This Week in Tech News

Google Announces Amazon Echo Competitor: "Google Home"

Episode 1290

Google Home

At Google's I/O developer conference this week, Google announced a new product called Google Home. This is essentially an Amazon Echo competitor. It's a small device that kind of looks like an air freshener, and you talk to it to get information and perform tasks. It won't have the Amazon services, though. We don't know yet when that will be available or what the price will be.

Find out more at home.google.com

What It's Like to Use the PlayStation VR Headset

Episode 1289

Sony PlayStation VR Headset

Leo got to try using the Sony PlayStation Virtual Reality Headset this past week. Two VR headsets are already available: The Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. Google just announced its own virtual reality platform this past week as well, called Daydream.

While the Oculus and HTC Vive both require a high end PC, Sony's solution will make use of something that 40 million people already have -- the PlayStation 4 console. Leo tried one of the demo games for PlayStation, and he really felt like he was inside an action movie. It's a very vivid experience.

Google to Add Google Play Store to Chromebooks

Episode 1289

Google announced that it would be adding the Google Play Store to its Chromebooks starting this fall. As of now, Chromebooks only were able to run things inside the Chrome browser with extensions that would have limited functionality offline. The announcement at Google I/O this past week means it will be possible to run nearly all Android apps on the Chromebook. Some of those apps may still be specific to phone use, but this would mean the Chromebook would suddenly be able to run photo editing apps, Microsoft Office apps, and much more that wasn't ideal in a browser window.

Oracle v. Google Case Being Decided by People Who Don't Understand the Technology

Episode 1288

Oracle is suing Google for 9.3 Billion over the use of Java in the Android operating system. Java was written by Sun Microsystems which had been acquired by Oracle. The claim is that Google borrowed a little too liberally from Java in the Android operating system. Google claims they did clean room development, and merely figured out what Java expected from the software running it, and duplicated the API, or the programming interface. Oracle says their API was copyrighted. The whole computer industry relies on APIs, though, and the ability to use similar interfaces.

Apple Says They Aren't Deleting Your Music, But ...

Episode 1287

Apple Music

Apple responded to complaints of Apple Music users having their music deleted by saying that they aren't deleting the music deliberately, but it could be a function of users who are subscribed to both Apple Music and iTunes Match. Leo says to choose one or the other because Apple has never adequately explained how both work in concert.

The HTC 10 Smartphone Is Here

Episode 1285

HTC 10

HTC has hit its stride again with its newest smartphone, the HTC 10. It has an aluminum body, much like the previous HTC phones, which is nice as opposed to the glass backs of the Galaxy phones from Samsung. The HTC 10 will be a little more robust because of that. It has an LCD screen, not OLED, but it is very nice. It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, which is a big improvement over the lackluster Snapdragon 810 processor in last year's Android handsets. It's fast, cool, and energy efficient.