Factory images for the March 2017 security update for most supported Pixel and Nexus devices are now up on Google's developer sites here and here. That includes the Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Pixel C, Nexus 9 (+LTE), and Nexus 6. Builds for the Pixels are NOF27B for all variants except devices on Rogers, which should use build NOF27C.
The Nexus Player appears to be left out of the March updates at this point.
You can find the accompanying security bulletin here, which as usual lists a significant number of security threats that have now been eliminated. Read More
Local Guides is a program by Google Maps in which you "help others explore the world and get great benefits in return" (Google's words, not mine). Well, it looks like those great benefits are about to become merely average benefits, as Google is completely ditching free Drive storage for new Level 4 Local Guides, who currently get 100GB for one year. Read More
While Google and Samsung have long sought to talk up their various partnerships over the years, there is little doubt for me that 2017 will be the year in which the two giants go after one another more aggressively than ever before in their history. Samsung actively presents a threat to Android's diversity, and Google must step in to stem the bleeding of an increasingly unprofitable device ecosystem. Samsung's challenges in wearables, television, and smart home also are a major cause for concern to Google as Samsung increasingly leverages its smartphone dominance.
Samsung and Google have been close collaborators from the days of the original Galaxy S, a phone launched almost seven years ago. Read More
A new version of Gmail started rolling out recently, but there were no obvious changes. However, Google just posted an updated changelog that reveals the addition of account links in the app shortcut menu. This could be really handy if you have multiple accounts. Read More
Speaking to AndroidPIT, Google's head of hardware Rick Osterloh confirmed a new Pixel phone is coming this year, and that it will stay "premium." Osterloh added that Google had no interest in producing a low-cost Pixel device, saying the current ecosystem of hardware vendors serves that purpose just fine (he's not wrong).
At this time, we know very little about the new Pixel phone[s], though we have reason to believe there will still be two models based on evidence we've received from our own sources. For now, though, we have nothing else to share on our end.
It seems likely that Google will continue with the small-large formula it introduced with the Pixel and Pixel XL last year, which was itself a riff on Apple and now Samsung's own strategy with their premium-tier smartphones. Read More
Play Store betas offer a simple way to get the newest features in your favorite apps as soon as possible. Google runs a few of them, and today it's adding Play Services and Gboard to the list. Just a few clicks and you can be running the latest goodies (and maybe some bugs) early. Read More
If you've ever tried to search the meaning of specific operations and characters in programming languages, you know how frustrating it can be. You'll often have to append the name of the language to the search, or try surrounding it in quotes to only show exact matches.
Now Google has vastly improved searching for special characters and operations in programming languages. Read More
Are you still using Allo? I didn't think so. For the duration of this article, try to pretend that you do. Trust me, it'll make this easier on all of us. So, that super-cool chat app Allo is getting some new features. Emoji and GIFs are better, and Assistant can be accessed with less typing. I know you're all excited because you love Allo so much. Read More
Earlier this week, Google's SVP for hardware Rick Osterloh had a meeting at MWC with journalists. There he said that Google had, "no plans for Google-branded laptops." Now he has said on Twitter that there are just "no plans to share at this time." Read More
I guess it was bound to happen: Google Assistant is finally breaking free from the shackles of the Pixels and launching onto the millions of devices running Android 6.0 Marshmallow and above, no need for GApps or root.
But this shouldn't come as a surprise to you. The signs were there all along. Despite being revealed as a Pixel exclusive on phones in the Android 7.1 changelog, Assistant has been available through Allo on all Android 4.1+ phones, announced for all Android TV 6.0+ devices, and was shortly enabled by mistake through an alpha version of the Google app on non-Pixel phones. Read More