Committing to RCS, the latest standard in carrier messaging

Mobile messaging has never been more central to people’s lives, and there is an incredible amount of innovation happening with chat applications across the mobile ecosystem. SMS carrier messaging is used by billions of people every day and enables people to reach anyone around the world, regardless of their device, carrier, app or location. However, the features available in SMS haven’t kept up with modern messaging apps. Rich Communications Services (RCS) is a new standard for carrier messaging and brings many of the features that people now expect from mobile messaging, such as group chats, high res photos and more.

Many leaders in the wireless industry have already put great work into laying the foundation for RCS, and we’ve heard from many of them that there are ways Android can help. We’re excited to team up with mobile operators, device makers and the rest of the Android ecosystem to support RCS standards and help accelerate their deployment in a more consistent way. We’re already working closely with many of our partners on implementing RCS, and look forward to growing the RCS ecosystem together.

As part of this commitment, we’re also very excited to announce that the Jibe Mobile team is joining Google to help us bring RCS to a global audience. Jibe is a leading provider of RCS services and they’ll continue helping carriers easily deploy RCS to their users. We can’t wait to work with them and build on the great work that they’ve already done.

Deploying RCS to create an even better messaging experience on Android will take time and collaboration throughout the wireless industry, but we’re excited to get started.

Posted by Mike Dodd, Android RCS Software Engineer and Minister of Messaging

S’more to love across all your screens

(Cross posted on the Official Google Blog)

From your watch to your phone to your TV, we want to help you stay connected, entertained and informed across all your screens. Today we’re introducing a few new things that do just that: two Nexus phones, a tablet for work and play, updates to Chromecast and features for some of your favorite apps—all working together to make your day a little bit easier and more fun.
New Nexus phones
We made Android to be an open platform that anyone can build on, and today there are 4,000+ Android devices in all shapes and sizes. Android’s diversity is why it’s become the most popular mobile platform in the world, and the latest version, Marshmallow, takes Android to a new level of performance.

While we love all the Android devices out there, every year we build Nexus devices to show off the latest and greatest, directly from the people who built Android. Today we’re introducing the latest Nexus treats, both running Marshmallow, sweetened by amazing apps and sandwiched by some cutting-edge hardware (see what we did there?):
  • Nexus 6P is the first all-metal-body Nexus phone. Built in collaboration with Huawei, this 5.7” phone is crafted from aeronautical-grade aluminum, with a USB Type-C port for fast charging, a powerful 64-bit processor, and a 12.3 MP camera sensor with massive 1.55ยตm pixels (hello, better photos!). The Nexus 6P starts at $499.
  • You’re not the only one who misses your Nexus 5. We’ve joined forces with LG to bring it back with the new Nexus 5X, which gives you great performance in a compact and light package, with a beautiful 5.2” screen and the same 12.3 MP camera and Type-C port as the Nexus 6P. Nexus 5X starts at $379.

Both phones include a new fingerprint sensor, Nexus Imprint, which gives you quick and secure access to your phone, as well as use of Android Pay (in the U.S.). They are available for pre-order on the Google Store from a number of countries, including the U.S., U.K., Ireland and Japan, and come with a free 90-day subscription to Google Play Music. In the U.S., pre-orders include a $50 Play credit to help you stock up your favorite music, apps, games and shows. And, finally, for you Project Fi fans out there, you'll be happy to know Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X will work on your favorite network. Request an invite to our Early Access Program at fi.google.com.
Pixel C
We’re expanding the Pixel family by introducing the first Android tablet built end-to-end by Google. The Pixel C brings together the benefits of a full-size keyboard with the portability of a tablet. The tablet and keyboard attach magnetically (no docking mechanism FTW), so it’s easy to switch between typing and using the touch screen.

And if you’re familiar with the Chromebook Pixel, you’ll immediately see the family resemblance: the Pixel C has the same beautiful aluminum design, great display and USB Type-C port. The Pixel C will be available in time for the holidays on the Google Store.

Cast ALL the things
Today we’re introducing two new Chromecast devices. The new Chromecast has a fresh design, and is easier to plug into TVs with crowded ports. It supports the latest Wi-Fi standards and adapts more easily to changing Wi-Fi conditions in your home, so you get higher quality video with less buffering. Most importantly, we added two new colors. ;)

Chromecast Audio is a small device that plugs into your existing speakers, so you can stream your favorite music, radio and podcasts over Wi-Fi, similar to Chromecast. It works with tons of apps, including Spotify, Pandora and Google Play Music. Just like Chromecast, it works from anywhere in your home with your favorite devices, including Android, iOS, and laptops. And it’s available on the Google Store and other online retailers for just $35—way less than most Wi-Fi speakers today.
We’ve also updated the Chromecast app to make it easier for you to find great things to watch or to play, across the thousands of apps that work with Chromecast—whether you feel like browsing or want to search for a specific TV show or movie. For Cast-enabled apps that aren’t already on your phone, we’ll suggest one for you. The updated Chromecast app is rolling out on Android and iOS over the next few weeks.



Your favorite apps... for the whole family
All your shiny devices get even better when you have great apps to go with them. So we’re making a few updates to Google Play Music and Google Photos.
First, Google Play Music will offer a new family plan later this year. Up to six people will be able to use one account for a shared fee of $14.99 a month (instead of $9.99 per person). Get the dance party ready.

