Google to Introduce Android Apps To Chromebook Laptops
Google is set to allow its Chromebook laptops to run Android apps in a bit to take on Apple and Microsoft.
The laptops run a version of Google's Chrome browser instead of an operating system like Windows - but until now have been unable to download apps.
According to market research firm IDC, in Q1 of this year Chromebook shipments overtook Macs in the U.S.
The laptops run a version of Google's Chrome browser instead of an operating system like Windows - but until now have been unable to download apps. Later this year, they will be able to run all android apps, Google said.
WHAT IS A CHROMEBOOK?
Several manufacturers make the machines, including Acer, and google as sells its own high end Pixel laptop, which has a touchscreen display.S. Chrome OS is now the second most popular PC operating system,' said Google.
'As we continue to increase our focus on mobility, we want to make sure your apps are easily available on this new form factor, reaching the many Chrome devices while maintaining a great experience.
'Today we announced that we're adding Android apps to Chromebooks, which means users will be able to install the apps they know and love.
'Later this year you can expand your app's reach to a new hardware platform and wider audience while maximizing the Google Play ecosystem.
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'With expanded app availability, new use cases and improved workflows can be achieved for all Chromebook users, whether for personal use, for work or for education.
The Chromebook was first introduced in 2013.
'We launched Chromebooks for people who wanted a fast, simple and secure computing experience,' Google says.
The3 chromebooks will be given access to the Google Play app store for the first time later this year
'Chromebooks just work -- open the lid, and within seconds, you're on your favorite sites and apps, getting stuff done.
'Virus protection and automatic updates are built-in, so you don't have to manage your computer.
'And that's worked great for our users. Schools in the US are now buying more Chromebooks than all other devices combined'
Google said it was adding apps after customers complained the laptops had limitations.
CHROMEBOOK TAKES THE NUMBER TWO SPOT FROM APPLE
Worldwide PC shipments totaled 60.6 million units in the first quarter of 2016 (1Q16), a year-on-year decline of 11.5%, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.
PC shipments to the U.S. fell 5.8% to 13.6 million units in 1Q16.
'Demand for PCs in the U.S. remains sluggish,' said IDC Research Director, Devices & Displays, Linn Huang.
'However, we should be entering a period of reprieve. Peak corporate and education buying seasons have historically started in the second quarter.
'With some IT buyers thinking about early Windows 10 transitions and with the potential continued ascent of Chromebooks in U.S. K-12, the PC market should experience a modest rebound in the coming months.
'So, we're bringing Google Play (the most popular app store in the world) to Chromebooks.
'This means you'll be able to download and use Android apps, so you can make a Skype call, work with Office files and be productive offline -- or take a break with games like Minecraft, Hearthstone or Clash of Clans.'
The same apps that run on phones and tablets will run on Chromebooks.
Google's Pixel laptop measures 297.7 x 224.6 x 16.2 mm, and weighs 3.35lb / 1.52kg
VIDEO Touch screen + highest resolution screen EVER in a laptop
'We wanted to rethink everything possible in a laptop,' said Sundar Pichai of Google, who revealed the first chromebook at a special event run in Silicon Valley and London.
'The screen is the highest resolution screen ever shipped on a laptop, and we don't want users to deal with pixels - so users will never see them,' he said at the event in 2013.
'People want to reach out and touch - so we built in full touch.'
The laptop, the first Google has designed and built itself, will be made in Taiwan.
It will compete directly with Apple.
'Apple has been at this a long time, and has built something amazing,' Pichai said of Apple's products.
'But if If you live in the cloud this is the best experience you can have.'
The machine uses Google's Chrome OS, which is based on the firm's web browser.
GOOGLE'S NEXT-GEN VR HEADSET
The tech giant is reportedly working on an update to its current entry-level Cardboard, and is expected to release a headset this year.
The firm is bolstering its Android support for VR and is developing a smartphone-based system which will rival Gear-VR, the Samsung-Oculus Rift collaboration which has been available since last year.
The new headset will support a wider range of devices than Samsung's Gear, which is limited to Samsung Galaxy smartphones.
In addition, Google plans to solve the lingering latency problem with VR - the slight delay between head movements and the video stream - which can be disorientating and leave users dizzy.
The firm is aiming squarely at Amazon's Echo with the home speaker, which has Amazon's Alexa assistant built in.
Facebook is also developing AI bots that will run inside its Messenger app, Mark Zuckerberg revealed at its developed conference last week.
However, Google believes its search engine and AI experience will give it a huge advantage.
'We want to be there for users, asking them 'Hi, how can I help',' said Pichai, who took over as Google boss when the firm reorganised as Alphabet earlier this year.
'We want users to have an ongoing 2 way dialogue with Google.'
Pichai showed the system using its smart assistant to book cinema tickets, downloading them automatically.
Competition: A man shows off the Google Chromebook Pixel laptop computer featuring a touchscreen face they hope will rival Apple
Mario Queiroz showed off the new Google speaker, called Google Home, that will be released later this year.
'I should be able to interact without a phone,' he said.
Users will be able to simply talk to the speaker, telling it what to do or asking it questions in normal English.
The gadget is also a high quality speaker, Google claims, allowing users to play back music from online services of a phone.
It can also control other speakers, forming a voice controlled multi room hifi system, and control other devices such as lights and Google's Nest thermostat.
The voice controlled assistant will be able to control devices and answer queries.
He also revealed over 50% of Google's queries now come from mobile phones.
'We are evolving search to be much more assistive,' he said.
The speaker is designed to be placed in every room, creating a multi room control system for an entire home.
