Partnering with Telenor to launch RCS messaging in Europe and Asia

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Over the past year, we’ve worked with the mobile industry on an initiative to upgrade SMS for people everywhere, providing a more enhanced messaging experience through RCS (Rich Communications Services). Today, we’re excited to announce that we’re partnering with Telenor to enable the launch of RCS messaging to their 214 million subscribers across Europe and Asia, including Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Hungary, Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria, Pakistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and India. Subscribers will have access to advanced messaging features as a standard part of their Android device.

Features like group chat, high-res photo sharing, read receipts, and more, will come standard on Android. Subscribers will have their SMS experience upgraded through the Messenger app for Android devices, developed by Google. The service will be powered by the Jibe RCS cloud from Google.

Telenor 6P GIF.gif

In markets where RCS is launched, Telenor subscribers who already have the Messenger app on their phone will automatically get access to RCS services through an app update. Subscribers who don’t have the app can install the Messenger app from the Google Play store. In addition, as part of the partnership with Telenor, many new Android devices will come with Messenger for Android preloaded as the default SMS and RCS messaging app.

This RCS messaging implementation supports the GSMA universal profile—a standard supported by more than 58 carriers and manufacturers collectively covering a subscriber base of 4.7 billion people globally. We’ve launched RCS messaging using the universal profile with carriers in the U.S. and Canada, and plan on launching RCS in more countries in the coming months.

February 16th 2017 Android

Coming soon: Your Google Assistant on Android TV and more

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When we announced the Google Assistant, we said that we wanted to help you get things done across a number of different places, contexts and situations. As we usher in the new year — and with it, the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) — we wanted to share an update on just a few of the ways you can expect to interact with your Assistant in the coming year.

Android TV and more

The Google Assistant is making its way to Android TV in the coming months. As part of an upcoming update on supported TVs and set-top boxes powered by Android TV, you’ll be able to ask the Google Assistant for help so you can enjoy the content you love, faster than ever, on the best screen in your house. No more typing or struggling to get to what you’re looking for — just ask the Google Assistant for help and you’re off to the races.

Assistant and Android TV

Netflix streaming membership required.

From playing media to planning for your day, here are some ways the Google Assistant on Android TV can help:

  • Play content: “Play Stranger Things on Netflix.”
  • Discover content: “Search YouTube for Jimmy Kimmel.” And you can also ask a follow-up if you’re interested in more videos by saying: “Play the second one.”
  • Get answers: “Tell me about Jurassic Park?”
  • Set the right mood: “Dim the lights.”
  • Get ready for your day: “How long will it take to get to work?”  

In the coming months, the Google Assistant on Android TV will come to the NVIDIA SHIELD, along with all Android TVs in the US running Android 6.0 Marshmallow or Android 7.0 Nougat, such as the AirTV Player, Sharp Aquos, Sony Bravia, Xiaomi Mi Box, and more. And once available, the NVIDIA SHIELD will be the first TV device to offer a hands-free Assistant experience — so “Dim the lights” will only be an “Ok Google” away!

Over time, you’ll also see the Assistant come to other new surfaces, like smartwatches running Android Wear 2.0, Android-powered in-car infotainment systems and many other types of devices through the Embedded Google Assistant SDK.

Actions on Google

Last month we announced Actions on Google, the developer platform for the Google Assistant. Since then, we’ve had a number of services release new and interesting ways for Google Home users to have a conversation with them — from meditating with Headspace to getting things done in the kitchen with Food Network.

This week at CES, you’ll hear from a handful of other partners, including Daimler and Hyundai. For both, the Google Assistant on Google Home will soon help make sure you’re ready to hit the road, just ask “Ok Google, ask Mercedes how much gas is in the tank.”

All of these announcements and more will be part of this week’s CES. You can expect to start using some of these Assistant integrations over the coming months and we’ll share more information as they become available.

Happy New Year and happy CES!

January 5th 2017 Android

Cyanogen failed to kill Android, now it is shuttering its services and OS as part of a pivot

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closing-downn It’s been a rocky few months for Cyanogen, the ambitious startup that aimed to build a better version of Android than Google. It has laid off staff, let go of its CEO and parted ways with another co-founder — now it is shutting down its services and nightly software builds on December 31. Read More

December 24th 2016 Android, Mobile

Upgrading SMS for Rogers customers on Android

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Many of us rely on SMS every day — to make plans, confirm an appointment, or stay in touch with friends. But even as smartphones have become more powerful and the apps we use on them more vibrant, SMS hasn’t changed a lot. It’s still just plain text. We believe this standard messaging experience should be better, so through a mobile industry initiative called RCS (Rich Communications Services), we’ve committed to working with carriers and manufacturers to upgrade SMS to a more enhanced messaging experience for people everywhere.

Last month, we announced our first carrier supporting this richer messaging experience. Now we’re bringing RCS to even more people by working with Rogers Communications to launch RCS messaging to their Android customers in Canada.