Sharing is a theme of today’s Google Photos updates, too. We’re adding Chromecast support to give you that old-school slideshow experience—dimmed lights optional. In the U.S., you can now add private labels to your photos to make it easier to search for specific pics of people with things, places or other people—say, that photo of Mom at the Grand Canyon, or of your daughter with her pet bunny. And soon you’ll be able to pool all your photos and videos with friends and family in one place, and get updates as soon as new photos are added. Best of all, there’s no setup involved, and you can use any device. So that dance party we mentioned earlier? Now it’s easier to gather all the memories from everyone who was there.

More to love, for more people
From Nexus to Chromecast to Pixel C to Photos, these updates are more than the sum of their parts—they unite great apps with devices that are designed to support them. They’re built to work together, so they do—seamlessly, across all your screens.
Posted by Hiroshi Lockheimer, VP Android, Chromecast and Chrome OS at Google

Tap to the Red Carpet


Last week, we announced the US rollout of Android Pay. To celebrate our launch, we’re giving one lucky winner plus three of their friends a VIP trip to Mexico City that includes four seats at the premiere of the thrilling new James Bond film, Spectre from Sony Pictures.

To qualify, just tap and pay at any of the over one million locations where Android Pay is accepted across the US between September 28 and October 15, 2015. Each day that you use Android Pay earns you one entry, and you can earn up to 18 entries during the promotional period. The grand prize winner will be drawn at random on October 19, 2015, and you can find more information by visiting the official promotional page.

To start tapping your way to the red carpet, make sure you have Android Pay on your phone. If you don't have it yet, you can download Android Pay on Google Play. Good luck, and we hope to see you on the red carpet.

Posted by Sherice Torres, Marketing Director, Android Pay

For official rules, how to enter, prize restrictions, and details, click here.

Tap. Pay. Done.

Today, we’re beginning to roll out Android Pay -- the simple and secure way to pay with your Android phone at over one million locations across the US. Android Pay also stores your gift cards, loyalty cards and special offers right on your phone. We’ll be rolling out gradually over the next few days, and this is just the beginning. We will continue to add even more features, banks and store locations in the coming months, making it even easier to pay with your Android phone.

The choice is yours 
Android Pay works with all NFC-enabled Android devices (running KitKat 4.4+), on any mobile carrier, at every tap and pay ready location across the US. Android Pay will support credit and debit cards from the four major payment networks: American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. These cards are issued by many of the most popular US banks and credit unions, including American Express, Bank of America, Discover, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC, Regions Bank, USAA, and U.S. Bank. Wells Fargo will be available in the next few days, Capital One and Citi are coming soon, and we're adding new banks all the time.


Shop at your favorites 
You can use Android Pay at over one million locations (and counting…) across the US, everywhere tap and pay payments are accepted, including:

Security is at the center of Android Pay 
We know how important it is to keep your personal and financial information secure, so Android Pay is supported by industry standard tokenization. This means your real credit or debit card number isn't sent with your payment. Instead, we’ll use a virtual account number that provides an extra layer of security. As soon as you make a purchase, you’ll see a payment confirmation that shows where a given transaction happened, so it’s easy to catch any suspicious activity. And if your phone is ever lost or stolen, simply use Android Device Manager to instantly lock your device from anywhere, secure it with a new password, or even wipe it clean of your personal information.

We’re just getting started...
Later this year, you’ll also be able to use Android Pay to speed through mobile checkout in your favorite apps. And with select merchants, you'll soon be able to transmit your loyalty cards and special offers with just a tap. We’ll be announcing more Android Pay news soon, and would love to hear your feedback on the Android Pay experience (just select Help > Feedback in the app).

If you’re an existing Google Wallet user, you’ll be able to access Android Pay through an update to your Wallet app. For new users, Android Pay will be available for download on Google Play in the next few days, and will come preinstalled on new NFC-enabled Android phones from AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless.

For updates on Android Pay and other Android news, subscribe to this blog, or follow Android on Twitter and Google+.

Posted by Pali Bhat, Director of Product Management, Android Pay

p.s. Looking to send or receive money right from your phone? Click here to learn more about the new Google Wallet

Update: Citi's availability corrected to rolling out in the coming weeks.

Android Wear: New watch styles and sizes


As the season turns, it's the perfect time to update your look: out with swimsuits and flip flops, and in with scarves and Fall coats! Regardless of where your wardrobe lands, today's new Android Wear watches let you express your style—whether you rock Android or iPhone.
  • Get the Huawei Watch in six different designs with silver, gold, and black metal finishes. With an ultra-high resolution display, you’ll get a crystal clear view of all 40+ built-in watch faces. The watch’s sensors let you track not only running and walking, but also stair climbing.
  • Choose between the small or large ASUS ZenWatch 2, starting at $129. Both come in silver, rose gold, and gunmetal finishes with bands of different styles and materials. Get instant access to agenda and email with the built-in productivity app as well as fitness reminders with the wellness app. 
  • Check out four new Moto 360 watches: Moto 360 for Women, Moto 360 in two different sizes, and Moto 360 Sport. Pick among rose gold, gold, silver, and black metal finishes for Moto 360 and a variety of stainless steel and leather bands. Want to go on a run without your phone? The Moto 360 Sport features built-in GPS and a display that’s easy to read outdoors. 
All of today's watches also include improved battery life, always-on displays, and quick-release bands, so it's even easier to glance at your important info, and make your watch your own.

The Huawei Watch, Moto 360 for Women, and new Moto 360 are available for pre-order today. And all other watches will go on sale in the coming weeks. So choose the watch that fits your style and wear exactly what you want!

Posted by Ryan Barnett, Partner Technology Manager, Android Wear