Welcome to this week’s edition of “The Week in Tech,” where we recap some of the most interesting technology and mobile stories from the past week.
This week we cover announcements from Google I/O, the public launch of Yahoo’s Aviate, Supreme Court tech rulings, and Barnes and Noble’s spinoff of Nook.
Highlights from Google I/O
Google held its annual Google I/O conference this week and made a ton of announcements that are sure to satisfy every fan boy and girl. The highlights include:
- Android L – Improvements were made to the near-ubiquitous mobile operating system, including lockscreen notifications and updated aesthetics.
- Android TV – Google TV was rebranded as Android TV and enhanced with a smoother scrolling experience and voice search.
- Android Wear – The smartwatch platform was demoed and its Google Cards interface was revealed. The LG Watch and Samsung Gear Live are now available, with Motorola’s Moto 360 available soon.
- Google Fit – Google previewed the Google Fit platform, an open API that aggregates user’s data from various fitness apps all in one place.
- Android Auto – The competitor to Apple’s CarPlay was revealed, portraying how Google plans to cast the driver’s smartphone interface to the car’s screen to access maps, messages, and more.
Read about everything that was announced at Google I/O on The Next Web.
Yahoo! launches Aviate for Android
Yahoo! continues its push into mobile by launching its Aviate homescreen for Android to the general public.
Aviate is a smart homescreen designed to give you the quickest access to the apps that you use most. The free launcher automatically updates itself based on your needs throughout the day, delivers relevant information at the right time, and claims to learn your habits and preferences as you use it.
Aviate was acquired by Yahoo! in January for a cool $80 million and has been in beta testing for the last couple of months. The company is using Aviate to test the operating system waters without building its own – yet?
Supreme Court Rules on Tech – Aereo and Cellphone Searches
The Supreme Court had a busy week ruling on technology issues, handing down two really important decisions in just a matter of days.
First, the court beat down over-the-top broadcast TV streaming service Aereo, claiming that the company’s product violates the Copyright Act and that they must pay broadcasters a transmission fee. The company is likely on its deathbed, which really sucks for consumers. Stupid broadcasters. Read more at The Verge.
The Supreme Court also ruled that police need a warrant for most cellphone searches. The justices stated that cellphones contain too much private information, and even if people hold that information in the palm of their hands, it should still be protected by law. Read more at the Washington Post.
Barnes and Noble to Spin Off Nook Business
When was the last time you stepped foot into a Barnes and Noble? No clue for me. Have you ever used or seen someone use a Nook? Me neither.
B&N just can’t catch a break and has agreed to spin off its Nook business into a separate public company in an attempt to improve performance for both its brick-and-mortar and technology businesses. While the bookstore chain remains profitable, it has been buoying the Nook business, which has been hemorrhaging money and clearly losing the battle against Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s iPad.
What do you think of these stories? Have you read other interesting mobile and technology stories this week that are worth mentioning? Feel free to add your thoughts to the comments.