It's no secret that India is one of the most linguistically diverse nations in the world. With 22 official languages and a hundred more that aren't, it can be quite challenging for a company to break the language barrier. But Google has been making efforts to localize its products and services for a billion Indians and it's now sharing all that it's accomplished so far at its L10n India event.
Smart displays are good for lots of useful things, but what about when you just want to unwind and relax? Google brought touch-enabled games to smart displays earlier this year, and now the company is releasing an update that's focused on getting more people playing with a newly revamped gaming screen and a selection of new titles.
The bounty of budget Chromebooks continues to grow year by year, but most of them aren’t worth your time or money. Lenovo recently launched its C340 Chromebook, which shook up the budget segment by offering great specs at a low price. Now, Acer has a similar offering, the Chromebook Spin 311 (CP311-3H-K5GD), offering decent hardware and incredible battery life for just $320. The mediocre touchpad and disappointing display keep me from whole-heartedly recommending this device for everyone, but in broad strokes, the Spin 311 is a fantastic value for students and basic personal use if you're not too picky.
One of the worst things about smart home hardware is the setup process. Some Assistant-compatible devices are almost plug and play, while others need third party integrations with linked services and a long, convoluted setup. Back in 2019, Google added a feature called "seamless setup" that makes the process a whole lot easier, though over a year later, only a handful of things support it. But in the future, smart home gadgets with the feature will get a badge on the box to make them easier to spot.
Kabam and Netmarble are teaming up once again with Marvel to bring a new real-time RPG to Android. This title is known as Marvel Realm of Champions, and it will serve duty as the followup to Marvel Contest of Champions. It's expected to land sometime in 2020. Apparently, Realm of Champions will offer a reimagining of the Marvel Universe that's set on Battleworld, a forbidden planet hidden behind the Space-Time Barrier recently disrupted by the death of Maestro, the God-King. This results in a universe-wide battle themed around the Secret Wars event from 1984.
Samsung makes phones, tablets, watches, and more, but did you know it also makes movies? Well, kind of — in a new video promoting Exynos processors, the company plays at being Pixar by recreating Up in some of the strangest ways imaginable. And while there's no adorable wilderness explorer present, there are a lot of musically gifted mutant mascot characters.
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Google's cloud gaming service, Stadia, began trialing on November 19 (2019), and even though you needed a $130 Founder's Edition kit to gain access, Google eventually opened the floodgates to everyone in August (2020). So far, many games have been announced for the service, and we expect more of them to pop up as we go along. Of course, it can be a difficult to keep track of things in this fast-moving industry, so we've got you covered with a handy list of all the titles that have been announced for Stadia.
This year has been drab but that doesn't mean we can't end it on a good note. In fact, Google's new machine learning experiment, called Blob Opera, aims to do just that. With the help of some adorable little blobs — reminiscent of Google's much-loved old emoji — you can create festive songs before sharing them with friends and family.
Google’s got a bunch of nifty side projects going on that aim to make the internet accessible for all. Loon is one example, while the company’s drive to bring high-speed internet to Indian railway stations made some good headway before being discontinued. Now, the search giant wants to use light beams to bring the internet to some underserved regions in India. And to make it possible, Google is reportedly teaming up with a couple of local telcos.
For a year defined by videoconferencing, our smart displays have not been able to keep up as a worthy companion — mostly because the apps either aren't there or aren't very good. But there's a giant improvement due for the cross-section of Nest Hub Max owners and Google Meet users and even bigger news for those on Zoom.