For a few months now there have been rumors of a new Google Pixel Stand with a fan to keep it cool. This led to rumors about higher wattage wireless charging coming in this year's Pixel 6. Thanks to a US retailer, we were able to confirm that the Pixel Stand, and presumably Pixel 6, should support 23W wireless charging.
Google released a whole slew of Nest products in August, including brand-new Nest Cams. They're the first to finally leave the awkward dichotomy of the Nest and Google Home app, which is one factor (of many) we like about them. However, this decision also leaves quite a few people stranded who prefer to view camera footage on the Nest website. Thankfully, Google has promised that a brand-new web interface is in the making for its latest products, but details are still sparse.
Google Podcasts might not be everyone's first choice in podcast apps, but it's become a pretty popular service with Android users nevertheless. Throughout the last couple of years, it's gained a proper playback panel and support for custom RSS feeds, making it feel a lot more complete than its initial barebones launch. A new design is now arriving on Android devices, providing some minor but notable tweaks to Google's podcast player.
The last couple of years have brought increased scrutiny on Google Play's power over Android developers, especially in the wake of its lawsuit with Epic. The company followed Apple's lead back in March, lowering its fees to 15% for the first $1 million in revenue. A newly unsealed consumer lawsuit involving Google has revealed some new facts about how the Play Store is managed behind the scenes, including a secret deal made with Netflix.
When Google announced that the Pixels were getting an update to add a whole underwater photography mode, we were pretty curious what its results would look like. Sure, the company provided samples, but there's no telling how curated the collection was, or how it would work anecdotally. Unfortunately, none of us at Android Police have the time (or money) to invest in diving — it's an expensive hobby. Thankfully, Matthew Franklin, a friend of the site, was able to take his Pixel 4 and a compatible diving case on a recent trip underwater.
Google's Assistant has become an essential tool for anyone deep within Google's ecosystem. You can ask it to control your smart home devices, control your music, find information online, run timers and reminders, play content on a Chromecast, call and text people, and more. But one thing it was lacking was in the automation part. Google Assistant has Routines, which you can use to set a custom prompt to make the Google Assistant do multiple tasks at once. Now, Google is taking it one step further with a new feature called "Daylong Routines."
No one wants to be without all their photos or files while out and about, and that's why cloud storage is so essential. Not only does it back up all of your data in case of emergency, but it also leaves space on your phone for locally downloaded content, like offline playlists and your favorite games. Google includes an allotment of cloud storage for free with every account, but if you're willing to shell out a few bucks a month, that space expands pretty quickly.
Google's Nest line of connected smart home products includes all different kinds of devices, including smart displays, smart speakers, and smart cameras you can put anywhere in your house. They're really useful to have as they allow you monitor your home remotely and let you save video footage if something ever happens. Now, though, there's a weird bug affecting several devices in the Nest ecosystem involving the video feed from cameras.
The Pixel 5a has finally been unveiled as Google's newest mid-range phone, and for the most part, it's very, very similar to the Pixel 4a 5G — at least from the outside. It comes with 5G connectivity, it's powered by the Snapdragon 765G just like the Pixel 4a 5G and even the flagship Pixel 5, and it features 6 GB of RAM and a 60Hz panel. You may be familiar with the components, but how is the 5a built? The phone has now been stripped down to its guts, and we have bad news for repairbility fans: it's still a tough nut to crack.
Whether it's photos, apps, or text messages, keeping your phone backed up to the cloud is one of the most important things you can do to keep your data safe. No gadget is infallible, and in the event of a major mishap that leaves your device destroyed or unable to turn on, you always want to make sure as much as possible is secure. Google is giving a big boost to its backup software for Android, overwriting the current system with a new "Backup by Google One" interface.