When Google released the new affordable Nest Thermostat in October, it also made some changes to how things are set up and controlled. Instead of using the outdated Nest app, it's all done through the Google Home app now. This is a positive move in many ways, but some of the functionality hasn't yet been migrated over for older models. Finally, it looks like Google is bringing the full new experience to more people, but it sure is a slow rollout.
Google Photos is full of great memories constantly resurfacing in the Instagram Stories-like Recent Highlights that show up in the carousel at the top of your photos. The company has decided to tweak the collages consisting of multiple pictures that show up there with doodled backgrounds, making them more shareable on social media without further effort on your part.
It's been a rough week for most Chromebooks following Google's ill-fated attempt to roll Chrome OS 86 out to the stable channel. Shortly after Google announced the major milestone update, I covered a slew of new features and improvement found within, including accessibility improvements, an improved login screen experience, and a refreshed gallery app. Although some people are enjoying OS 86 without problems, others are still anxiously waiting for the new update to land on their Chromebook. In a surprising move by Google, it silently pulled the build off the update server a couple of days before the update finished rolling out.
There have already been several Developer Previews of Android 11, and Google planned to release the first beta-quality build during an online 'Beta Launch Show' on June 3rd. That event was cancelled last week, due to widespread protests in the United States, but that hasn't stopped Google from rolling out the first Android 11 Beta to some Pixel owners — perhaps unintentionally.
Some features in Chrome seem to be cursed to never fully roll out. The bottom-bar 'Duet' mobile interface has been in development for over two years at this point, and support for tab groups on the desktop has been rolled out and pulled back more times than I can count. Thankfully, it seems like tab groups are finally going live, for real this time.
Instagram is on a mission — a mission to make its mobile app harder to use. Between forcing an algorithmic timeline and bloating the app with more and moreunrelatedfeatures, it has turned from a simple photo-sharing app to Facebook's way of capturing the post-Facebook generation. Users of the service caught a glimpse of an in-development UI, after Instagram accidentally rolled it out to everyone.
It seems like the Play Store is always getting minute little tests and rollouts, but something useful is being added for once. A tipster spotted a handy storage bar in the 'My Apps' section of the Play Store app on his devices, though the rollout seems to be pretty limited for now.
After leaks and teardown revelations aplenty, WhatsApp group calls were finally formally revealed at Facebook's F8 developer conference in early May. By the end of the month, the feature had started showing up for some. Now, WhatsApp has announced that group audio and video calls are rolling out to all users.
The new YouTube clusterfuck was announced about three weeks ago, but not many changes have occurred yet. The YouTube Music app has been updated, but YouTube Red branding still hasn't been switched to YouTube Premium, and the YouTube Music web player still showed "coming soon" for almost everyone. It looks like some of that may be about to change, though.
The new Gmail web interface has been available for over a month now, but it's still in preview and it's an opt-in affair. However, the new UI will roll out to all G Suite users in July, and we'd expect the same to be true of regular Gmail users.