The Google Home and Google Wifi are about to land in a new country all across the ocean: the United Kingdom. After being exclusively available in the USA since their launch last year, both of Google's new gadgets will expand to their second official territory.
Google made the announcement today, focusing on everything you can do with the Home and Wifi, including asking questions, playing media, and controlling your home with the former and setting up mesh networks with the latter. It also said that it has been working with several partners in the UK to bring more local apps and services to the Home and Assistant. Read More
Last week, Google announced new location sharing features in Google Maps that would allow you to easily share your current position momentarily or indefinitely with select people. The option is the same that we've had in Google+ for a few years, except it would now be in the app that made most sense, Maps. It also follows Google's trend of decoupling options and features from Google+.
In the official announcement, Google said the feature would be rolling out "soon" worldwide, but didn't give an exact timeline, and we have yet to see it on our devices regardless of the version of Maps we're running. Read More
Around two weeks ago, we told you what the codenames of Google's next-generation Pixel phones are (it's muskie and walleye, if you've forgotten). After we wrote that post, a Googler commenting on the commit where walleye first appeared actually linked to our story and gave a light ribbing to the author for using unreleased device codenames in the public gerrit, which we found amusing.
At some point after that, though, the reference to walleye as well as the comment linking to our story were removed. If you go to the commit now, walleye is nowhere to be seen. Which, I guess that makes sense? Read More
Google can't seem to make up its mind - at least when it comes to Chrome's New Tab Page. It received a massive change in Chrome 54, and was further altered in Chrome 56. Now, once again, the page has been updated in Chrome Dev 59. Read More
Ever since Google started allowing paid apps and games to temporarily go on sale, we've seen dozens of great deals. Perhaps in an effort to better highlight these sales, Google has added a 'Free App of the Week' section to the Google Play Store. Read More
If you own a Pixel or Pixel XL, you might have encountered an annoying bug where the phone's Bluetooth connection would randomly shut off. You could still turn it back on, but it could shut off again without warning. Not the kind of software quality you would expect from a $650+ device. Read More
The past week has been the Big-O week for all of us involved in Google's ecosystem and the Android world. The follow-up to Android 7.0/7.1 Nougat was announced as Android O — full name still unknown — and the developer preview images were made available for those who want to test it out and check all the new features.
That caused our inboxes to overflow with tips of all the major and minor and super minor changes in Android O coming from our readers, and it got our team to work overtime to verify and report them. We still have many O feature spotlights on our to-do list, some of which we're still investigating, but in the meantime, we thought we'd put together one list of all the Android O features we've covered so far. Read More
Before there was Allo and Duo, before Hangouts was unveiled, there was Google Talk. In some ways, it was better than the Hangouts platform that replaced it. Talk had a real desktop app, and if you didn't like it, you could use any XMPP client to communicate. You could even send messages to users on other XMPP-powered services - a huge difference from today's proprietary messaging services. Read More
Multi-window was one of the biggest and most useful additions to Android 7.0 Nougat. It made its debut on Android with the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 all the way back in 2012, but it took a full four years to make its way into stock Android. It's since become a staple for many people; the convenience of watching a YouTube video while simultaneously scrolling through a Twitter or Facebook feed just can't be beat. With the O Developer Preview, Google has improved multi-window by enabling users to maintain a view of the app they've minimized when they head into the launcher, as well as expand or maximize it. Read More
Once upon a time, I was able to get most of my communication done through Hangouts. Between its support for standard SMS, Google Voice, and normal Hangouts conversations, it was an incredibly useful tool. It could even merge SMS and Hangouts conversations into the same thread, much like iMessage on the iPhone.
Over the past year or so, Google has been separating all this functionality into standalone apps. Google started asking SMS users to switch to Messages, then removed merged conversations, and finally launched a new separate Google Voice app. The company has also been trying to move people off Hangouts itself, with its new Allo and Duo apps. Read More