end, Google used its keynote event to detail a dizzying array of new features for Android, Search, Maps, and Google's voice assistant services. Here are the biggest updates Google announced.


The portable Sonos Roam speaker is now available in three new colors

Engadget

Once in a blue moon, Sonos releases its speakers in some fun colors or finishes, but most of the time, people just have to pick between black and white. But starting today, you can get the portable Sonos Roam in three new shades; Wave, Sunset and Olive. As you might guess, Wave is a chill shade of light blue, Sunset straddles the line between orange and pink and olive is a cactus sort of green. Aside from these colors, there's nothing else new with the $179 speaker -- it has a built-in battery for about 10 hours of play time, Bluetooth for when you're away from WiFi, a microphone for voice commands via Alexa and Google Assistant and auto Trueplay technology to tune the speaker for optimal sound wherever you place it. I really liked the speaker when I reviewed it last year, and even though it costs $10 more than it did when it launched, I still think it's a great portable speaker that is a smart addition if you're already using other Sonos products.


Google's Matter smart home standard is launching this fall

Engadget

Google plans to finally launch its new smart home industry standard called Matter this fall. Devices will all connect quickly and easily using Fast Pair and the platform will support a variety of voice assistants and networking protocols. Those include Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri as well as WiFi, Thread and Bluetooth LE. While Fast Pair feature has been used for headphones and audio gear, the company is working to use it for more things, including syncing lightbulbs and smart plugs with Android and Nest devices. You'll be able to scan a code with your phone to get things rolling, which should be quicker and easier than the current method for adding new gear to your arsenal.


Why ai will kill the Smartphone

#artificialintelligence

Okay, a click bait title and definitely one you've already heard. But, there is a true core in this title:) Facebook (now Meta) announced it, others as well. It's not a bet on a certain technological direction, it's rather a no-brainer to predict that development. Today, we humans have to adopt to the technology. We have to look down on a small screen to write messages, we have to hold it to our ears to talk and we even use our fingers to transform the, at least to some extent, efficient communication via speech to the slow text messaging.


Qualcomm is using AI to supercharge your phone's cellular signal

PCWorld

In smartphones, "AI" is often used to enhance the look and quality of your photos. Qualcomm said that it's going even further, using AI to improve the cellular performance and coverage of your 5G smartphone as well. Specifically, Qualcomm claims that it's building AI capabilities into its modems to improve their signal coverage, further refining the range of all the radios connected to the device, including 4G and 5G. The AI technology will be included in the Snapdragon X70 modem that should ship this year and appear in smartphones in 2023. Qualcomm used the occasion of its 5G Summit to make the announcements, many of which are designed to improve the performance of the short-range, high-speed millimeter-wave (mmWave) technology.


Tinder's parent company is suing Google over in-app billing

Mashable

Online dating juggernaut Match Group is suing Google, alleging that its Android apps are being forced to use the tech giant's in-app payment system -- thus allowing Google to extract royalties for such transactions. Match Group owns numerous popular dating apps and websites, including Hinge, OkCupid, Tinder, and PlentyOfFish. The issue comes down to Google's outsized influence and control over Android app distribution, as well as its requirements for allowing apps on the Google Play Store. According to Match Group's federal court filing, over 90 percent of Android app downloads are handled through the Google Play Store. Thus, if developers want to reach enough users for their Android app to be sustainable, there's practically no way around putting it on Google's app store.


How to watch Google's I/O 2022 keynote live

Mashable

Everyone's favorite search engine and Android giant is gearing up for its annual I/O developer conference, which will be held virtually for everyone but Google employees this year. Google I/O will run between May 11 and 12. The schedule is full of talks about artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented reality, and the myriad other things Google works on, but the main thing regular folks will want to tune into is the opening keynote, where the bulk of the consumer-facing announcements will be made. That keynote is on May 11 at 10 a.m. You can stream it live on Google's I/O website, and almost certainly on Google's YouTube page, as well. An archived version of the stream will be available on the YouTube page afterward, too, if last year's I/O stream was any indication.


Apple, Google, and Microsoft Team Up to Vanquish the Password

WIRED

We've been promised the end of password-based logins on the internet for a very long time, but now it seems that promise may finally be fulfilled. The FIDO Alliance, an industry group aimed at standardizing authentication methods online, announced that its passwordless sign-on method has received support from the big browser builders: Apple, Microsoft, and Google. That means that later this year you will be able to sign in to your various web accounts across the internet without using a password in all the major browsers. If you use a modern smartphone, you'll recognize how this works. Instead of asking you to enter a password, websites will push a notification to your phone that prompts you to verify your identity.


19 Last-Minute Mother's Day Gifts on Sale Now

WIRED

Time flies when everything is always happening, so it's totally understandable if you forgot Mother's Day is this Sunday! We can't buy you more time, but we can help you find quality deals with quick shipping so you can still get a great gift. Moms are multifaceted marvels, and we've rounded up a variety of products, ranging from headphones and ebook readers to beauty goods and kitchen gadgets. Don't forget to check out our Mother's Day Gift Ideas guide for more recommendations. Special offer for Gear readers: Get a 1-year subscription to WIRED for $5 ($25 off).


Elon Musk's Neuralink rival Synchron begins human trials of brain implant

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Elon Musk's Neuralink rival Synchron has begun human trials of its brain implant that lets the wearer control a computer using thought alone. The firm's Stentrode brain implant, about the size of a paperclip, will be implanted in six patients in New York and Pittsburgh who have severe paralysis. Stentrode will let patients control digital devices just by thinking and give them back the ability to perform daily tasks, including texting, emailing and shopping online. Although the implant has already been implanted and tested in Australian patients, the new clinical trial marks the first time it will be tested in the US. If successful, the Stentrode brain implant could be sold as a commercial product aimed at paralysis patients to regain their independence and quality of life.