Google released the Nest Secure in 2017 as a simple security system with motion sensors and a keypad, but it never received an upgrade, even as other Nest devices were updated again and again. Google has now confirmed to Android Police that the Nest Secure is discontinued, though it will continue functioning.
Assistant is one of Google's most important products, found on everything from TVs to watches. Over the years it's gotten a bit fragmented, though, with different UIs and capabilities depending on which device you're using. Thankfully, it looks like Google is currently rolling out an update which unifies the interface across phones running both the old and new versions of Assistant.
Google has been making smart displays with Assistant for over two years now, but they've functioned more or less the same that entire time. Some models have upgraded features, like the wide-angle lens on the Nest Hub Max, but the core software experience hasn't changed. That's no longer the case, as Google is finally rolling out the upgraded UI that was first spotted in September.
As the Pixel 5 starts to make its way into customers' hands, we've received several reports of a gap between the screen's plastic bumper and the bioresin-coated aluminum frame of the phone. Reports vary, but the area around the front-facing camera appears to be a hotspot for the problem, and customers are concerned this gap could affect the phone's IP-rated water resistance.
A few years ago, a YouTube update changed the video player's progress bar, extending it over the full width of the display. Ever since, it's been easy to miss the fullscreen button and hit the end of the seek bar just below it instead, often making for a frustrating experience. A YouTube app update tries to remedy that problem by preventing the bar from responding to single taps at all — you now need to hold and slide your finger to seek.
Google tends to play it safe when it comes to the design of its Pixel lineup, but that doesn't mean Pixel owners have to settle for a boring look. While most folks wouldn't consider Google's hardware design very exciting, there's no denying that the company's official fabric cases look a lot more fetching. And right now, the Google Store is offering 50% off Pixel 4 and Pixel 3a fabric cases, dropping the price to just $20.
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Google's Pixel 5 is here, but it didn't exactly blow our minds. Released alongside it is another phone that's more worthy of your consideration: The Pixel 4a 5G. Ignore the name, it's basically a Pixel 5 but $200 cheaper. You give up on a few benefits like an IP rating, 90Hz display, and metal build, but you get a bigger screen and a headphone jack, all with the same camera and internals.
Frankly, we don't see a reason for most folks to buy the Pixel 5 over this.
A new heart icon has been spotted in Google Discover (née Feed), replacing the previous button that triggered the familiar more/less slider for tuning its content to better match your tastes. This isn't just a visual change in iconography, either, as tapping the new heart button doesn't open any menu, apparently and simply indicating to Google that you liked a given piece of content. So far, the change seems to be in limited testing.
You've always been able to run the Android Auto app on your phone to get a better/safer interface while driving, but Google doesn't widely advertise that functionality (the Auto app is mainly used for connecting to car entertainment systems), and it doesn't always work correctly. Google announced a replacement over a year ago at Google I/O, and it's finally showing up on phones.