Google has wrapped up its Audience Measurement program, one that operated in a similar way to how a ratings company like Nielsen tracks media consumption. Participants who were incentivized to use the Screenwise Meter app to record their web browsing habits are being told to offload the software and claim their rewards within the next month.
Google has confirmed to us that the Pixel 2 and 2 XL will get their last update this December. While the October update released today was the last guaranteed by the company's original calendar commitment, we are told that Google is promising one last update that includes a final set of critical fixes, following a trend it set last year with the original 2016 Pixels.
Chrome Web Store apps have been flailing for a while now. Google announced in 2016 that these Chrome Apps would be phased out by 2018 — that obviously didn't happen. Earlier in the year, Google committed to a timeline to slowly end support for them, but the company has just released a revised schedule that extends end-of-life dates on all platforms due to "feedback from customers and partners."
Social media platforms have maintained slimmed-down versions of their apps in the past few years to grab more users from developing markets with low-end hardware. Facebook, however, has decided to shut down Instagram Lite and is now redirecting users to the main app. The company has not said why.
Automatic is shutting down its enhanced diagnostics services for vehicles on May 28. The company cites the coronavirus pandemic driving down demand for auto sales and, thus, demand for its OBD-II plug-in device and its associated services. Customers may be eligible to return their adapters to their point of purchase for a rebate.
Pokémon Rumble Rush hasn't even been available in the US for a year yet (since it was originally released in the West in May 2019), and The Pokémon Company has already announced that it will close the game on July 22nd, 2020. Pokémon Rumble Rush clearly had issues during development, which is why it was originally known as Pokéland back in 2017, promptly falling off the map until 2019 when it reappeared under the new name, but was still under development. Once Pokémon Rumble Rush was officially launched across the globe in May 2019, it was clear the title was released as a cash grab to soak up money before the developer completely abandoned it, which we now know will take place this July.
Sonos is backtracking on its contentious new trade-in program, which effectively bricked devices that were flipped into a "recycle mode" for a trade-in discount. Instead of ensuring all its old speakers end up in the garbage, the company is switching to a serial number-based validation system to snag a discount, and you can even hang onto your old, outdated speaker.
We're officially on the road to Android 11, which means a whole round of developer preview builds are on the way to Pixel phones — as well as other non-Google phones likely to be announced at I/O in May that will go through their own beta stack. Unfortunately, for O.G. Pixel and Pixel XL owners, they won't be joining for the ride.
Google has had a hand in expanding free, fast internet access in developing countries through its Station program. By teaming up with local ISPs, the search giant has been able to fund hundreds of public Wi-Fi hotspots in nine countries. But today, the company has decided to wrap up the scheme in some countries.