Google Assistant is coming to older Android phones and tablets


The Google Assistant, Google’s take on Siri, Cortana and Alexa without the approachable name, has long been available on most modern phones and tablets. But given the fragmentation of the Android ecosystem, many older devices will never get the newer versions of Android that actually feature built-in support for the Assistant. Now, however, Google is bringing support for its voice-activated helper to phones running Android 5.0 Lollipop and tablets running Android 7.0 Nougat and 6.0 Marshmallow.

Lollipop launched back in 2014, so we’re talking about a rather old phone operating system here (Android 8.1 is now standard on Google’s own Pixel phones), but according to Google, more than 26 percent of all Android devices still run some version of Android 5.0 Lollipop. Just over 30…

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Google’s lightweight OS Android Go launches as Android Oreo (Go Edition)


Google’s made a number of tweaks since announcing Android Go back at I/O in May. The lightweight version is finally ready to launch, albeit with a slightly altered name. The OS is launching with the release of Android 8.1, now carrying the decidedly less catchy Android Oreo (Go edition) title.

As per the new name, the Go version isn’t an altogether different operating system than the primary version of Android. In fact, in a number of ways, the software types are likely indistinguishable, and Google’s devoting a team to assuring that the Go edition gets updated and released on more or less the same schedule as its standard counterpart.

Google made the announcement this evening at an event in India — a major potential market for the new version of the OS. As the company…

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WICASTR brings data to the edge


Content distribution is hard. You want to keep enough of it close enough to favorite customers so they don’t have to wait and reduce latency for new data. That’s why WICASTR created the SMART Edge Platform, a system for sending content to the very edges of the network, including compatible local routers and access points.

“WICASTR is an ‘all in one solution’ for edge computing,” said founder Armine Saidi. “We are like Android ecosystem but for access points, routers and other edge devices: we have hardware, operating system and app store solutions to develop or deploy applications at the extreme edge with a simple 1-click solution.”

The company raised $1 million and went through TechStars. Their edge platform was inspired by the events of the Arab Spring. The…

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Google might bring Nest back into its own hardware business


Google might fold Nest back into the Google, well, fold. The company is considering integrating Nest, which is a separate company under mutual parent Alphabet at the moment, back into Google’s hardware business.

The re-integration, first reported by Wall Street Journal, is a move that Google is considering as a way to help it build out its smart home capabilities vs. Amazon, which is expanding its hardware offerings in that regard. Nest’s lineup works with Google Assistant, but also with Amazon’s Alexa; bringing it back into Google’s core hardware team could help develop better integration with Assistant and the company’s other mobile and networking devices, building a more extensive competitive hedge.

Now that Google is developing out its Google hardware business in…

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Microsoft’s Edge browser is now available for Android and iOS


Last month, Microsoft announced its intentions to bring its Edge Browser to iOS and Android, as it works to broaden its reach on third-party mobile devices. After being made available in preview form for roughly a month, the app officially hits iOS and Android’s respective app stores starting today.

The followup to the once ubiquitous Internet Explorer has been blossoming on Windows 10 devices (most notably the Surface line, where it’s learned some neat tricks) for a while now. The new mobile version of the app offers many of its familiar desktop/tablet features, including Favorites, Reading Lists and New Tab Pages.