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Google I/O 2013: Day 1 Keynote

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This is by far the most mature event I’ve ever seen. For over a few weeks now, people have kept asking me what Google is going to “launch” this IO. While most people were expecting the cliché like Android 5.0, new announcements with Project Glass, a couple of new features of Google+ etc. I on the other hand had this weird thought that why such events are only supposed to be and x.x version launch? why can’t they improve and innovate the technology on the things they already have? … And attending Google IO tonight gave me the answers.

Yes, Google IO 2013 was pretty mature enough that it wasn’t just new releases, it was all about innovation of technology on the platforms and services they already have. Pushing the limits of what magic software can do, Google has shown the world that they are really up to something. And that something is truly, “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”.

Here are the highlights from the event today:

1. New Design of Google+

Introducing 41 new features in Google+, Google have taken the social network and information sharing stream to the next level by revamping the whole user interface with more clean and depth.

Diving deeper into the stream and based on Google’s Knowledge Graph, you get the most related results right there.

Great photos in less time, because you don’t shoot photos you make them. Great photographers use great and the most complex and expensive tools, one of their kind to make their photos The Photos. Now with instant clicks, a normal user with a cheap mobile phone camera can produce equally stunning photos. That’s a plus.

2. Hangouts App

For quite sometime people have been complimenting Google+ Hangouts as the hybrid solution of Skype + Whatsapp + BBM + Viber. Google has taken Google+ Hangouts to he next level. Overtaking Google Talk, Hangouts is the new app that replaces the Talk and provides the best of cross platform communication across all devices. Breaking all the barriers of operating systems, devices, intraweb legacies, Hangouts is the future of communication. Conversations that last, with people you love.

The app is available as we speak on Android, iOS, and Chrome. Bringing conversations to life.

3. Next Level of Google Maps – A map for every person and place.

What if we told you that during your lifetime, Google could create millions of custom maps…each one just for you?

In the past, such a notion would have been unbelievable: a map was just a map, and you got the same one for New York City, whether you were searching for the Empire State Building or the coffee shop down the street. What if, instead, you had a map that’s unique to you, always adapting to the task you want to perform right this minute?

This is what you will have with the introduction of the new Google Maps – a mapping experience that helps you find places you never would have thought to search for.

4. Chrome Updates

There have been a bunch of improvements in Chrome, introducing ground breaking experiments and unlimited possibilities for developers and a opening a whole new era of image and video rendering. Take at look at this racer experiment.

5. Samsung Galaxy S4 Gets Stock Andorid JellyBean With Push Latest Updates

Yes, you read it correct. TouchWiz was great, and at the same time it was the only reason I never bought Samsung Galaxy S phone. Why? because in the wake of making it more cool, Samsung actually took the beauty of Android far away to a point where even importing the new updates was getting much difficult for them to TouchWiz. That’s the point I’ve always debated that Samsung is a hardware company and they should let it be that way, while Google is more into building the best mobile software right now, they won’t enter someone else’s turf until they’ve truly conqured and secured their own. By making TouchWiz more and more Samsung oriented, Samsung did the same mistake as they did with Symbian and end up with a filed operating system. Now that they’ve learned the lesson, here is Samsung Galaxy S4 with the great hardware power of Samsung, you can enjoy the great software power of Stock Android.

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6. Android Studio

Well, the rumors are it. The plus that Microsoft had over Java all those years was the great intuitive Integrated Development Environment, Visual Studio (IDE). Now that Android has became the first choice of mobile devices developers, Google is extending their turf and presenting the Android Studio.

Android Studio is a new Android development environment based on IntelliJ IDEA. Similar to Eclipse with the ADT Plugin, Android Studio provides integrated Android developer tools for development and debugging. On top of the capabilities you expect from IntelliJ,

Android Studio offers:

  • Gradle-based build support.
  • Android-specific refactoring and quick fixes.
  • Lint tools to catch performance, usability, version compatibility and other problems.
  • ProGuard and app-signing capabilities.
  • Template-based wizards to create common Android designs and components.
  • A rich layout editor that allows you to drag-and-drop UI components, preview layouts on multiple screen configurations, and much more.

