Phandroid » Events Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Thu, 24 Jul 2014 18:56:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Sprint invites us to “take the edge off” on August 19th Thu, 24 Jul 2014 15:56:09 +0000 Sprint_Ranger_Registration

Another Sprint event is on the horizon, with the Now Network inviting us to “take the edge off” come August 19th in New York City. In typical invite fashion we don’t get any clue as to what they’ll be announcing, though the word “EDGE” being emphasized in the invitation could give a hint.

If it’s not some sort of network announcement, we might guess that this could be a follow-up device to the Kyocera Hydro EDGE from yesteryear. That particular phone was also revealed in August of its respective year, prime timing for its ability to stand up to summertime swimming, beach walking and other elements-filled activities.

Of course, your guess is as good as ours with no rumors suggesting anything. The only other hint the image gives is in the image name: “Sprint_Ranger_Invitation.jpg” is what they’ve decided to call it. Whether that means anything remains to be seen. Whatever it may be you can be certain we’ll be stamping our calendar and waiting for that day to arrive. Circle back at that point if you’re just as curious as we are.

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Video: Google IO 2014 in under 2 minutes, and all the developer sessions you can handle Tue, 15 Jul 2014 12:52:36 +0000

Google IO was a two-day developer conference jam packed with tons of stuff that developers and users alike can get excited about. In case you weren’t there to attend it or missed all our coverage during the show itself, Google is giving us a rundown of all the event’s happenings in under 2 minutes. It won’t provide the full rundown, but it gives you a sense of the excitement of the show and all the goods that came from it.


What we do get an extensive archive of, though, are all the developer sessions Google held at the Moscone West this year. There are more than 70 in all, and they’re all available for your viewing pleasure online right here. Whether you weren’t able to attend the show or you were there in person and too busy to zip around to each one, this should ensure you didn’t miss a single beat. The only problem will be finding the time to watch all of it. Settle in and press play!

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Reflecting on Google I/O 2014: From our Android community to Android everywhere Sat, 28 Jun 2014 02:49:01 +0000 io2014-stage1

Being what some would call a bit of a fanboy, making the pilgrimage to Google’s annual developer conference was nothing short of a dream come true. I sit here in the cabin of this airplane, unable to relax and unable to close my eyes like unlike many other passengers during our journey across the country. The truth is, even though Google I/O 2014 has come and gone, the best is yet to come. And that’s what’s truly exciting. Before we talk about the future, let’s revisit and reflect on not only the events, but the experiences over the past few days.

Google provides live streaming for countless sessions as well as their highly anticipated keynote presentation for all to watch and listen to from anywhere in the world. Yes, the keynote is where we learn all of the juicy details about Google’s upcoming products and services, but as I mentioned, you can get that at home.

For me, the true experience of Google I/O comes from the relationships built and social aspect of the conference. Attending Google I/O allowed me to meet some truly amazing people from the Android community that I’ve wanted to meet for years. From big bad famous Googlers, to ex-Googlers, to Android bloggers, and all sorts of friends from far and wide that I’ve only known on Google+ for the past 3 years. Being able to finally meet and hang out with so many of these amazing people made the past few days just truly awesome (Queue everything is awesome music.)

After parties and social aside, Google taught us this year that Android is everywhere and it’s going to get even better as time goes on.

Android One is going to provide low cost phones to remote places of the world where having a capable smartphone is sometimes out of the question. Google has well over a billion Android devices out there right now. The next billion consumers are ready to join the Android ecosystem.

With Android Auto, Google will ultimately make the roads safer by removing some of our technological distractions while we’re on the road. Google’s success with the smartphone market is now being applied to the automobile industry. The connected car is here, now let’s unify the experience.

As for Android TV, Google is really putting the brand into the product this time around. Android TV will provide a rich and unified entertainment experience for the living room. Chromecast is here to stay if you’re interested in streaming content, however if you’re into gaming and apps, you’ll want something a bit more powerful. Android TV is the answer.

