According to a reliable source, Google plans to hold a major event focusing on hardware October 4th. It will use the event to announce its new Pixel-branded smartphones Pixel and Pixel XL, a 4K Chromecast, fully detail Google Home, and reveal the company's in-house design for a Daydream VR viewer device (Google previously confirmed this was happening). Here is what we know.
- The 4K Chromecast will do 4K and be called either the Chromecast Plus or Chromecast Ultra (makes sense - ultra HD). We aren't sure which.
- The Daydream device may be called Daydream View.
Google was allegedly planning to announce a 4K version of the Chromecast last year, but seems to have scuttled the launch for some reason. Read More
Speaking to two independent sources, we now strongly believe that Google's formerly-maybe-Nexus-phones, Marlin and Sailfish, will be marketed as the Pixel and the Pixel XL. We do not have pricing information. At this time, it is unknown to us when Google decided to shift its in-house smartphone brand from Nexus to Pixel or why (though speculation will likely run wild).
The Pixel will be the 5" Sailfish device, while Pixel XL will be the 5.5" Marlin. As to our confidence in this information: given that our two sources are independent, and the fact that one in particular has been exceptionally reliable in the past, we feel comfortable saying you can take this to the bank. Read More
Google is always trying something new with its different apps. Our personal nightmare is YouTube — ask Cody, trying to monitor the dozens of tips we get each week about a new YouTube UI are his personal nightmare. But Google Now might be an exception. The app's stream of cards has looked the same for a while and it's rather consistent between users. Not anymore.
The server-side switch plague has claimed another victim. Some users are seeing a series of blue circle icons on top of their Google Now stream for weather, dining, movies, and shopping. Others, like me, are not.
The icons don't do anything beside launch a search — and thus trigger smart cards and results — for their respective purposes. They're basically glorified search shortcuts, or maybe big hints for those who don't know what exactly you can search for on Google Now. Read More
On both mobile and desktop, downloading things from the internet is pretty obviously a big deal. Since it launched in 2008, Chrome has had a download manager, and now the Android version is following suit, with a Download menu appearing in the latest version of Chrome Dev, version 54.0.2840.6.
'Downloads' is in the overflow dropdown menu. It's basically exactly what it says it is: a manager for files downloaded through the browser. However, it seems like it's a bit broken at the moment, as some files don't show up in the UI while others do. I downloaded an MP3 file and it didn't appear despite being on my phone, while a picture did show. Read More
Google Patents might not be the most exciting of Google's search products, but it's one that's essential in realizing Google's mission of organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible and useful. However, the world is made up of more than just a half-dozen countries, which is why Google has just announced that it's adding 11 new countries to its patent database, bringing the total to 17 patent offices around the globe. Read More
The Google OnHub was launched one year ago with a lot of implicit promises about smart home functionality. We never saw any of that materialize, though the router has gotten more capable. Now there's finally some smart home integration happening in the form of a Philips Hue partnership. Oh hey, guess what still doesn't work. Yep, the USB port. Read More
Android's always been pretty good at search - it's developed by the world's biggest search company, so you'd hope so - but one thing that it's always struggled with is searching content on your device, having removed it in Ice Cream Sandwich because the API was not up to scratch. Google is attempting to fix that today with the launch of the new 'Search In Apps' feature, which Cody uncovered part of during a recent Google app teardown.
In Apps is basically an extension to the Google search bar. When searching something that's 'personal' such as a name or place, scroll to the end of list of available searches - the one with 'Web,' 'Images,' 'Shopping,' 'Maps,' and more on it. Read More
Nest has seen better days. A couple of months ago, a reshuffle was announced at the top of the company's hierarchy, with CEO Tony Fadell leaving and Marwan Fawaz taking his place at the helm. Nest has also been under pressure to bring more products from the pipeline to the market and to be more profitable.
It seems that there's another reshuffle in Nest's future though, according to a report by Fortune. The Nest platform team (think software) might soon be moving to Google, jumping from one Alphabet subsidiary to another. It will be part of a team lead by Hiroshi Lockheimer, current senior VP of Android, that will focus on the smart home and living room, create a unified Internet of Things platform, and continue to develop the upcoming Google Home. Read More
It looks like Google is finally moving into the San Francisco ride-sharing market. According to the Wall Street Journal, the tech giant is looking to offer commuters cheaper rates (and lower fares) than the two big players, Uber and Lyft. The plan is to connect drivers and riders who are going in the same direction, instead of the on-demand service you would see with other ride-sharing services. Read More
The next time you do a search on your phone, you may notice something unusual—the search history drop down has a new look. Well, it's new for some people. It's more compact with search terms in a series of blocks. This appears to be the default for a few users, but everyone can try it with a little keyboard trickery. Read More