Mobile Nations Weekly: Google In-and-Out
So, there was this little thing out in California called Google I/O. Only a few small announcements: like Google taking on Amazon Echo, two new messaging apps, built-in VR for Android, apps that only download the parts you need as you need them, and a whole new smart assistant. Oh, and Android Wear 2.0 and Android apps on Chrome OS, which is kind of a big deal.
Microsoft dumped the dumb phone baggage it got in its acquisition of Nokia, selling it off for $350 million. It won't affect Windows 10 Mobile directly, but it will help Microsoft focus better — the dumb phone division never fit in with the rest of Microsoft's ambitions. Apart from that, the Microsoft Band 2 picked up Hiking and Explore features, and Health and OneDrive landed for Windows 10.
Tesla's ramp-up to the Model 3 continues in a big way with a new secondary offering from Tesla. Needing money to finance construction of the $35,000 electric sedan, Tesla's raising $1.4 billion.
Not far away from Google I/O, wevisited the latest overhaul of the Apple Store in San Francisco with a tour guided by Angela Ahrendts, SVP of Retail. The new store approach focuses around "community", with the store sectioned into areas meant to encourage interaction.
iMore — Next-gen Apple Store
WWDC 2016 is still a few weeks away but that didn't stop Apple from having a small retail event to preview the future of Apple Store. Angela Ahrendts unveiled a new community approach that includes genius grove, the forum, the avenue, the board room, and an outdoor garden. We were there live and brought you back all the action!
Meanwhile rumors continue to swirl over iPhone 7... and iPhone 8 and, with June so close, iOS 10 and OS X 10.12 can't be far behind.
- Live from the Apple Store Union Square preview event!
- Android Wear's latest missteps reinforce Apple Watch strengths
- Can a car drive the future of Apple culture and technology?
- Apple Talk 03: Apple Car as a service, with Horace Dediu
Android Central — Google I/O Central
If you hadn't noticed (let's be honest, you noticed), this was the week of the annual Google I/O developer conference. The show was a bit odd in many respects, but the news was still big: Google announced Google Home, Allo, Duo, Daydream VR, Android Instant Apps and the new Google Assistant.
Then there were updates for existing products: Chrome OS added the Play Store, Android Wear 2.0 refreshed the platform, Android Studio bumped to version 2.2, Google's Firebase added features, and Android Auto can run completley on your phone.
And even though Android N was already announced, we got the first "beta quality" release of the new version, and learned a whole lot about the finer details of the software.
If you want to get caught up with all of the big news and analysis from the conference, be sure to read our Day 1 roundup and Day 2 roundup, as well as listen to our Part 1 podcast and Part 2 podcast from the event. You can also see every single article from Google I/O on our dedicated page.
- Google OnHub router: A second opinion
- What's new in Android N?
- LG G5 UK review: Different to a fault
- Sony Xperia XA Ultra hands-on
- My HTC 10 hates the Pixel C charger
- Samsung Galaxy S7 edge vs. OnePlus 2
- Moto G4 and G4 Plus unveiled
- HTC 10 — a second opinion
- Should you buy a Chromebook?
CrackBerry — Colbert… Berry?
Security, hardware rumors, opinions and oddly, of all things... a Stephen Colbert emoji took over BlackBerry news this week.
- BlackBerry hosting annual Security Summit on July 19 in New York
- BlackBerry 'Hamburg' purported specs turn up on benchmark tests
- Veteran BlackBerry analyst says company should get out of the handset business
- BlackBerry raises its eyebrow to add the 'Colbert emoji' to BBM
Tesla Central — Billions to raise
Tesla made waves with the announcement that they were issuing $1.4 billion worth of new stock to raise funds to help build the Model 3, a car for which that Tesla's received a whopping 373,000 reservations. That's after just 8,000 cancellations — some 98% of customers still want the $35,000 EV when it arrives in late 2017.
Also new this week was a software update for the Tesla Model S and Model X that's meant to make it harder to wreck the car by accidentally activating the self-driving features.
- Tesla's raising a whopping $1.4 billion to help build the Model 3
- Model 3 pre-orders update! 373,000 reservations after 8,000 cancellations and 4,200 duplicates
- Tesla issues software update to make it harder to wreck your self-parking car
- Ambitious hacker retrofits Autopilot into 2014 Model S
- Is a Tesla Model 3 the ultimate hiring perk?
- See what your dream Tesla Model 3 will look like in this unofficial configurator!
Windows Central — Baggage
Microsoft has sold off it's "dumb phone" line acquired during the Nokia Mobile purchase to FIH Mobile, a subsidiary of Hon Hai/Foxconn Technology Group, and HMD Global, Oy, for $350 million. While having no impact on Windows 10 Mobile, it is clear Microsoft is shedding some baggage to be more focused on its product lines.
The Microsoft Band 2 got a stellar update with a new Hiking feature called Explore. Not only that but the Windows 10 PC version of Microsoft Health is now available too. Fast Ring Insiders on Windows 10 Mobile finally picked up Redstone build 14342 with swipe navigation for Edge and more.
The OneDrive for Windows 10 on PC is also finally available giving users the ability to manage their online storage with ease. Finally, we take a look at how Android apps on Chrome OS could be a threat to Microsoft in the consumer market.
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Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.