Rogers customers will have access to enhanced features — including group chat, high-res photo sharing and read receipts — as part of their standard messaging experience on Android. You can access the upgraded messaging experience by downloading the Messenger app for Android devices from the Google Play Store, and the service will be powered by the Jibe RCS cloud. We’re beginning to roll out the enhanced messaging experience today, and it will be available to all Rogers customers soon.

Rogers RCS gif

Next year, Rogers intends to preload Messenger as the standard messaging app for new Android devices. We’re excited to provide a better messaging experience to Canadians, and look forward to launching RCS with more partners in the coming months.

December 14th 2016 Android

Android Pay says “hajimemashite”

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The next time you pop into your local “conbini”, your Android phone will be all you need to take with you. Starting today, Android Pay — the new digital wallet for Android smartphones — is available in Japan, helping you pay for things and earn loyalty points quickly and conveniently when you are on-the-go.

Android Pay Japan

We are launching with Rakuten Edy, so you can use Android Pay at over 470,000 locations in Japan that accept Rakuten Edy eMoney – including shops like Bic Camera, Family Mart, Lawson, McDonald’s and Yodobashi Camera.

JP_Android Pay store grid2

To start using Android Pay, download the app from the Google Play store onto an eligible Android smartphone running Kitkat 4.4 or above. You can create a new Edy card in seconds directly in the app, or, if you already have a mobile Rakuten Edy, you can also enable it in Android Pay. Adding money to your Edy card is quick and easy in Android Pay – you can top-up instantly in the app with your credit card, or at any local store that supports Rakuten Edy top-up.

To pay,  just tap your phone to the eMoney reader and see your balance update. It’s easy to keep track of your purchases, with a long-term transaction history viewable right in the app. You can also add your plastic loyalty cards for supported point programs like Rakuten Super Points.

JP_UI final

And there’s more to come. In 2017, we plan to continue working with FeliCa Networks to support more eMoney providers and are working with payments companies like The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., Visa and Mastercard in many new ways – such as helping you speed through checkout with Android Pay in your favorite apps. Stay tuned for more announcements.

Get started with Android Pay in Japan today: download the app on Google Play, create a card and start shopping. And, as an added bonus, for a limited time, new users will receive a 400 yen sign-up gift when they create a Rakuten Edy card in Android Pay. It’s as easy as Tap. Pay. Done.

December 13th 2016 Android

Android Pay says “hajimemashite”

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The next time you pop into your local “conbini”, your Android phone will be all you need to take with you. Starting today, Android Pay — the new digital wallet for Android smartphones — is available in Japan, helping you pay for things and earn loyalty points quickly and conveniently when you are on-the-go.

Android Pay Japan

We are launching with Rakuten Edy, so you can use Android Pay at over 470,000 locations in Japan that accept Rakuten Edy eMoney – including shops like Bic Camera, Family Mart, Lawson, McDonald’s and Yodobashi Camera.

JP_Android Pay store grid2

To start using Android Pay, download the app from the Google Play store onto an eligible Android smartphone running Kitkat 4.4 or above. You can create a new Edy card in seconds directly in the app, or, if you already have a mobile Rakuten Edy, you can also enable it in Android Pay. Adding money to your Edy card is quick and easy in Android Pay – you can top-up instantly in the app with your credit card, or at any local store that supports Rakuten Edy top-up.

To pay,  just tap your phone to the eMoney reader and see your balance update. It’s easy to keep track of your purchases, with a long-term transaction history viewable right in the app. You can also add your plastic loyalty cards for supported point programs like Rakuten Super Points.

JP_UI final

And there’s more to come. In 2017, we plan to continue working with FeliCa Networks to support more eMoney providers and are working with payments companies like The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., Visa and Mastercard in many new ways – such as helping you speed through checkout with Android Pay in your favorite apps. Stay tuned for more announcements.

Get started with Android Pay in Japan today: download the app on Google Play, create a card and start shopping. And, as an added bonus, for a limited time, new users will receive a 400 yen sign-up gift when they create a Rakuten Edy card in Android Pay. It’s as easy as Tap. Pay. Done.

December 13th 2016 Android

Android Wear: The Magic Minute Project

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What’s possible in a minute? You can fall in love. Launch a rocket ship. Set a rap world record.

Today, Android Wear is teaming up with with makers, doers, and dreamers to launch The Magic Minute Project. It’s a collection of one-minute films celebrating what time means to all of us—told one #MagicMinute at a time.

A music and video producer, Andrew Huang has a penchant for working within absurd, self-imposed limitations. Using his Android Wear watch to time his performance, Andrew attempts to rap 300 words in one #MagicMinute.

Bruna Kajiya is a Brazilian kiteboarder and World Champion and the first woman to land a double handle pass in kiteboarding. The final minute of a competition is always the most intense: The riders perform their “all or nothing” tricks and everything is on the line.

Time trials have become popular in Parkour. Setting a route across an urban landscape, leaping between rooftops—it’s seen as the highest test of practice. Kie Willis, one of the most well known freerunners in the world, attempts a one-minute Parkour while keeping his heart rate low.