Android Wear aims to show the ever expanding wearables space just exactly how Google plans to shape the wearable computer industry. Being able to seamlessly integrate your wearable device into your current platform and ecosystem is very rewarding. In fact, in just two days time I’ve come to love my LG G Watch more than Google Glass, which I’ve had for a year. This could also be the fact that my Glass only lasts 1-2 hours before dying, but that’s a story for another time.

The Android L preview is not only gorgeous (sorry, fanboy remember?), but it brings about many changes to Android that makes the experience easier for consumers. However, the real point here is that Google took a pointer from Apple and released a developer preview months in advance, giving developers time to ready their applications and services. This will result in a more stable final release as well as (fingers crossed) more applications using the new design language, resulting in apps not looking out of place when it comes to matching the new style.

The future of Android and Google’s new plans to unify all of their platforms in design as well as integration show us that the future is going to provide stellar user experiences when Android reaches it’s final form. We’ll no longer think of Android Auto, Android TV, Android Wear, or any other facet of Android. We’ll just think of Android as one large platform spanning across various devices and gadgets. A platform to unify all of the things.

Lastly, I’d like to thank our Rob and Steve for making Google I/O so enjoyable and an experience I’ll never forget. Here’s to the future of Android with Phandroid and Google I/O 2015.

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First look: Android Auto from Audi, Chevy, Honda and more [VIDEO] Thu, 26 Jun 2014 22:20:02 +0000

While you won’t be able to get behind the wheel of an Android Auto-equipped vehicle for quite some time, Phandroid is here to give you the next best thing: an up-close and personal look at Android Auto vehicles from Google I/O. Android Auto is Google’s open platform for vehicles that gives you quick and easy access to a road-centric Android experience.

Whether you’re looking for tunes for your morning commute or need directions for a cross-country trip, Android Auto will deliver it all in a very seamless way. Many of the vehicles you’ll see later this year and beyond will support voice commands so you can control music playback, look up info via Google Search, and control your maps without having to remove your hands from the steering wheel.


Some of the vehicles will also have media playback controls built into the steering wheel, natch. Of course, you can always do what you need by reaching for the touch-enabled in-dash unit built into the car.

The fact that it’s powered by Google Now, Google Search and the Knowledge Graph engine means the phone can predict what you want and when you want it. For instance, if you happen to go to work at 6am every morning, the car might automatically pull up the directions to your job and some nice music to listen to on the way without you having to do anything. Or perhaps you were searching for good Italian restaurants on your computer before leaving the house — Google Now will know that, and once you get into your car it will ask you if you want to go there.

And just as with Google Now and Search on phones, Android Auto understands contextual conversations. Saying something like “take me to the football stadium” will likely pull up the local professional football stadium in your city and load up the directions without you having to do anything.


The best part is that all of it can sync with your phone and Google account. When pairing your phone up with the car, the car gets all of its information from your phone, the apps on your phone and the accounts you’re signed in with, which means there’s no clunky login processes you have to deal with. This also means getting new apps for your car is as easy as downloading an app from Google Play to your phone.

Google made it easy for developers to adapt said apps to the in-dash display, with some apps being implemented in just under two weeks according to a spokesperson we discussed with. Beyond that, the Android Auto platform gives developers the freedom to style their applications however they need (so you’ll see Spotify’s icons and green highlights within their music app, for instance).


Here are just a few of the early apps Google showed off inside Android Auto cars at Google IO this year:

  • MLB At Bat
  • iHeartRadio
  • Spotify
  • Google Play Music
  • Google Search and Google Now
  • Google Maps and Navigation
  • Joyride
  • Pocket Casts
  • Pandora
  • TuneIn Radio
  • Songza

Android Auto doesn’t sound amazing in this day and age, but that’s because it’s simply taking what we already have the ability to do with our phones and tablets and adapting it to a road-safe experience.

