Google set out to acquire fitness company Fitbit in November of last year, but the deal hasn't gone through all the required regulatory approvals yet. There have been concerns that the acquisition could lead to reduced competition and Google extending its apparatus of data-collecting for targeted advertisements, and now advocacy groups around the world are urging governments to closely investigate the deal.
The past few months have seen plenty of Gboard changes come to the keyboard via server-side updates. Dark mode, smart compose, clipboard suggestions, all of these are still rolling out to users (I don't have any of them yet), but more features and enhancements are on the way. Two more appear to be widely available now, be it on the beta or stable version of Gboard: image support in the clipboard, and Google Lens in lieu of Search.
On many Android devices, Google Search lets you view tons of 3D models like animals, pets, skeletons, cells, Neil Armstrong's spacesuit, and much more. With the tap of a button, you can move these objects into your home and see them as though they were in your camera's viewfinder. It's even possible to snap photos and take videos. The list of supported phones is ever-expanding — devices like the Sony Xperia 1 II, the Poco X2, the Xiaomi Redmi K30, and Samsung's Galaxy Tab S6 Lite made the cut we when checked in at the beginning of June, and now a few more are popping up, including the flagship Galaxy S20 series.
Google introduced Chrome custom tabs five years ago, and most apps use them these days. Instead of creating their own custom browsers, developers can just hand over websites to a Chrome tab without the added bulk of a regular browser interface. The advantage is that devs don't have to spend resources on creating their own webview implementations and that users can quickly open these custom tabs in proper Chrome without reloading or losing their scroll position. It's a great system. But Google wouldn't be Google if it stuck with a great system (looking at you, YouTube Music).
When you have a question about a business's hours, where do you go? Whether you use Android or iOS, chances are you probably check in with Google, doing a regular search or pulling up the business in Maps. And while either will display open hours, "open" is kind of a nebulous concept these days. Open for delivery? Open for pickup? Open for seniors only? Thankfully, Google's finally making it easy for companies to share all that different data.
Google has started testing a dark mode/theme for Search on Chrome on mobile. Currently live only in Chrome Canary, according to our testing, the flag-controlled feature tweaks the mobile version of Search with a more nighttime-friendly gray-toned look, plus a weirdly inverted account avatar.
Google Search will soon start to highlight snippet text from results on the web pages you click. If that doesn't immediately sound like the greatest thing since sliced bread, stick around, because I think you'll actually love this simple new feature from the Chromium team.
Have you ever searched for a specific phrase or term on Google, seen it highlighted in the result snippet in the search results, clicked, and then been totally unable to find it on the web page itself? It's a problem as old as search engines themselves, and most of us get around it by using the even-more-ancient ritual of 'ctrl+F,' essentially searching a second time for the thing Google already found for us.
As businesses navigate the largest economic crisis since the Great Depression, those that remain on the playing field are looking for any bit of help they can get, be it from federal loans to grants to a complete reimagining of how to run shop. Google is giving small- and medium-size businesses a new tool in appealing to customers who are searching for their products and services.
Google presented AR objects in Search with much fanfare during its developer conference last year, and it probably would've loved to talk about additions and improvements during this year's I/O. With the event canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the company has instead shared some news on the feature via a blog post. In it, Google shows off new 3D objects, such as additional anatomic models and magnified views of cells. There are also new capabilities for the viewer.