How Ingress Could Be Google’s Template For The Future Of Android Apps

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How Ingress Could Be Google’s Template For The Future Of Android Apps

first_imgRelated Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology dan rowinski Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … The Template For The Future Of AndroidIngress is a bit of a curiosity. Only a handful of people have had access to the game to this point as Google has used its classic invitation-only method for rolling out the game. Ingress also has its own kind of underground, conspiracy theory marketing plan where the people from Niantic Labs come up with crazy storylines about fictional characters and their nefarious dealings. The plot line of Ingress is shrouded in mystery and heavily invested in the real world, but it is definitely an “alternate” version of reality.By rolling out Ingress to developers at I/O, Google hopes to show how mobile, location, multi-player and augmented reality functions can be integrated into developer application offerings. In that way, Ingress becomes a kind of “how-to” template to developers looking to create vibrant new offerings for Android games and apps, something that could benefit Google in a variety of ways.Google’s two most high profile projects could directly benefit from the features and functions found in Ingress. Google Now is Google’s future of search feature and provides semantic information to users by aggregating their data from search queries, Android location data and interests. Users are sent “cards” as notifications on their smartphones such as the scores of their favorite sports teams, weather or how long it will take them to get home from their current location. Google could easily add Ingress updates to Now while also using the location and activity data to better target ads to people. Ingress also seems like a game tailor-made for Google Glass, the company’s new augmented reality goggles. An application layer could be added to Glass that shows players where portals and other players are, allowing them to interact with the Ingress world from their field of vision. It behooves Google to show off the capabilities of Ingress to developers. Ingress is much more than a game, it is a map for developers and points to the future of Android. The way in which Ingress players interact with the real world could be a boon a variety of Google services and app developers. With Ingress, Google is showing people the way.  There is a secret digital war happening all around us. The Enlightened and the Resistance battle for control of hidden portals scattered throughout our cities and neighborhoods. At times, the fighting can be fierce with rhetoric from both sides heated as hackers vie for control.This is not a battle between secret nationalist hacker armies and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. This is Ingress, the augmented/alternate reality game from Google’s clandestine Niantic Labs. And, if you are going to Google I/O later this month, you will soon be able to play, too.Ingress has been in closed beta since it rolled out to its first wave of users in late 2012. Google is now extending invites to the game to all registered attendees of its developers’ conference later this month in San Francisco and encouraging participants to sign in and test the game out before the conference. What Is Ingress?If you are not familiar with Ingress, the rules are pretty simple. When you sign up you are asked to pick the Enlightenment or Resistance. From a practical purpose, it does not really matter what side you pick except for the color of your side in the game (green for Enlightenment, blue for Resistance). Which side you choose depends on your stance on the dangers or potential of the game’s primary currency – Exotic Matter (XM). XM can be collected by moving around the physical world with your smartphone and spent to “hack” portals for your side.For instance, if I am in my neighborhood in Cambridge, Massachusetts, I can find a portal (which are usually landmarks, public buildings or other significant areas) and hack it with my smartphone using XM (and other various tools found in the game) and take control of it for my side. In my neighborhood, the closest portal is a post office. The game is kind of like an alternate reality massive-multiplayer online game played through your smartphone using the real world as your map. When ReadWrite reviewed Ingress in November 2012, we thought that the game (from a conceptual level) had a chance to reinvent what mobile gaming could look like in the coming years. Google probably thinks so too as it rolls out invites to all the developers attending I/O.Battle San FranciscoGoogle will be hosting two Ingress games during I/O. On Tuesday, May 14th the first floor of the Moscone West will be the stage for an Ingress battle from 4 to 6 p.m (all times PDT). The next day an Ingress battle is scheduled to break out at the I/O After Hours Party at Moscone West on the third floor between 7 and 10 p.m.A “major Ingress-wide game event” will take place in San Francisco on Thursday, May 16th from 7 to 9 p.m. This event will be open to non-Google I/O conference attendees. Google will also have a developer session during the conference at 3:30 p.m. on May 15th.  Tags:#Android#Google#Google IO13 last_img read more