That’s all we’re asking for really, and it looks like Google has the right idea when it comes to creating a connected car experience that can do more than just play music and answer phone calls. It certainly gets us excited for 2015 and beyond. Watch the first look video from Google IO above and see if it does the same for you, and have a look at more of the sweet cars that will be equipped with Android Auto in the gallery sitting below.

honda-android-car13 honda-android-car9 honda-android-car11 audi-android-car2 audi-android-car10 honda-android-car3 honda-android-car4 honda-android-car6 ]]> 24
Android TV unboxing and first look: specs, pictures, and more [VIDEO] Thu, 26 Jun 2014 19:22:33 +0000

Say goodbye to Google TV and hello to the wonder you see us groping in the video above. Android TV is a renaissance of Google’s first stab at the smart TV market. While we won’t be seeing any consumer products until we head closer to the end of this year, developers have already been treated to units of the ADT-1, Android TV’s first development platform device.


One of the things early Google TV devices were chastised for was under-performing specs. The lackluster internals made for sluggish experiences (so much so that some of them became flat-out unusable after a while). Thankfully Google has looked to remedy that as they came out the gate strong with some pretty impressive specs:

  • Tegra 4 chipset
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB of internal storage
  • 2×2 MIMO dual-channel WiFi
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Ethernet Port
  • HDMI port
  • Android L Developer Preview

The device is fully unlocked out of the box, natch, so Google’s inviting developers to go nuts and come up with anything they can to help get this platform ready for launch later this year. It’s far too early to tell what the result of such openness will be, but we have a feeling it won’t take long for developers to pour their heart, soul and code into these boxes.

Software and Features

Android TV appears to be quite simple at its core. It takes on a lot of the same qualities Google TV had: it combines live television with internet video sources such as Netflix, Hulu and YouTube to give you access to nearly anything you’d want to watch at a moment’s notice.


All of that will leverage voice commands, search and Google’s Knowledge Graph to help you find what you are looking for and learn everything about it with ease. Not lost on us is the much improved user interface that presents all your content in a way that’s very pleasing to the eye, and it’s easy enough to zip around said interface thanks to the capable hardware sitting inside.

Where Android TV steps things up a notch — nay, a ton — is the department of games.  One of the important things they wanted to do from the starting gate was build games into the platform in a way that developers won’t even have to think about porting their wares over to the big screen.

This includes integration with the Google Play Games platform for access to achievements, leaderboards and multiplayer gaming. We saw examples of gaming with controllers to give folks a console-esque experience, and with that powerful Tegra 4 chipset inside this could turn out to be a very versatile piece of equipment.


Google also mentioned that the platform would have “Cast” capabilities, so the ability to beam music, movies, photos and even mirror your Android phone or tablet’s display should add a lot to the experience. Needless to say this should prove to be a much more useful, usable and exciting package than Google TV was in its infancy, and it’ll be exciting to see what future iterations bring us.


In case you were wondering how the ADT-1 and its controller looks from every angle this handy photo gallery should do the trick:

android-tv-pic2 android-tv-pic android-tv-game-remote12 android-tv-game-remote11 android-tv-game-remote10 android-tv-game-remote9 android-tv-game-remote8 android-tv-game-remote7 android-tv-game-remote6 android-tv-game-remote5 android-tv-game-remote4 android-tv-game-remote3 android-tv-game-remote2 android-tv-game-remote androidtv-box-dusty androidtv-box-bottom androidtv-box androidtb-box2

Will you buy one?

So after Google’s second (and seemingly successful) attempt at the smart TV game — will you buy one? Granted, you won’t be able to get the ADT-1, but we should see manufacturers start to push out set-top boxes and televisions with Android TV built-in by this holiday season. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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Samsung Gear Live: specs, hands-on video and pictures, and info you need to know Wed, 25 Jun 2014 21:20:30 +0000

Earlier today Google took a quick second to announce the Samsung Gear Live, one of the first Android Wear smartwatches we’ll be seeing. Wondering what’s under the hood? Here’s a full spec sheet with everything you can expect:

  • 1.63-inch Super AMOLED display (320 x 320)
  • 1.2GHz processor
  • Bluetooth 4.0 LE
  • IP67 water and dust resistant
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 4GB of internal storage
  • 300mAh li-ion battery
  • 59g, 37.9 x 56.4 x 8.9 mm
  • Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Compass, Heart Rate sensor
  • Available in Black and Wine Red

