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Device operating systems

Google Updates Android, Delays Project Ara, Walks the Robots

There's already a slew of mobile news out of Google this week.

Android Marshmallow
First and foremost, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) has revealed that Android 6.0 -- or "Marshmallow" to its friends -- will be coming to smartphones in the fall. Updates include a new battery-saving sleep mode and a security provision that lets the user set specific access levels to individual apps on the device.

The company introduced the 6.0 software development kit (SDK) via a blog. Developers can get busy updating and developing new apps before the software update hits the public sphere.

Project Ara
Project Ara, the modular phone from Google's Advanced Technology & Projects (ATAP) group, will be delayed until at least 2016. The plan was to create a low-cost, modular design that would be affordable around the world. (See Moto Goes Modular.)

Google had said that it would start an Ara pilot in Puerto Rico. The ATP team, however, revealed via a series of tweets that development work is taking longer than initially expected.


For more on wireless, visit the mobile section here on Light Reading.


Testing Atlas
Talking of mobile, Google has also been showing off re-designed robots it first acquired through buying Boston Dynamics. These include a robot "horse" and a 6' 2", 330lb "humanoid" robot called "Atlas." This robot is now being tested outside as well as in the lab.

Marc Raibert, founder of Boston Dynamics, talks about the work below:

These are exactly the sort of projects that Google hopes to further facilitate by creating the "Alphabet" umbrella for the core business and its more whacky off-shoots. (See Google Sings 'Alphabet' Song.)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

Kruz 8/20/2015 | 11:22:00 AM
Re: Robot Ara as a concept is amazing, but I also hope they do focus on design and finish as having a phone made out of parts will not probably look sexy and will fail to compete. 
Sarah Thomas 8/19/2015 | 3:01:01 PM
Re: Robot I think Ara is pretty cool too. They said they are looking at a few places in the US to launch as well, which is exciting. Less of a need here, perhaps, but more fanboys that like to tinker.
Mitch Wagner 8/19/2015 | 2:02:32 PM
Robot The robots are amazing. They can truly transform transportation -- roads become a nice-to-have rather than a gotta-have when your vehicle can walk instead of requiring wheels -- any jobs requiring lifting and carrying, and warfighting.

I love the headline Boing Boing put on its robot story: New Google robot named Atlas is obviously drunk.
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