Download Android Studio v0.1 for Windows

This download includes:

  • Android Studio early access preview
  • All the Android SDK Tools to design, test, debug, and profile your app
  • The latest Android platform to compile your app
  • The latest Android system image to run your app in the emulator

7. Send Money with Gmail

Yes, that is correct. Just like file attachments, now you can attach money on the email. Didn’t get it? Watch this.

8. Conversational Search – across devices including mobile and desktop

People communicate with each other by conversation, not by typing keywords, Google Now works the same way. Soon you’ll be able to just say, hands-free, “OK Google, will it be sunny in Santa Cruz this weekend?” and get a spoken answer. Then, you’ll be able to continue the conversation and just follow up with “how far is it from here?” if you care about the drive or “how about Monterey?” if you want to check weather somewhere else, and get Google to tell you the answer.

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Better answers – Improvements to the Knowledge Graph

9. Google Now: a new take on reminders, and new cards

Google Now is about providing you with just the right information at just the right time. With the new reminders in Now, not only can you save things to remember later, but you can actually pick a time or place to trigger those reminders, so they pop up at just the right time. Because a note to buy milk, paper towels and food for the dog, is a lot more helpful when you’re actually at the grocery store. Or if you’re about to miss the last train home, Google Now can remind you that you better leave. And if you’re interested in an upcoming book or there’s a new album you’re excited to listen to, Google Now will shoot you a reminder when it comes out, and even provide a recommendation. And the best part is, you can create some of these reminders with just your voice.

With just the tap of a mic or flick of a finger, millions of people across the world can easily tap into the entire world’s knowledge and find what they need to make their lives better, or just have their day run a little smoother. That’s why we’re so excited about the new search experience we’re building at Google and it will change how we experience life.

And that is not just it. There are a gazillion new innovative enhancements and inventions and revamps and rebirths of Google services that actually pushed the boundaries of software and services to make technology help human lives. That is what it is all about, Live, Learn, and off course, Love.

Have your say.

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You are forbidden to use Fake Names on Facebook, Legally.

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A court in Germany today, ruled in favor of Facebook to force its users to use Real Names on the social networking site. Facebook won the case against the German privacy watchdog that challenged its policies to forbid users to use fake names.

According to news, “Schleswig-Holstein state’s data protection body said Friday it will appear the court decision. It argues the ban on fake names breaches German privacy laws and European rules designed to protect free speech online.

The administrative court in northern German Schleswig argued in its ruling Thursday that German privacy laws weren’t applicable because Facebook has its European headquarters in Ireland — which has less far-reaching rules.

The California-based company argues its real name policy protects users.

Germany’s strict privacy rules have posed a legal headache for Facebook, Google and others in recent years, giving consumers significant rights to limit the way companies use their information.”

According to Facebook Terms of Use, Facebook require everyone to provide their real names, so everyone always know who they’ are connecting with and to keep the social networking real and safe. The policy lists the names one can’t use include:

    • Symbols, numbers, unusual capitalization, repeating characters or punctuation

    • Characters from multiple languages

    • Titles of any kind (ex: professional, religious, etc)

    • Words, phrases, or nicknames in place of a middle name

    • Offensive or suggestive content of any kind

Other things to keep in mind:

    • The name you use should be your real name as it would be listed on your credit card, student ID, etc.

    • Nicknames can be used as a first or middle name if they’re a variation of your real first or last name (like Bob instead of Robert)

    • You can also list another name on your account (ex: maiden name, nickname, or professional name), by adding an alternate name to your timeline

    • Only one person’s name should be listed on the account – timelines are for individual use only

    • Pretending to be anything or anyone is not allowed

While Facebook does are very hard job keeping the site safe and real, people on the internet seems to have mixed opinions on this: here are a few interesting comments I came across:

- “The only thing keeping online communities together is anonymity. I have no idea what arguments they could’ve brought forth to force use of real name.”

- “Anonymity allows greater chance of people being racist homophobic assholes online. A lot of shit that is said to be hurtful or harmful will make some people think twice before saying it. If more and more sites don’t allow for it, and assholes are too scared to be assholes when we know their names. Then so be it…..”

- “its social networking and facebook purpose is that u connect with people u know , family , friends and others .

staying anonymous will not help the purpose of facebook , more over it will turn to be just a pick-up site.”

What do you think of it? Have your say!