Here’s what to expect from Google I/O 2015 tomorrow!

Another year, another Google I/O event. It seems that only days ago, we were waiting impatiently to finally learn what the ‘L’ in Android 5.0 stands for and how it is going to change mobile tech. Now, with the next event set for tomorrow, May 28 at 9:30AM PDT (4:30PM GMT – 7:30PM Beirut Time), we are only hours away from another exciting keynote, to fill us in on everything Google has been working on and plans for the future.

And as tradition dictates before such events it’s now time to wrap-up some of the rumors and see what we can expect to see onstage. First things first, after a brief cameo on the official I/O schedule, we are now fairly certain that Google is going to discuss, at least in some shape or form, the next major Android update, currently referred to as Android M.

We can’t really say for sure is the new OS is going to be officially announced, but, we are fairly certain that it is going to have a big focus on Android for business and multiple workspaces. Also, rumors hint at major optimizations in terms of RAM and battery performance. The finalized version of Android M is said to arrive at some point in August, though this timeframe is subject to change.

Past rumor suggest that the OS will offer native support for fingerprint scanners. As for the name, ‘M’ does leave quite a lot of possibilities open. Google could go with a partnership once again, like with KitKat, which puts things like M&Ms, Milky Way and Mars on the table. More conventional guesses are along the lines of Marshmallow or Muffin.

As for new handsets, we have been hearing a lot about Huawei making the next Nexus device. Recently, however, new rumors have suggested that the Chinese manufacturer might be joined by LG, for a total of two new Google devices.

Codenamed Angler, then upcoming LG-made Nexus Smartphone is said to have a 5.2” display. The device’s battery is said to have a capacity around 2,700mAh. LG has reportedly not decided on the chipset for the Angler. However, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 found in the LG G4 is said to be under consideration.

Huawei’s first Nexus device on the other hand, is codenamed Bullhead. Its specs include 5.7” display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset, and 3,500mAh battery – right in line with a previous rumor. The handset will reportedly feature a “more manageable” form factor than the Motorola Nexus 6. Google will reportedly not unveil a new Nexus tablet this year. The search giant will stick with the Nexus 9 through one more product cycle.

There is also the possibility of a few other phones seeing the light of day, or, at least, being discussed at the conference. For one, we have Project ARA. The ambitious modular phone platform has been in development for quite some time and we can only hope that Google has made enough progress on it to be able to showcase some working prototypes. If not, an update on availability dates would be greatly appreciated as well.

Project Fi – Google’s recent move to offer competitive data plans, as a virtual carrier in the US, definitely stirred things up, but, as ambitious as it is, it has one huge drawback – it’s limited to Nexus 6 devices only. This caused a lot of controversy and a lot of people have speculated that launching an essentially budget service on a high-end device can only be a soak test of sorts. So now we can expect that Google will bring more devices to the table sooner or later, the only question is what tech should we expect. There is the possibility of a new budget-friendly Google Fi phone being announced at this year’s I/O to bring the service to the masses. But, this seems a lot less-likely than the aforementioned two Nexus handsets.

The rest of the device rumors we have heard are all pretty low in terms of probability. These include Fit Clip – a new fitness tracker, a new version of Google Glass and Chromecast 2. Also mentioned are things like a home automation speaker and a new version of Google Cardboard, made of plastic, Google Plastic, if you will.

As for the rest of the subjects we can expect Google to touch upon during I/O 2015, we should hear about the impressive growth of the Android user base, just like last year, also, perhaps some talks on home automation and the internet of things (IoT). Android’s specialized siblings – Auto, Wear and TV should also be discussed at length. A special kid-friendly version of the Google Play store could be unveiled at the venue. And we might learn more about the future on Google Wallet, as well.

Google I/O officially kicks off tomorrow at 9:30AM PDT with the all-important keynote presentation. We will be covering the event live, so, be sure to check back with us when the time comes. You can also actively participate in the conference remotely. Google.com/io hosts schedules, resources and tools to participate in lectures and workshops online, so, you can take part in the action .

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Apple to issue emergency software fix for major Message-crashing bug!

iOS Messages Bug Fix

In case you haven’t already heard, a pesky iOS bug unearthed earlier this week has been causing iPhones to crash and reboot when a precise string of characters is received as a text message. Additionally, the bug can also cause the Messages app to crash repeatedly upon opening.

Thankfully, Apple not too long ago issued a statement to CNBC indicating that they’re aware of the issue and that they plan to “make a fix available in a software update.”

Though there’s no indication of when a software update might come down the pipeline, we imagine it will be much sooner rather than later before news of the bug becomes even more widely known.

As reported earlier today, the problem stems from the way iOS processes the offending Unicode text when received in the form of a Messages banner notification. What makes this particular bug so frustrating is that there isn’t much one can do to prevent a mischievous friend from sending the text message in question to your device.

