Google's been rolling out updated logos and icons for many of its services in the last month or so, and Google Voice just started picking up its own awaited change. The new icon is starting to roll out on the desktop site, though it doesn't appear to be live for everyone just yet.
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It's been a little while since Google unveiled the new Chromecast with Google TV, and we still like it. For less than $50, the device offers Chromecast capabilities, a voice remote with Google Assistant, and the latest Google TV experience built in. Right now, you can buy it bundled with six months of Netflix — and it's now an even better deal when you consider the streaming service's recent price hike.
The Lenovo Smart Clock Essential is a clock radio. A glorified clock radio. A more sensible, smart clock radio. But a clock radio nonetheless. It tells the time and weather and it's a Google Assistant speaker to boot. I'll even go out to say that it's a well-made, well-intentioned product. But is it one you'd want to bring home? That depends on what you want out of your Assistant devices, but I like the Smart Clock Essential.
Did you know that Android has two birthdays, depending on when you count from? Of course, it was in development for years before the public ever saw it, but it was "born" on either the date of its first commercial release (September 23rd 2008) or the date of its first official introduction by Google on November 5th, 2007. Well, that last date just so happens to line up with today, so happy 13th(ish) birthday, Android.
According to a support document that was recently published (h/t @OriginalPenguin), Google is planning to offer One subscribers an extended three-month trial for Stadia Pro, matching offers that come with some Chromebooks and the new Pixel phones. This even applies to folks that took advantage of previous trials or who canceled a Stadia Pro membership, according to the published terms, though the promotion doesn't seem to be live just yet.
The Pixel 4a 5G finally became available for pre-order in the US a week ago, and now other countries are following suit. Though Japan got it first on October 15th, it's now available for pre-order in France, Germany, the UK, Ireland, Australia, and Taiwan, filling out the list of available countries announced at the Launch Night In.
Stadia's nearly a year old, but we're still only just starting to see Google deliver on what the service could be; features expected near launch like Google Assistant integration and Crowd Choice weren't available until recent months. Now, one of the most hotly-anticipated features is finally available: Starting today, you're able to share your game library with members of your Google family group.
November officially marks the end of the line for the Google Pixel 2 and 2 XL, as security updates for both phones have halted. The devices are still functional, and you can switch to custom ROMs like LineageOS to keep the security fixes coming, but the hardware is starting to age as well.
This is a strange year for phone releases, especially from Google. Owners of the Pixel 2 have three Pixel phones to choose from, if they want to stick to Google-made phones, and figuring out how they all stack up is a bit complicated. Thankfully, we're here to do all the hard work.
Google Meet's utility in this work-from-home era can't be overstated, especially for G Suite and Google Workspace users, but the knock system for allowing folks inside your meeting can be a hiccup to the otherwise smooth experience. Having to manually approve or deny entry is easy if it's just one or two people, but with a big group, it can become tedious. But Google is adding the ability to blanket accept all pending knocks for bulk admittance.
Back in March, when the world was trying to adjust to a new online-focused lifestyle, video streaming platforms, including YouTube, decided to cap the video quality to spare some bandwidth for the more important stuff. As things eased, those restrictions were removed in subsequent months in most countries, except India. After more than seven months, YouTube is, at last, getting rid of the 480p resolution cap for its app users connected over LTE.