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Enjoy your honeymoon in Mauritius

first_imgA view of the Pereybere beach, the smallest and one of the best in the islandRediscovered in the 16th century (though Arab and Malay sailors are known to have visited the island as early as the 10th century) by the Portuguese, Mauritius was uninhabited until 1598 when first the Dutch,,A view of the Pereybere beach, the smallest and one of the best in the islandRediscovered in the 16th century (though Arab and Malay sailors are known to have visited the island as early as the 10th century) by the Portuguese, Mauritius was uninhabited until 1598 when first the Dutch, then French and finally the British colonised the tiny island before it became independent in 1968.Even though the British rule lasted a relatively longer period, the French roots are more evident in the Mauritian lifestyle and people still prefer to speak Creole and French over the official English language.Right from the time when you set foot at the SSR International Airport at Plaisance, chances are that if you say you are from India, the locals, who proudly refer to the island as ‘Little India’-a moniker attributed to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, will give you a warmer welcome. Not surprising since over 68 per cent of Mauritians are of Indian origin whose forefathers migrated to Mauritius as indentured labourers during the British rule.Though India is seventh among top 10 nations in the Mauritius tourism pie, it contributes only a fraction to the market dominated by Europe till now. However, the Mauritian Tourism minister Nando Bodha plans to change that. He recently announced plans to attract over 100,000 Indian tourists within the next five years, more than doubling the number from the existing 49,779 (as per February 25, 2011 data). Says the minister, “Being initially frequented by honeymooners only, today we have different segment of travellers from India visiting the island.””Both Mauritius and India have a long standing historical and cultural connect. It offers the Indian travellers a perfect feel of home away from home while taking an international vacation with family, friends or spouse,” adds Bodha.Deputy director of the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA) Vijaye Haulder agrees. “We speak Hindi, our culture and food habits are similar, what’s not to like,” he says.Mauritian Sega dancers on the beachThis ‘rainbow’ nation offers a blend of cultures, Indian, African, Chinese, French and British. And there’s plenty to do, from various sporting activities to visiting leisure parks, undersea walks, submarine rides to watching hundreds of dolphins accompanying your catamaran, lazing on beaches or long drives on the ‘tea route’ lined by tea estates are just a few of the excellent options. For a sublime experience visit the Belle Mare beach before the first light to view the perfect sunrise and head to Flic en Flac at dusk for the most surreal sunset you are likely to see, ever. At Vieux Grand Port, the oldest settlement in southeast Mauritius, you can see the ruins of the first Dutch fortifications. Or visit a former sugar factory at Beau Plan’s Aventure du Sucre. The museum here tells the story of sugar, the original economy booster once upon a time, and along the way covers the history of Mauritius.Have you heard of the Talipot Palm which flowers once in 60 years and withers thereafter? If you are lucky you might just see one in full bloom at the SSR Botanical Garden in Pamplemousses which also houses 500 different species of plants. With rising spending power, the Indian tourist, who tends to spend over Rs 16,000 per person per day, is increasingly being wooed by the island which relies on tourism as one of its prime sources of income. “Mauritius is an extremely popular mid-haul destination especially among the honeymoon travellers,” agrees Amal Rakeshi, Thomas Cook’s associate vice president Leisure Travel Outbound.”In the past few years it has caught up with families also. Honeymooners and families looking for a relaxing holiday with a focus on water sports look at Mauritius as an ideal destination,” adds Rakeshi. Arrivals from India, the nation’s top source for Asian tourists, went up by 26.8 per cent in 2010 to 49,779 (39,252 in 2009).In response, the authorities in the island nation are looking at new ways to woo the Indian tourist too. “We organise international golf tournaments and aim to introduce polo to attract the top segment of travellers,” says MTPA’s Haulder.Exploring the undersea world is a popular choice among touristsBodha’s ministry is also promoting the island as a wedding destination for Indians on the lookout for innovative options for this most memorable day. In the last six months MTPA has helped in organising over five big Indian weddings. “You have to give us at least a three month prior notice, we’ll take care of the rest for you,” says Haulder adding that they had to turn down half a dozen requests due to lack of time recently. The MTPA has instituted a special committee to push the wedding tourism strategy.Travelling to the island can be comparatively expensive though. It has four direct entry points from India-Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore, though only the Mauritian national carrier flies on this route.Rakeshi attributes the sustained interest to special deals at popular resorts which more than make up for the airfare. “Direct flights, no crime and discrimination, people of Indian origin works with travellers. It’s a mix of activities and sightseeing to families who are looking for more than relaxation. It’s the safe, easy to get around, more exotic than the Far East destination image that sells,” he says.”Good resorts with private access to nice pristine beaches, lack of Thailand-like nightlife makes it more exotic than the other beach destinations closer home,” adds Rakeshi.Whether you are the gung-ho activity seeker or looking for a romantic interlude, Mauritius offers more than you can expect to pack in on your average three- to seven-day trip. So pack your swimsuits and head for this exotic island just about seven hours by flight from India. The writer is a journalist based in Mauritius.advertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

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