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Android Community Weekly Digest: Google I/O 2015 Edition

This year's Google I/O has come and gone, and, as expected, it was a whirlwind of announcements, revelations, sessions, and workshops, all spread out in two days that feels somewhat too short. That said, this year's menagerie was relatively more subdued than the previous years, not because it was less exciting, but because it painted a more well-rounded and stabilizing vision and product line for Google For this week's special Google I/O edition, we look back at the highlights of Google's developer's conference, particularly on those that touch on our favorite mobile platform.

Android Pay hands-on: buying soda with a phone

Put your phone near a vending machine screen and out comes a can of Coke. If that sounds like a scene from a sci-fi show, then we can pretty much say that the future is here. That is exactly the image that Google wants to paint in our minds in demoing two use cases of its newly announced Android Pay mobile payment system. In one instance, we tried the feature earlier described, buying a soda can from an NFC-enabled vending machine. In another, we buy an Android, a collectible, from an Android, a phone, using Android Pay. Inception!

Google I/O 2015: The story so far

Google covered a lot of ground at its I/O 2015 keynote this morning, and Android stood at the forefront of its efforts. Android M was revealed, which first arrives as a Developer Preview and will later arrive for the public in the third quarter of this year. Google has high as ever hopes for its mobile platform, and as such revealed the anticipated Android Pay, its bid to compete with Apple Pay and other mobile payment systems. Read on for all the details!

Brillo takes Android deeper into your homes

Even before this announcement, it was no secret that Google wants to play a bigger role inside homes, and Nest just isn't enough, with only two products on its shelf. With Brillo and the Weave protocol, however, Google can considerably expand its influence to both existing and upcoming smart appliances. Leveraging the ubiquity of Android, Brillo promises to make things simpler for OEMs, app developers, and especially users in controlling and orchestrating all those disparate pieces that together make up the so-called Internet of Things.

Android M is here: app permissions, doze mode, USB-C

Google I/O 2015 has kicked off and, no surprise, Android is front and center. Also no surprise that Google has announced the existence of Android M just as it had announced Android L at the same event a year ago. And like its predecessor, the features of Android M will slowly be revealed over time while the latest version of Android treks its way to a Q3 2015 release. For now, Google has revealed some of M's key features, which, as expected, includes App Permissions.

HTC One M9 review; newer, but not much better

By now, you’ve heard both sides of the argument. Either the HTC One M9 is a fantastic update of the One M8, or it’s iterative and boring. The camera is either ‘just fine for normal use’, or severely lacking. On paper, the One M9 is more like a One M8 1/2, but often times what you get is more than what you see. Is the One M9 really a boring, iterative flagship from HTC, or is this One still worthy to carry HTC’s banners into Android battle?

Project Fi is FInally here and is everything we expected

Google has finally pulled away the veil from what is really called Project Fi and it seems that the information that was gleaned from an earlier leak was quite spot on. Google's experimental wireless service is bound to make both consumers and carriers rethink how they're doing business, though it might not have ramifications in the industry immediately. While we do know most of the basics of Project Fi, they say that the devil is in the details, so let's take a peek at the three core features of the program.

What’s in the box?! It’s a Moto E!

Though we were expecting a Moto 360, what we got is potentially much better. Today, sitting on the porch waiting for me when I woke, was a box form Motorola. We all knew it was coming, but what was inside remained a bit of a mystery. A refresh to their smartwatch offering was what had our fingers crossed, but news over the past few days that a Moto E with LTE was possibly coming tossed a wrench into our desires. A new Moto E was exactly what we got, too.

HTC event March 1st to show newest phone: HTC Hima incoming?

HTC has been promising a blockbuster 2015, and the first opportunity for the company to wow us is Mobile World Congress in early March. Sure enough, HTC has fired out invites for a March 1st event, dubbed "Utopia in Progress", at which we're expecting to see the firm's new flagship smartphone. Scheduled roughly a year after the HTC One M8 debuted, according to the rumor machine the Barcelona launch is more than likely for the phone we've known as the "HTC Hima" from various benchmarking leaks.

Google’s Project Ara hands-on: modular plug-and-play smartphone action

The modular smartphone you're about to take a peek at goes by the name Project Ara. It's a modular smartphone concept, coming from Google ATAP and actually - eventually - coming to the market with its own hardware store. Where you may have purchased your own custom Moto X in the past, you get one shot - the device stays as it is. With Project Ara, you've got the option of updating the smartphone's hardware - new pieces can be added whenever you like.
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