Samsung didn’t have much else to say about the device, though that’s because Google already did all the talking about its software platform and features. This is standard, untouched and unscrubbed Android Wear (which you can read all about right here).

samsung gear live wm_1 samsung gear live wm_8 samsung gear live wm_7 samsung gear live wm_6 samsung gear live wm_5 samsung gear live wm_4 samsung gear live wm_3 samsung gear live wm_2

Our hands-on time with the Gear Live revealed a smartwatch that wasn’t really amazing, but felt and looked solid. One immediate thing we noticed was the lack of camera was the lack of a camera (which only looked weird because we’re so used to seeing one on the original Samsung Galaxy Gear and the Samsung Gear 2). It’s a bit refreshing to see a Samsung device that isn’t aiming to shove more sensors onto the thing than can barely fit.

Unfortunately the software on the demo unit we handled wasn’t yet available and we were treated to nothing but a repeating demo reel, but it did give us a pretty good idea of how life with a Gear Live on your wrist would be once you receive one in the near future.

samsung gear live wm_2

The smartwatch is supposed to be going live alongside the LG G Watch in the Google Play Store later today so stay tuned as we wait for them to touch down. In the meantime be sure to check our hands-on video up above (and you’ll have to excuse Rob repeatedly calling it the Galaxy Gear Live — I guess he’s gotten so used to Samsung’s strong branding by now).

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You can now signup to learn more about Android Auto and Android TV Wed, 25 Jun 2014 19:16:45 +0000 android tv signup

Google announced tons of great new developments at their developers’ conference today. You can read all about it right here if you haven’t been keeping up. Once you’ve done that, you’ll probably want to signup to learn more about everything you’re interested in.

Signup forms for Android Auto and Android Auto and Android TV have gone live for those who are interested in learning more about those particular things when they’re ready for public consumption. You’ll also find links to learn about Android phones and tablets, Google Play and more. Be sure to take a good look at all of it and get psyched up for what should be an exciting year ahead!

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Google I/O attendees receive not one, but two Android Wear devices Wed, 25 Jun 2014 18:58:26 +0000 android-wear

Google I/O has been known as a bit of a second Christmas for Android fans, and Google again delivered at their 2014 developer conference. While the overall event was short on actual device announcements, a focus on Android Wear meant Google was eager to get new wearable from partners like LG and Samsung onto the wrists of attendees. All making the trip to Google I/O will leave with either an LG G Watch or Samsung Gear Live smartwatch in addition to a Moto 360 when it ships later this summer.

Sundar Pichai pointed to the differing form factors when presenting those at the show with the devices they would be able to take home. Both Samsung and LG’s Android Wear offerings utilize a square form factor, but Pichai wanted to make sure developers would get a chance to experience the round Android Wear face of the Moto 360 as well.

Google made wearables a focus this year, and the decision to provide attendees with multiple devices further shows their commitment to promoting app service developments for Android Wear. We’ll be snagging our own ASAP and will report back with hands-on and initial impressions shortly.

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Google announces exciting new features for Chromecast at Google IO 2014 Wed, 25 Jun 2014 18:18:42 +0000 chromecast new features

Chromecast got a bit of stage time at Google IO 2014 today, and Google had a lot of interesting new features to show off. For starters, a new Bump-esque feature will now allow your friends to cast content to your Chromecast without them having to connect to your WiFi network. It can be a bit cumbersome to have to ask your friend for their WiFi password and connect, so to be able to skip this step is sure to be a very welcome change.

Google has also vowed to allow you to use your Chromecast to make your TV the “biggest photo frame in your house.” They aim to do this with Backdrop, a feature that allows your Chromecast to display photos, information and more. Think of it as “Daydream,” except for your Chromecast. The Chromecast can show photos from your personal collection, art pieces from a list of art curated by Google, maps that are relevant to you, weather reports and more.

Chromecast Featured ready to cast

And you won’t ever need to question whatever is on your television. Want to know more about the artwork your Chromecast is showing? Just say “what’s on my Chromecast” in Google Search and it pulls up everything you need to know.

