Joyce is thinking of buying a Chromebook. Leo says it's a great idea. Most people usually buy computers that are far too much for their every day needs and Chromebooks are powerful, more secure, and very affordable. Can she get a Chrome tablet? Leo says sure! The ASUS Chromebook Flip is a $250 and it can double as a laptop.
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
Google announced many improvements to its "machine learning" or artificial intelligence capabilities with Google Assistant. Google has already been learning about its users preferences and delivering relevant information through Google Now.
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.
Malcolm broke his laptop and instead of buying a new Windows machine, he's thinking of going with a Chromebook. Leo says that more and more software companies are putting their software online and with Google Docs in the cloud, as well as saving data to Google Drive, a Chromebook is an ideal option for most people. Dell, HP and Acer are great options for Chromebooks and some are very tough and durable. If he wants, he could even put Linux on it. That would be a little less secure, but it runs fast and gives him an alternative operating system.
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.
Dave is looking forward to Google I/O this week for the VR applications. Leo says that Google dropped the ball with Google Glass augmented reality devices, but they are planning a new version, so maybe they'll get their mojo back. Leo also says that Google I/O could announce some new Chromebooks or some new apps for the Chromebooks.
Isaac is a teacher and the district is buying their school Chromebooks. How can he manage and monitor them? Leo says that Google has an education program and they likely have an extension that will handle it. There's also Go Guardian, which would let teachers monitor Chromebooks in real time.
Mark got a new Google Nexus 5X and Sprint says they don't have that phone on their network. Leo says to just ignore that. All services have converted over to LTE and as such, they all have SIM cards. So if he gets a SIM card from them, it should work.
Google had two April Fool's jokes this year, one being the introduction of Google Cardboard Plastic, which is a VR headset to experience real life. It's simply clear plastic that you'd wear on your face just to see the real world through it.
The other April Fool's joke actually altered the way Gmail behaves, and it had some disastrous results. It was called "Gmail Mic Drop," and it replaced the "Send & Archive" button with "Send and Mic Drop." This inserted a goofy animated GIF of a Minion doing a mic drop.