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Google search results on the iPhone and iPad will soon include iOS apps

Google search results on the iPhone and iPad will soon include iOS appsGoogle announced today that it will soon start indexing iPhone and iPad apps.

Just like Google does on Android for Google Play apps, iOS app indexing will basically allow users to open apps from the search result page, should a certain iPhone or iPad app appear to be relevant to a particular search query.

The search engine giant announced that indexed iOS apps will start showing in iPhone and iPad search results in the coming weeks. At first, just a select range of apps will be included, but Google promised to expand the technology to other app developers “as soon as possible”.

iOS apps will appear in search engine results both from the Google Search iOS app and the Chrome iOS browser, but only if the user is signed into his Google account.

Interested developers can get the full documentation on iOS app indexing from the source link below. Furthermore, Google will also be holding a special talk at this week’s Google I/O developer conference that should help devs make the most out of the new feature.

Apple is the most valuable brand for 2015, Google second, research firm Millard Brown claims

Apple is the most valuable brand for 2015, Google second, research firm Millard Brown claims

In the world of technology, having a discernible brand surely goes a long way. According to Millward Brown, a Kantar-owned company that focuses on brands and their value, Apple is 2015’s holder of the most valuable world in the world, leaving one of its biggest rivals, Google, distant second.

Interestingly, Millward Brown’s 2014 global brand ranking list featured the vice versa situation, with Google at the top and Apple behind, but Cupertino has seen a 67% spike in its brand value to $247 billion, which ensured it the current top spot. In 2011, 2012, and 2013, Apple was also the company with the most valuable brand in the world.

Although unnecessary, Millward Brown says that this wild increase in value is due to the successful market performance of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but you already suspected that this was the reason, right?

The third spot in Millward Brown’s 2015 brand ranking list is occupied by no other than Microsoft, which has also seen a 28% rise in its brand value and is currently worth $115 billion.

We also have Samsung at the 45th spot with a brand evaluation of $21.6 billion. There’s hardly any other smartphone maker in the Top 100.

Apple iOS 9 to Feature Force Touch, New Keyboard and Group Read Receipts!

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The next-generation iPhone will feature some form of Force Touch as one of the biggest new additions to the hardware, a rumor that has been circulating since the beginning of the year and only gaining forward momentum. The report today, however, specifically mentions that Apple has designed iOS 9 “to be Force Touch-ready” and is already hard at work with developers to integrate the technology into various apps.

Since Apple’s work on Force Touch runs the gamut of iOS devices, there’s also a possibility of updated Force Touch displays on new iPad models sometime this year. All iOS versions of Force Touch are also expected to provide the real-time haptic feedback buzz similar to that of the Apple Watch to provide users a physical response when their deep presses have been noticed. As 9to5Mac points out, however, since any new Force Touch on iOS announcement automatically requires the confirmation of new hardware, any iPhone and iPad support for the feature is unlikely to happen at WWDC.

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Next, Apple is rumored to be working on a new keyboard experience for iOS 9, with the company experimenting on multiple designs, like one that is “slightly longer than the current keyboard” and provides users with a more robust suite of editing options while in portrait mode. Also in the works is a more accessible way to access the QuickType keyboard and a redesign to the unpopular Shift Key to provide an easier visual understanding of when shift or caps lock is engaged.

Today’s report also falls in line with previous rumors reporting that Canada will be the first country outside of the United States to support Apple Pay, with the report claiming that iOS 9’s Passbook app includes a “necessary foundation” to support various banks, credit and debit cards, and credit unions within the country. Although Canada is well-prepared for such a service, with many retailers and businesses across the country equipped with the contactless payment terminals needed for Apple Pay, such an expansion outside of the United States has proved difficult for Apple, especially in places like China, so a WWDC announcement yet again seems unlikely.

The final minor update to iOS 9 reported today includes the addition of read receipts to both group chats in iMessage as well as on a per-contact basis. Users will be able to turn on the read receipt functionality for specific recipients while leaving the read status of a message in the dark for other contacts. The company also seems to be considering removing the little-used Game Center app altogether in iOS 9, and minor data points suggest a few additions and updates to the new Health app, as well.

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Samsung launches Galaxy S6 edge Iron Man Limited Edition

Marvel’s second movie about the Avengers titled Age of Ultron is out in the theatres and the company shook hands with Samsung for some special projects. After teasing the Iron Man-themed Samsung Galaxy S6 edge last week, the Korean giant has formally launched it for select markets.

Samsung officially announces the Galaxy S6 edge Iron Man Limited EditionThis limited edition Galaxy S6 edge bears the same internals as the regular variant with 64GB of storage. It has been given the Iron Man look with red colored front and back, and gold colored metal frame. The phone will have a custom Avengers theme pre-installed and will be packaged in a limited edition Avengers box.

Samsung has packed an arc reactor-themed wireless charger in the retail package. The latter will also contain a clear protective cover.

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