Google is weaving itself into the fabric of our lives
At I/O 2018, Google took the time to share incremental, fun and weird updates to its ecosystem -- including some seemingly innocuous changes that were still met with applause. Here are just 10 of those.
Android P brings wireless Android Auto to more phones
Kenwood announced that wireless Android Auto is active, but only compatible with select smartphones for right now. Once phones are upgraded to Android P, they'll also support the feature (with compatible headunits), but Google said it's working on making it available across Android Oreo as well.
Hands-on with the new Google Maps
Now Google Maps is ready to personalize itself based on your tastes, Foursquare-style, and handle social outings with a new Group Planning feature. We didn't get to try out the AR map experience demonstrated earlier (that doesn't have a release date yet), but the things we tried out will come to your phones this summer.
Steam Link will soon beam PC games to iOS, Android
Valve has already released devices that shift PC gaming to the living room, but now it has announced Steam Link apps are on the way. Once they're released later this month, you'll be able to play games on iOS or Android devices while they're rendered by a PC connected to the same network. After that, it will also release a Steam Video app that brings movies and TV shows purchased on the platform to users on their other devices.
Electric UPS trucks look like they're straight out of a Pixar movie
The company revealed it's working with vehicle manufacturer Arrival on a pilot fleet of 35 lightweight electric trucks that look far more futuristic than the standard boxy vehicles. The trucks, which UPS will test in Paris and London, have a "highly advanced vehicle display," along with additional safety features and driver assists.
Qualcomm is finally releasing a new smartwatch chip
Come holiday season, you can expect several manufacturers will have Wear OS smartwatches wielding the power of a new chip available for sale. Qualcomm exec Pankaj Kedia tells Wareable that the new hardware will be built from the ground up for use in a watch, unlike previous iterations based on old, stripped-down phone technology. That should make for smaller, better-looking devices that are more battery efficient and ready to make good use of their onboard sensors.
Nintendo is making a $20 charging stand for the Switch
Until now, playing the Switch in tabletop mode while charging meant getting creative with props and taking a risk of busting your USB-C port. Thankfully, Nintendo is fixing that issue with a $20 add-on that serves as stand and charger. The only bad news? It doesn't go on sale until June 13th.
But wait, there's more...
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