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9 things you won’t want to miss at Google I/O

Google I/O is going to be good this year. Photo: Google

Google I/O is going to be good this year. Photo: Google

Google I/O is one of the biggest events on the calendar for Android fans, and this year’s event is going to be just as exciting as the last. In addition to the next-generation Android upgrade, we’ll see updates to other Google platforms, and maybe even new devices.

Here are nine things even Apple fans won’t want to miss during Google I/O 2015, which runs May 28 and 29. (This post was updated May 27.)

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Microsoft Cortana is going cross-platform to take on Siri and Google Now

Cortana in action on Android. Screenshot: Cult of Android

Cortana in action on Android. Screenshot: Cult of Android

The battle between virtual assistants is about to hot up again as Microsoft Cortana prepares to go cross-platform to take on Siri and Google Now. The intelligent virtual assistant will be arriving on Android and iOS later this year, but you can get a sneak peek in the video below.

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Android Wear vs. Apple Watch: Which one deserves a spot on your wrist?

Fight! Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Android

Fight! Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Android

With Apple Watch still sold out and Google reportedly gearing up to deliver Android Wear support for iPhone at Google I/O next week, it’s time for two of the hottest wearable platforms to face off.

Friday-Night-Fights-bug-2Apple Watch is selling 30,000 units every day in the U.S., according to the latest reports, which makes it significantly hotter than any of the Android Wear watches we’ve seen so far. But is it really worth the hype?

Find out what we think in this week’s Friday Night Fight with Cult of Android versus Cult of Mac!

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Forget being an iPhone 6 killer, Galaxy S6 sales are a total disaster for Samsung

Apple is certainly winning when it comes to the Game of Phones. Photo: HBO/Cult of Android

Apple is certainly winning when it comes to the Game of Phones. Photo: HBO/Cult of Android

After the disaster of the Samsung S5, Samsung was counting on the Galaxy S6 to lead its way back to the top — with some people even throwing around terms like “iPhone killer” as a description of the new flagship handset.

According to a new report, however, the next-gen Samsung Galaxy device is faring even worse than its predecessor — boasting sales of just 10 million units so far, which is about what the iPhone 6 managed in its first weekend.

It all adds up to a massive strategy fail on Samsung’s part.

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NSA hijacked Google Play to install spyware

The NSA teamed up with four other agencies to spy on smartphone users. Photo: NSA

The NSA teamed up with four other agencies to spy on smartphone users. Photo: NSA

The National Security Agency and several of its allies around the world have hijacked connections to multiple Android app stores to plant spyware on hundreds of millions of devices.

According to a top secret document leaked by whistle-blower Edward Snowden, the Google Play Store, Samsung’s app store, and UC Browser, a web browser that’s incredibly popular in China and India, were the main targets.

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Google Fiber customers get automatic fines for piracy

...and Google will remind you of that.

…and Google will remind you of that.

Those who choose to obtain music, movies, and other wares illegally will want to think twice about switching to Google Fiber. Some subscribers have reported receiving automatic fines via Google for allegedly downloading pirated material.

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Google Maps update brings better traffic alerts and alternate routes

Dodge the jams with Google Maps. Photo: Google

Dodge the jams with Google Maps. Photo: Google

Google has rolled out a nifty new Maps update for mobile that brings better traffic alerts that will be issued while you drive, and the ability to find alternate routes. The update comes just in time for Memorial Day, which is one of the busiest driving days of the year.

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KFC’s food tray keyboard saves your smartphone from greasy fingers

Customers love the Tray Typer so much that they take them home. Screenshot: Cult of Android

Customers love the Tray Typer so much that they take them home. Screenshot: Cult of Android

Using your smartphone while scoffing fast food will leave your shiny display covered in grease and grime, but thanks to KFC, there’s a better way to live-tweet what you’re eating.

The finger-licking chicken giant has designed a paper-thin Bluetooth keyboard called the Tray Typer, which lets you text, tweet, and even get stuff done over dinner without having to touch your smartphone at all.

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Google takes on Instagram and Flickr with new photo sharing tool

Google has some exciting things up its sleeve. Photo: Google

Google has some exciting things up its sleeve. Photo: Google

Google is getting ready to unveil a new online picture sharing and storage service at the company’s upcoming Google I/O software developers conference later this month.

Not linked with Google+, the tool will supposedly allow users to post pictures to Facebook and Twitter in a more straightforward way than is currently possible through Google. It will also represent another stab on Google’s part at the photo-sharing market currently dominated by Instagram, Snapchat and Flickr.

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Google apologizes for racist maps glitch

slack-imgs.com

Google Maps is in trouble again.

Google has apologized for its second major mapping embarrassment in one month, after a racist slur involving the N-word was demonstrated as finding the White House on Google Maps.

Searches including “n****r house” and “n****r king” returned the home of Barack Obama as one of the top suggestions.

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