Putting together the perfect look takes time, but a versatile accessory can help. Zanita Whittington—model, photographer, and creative director—completes her look by personalizing her Android Wear watch face.

Mike Relm is a world renowned turntablist and director, known for sampling music in surprisingly innovative ways to create new sounds. He has sampled and scratched many sounds in his life, but this is the first time using his wife’s voice!

Just as traditional watches help tell the time, Android Wear watches help make the most of our time. Whatever makes a minute magical to you, why not share it with the world too? It can be anything you imagine: paint, play, code, cook, rap or render.

Submit your own #MagicMinute for a chance to be featured in The Magic Minute Project film. Follow @AndroidWear on Twitter or visit g.co/magicminute to explore the best #MagicMinute videos.

December 9th 2016 Android

Android Pay Comes to Ireland

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Ireland Doodle

Whether you’re doing your daily shopping or heading for a night out, your Android phone is all you need as you walk out the door — thanks to Android Pay. Starting today, Android Pay is available in Ireland, helping you pay simply and securely with your Android phone.

You will be able to use Android Pay at thousands of retail locations throughout Ireland that accept contactless payments. This includes your favourite shops like Eason, McDonald’s, Tesco, SPAR, and much more — take a look here for more places where you can use Android Pay.

IE Featured Stores

How does Android Pay work?

Using Android Pay is simple. Just wake up your phone (you don’t even have to open an app or unlock it), hold it to the payment terminal, and voilà — your payment is done. After you check out, you’ll get helpful information on your phone about your recent transactions.

IE Tap

Android Pay will also let you breeze through checkout when you shop in your favorite mobile apps. There’s no need to enter your payment or address details every time. Look for the Android Pay purchase button in apps like Adverts.ie, Deliveroo and Uber*, with many more to come.

IE Featured Apps

To get started, download Android Pay from the Play Store and add an eligible MasterCard or Visa card (credit or debit) from AIB and KBC with more banks being added in the coming months. Android Pay is available on all Android devices that are NFC-enabled and running on KitKat 4.4 or higher.

IE Issuers

Because Android Pay doesn’t share your actual credit or debit card number with stores when you pay, it’s even safer than using a plastic card. If your phone is ever lost or stolen, you can simply use Android Device Manager to instantly lock your device from anywhere, secure it with a new password, or wipe it clean of your personal information.

We’ve teamed up with many leading payment platforms, processors, and technology providers such as Braintree and Stripe to make it even easier to accept Android Pay. Visit the Android Pay API developer site to learn more.

IE Featured Processors

Get started with Android Pay in Ireland today: download the app on Google Play, add your card and start shopping. It’s as easy as Tap. Pay. Done.

*In the latest version of the Uber app.

December 7th 2016 Android

Android Pay says Kia Ora

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Whether you’re shopping for new summer threads or brunching at your local favourite, your Android phone will be all you need as you walk out the door. Starting today, Android Pay is available in New Zealand, helping you pay for things simply and securely with your Android phone.

Android Pay New Zealand Infographic

You will be able to use Android Pay everywhere contactless payments are accepted, including your favourite shops like The Warehouse, Domino’s, BP, BurgerFuel, McDonalds and more. Just wake your phone and tap as you would with your card. It’s that simple. And businesses across the country with contactless terminals don’t need to do anything else to be able to accept Android Pay in store.

New Zealand Featured Stores

To start using Android Pay you’ll need to download the Android Pay app on Google Play and have a BNZ Flexi Debit Visa card.

New Zealand Android Pay

Android Pay keeps your card information secure by not sharing your actual card number with stores when you pay – while allowing you to continue enjoying all the rewards and benefits of your cards.

Get started with Android Pay in New Zealand today: download the app on Google Play, add your card and start shopping. It’s as easy as Tap. Pay. Done.

December 1st 2016 Android

Android Pay says Kia Ora

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Whether you’re shopping for new summer threads or brunching at your local favourite, your Android phone will be all you need as you walk out the door. Starting today, Android Pay is available in New Zealand, helping you pay for things simply and securely with your Android phone.

Android Pay New Zealand Infographic

You will be able to use Android Pay everywhere contactless payments are accepted, including your favourite shops like The Warehouse, Domino’s, BP, BurgerFuel, McDonalds and more. Just wake your phone and tap as you would with your card. It’s that simple. And businesses across the country with contactless terminals don’t need to do anything else to be able to accept Android Pay in store.

New Zealand Featured Stores

To start using Android Pay you’ll need to download the Android Pay app on Google Play and have a BNZ Flexi Debit Visa card.

New Zealand Android Pay

Android Pay keeps your card information secure by not sharing your actual card number with stores when you pay – while allowing you to continue enjoying all the rewards and benefits of your cards.

Get started with Android Pay in New Zealand today: download the app on Google Play, add your card and start shopping. It’s as easy as Tap. Pay. Done.

December 1st 2016 Android