The next big feature is the ability to mirror anything you’re doing on your Android phone directly to your Chromecast. This is a feature developers have been trying to implement in their third party apps, and it’s nice to know that it will now be built into Chromecast and Android by default.

Finally, Google announced new apps, sites and sections in the Play Store to make it easier to find Chromecast-enabled apps which we should see rolling out quite soon. All of the features above are due within weeks, apparently, so sit tight as we wait for Google to deliver the goods.

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Android TV announced as Google’s next evolution of the smart television Wed, 25 Jun 2014 17:35:35 +0000 android TV 1

Ever since the announcement of Google TV at I/O 2010, Google’s aim with their Android-based smart television platform was fuzzy at best. Today things become a bit clearer with the introduction of Android TV, an evolution of the concept that strips away some of the more ambitious features of Google TV and rolls the remainder into the newly-announced Android ‘L’ SDK, streamlining the platforms and making sure TV isn’t left behind.

Google TV debuted with several hardware partners in tow, Logitech and Sony in particular showing up big for the launch. Over the next several months the initiative seemed to slip further and further out of Google’s plans despite several promising hardware options reaching market as well as strides on the software front. At times, Google TV seemed destined to go the way of other short-lived products like the Nexus Q.

Android TV more or less starts from scratch, but it isn’t that unlike what was initially offered with Google TV. The platform will still be available as a software SDK that can be deployed by any manufacturer, it integrates live TV with downloadable and streamed content, and it incorporates search and viewing suggestions to reveal new content for viewers.

android TV

Games will also be a huge part of Android TV, taking advantage of the large library of titles found in the Google Play Store and syncing with Google Play leaderboards and friends. Because the SDK branches out from Android ‘L,’ it will be easier than ever for developers to get their apps and games on as many screens as possible

Android TV will also work in conjunction with Android implementations found on other devices, including smartphone and wearable apps, as well as Chromecast-like functionality to “cast” content from a tablet direct to television.

android TV 4

Sony, Sharp, and other manufacturers are already committed to the inclusion of Android TV in their upcoming HDTV lineups. But we’ve seen this story before. Manufacturing partners do not guarantee success, but Google’s new approach to television looks to be based on some hard lessons learned from their initial attempts with Google TV.


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Android ‘L’ migrates to ART runtime, abandons Dalvik Wed, 25 Jun 2014 17:10:42 +0000 Android L ArtAndroid L Art

As Google previews their next Android release (so far only referred to as ‘L’), we are beginning to learn more not only about a new design approach but also the new runtime that will offer performance beyond what we have seen before from the platform. Long relying on Dalvik as its backbone, Android L abandons the standard in order to migrate to ART, a cross-platform runtime that supports ARM, X86, and MIPS simultaneously.

The main difference between ART and Dalvik rests in how the runtimes handle the execution of applications. Dalvik used a JIT (just-in-time) compiler that only ran code as it was needed. ART relies on an AOT (ahead-of-time) compiler to process code in advance, resulting in a much smoother performance curve. ART has been in place since the launch of Android 4.4 as an option alongside Dalvik, but with this ‘L’ release it will become the standard.

Android L performance 1

ART is not only faster, but it also offers improvements in battery life thanks to more efficient processing. The best part is that the tun rime is immediately compatible with the existing Android ecosystem and its apps. Developers won’t need to do anything special to bring their apps and games in line with this latest runtime, but all will be able to benefit from the results.

Android L battery saver

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We’re at Google I/O 2014, follow us for the latest Android news Tue, 24 Jun 2014 23:49:31 +0000 20140624_150007

It’s that time of year again Android fans, the time of year when Google bestows upon the world all of the cool and exciting projects that they’ve been meticulously working on behind closed doors. Rob Jackson, Steve Albright, and I are here in beautiful San Francisco ready to take in everything that Google has to offer over the next two days. If you’re an Android enthusiast or a Google product lover, it’s basically Christmas time.

