Google told us at its event in October that the company's new router, the Wifi, would be available to order some time in November and would then ship in December. Right on cue, an unlisted video has appeared showing how to set up your brand new router.
Setup is reasonably straightforward, from the looks of things: plug in the USB-C cable for power and ethernet to your existing modem, then wait for it to flash blue, at which point the app can be used to configure it. To do this, scan the QR code on the bottom of the router, then wait for the app to do its thing.
Google giveth, and Google taketh away. Nexus/Pixel buyers know this too well - from little-used features like lockscreen widgets to more interesting fare like wireless charging, a lot of things have showed up in one Nexus phone only to disappear in the next. The Pixel and Pixel XL, for example, are missing some of the ambient notification tools that debuted with the Nexus 6. But as usual, there's a developer willing to fill in the gap. Check out Ambi-Turner if you want some of those features back.
Chrome is installed by default on all Android devices that come from Google's partners as well as all Chromebook computers. That probably accounts to a lot of devices, without taking into consideration all the Chrome browsers that users choose to install on their PCs and Macs. So it's not hard to see how the browser could now be running on billions of phones and desktops and actively used on most of them.
Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, Chrome's VP Product Management at Google, tweeted today an interesting figure: there are 2 billion active Chrome browsers across mobile and desktop. Rahul doesn't explain what exactly constitutes an "active browser," and over which period of time it had to be used to count, but it's an important stat nonetheless.
Last April the European Commission, the EU's executive body, issued a statement criticizing Google's management of Android. The Commission accused Google of facilitating monopolistic practices, specifically by tying the Play Store, the Android version of Chrome, and other common Google apps to Google's Search services among licensed Android manufacturers. Keeping manufacturers from releasing forks of Android as a condition of participating in the Google ecosystem - a process which Google calls "anti-fragmentation" - was also an issue. It took a while, but Google has finally published a full response to the Commission.
Some months ago, Logitech released a pair of car mounts called "ZeroTouch." At the time, I thought they were interesting, but ultimately not worth the high price. Now, this same hardware is back on the Google Store as an Android Auto mount. The price is still crazy, though.
OtterBox is one of those products that has a fairly niche appeal, at least for its original practically bomb-proof protective cases, but does its job so well that people keep coming back. The company has been making a mint off of its durable Defender series, and it hasn't wasted any time bringing out new versions for Google's Pixel and Pixel XL flagships.
Verizon has decided, whether on purpose or accident, to show two as-yet-unannounced Live Cases for the Pixels. These are not ones you would find on the Google Store. The blue option for the Earth case looks a lot like one of the wallpapers from last year's Nexus phones, which makes me feel a bit nostalgic.
The list of available Live Cases for the Pixels and last year's Nexus phones continues to grow. Today, we see new entries from artist Jeremy Scott go live in the Google Store. Known for his fashion designs, Scott has brought his unique aesthetic to the Live Case lineup.
After having it removed in favor of the Pixel-only (for now) Night light feature in Android 7.1, Nexus fans have been a bit upset that the screen tinting Night Mode option was axed from their handsets. While only implemented as part of Google's experiment test zone, the system UI tuner, Night Mode struck a chord for a number of reasons (which aren't worth getting into here), and taking it away had Nexus owners a bit, well, cranky. Enough so that people have been submitting the feature's sudden absence in Android 7.1 as a bug. (Technically, Night Mode was removed in the later 7.0 developer previews, but if you didn't wipe your handset, the quick settings tile to enable it didn't go away for quite some time after that, and an app later was still able to access it via a simple workaround.)
One of those bug threads on the Google issue tracker has now been marked as 'FutureRelease' by a Googler.