Tech News

Android 6.0 Is Marshmallow, Google Hangouts Goes Live… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 18-08-2015

Google names Android 6.0, Google Hangouts gets own domain, age ratings for music videos, Project Ara gets delayed, Facebook revamps Notes, and the Nokia 3310 is hard as nails.

Google Toasts Marshmallow

Google has announced the name of the next version of Android, Android 6.0. Following the naming convention of coupling successive letters in the alphabet with something sweet, Google has named Android 6.0, Marshmallow. As we already knew the name would begin with an M How to Install Android M Without Wiping Your Data, Plus All the Best Features A step-by-step guide to installing the Android M Developer Preview, as well as a look at Android M's best features. Read More , Marshmallow was a rather obvious choice.

What’s in a name? Not much, really, but the fact Google has named Android 6.0 means it’s much closer to being released to the public. The final version of the Android 6.0 SDK (software development kit) and the third and final Marshmallow software preview are both now available to download. However, Google insists “they are not intended for consumer use”.

Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) is expected to be launched to the public later this fall, bringing a simpler approach to permissions, support for USB Type-C, support for Android Wallet, and a rash of new features and improvements. Google is expected to launch two new Nexus devices Nexus 6, 9, Player, and Android Lollipop: Everything You Need To Know It's official: Android 5.0 Lollipop is here and is bringing with it three new devices: the Nexus 6, Nexus 9, and Nexus Player. Here's a comprehensive rundown of all the new hardware and software. Read More showcasing Marshmallow; one from Huawei and one from LG.

Google Launches Hangouts Site

Google has awarded Google Hangouts its very own website, meaning users no longer have to go through Google+ or Gmail to access to messaging service. You still need to sign into your Google account to use Hangouts, but at least it removes one pointless step in the process.

The Google Hangouts website is the epitome of simplicity, with three large buttons allowing you to message, make a phone call, or make a video call. All of your contacts and previous conversations should be available on the new site, making this is a seamless change.

Jordanna Chord, manager of the Hangouts growth team, announced the move, saying, “From our new site you’ll be able to take advantage of the best of Hangouts in the browser, along with an inspiring image to get you through the day.”

Move over, Facebook Messenger Don't Want to Use Facebook Messenger? 10 Slick Alternatives to Try Facebook Messenger isn't perfect. Why keep using it? Here are the best alternatives to Facebook Messenger. Read More , Google Hangouts has arrived. This is also a timely change, given the recent interest in Common Hangouts Someone Finally Made Google Hangouts Better On Desktop It took someone outside Google hacking away at CSS to finally offer a decent Hangouts experience on desktops and laptops – and you can give it a shot right now if you're a Chrome user. Read More .

YouTube Music Videos Get Rated

Music videos on YouTube and Vevo will now display age ratings, at least in the UK. Thanks to the nanny state being instituted by the current British Government, all music videos produced in the UK will now come with age ratings decided upon by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) and the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

A pilot program was launched in October 2014, with 132 music videos rated since then. Of those, 53 received a “15” rating, with just one — “Couple of Stacks” by Dizzee Rascal — receiving an “18” rating. Which means I, a 30-something adult, have to sign into YouTube to watch it. Thanks, Obama Cameron.

Project Ara Delayed Until 2016

Google’s modular smartphone, currently codenamed Project Ara, has been delayed until (at least) 2016. While the handset, which is made up of replaceable modules, was set to launch in beta in Puerto Rico this year, Google has publicly admitted to being late delivering on its promises.

This means the location is changing, with Google hunting for a new testing ground for Project Ara Project Ara: How Your Next Smartphone Will Be Built by You You buy an expensive device and it runs perfectly for eighteen months. Then it gradually starts to get a bit slower, and the storage fills up, and the battery doesn't last as long. Read More somewhere in the United States. The only reason given for the delay was “lots of iterations” in the design, which has forced the team to take a little longer deciding on the final product.

Facebook Is Revamping Notes

Facebook is busily revamping its Notes feature, turning it into a more viable and attractive blogging platform. Notes has existed since 2006 10 Ways To Use Facebook Without Going To Facebook Read More , and has been used by celebrities, politicians, and proles like you and I ever since. However, it currently feels like a small part of a larger service, a notion Facebook is now trying to change.

The new look borrows heavily from Medium Medium: An Alternative Blogging Platform From The Founders Of Twitter Twitter's co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone launched their own blogging platform, Medium, about a year ago. The founders say that the aim is to "re-imagine" publishing, by allowing users to choose the level of... Read More and Tumblr The Unofficial, Beginner's Guide to Tumblr Tumblr's the number one social networking site for people under 25. Clearly it's important, but it's a bit mystifying. It's less a blog than it is an anti-blog. Read More , with clean, simple backgrounds punctuated by large images. The new style can be viewed on this post by John Biesnecker.

A Facebook spokesperson confirmed the revamp, telling CNET, “We’re testing an update to Notes to make it easier for people to create and read longer-form stories on Facebook”.

Nokia 3310 Vs. Red Hot Nickel Ball

And finally, we have further proof that the Nokia 3310 is a legendary cellphone. For a time in the early 2000s, it felt like everyone who owned a mobile phone owned one of these babies. They would still be useful too, at least in the event of a zombie apocalypse Keep the Undead Dead: The Best Tech for Taking out Zombies This is a breaking report. An unknown disease is sweeping the nation. Please remain indoors. There are some items in your home that may be of assistance. What follows is a special report from MakeUseOf. Read More breaking out.

Now, we know how the Nokia 3310 competes against a red hot nickel ball. OK, so it doesn’t survive the ordeal, but it certainly lasts longer when exposed to such intense heat than any of our modern smartphones 5 Reasons Not To Buy A Smartphone You may feel pressured into buying a smartphone, even though you're perfectly happy with your (so-called) dumbphone. Don't be. Read More would. Because it’s a Nokia 3310, King of Mobile. [H/T Geekologie]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Are you looking forward to using Android Marshmallow? Do you regularly use Google Hangouts? Should YouTube music videos get age ratings? Would you use Facebook Notes instead of Tumblr and/or Medium? Do you remember the Nokia 3310?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Image Credits: Jenny.Nash712 via Flickr

Explore more about: Facebook, Google Hangouts, Nokia, Online Video, Project Ara, YouTube.

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