Phandroid will be keeping you up to date on everything you need to know from Google IO as soon as it happens (watch our live stream!). We’ve already made our Google IO 2014 predictions over here. Be sure to have all your bases covered by following us across social media, downloading our app on Google Play, or checking in right here at throughout the day for your dose of Google IO news and announcements.

Of course, you can also follow the three of us on Google+ as we’re sure to be posting enough Google IO related goodies to keep any Android fan drooling over the next couple days.

All of our notebooks, cameras, tablets, and phones are charged. It’s happening. And we’re ready.

What are your predictions?

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Watch the Google I/O 2014 keynote streaming live on! Tue, 24 Jun 2014 23:27:11 +0000 Google IO 2014 live stream

For many an Android enthusiast (that’s you), Google I/O is the most wonderful time of the year. It’s a lot like Christmas to the Android faithful. Rather than scour the net looking for a live stream of tomorrow’s events, your friends at Phandroid (that’s us) will be live streaming the entire keynote — including 4 channels of IO sessions — directly from our homepage. This will ensure that, not only will it be easy to keep up with everything being announced, but you can also follow along with our own live coverage from the Moscone Center directly on the Phandroid homepage. Pretty cool, right?

We’re expecting for a jam packed event, filled with talk of Android Wear, Google Glass, Android’s upcoming “L” release, and whatever other surprises Google has in store for Android, Chrome, and their other projects. Don’t forget to check back with so you don’t miss a thing and for a full schedule of events, check out Google’s page here. We know it’s going to be tough, but try and get some sleep.

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Amazon Fire Phone Forums now open for business! Wed, 18 Jun 2014 18:07:20 +0000 amazon-1Ever since Amazon announced the first Kindle Fire Android Tablet we’ve been waiting for the company to enter similar territory with an Android Phone. Now they have as the company has just announced their very first smartphone: the Amazon Fire Phone.

This is sure to attract a ton of attention, a ton of customers, and a ton of discussion. For all three of those – especially the latter – you can now visit our Android Fire Phone Forums on!

  • Do you like the announcement?
  • Would you consider buying one?
  • If not for yourself, how about for family and friends?
  • What would have made the announcement better?
  • Does owning Amazon Prime, a Kindle, Fire TV, or being a frequent Amazon Shopper make this any more appealing to you?

Discuss this and much more at on the Amazon Fire Phone Forums… and of course in the comments below!

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Google IO 2014: Sponsoring the Big Android Meat and Greet Tue, 17 Jun 2014 01:35:30 +0000 Big Android BBQ Bacon Explosion

Next week, thousands of press, enthusiasts, and developers will make a pilgrimage to San Francisco for Google IO 2014, Google’s annual developer conference. Besides getting the details on the latest advancements with Android, Chrome, and other Google services, conference attendees the can partake in various area events aimed at providing IO goers with evening activities – read parties. For the very first time, the minds behind the Big Android BBQ are bringing their show to Google IO, providing mouthwatering BBQ, locally brewed beers, and a chance to network with various like minded folk from around the Android community.

Phandroid is proud to announce that we’re sponsoring the first ever Big Android Meat and Greet at Google IO 2014. The Big Android BBQ is one of the top events that we attend and we’re extremely excited to help bring this special event to Google IO and the Android community this year. Rob Jackson, Steve Albright, and I will be at the BAMG event next Thursday, June 26th, between 5pm and 7pm at Wearable World in San Francisco doing what we do best – party and geek out. Thanks to our friend Josh Muñoz at Android Etch, all BAMG attendees will receive a specially made laser etched Phandroid pint glass. Who doesn’t love free swag?

Last fall, Android Etch was born thanks to a successful Indiegogo campaign where Josh announced his goals to create Android swag and goodies for fellow Android enthusiasts like you and me. Since then, Muñoz has been using lasers to etch various Android themed logos on pint glasses, shot glasses, coffee mugs, and coasters.

Josh is hard at work making Phandroid pint glasses for our swag giveaway next week. Check out his video below to watch him unbox glasses through Google Glass and etch the very first Phandroid branded pint glass. Let us know what you think of the finished product and we’ll see you at Google IO next week.


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