'We understand a billion entities, and we can even do real time visual translation.
Google says that it is 'an order of magnitude ahead of everyone else' in understanding natural-language conversational queries.
'We believe the real test is whether humans can achieve a lot more with AI assisting them,' said Pichai
SAY ALLO TO GOOGLE'S NEW MESSAGING APP
It also predicts responses to posts, and even pictures by analysing what's in them, and has Google's assistant built in.
This allows the app to use Googe's search capabilities to access the assistant when booking restaurants, using OpenTable to make bookings, for instance.
The app can also play games with users, using emoji to spell out film titles, for instance.
Google said it will be available in the summer for both Android and iOS.
Google also revealed a new messaging app called Allo designed to bring Google's search engine into chats.'
The firm also revealed a new messaging app called Allo designed to bring Google's search engine into chats.
It allows users to chat with friends and workers, and has a new feature called 'shout' allowing users to change the size messages appear depending on how important they are.
It also unveiled Duo, a video calling app.
The new Google Home speaker will use Google's new smart AI assistant, and will go on sale later this year.
The Amazon Tap (left) is a portable version of the 9.25-inch Echo that sells for $130, while the $90 Echo Dot (right) can be plugged into any speaker. at are designed to amplify the role that its voice-controlled assistant Alexa plays in people's homes and lives. They will now complete
Sundar Pichai took to the stage at a giant outdoor amphitheatre holding 7,000 next to Google's Silicon Valley HQ to unveil the Google Assistant and Google Home speaker
GOOGLE'S DAYDREAM: BRINGING VR TO ANDROID
'Cardboard and phones are great, but there's a limit.
'We wanted to do more, and that involves solving a lot of really hard problems.
'What we've built won't be availabler until fall, but we'd like to introduce it today.
Clay Bavor of Google's VR division revealed that VR will be part of Android N, in a feature called daydream.
A new controller will also be made for the system
The firm revealed new standard for phones running the new Android VR, and a VR mode for Android N to make apps work more effectively.
It said Samsung, LG and others will support the software.
The firm has also created a design for headsets, and a new controller allowing users to navigate the virtual world.
It will also bring Google Play into the virtual world, allowing users to easily find and install apps.
A new controller will also be made for the system, allowing users to easily navigate the virtual world.
Bavor said Google was also working with developers to produce games for the software.
It is also porting its own apps, including a movie theatre and street view to the VR system.
YouTube will also appear in the headset, allowing users to search by voice, access their usually playlist and hear 3D spatial audio when wearing headphones.
Android powers about 80 percent of the world's smartphones, largely because Google gives away the software for free to device makers.
Google said it is already working with Spotify, Uber and WhatsApp to include their apps in Google assistant.
Google can afford to do that because it designs Android to feature its search engine, maps and other digital services, giving it more opportunities to show the digital ads that generate most of its revenue.
Reporters and bloggers from around the world attend, ensuring that whatever the company unveils will also be featured in stories, pictures and video delivered to a vast audience of consumers.
The three-day showcase also attracts thousands of computer programmers, giving Google an opportunity to convince them why they should design applications and other services that work with its gadgets and an array of software that includes the Chrome Web browser and Android operating system for mobile devices.
ANDROID N - THE NEXT VERSION OF GOOGLE'S SOFTWARE
Dave Burke of Google also spoke about Android N, the new version of the firm's software.
'We've redesigned many of the basic features for Android N,' he said.
It will include Vulcan, a new 3D graphics engine to boost games performance, better security and improved battery life.
Google has also overhauled the way Android is updating, allowing it to more easily install updates on user's phones.
Android N also includes a new window split screen and picture in picture mode.
The software will also be able to automatically uninstall apps deemed to be a security risk.
It also includes a new window split screen and picture in picture mode.
Notifications have also been overhauled, allowing users to reply directly to a message.
It will also included the latest emoji.
Google said it will launch the software in the summer, but is making a beta version available within weeks.
Apple will hold a similar conference in June to unveil its fall software plans.
Google is holding this year's conference, called Google I/O, at an amphitheater a few blocks from its Mountain View, California, headquarters.
Sundar Pichai took to the stage at a giant outdoor amphitheatre holding 7,000 next to Google's Silicon Valley HQ.
With more than 6,000 seats, the amphitheater could potentially accommodate a larger crowd than the San Francisco venue where Google held I/O in past years.
Google's bare-bones entry into the still-nascent field of virtual reality came two years ago when it unveiled a cheap headset made out of cardboard.
The company may now be poised to get more serious, given far more sophisticated options available for sale.
GOOGLE SETS THE SMARTWATCH FREE
Google also revealed a new version of its Android Wear platform for smath watches.
It allows handwriting recognition, letting users draw letters on the screen'
It also works as a standalone device - not needing a phone.
Google showed of V2.
Artificial intelligence, a term used to describe efforts to develop software that acts and behaves more like humans, has been a focal point of Google's for years.
Progress in the field has helped Google's search engine comprehend the intent of people's inquiries more quickly and vastly improved the comprehension and responsiveness of its voice-recognition services.
Google is expected to dive deeper into virtual reality and artificial intelligence with a raft of new products at its annual IO developers conference in San Francisco today.
Analysts have speculated that Google might tap into its artificial-intelligence research to introduce a virtual-assistant product that could be set up in homes to help people manage their lives and get information more quickly.
Such a device would represent Google's response to the growing popularity of Amazon's Echo, a cylinder-like device equipped with speakers and an Internet-connected microphone that enables a virtual assistant called Alexa to interact with its users. Screamyguy's blog