Google sets the bar high for its Oct. phone reveal

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Google has helped build intense speculation for its October 4 event in San Francisco, where it's expected to reveal new phones aimed at consumers that will power a new virtual reality platform, and possibly other smart home devices. Now that the buzz has reached a football-stadium roar, here comes the hard part: living up to the hype. Google has been teasing the event as one for the history books. A tweet Monday from Hiroshi Lockheimer, the company's senior vice president of Android, Chrome OS and Google Play, turned up the volume on the buzz. We announced the 1st version of Android 8 years ago today.


New Google products, services take aim at its biggest rivals

Boston Herald

From virtual reality to a new smart-home speaker, Google is showing off just how pervasive it has become even as it's squeezed by its biggest competitors -- Facebook, Apple and Amazon. Google showed off a VR system called Daydream, along with plans for headsets that will compete with Facebook's Oculus Rift. In a jab at Amazon, the company announced Google Home, an Internet-connected speaker that listens for your voice commands to play music or control lights and thermostats in the home. It is reminiscent of Amazon's Echo and will be available later this year for a yet-unannounced price. In an attempt to outshine Apple, Google is also adding features to its Android operating system, including the ability to run apps without actually installing apps.


New Google Products, Services Take Aim at Its Biggest Rivals

#artificialintelligence

Google showed off a VR system called Daydream, along with plans for headsets that will compete with Facebook's Oculus Rift. In a jab at Amazon, the company announced Google Home, an Internet-connected speaker that listens for your voice commands to play music or control lights and thermostats in the home. It is reminiscent of Amazon's Echo and will be available later this year for a yet-unannounced price. In an attempt to outshine Apple, Google is also adding features to its Android operating system, including the ability to run apps without actually installing apps. That's perhaps the one truly new thing Google announced Wednesday.


As Facebook plans for the future, VR looms large

Los Angeles Times

When Google wanted people to know it was serious about virtual reality two years ago, it sent software developers attending its I/O conference home with Google Cardboard -- a cheap, build-it-yourself VR headset that developers could use with Samsung Galaxy smartphones. When Facebook wanted people to know it was serious about VR on Tuesday, it sent software developers attending its F8 conference -- all 2,600 of them -- home with Gear VR headsets, which retail at 99.99, and Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphones, which cost 598 apiece. Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg's announcement of the high-end swag was met with emphatic applause from the audience of developers, who packed an auditorium in San Francisco's Fort Mason Center to hear him detail the company's 10-year plan. The Gear VR may not rival the coveted, high-end virtual reality headset released last month by Oculus VR, which Facebook acquired in 2014 for 2 billion. But it was enough to drive the message home: VR will play a big role in Facebook's future -- and so will developers who embrace the medium.


Parking fine chat bot 'DoNotPay' helps over 160,000 people beat charges in London and New York

The Independent - Tech

Nasa has announced that it has found evidence of flowing water on Mars. Scientists have long speculated that Recurring Slope Lineae -- or dark patches -- on Mars were made up of briny water but the new findings prove that those patches are caused by liquid water, which it has established by finding hydrated salts. Several hundred camped outside the London store in Covent Garden. The 6s will have new features like a vastly improved camera and a pressure-sensitive "3D Touch" display