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New at Google

Google’s I/O 2015 developers’ conference just wrapped up and as usual there were lots of new things, lots of anticipated announcements and lots of things that were expected. Some new roll-outs were more exciting than others.

URL Shortening
URL shortening is a technique that has been used for over ten years now, by which a uniform resource locator (URL) is made substantially shorter in length and still direct to the required page. This is achieved by using a redirect on a domain name that is short, which links to the web page that has a long URL. Now Goo.gl, the URL shortening service from Google, can filter users based on their device, redirecting users to the appropriate mobile app or the default Web-based version of your site.

It is important to follow Google’s App indexing instructions for the feature to work properly. This indexing protocol lets Google’s search engine crawl and index mobile applications. This app indexing service is available in limited release for Android apps and iOS devices, allowing users to open a mobile app from their results page instead of using a browser.

At first glance it might not seem too important, but controlling what features should be best accessed via a mobile app and which through a browser can help users save bandwidth on their mobile subscriptions by avoiding data-gobbling interfaces designed for larger screens.

Google Wallet
Google Wallet and Android Pay (Google’s answer to Apple Pay) are making the news too. Android Pay will support both online payments and in-store purchases, while Google Wallet will focus on peer-to-peer money transfers. Both Wallet and Pay are ways to pay for things from a phone, but there are some differences. Android Pay can be integrated with loyalty programs at retailers.

Google Wallet requires the launch of an app and the use of a PIN to unlock credit card. With Android Pay, there is no need for an app or a PIN because it’s built right into the operating system. Once a phone is unlocked, it is placed next to a credit card terminal and the transaction is done.

The mobile pay market will see even more innovation and competition with the release of Samsung Pay, which will become available on the Samsung Galaxy 6 by mid-2015. Samsung’s payment system will enable transactions via magnetic strip technology, which could make it more appealing than the Apple offering as it doesn’t require merchants to invest in new point-of-sale systems and the support they require. Google’s Android Pay is expected to enable payments in the same way, and because there are more Android phone users than iPhones, between Samsung and Google they could fundamentally change the mobile payment environment.

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