Finding kid-friendly content in the clutter of inappropriate digital entertainment is one of the hardest tasks for parents. Google Play will now include a discovery tool that makes it easier for families to find apps, movies, shows and books that are best-suited for kids. One-third of the Android users in the US are parents with kids aged 12 and under. If you're one of those parents, and you're looking for an app that keeps your toddler occupied or a tween-fiction book to encourage a reading habit, you will be able to tap the Family button on the home page to browse content by age and interests. You can also personalize the search based on characters -- so Elsa, SpongeBob and Peppa Pig all get their own character badges.

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Google I/O 2015

Google's Cloud Messaging is no longer just for sending alerts to Android devices or your web browser. The internet giant has announced that the service now pushes notifications to iOS devices as well -- your favorite app can deliver updates to all your gadgets using a single system. The Cloud Messaging update also introduces topics, so an app can ask you about getting only the notifications you care about. A news app can send you notifications about tech and world news, for instance, while skipping entertainment. These features will take a while to filter down to the software you use, but they promise to both keep your hardware in harmony and cut back on some noise.

Don't miss out on all the latest news and updates from Google I/O 2015. Follow along at our events page.

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Sometimes you still need navigation and destination info when you're offline. Google is delivering just that with offline Maps. Even when you're not connected (or in airplane mode), the app will still provide information on places in your searches. This means that you can browse hours, reviews and other important details for places like museums and restaurants. What's more, voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation is included as well for maps that you've saved for offline use. Unfortunately, there's no word on when the new tools will arrive other than a vague "later this year."

Don't miss out on all the latest news and updates from Google I/O 2015. Follow along at our events page.

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Google today launched a standalone, unlimited photo and video service called Google Photos. Google Photos is a free -- and, again, unlimited -- storage, sharing and editing service, and it should be available today on Android, iOS and the web. However, do note that the unlimited storage only counts if you're okay with a little compression -- your photos will be downsized to 16-megapixels and your videos will have to be 1080p or worse. You can certainly upload original resolution photos and videos too, but they'll count against your Google Drive storage limits.

Update: The Photos app is out, and we've given it a test run, check out our impressions right here.

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Google's trying to make Now even more subservient to your needs with its next version for Android M called Now on Tap. The new digital assistant listens in on your activities and gives you supplemental info like store hours or movie reviews right inside an app or web page. For instance, if a friend texts you with a dinner invite at a new restaurant, you can ask Now on Tap for reviews, hours and other info mid-conversation. It'll also create reminders on the fly about previous email or text discussions and incorporate detailed Knowledge Graph information.

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Google wants to be everywhere in your home, not just hiding inside your thermostats and smoke alarms. That's why, as rumored, it's just announced Project Brillo, a super-slim operating system that's designed specifically for devices collectively known as the Internet of Things. If you're feeling a sense of deja vu, don't -- the company has already dipped a toe or two into this market before, with 2011's quietly abandoned Android@Home project. As expected, Project Brillo is based on Android, but pared down enough to operate on a wide variety of day-to-day (and traditionally dumb) objects -- doorbells, baby cameras, ovens and so on that speak to each other via Bluetooth and WiFi.

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At its I/O conference, Google's just revealed that it will standardize fingerprint ID security across Android M devices, so that manufacturers like Samsung don't need to build their own. That means developers will be able to use an open system that lets you unlock your device, buy with Google Pay, pay at Google's Play store and perform other common functions with your digits. The system will also be bundled in its API to help developers integrate it into third-party apps. In other words, it'll work much like Apple's fingerprint system already does.

Don't miss out on all the latest news and updates from Google I/O 2015. Follow along at our events page.

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Google SVP Sundar Pichai may have tipped the company's hand on mobile payments back in Barcelona, but he offered little detail on how the system would work. At I/O 2015, though, the folks in Mountain View served up a wealth of details on the matter, including the announcement that Android Pay would be part of the Android M release. Just like Apple Pay, transactions are sorted via NFC and your actual card number isn't shared with merchants. Instead, it'll use "a virtual account number" to handle payments. When it arrives, the system will be employed by over 700,000 retailers (sounds familiar) like Macy's, Whole Foods, Walgreen's and many more. It'll also be used for in-app purchases, so if you're ordering food from Chipotle or paying for an Uber ride, you'll be able to use Android Pay there as well. And yes, web sellers can leverage the system, too.

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Google Inbox

You no longer have to cajole your friends into giving you an invite to Google's smarter, task-oriented Inbox app. As of today, it's available to everyone with a standard Gmail account -- you just have to grab the Android or iOS app, and you're off to the races. There are a few new features coming along for the ride, too. Inbox now bundles all your trip-related email in one place, and will both show your Google Keep reminders and suggest adding them if someone sends you a to-do list. You also get options to take back outgoing emails, add custom signatures and open reservations directly in apps like Eat24 or HotelTonight. Workers who need Google Apps support won't get to use the normal Inbox app just yet, but Google is opening the early adopter program to anyone who wants to get in.

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Like clockwork, Google lifted the veil on Android M at its I/O developer conference today, an event that's traditionally served as the company's launchpad for its mobile OS updates. No, we don't yet know what the "M" stands for (we'd love to see Android Marzipan), but, as usual, that's not stopping Google from divulging details. After the bold redesign that was Android Lollipop, M is more focused on refining the entire Android experience. "For [Android] M, we've gone back to the basics," said Google SVP Sundar Pichai. "We've really focused on polish and quality; we've literally solved thousands of bugs." While there's still no firm release date for Android M, developers can give it a spin today with a special preview release for the Nexus 5, 6, 9 and Player set-top box.

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