A little over a week ago, we first detected several less-than-subtle hints of Rich Communication Services, more commonly known as RCS, in Google Messenger 2.0's code. In case you don't know what RCS is, it essentially adds some useful features to SMS that are similar to what you'll find in Apple's iMessage. Now, for a select few, Google has flipped a server-side switch for RCS.
Google's initiative to make RCS more commonplace isn't new, though; last year, the Mountain View-based company purchased Jibe Mobile, a startup with an RCS platform. Allo was expected to receive RCS support, but since that didn't pan out, Messenger is the very first Google app to support it. Read More
The YouTube comments section - you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. Part of the reason comments can be so unbearable at times is the dreadful moderation tools, but YouTube is seeking to fix that. Today on their Creator Blog, they announced a number of changes to how comments can be moderated.
YouTube creators can now blacklist certain words or phrases, with comments violating the list requiring manual approval. In addition, creators can now opt-in to YouTube's almighty algorithm determining which comments are "potentially inappropriate," and holding them for approval.
There are some public-facing changes to YouTube comments as well. Read More
Google's $129 smart speaker, the Google Home, was first announced back at Google I/O earlier this year. Featuring the shiny new Google Assistant coupled with a great speaker, the Home is part of Google's march into the smart home market. Pre-orders finally started last month, and now they are finally shipping to customers. Read More
Have you noticed the Google "pill" widget on the Pixel launcher doesn't bear much resemblance to the traditional search box? Well, it looks like Google is changing that. Several users have noticed a new search box design popping up on their devices. It's curvier and cleaner looking. Read More
You've been able to order a Daydream View from the Google store for a while now, but we didn't know when units would actually ship. Now, Google has given an exact date—Daydream View is officially launching on November 10th. Read More
John Legere is well-known for being a rather unconventional CEO, and the Pixel promo that T-Mobile took the wraps off of last week had Legere stamped all over it (it was essentially the equivalent of spitting in Verizon's face). The $325 bill credit for having a Pixel on T-Mobile seemed like a sweet deal at first glance, but it required customers to be on the carrier's controversial, "unlimited" ONE plan.
We first heard about T-Mobile extending the offer to non-ONE customers when a reader tipped us with a thread from the Pixel subreddit (thanks, Alex!), but nothing was official. However, T-Mobile has just updated its promo's press release to indicate that Simple Choice unlimited customers are now eligible for this offer as well. Read More
Project Fi subscribers are getting a new tool to track data usage today. A post in the Fi sub-Reddit by the verified Google community manager account says data tracking will now update live, and that usage will be broken out by app. It's all live right now—just open the app and check it out. Read More
A new raft of banks have been added to Android Pay today, which is always nice. There are a couple dozen this time. There's First Flight FCU, Bristol County Savings Bank, oh and look at that... Capital One. Sweet Christmas. Only a year after it was listed as "coming soon." Read More
We've all seen it—an app with just a few too many suspicious five-star reviews or an unlikely high number of installs in a short period of time. Google cites these attempts to manipulate the Play Store as a hindrance to its recommendation system, and ultimately to the experience of end users. Today, it's implementing a new filtering system to spot these apps. Read More
The Google Pixel phones' development has had a big week; just a few days ago, the Verizon and EE variants had their bootloaders unlocked. Now, Chainfire, the famed developer of SuperSU and FlashFire, has debuted a systemless root method for the Pixels.
Due to the Pixels' odd partition structure (two system, two boot, two vendor, zero recovery, and zero cache partitions), Chainfire's root method required a bit of re-engineering. It's pretty impressive how quickly he was able to do this, but we'd expect no less from him. Read More