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Amid an economy-crushing pandemic, AT&T decided that now was a good time to send a scaremongering email to many of its customers, claiming that their phone "is not compatible with the new network and you need to replace it to continue receiving service." The email conveniently omits that this message is regarding a change that won't take place until February 2022, providing only a link that later calls out this change linked to the decommissioning of AT&T's legacy 3G network.
Yesterday was a busy day with the official announcement of Android Oreo and our sun playing a short game of peekaboo behind the moon. Yesterday also saw the release of a brand new version of the Google app to the beta channel. After a bit of digging, there aren't any notable changes jumping out at us, but a teardown of the APK provides a monstrous amount of information about a mystery device called Bisto. There's plenty here, so let's dig straight into the juicy bits!
With Amazon enabling voice calling and messaging on its Echo line-up, the rumor of the Echo also gaining intercom ability that had circulated back in March was bound to come true sooner than later. And it's now here so all of you multi-Echo households can start, erm, echoing each other from room to room.
In the latest Amazon Alexa app (v2.0.1216.2), you can enable the option by turning on Drop In from your household in your Echo's settings and making sure your device has a friendly name so that people in other rooms can easily specify which Echo they want to contact you on.
Google Duo's audio calling feature started rolling out at the end of last month to users in Brazil after the company confirmed the option would be coming way earlier last August. Today, Googler Justin Uberti announced on Twitter that audio calls are now available worldwide to all Duo users.
An update to the Google Phone app came out a few days ago, but left many people wondering what the changes were. This version doesn't have a whole lot to show off, but a close examination does reveal a couple of interesting things both active and hidden inside the apk. Users now have the option to easily share voicemails as regular files, meaning you can email them to friends or easily stash them in cloud storage. From the perspective of a teardown, Google has also added the first signs of RCS support, meaning we can look forward to some new calling features to come along in the future.
Facebook has been slowly rolling out VoIP calling to its Messenger app in an effort to make it the single, unified source for all your communication needs (before Google can). Today, it apparently took another baby step forward by granting UK users of the mobile app the ability to connect for free (minus data charges where applicable) to anyone they're friends with.
At the moment the service doesn't seem to have rolled out to all users yet, and it may even still be a bit buggy (the slow expansion is partially to conduct tests, after all). However, the important thing is it's coming.
While roaming around Google I/O and looking for answers to numerous questions you guys posed, I ran into Wei Huang, the tech lead on Google Talk for Android. Yup, the same guy who announced video chat two weeks ago on the Google Mobile blog. Here are some questions I had for Wei, echoing many of you guys:
Is video chat coming to other devices than the Nexus S and if so, when?
It's understandable why the Nexus One has no video chat (although 1-way video chat would still be better than none), but why did it receive no voice chat with the Android 2.3.4 upgrade?