The Nest Hub Max is about to lose the only thing that makes it useful
Google's Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max smart displays are excellent for controlling your smart home and video chatting with family or friends. For better or worse, the latter functionality is the new way of doing business and staying in touch with people you need to connect with frequently. Smart displays allow you to chat hands-free without using your phone or computer, and the Nest Hub Max, with its 6.5MP camera, was specifically designed for this purpose. However, this is about to change as Google appears to be killing the smart display's video calling functionality later this month.
Manual app archiving on Android could offer more control
Every smartphone user can relate to the seemingly age-old struggle of managing storage space, especially when we encounter the infamous "storage almost full" notification. This challenge isn't new, and tech giants like Google have been tirelessly working on solutions to help users streamline their device storage. One of the recent innovations from Google in this domain is the introduction of app archiving, which has so far been automatically activated, targeting unused apps when storage dwindles. But now, it seems, there might be potential for users to manually decide which apps to archive.
Today's new update brings streamlined tabs and customizations
The world of fitness apps has been buzzing with anticipation, and now, the moment has finally arrived. Now, the revamped Fitbit app begins its rollout, promising an enhanced user experience with a fresh design and intuitive features.
Dive into your emails, documents, and files with Bard by your side
In an age seemingly dominated by artificial intelligence, generative AI tools like OpenAI's ChatGPT have captivated global attention. Google, with its AI-first mantra initiated at I/O 2017, may not be as synonymous with the general public as ChatGPT, but it's doing everything it can not to lag behind. Enter Google Bard: a generative AI chatbot designed to communicate in a nuanced, conversational manner and deliver answers seamlessly. It's getting another massive update today with Extensions, something that could make it a much more useful tool across the board.
Two Google reviewers must sign off on these types of contributions
Most of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) is licensed under Apache 2.0, which means that anyone can modify its code. It’s this type of model that also allows AOSP to grow through internal and external contributions alike. Google has developed a guide to help people understand how to contribute code to AOSP, and it’s even used some of this content to build new features. However, one drawback to this approach is simultaneously giving bad actors an easy way to thwart the entire system. In response to security concerns, Google is increasing its scrutiny of external contributions.
A design change that nobody asked for
It would be an understatement to say that YouTube has enjoyed a roller coaster ride in its relatively long span in the tech industry. Today, the platform is arguably one of the most used in the world, although some of its recent decisions — like adding rounded corners to videos on the web — aren't exactly fan favorites. It seems like the folks at YouTube didn't get the memo about this recent web player redesign, as we're now coming across this change on the YouTube Android app as well.
There are no replacement parts for the wearable yet
The Google Pixel Watch is one of the best Android-based smartwatches you can get today, although it's not without a few compromises. While the watch ticks the right boxes in terms of design, aspects like the exorbitant price tag and the subpar battery life left much to be desired. It now seems like there's another negative aspect attached to the smartwatch — its lack of repairability.
It's all systems go for Google's Silver celebrations in the US
What seemed like a far-fetched dream for two doctoral students in California is now almost a necessity across the globe. Larry Page and Sergey Brin first dubbed their search engine "BackRub" as a corny pun, but the pair quickly realized they had something serious going. The duo joined hands with an out-of-the-box idea of making information available to the world, then Google practically exploded onto the tech scene like the Big Bang. It's hard to believe that was almost 25 years ago.
Celebrating the war-torn country's resilience, one digital monument at a time
Technology is often future-focused, but it can be leveraged to immortalize our past, ensuring that history is not only remembered but also experienced. From ancient artifacts to historical landmarks, the quest to digitally preserve our cultural heritage has been a pursuit shared by tech giants and preservationists alike. Delving into this amalgamation of technology and history, Google's recent endeavor illuminates the significance of preserving landmarks that have come under threat.
The new icon is a bit abstract, but it's still got the goods
With most people losing their belongings almost on a regular basis, it's no surprise that there's been a sudden surge of Bluetooth tracking devices on the market. Thankfully, tech companies are also building out their own tracking networks. Google is one company that's been looking into a stuff-tracking solution that uses its massive network of Android devices. When it rolls out, the new Finder network, as it's aptly called, will expand the platform and bring it more in line with Apple and Tile's location-tracking services. Ahead of its release, Google seems to have revamped the app's icon with a more visually appealing look and theme.
An updated app icon and reorganized settings are coming soon
We're coming up on the official unveiling of the Google Pixel 8 and 8 Pro next month, and Google is getting its Camera app ready for the occasion. Per a report on the reputable Google News Telegram channel, Google Camera v9.0 is on the horizon, and it looks set to bring a bunch of small tweaks to the camera UI, including reorganized settings and a new app icon.
Google's President of Global Affairs outlines the company's defense strategy
As tech giants continually adjust to an evolving landscape of power and oversight, Google is squarely in the spotlight, facing scrutiny from lawmakers across the globe. Amidst rising concerns over digital dominance, Google is now preparing for a legal tussle with the US Department of Justice. Many find this reminiscent of the Microsoft antitrust case that concluded in 2001 and shaped many of the tech industry's current systems, and Google is apparently looking for a win in the court of public opinion.
Advertisers still get your data, but you get a little more control
The elimination of third-party cookies in some browsers has inevitably made it more challenging for advertisers to reach their target audience. However, navigating the web hasn’t become any less frustrating with widespread cookie consent forms becoming the norm. Now, advertisers are looking for new ways to make sure their content is seen, and big tech companies are lending a hand. With the latest Chrome update, Google has made its Privacy Sandbox widely available to help businesses deliver ads more effectively — oh, and also to give users a touch more control over their personal data than tracking cookies afforded.
The requirement is meant to curb misinformation ahead of the US presidential election
With more people discovering new uses for generative AI, concerns about how it might be leveraged for unethical purposes are beginning to grow. As the 2024 US presidential election looms, digital platforms are looking at ways to protect users from exposure to misinformation. AI is undoubtedly making it harder to do, blurring the lines between fact and fiction across the internet. Now, Google has updated its political content policy to deliver more transparency in this area, and it will directly impact advertisers.
You'll need to be on Android 9.0 or newer
Just weeks after the Apple iPhone 15 is unveiled to the world, Google will throw its hat in the ring with a couple of flagships of its own — the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. The search giant will also reveal the Pixel Watch 2 during its October 4 hardware launch event, on top of a new Porcelain shade of the Pixel Buds Pro. We're now gaining some additional insight into the compatibility of Google's second-gen smartwatch, thanks to a Pixel 8 landing page.
This beta update promises to take autocorrect to the next level
Mobile keyboards have evolved, transitioning from mere typing tools to intelligent companions that predict, suggest, and rectify our sentences. Gboard, Google's flagship keyboard, stands as a testament to this evolution. Now, the app is introducing an innovative AI feature for its beta users that may just mark the next step in this evolution.
Fortnite's 2020 dispute with Google sets a precedent for upcoming trials
When you think about tech giants, Google's name inevitably pops up. This week, it has again become the talk of the town, but not necessarily for all the right reasons. The company has inked a preliminary deal over an antitrust lawsuit, though it's essential to distinguish this from other Google-related legal news: the antitrust case of January 2023 around online ad supremacy and the extensive US DOJ probe that began in October 2020, which is currently advancing to its trial phase.
From its humble beginnings as a search engine to its AI breakthroughs, Google marks 25 years of innovation
Twenty-five years in the tech world can feel like a lifetime, but as Google is proving, it’s just the beginning of an era filled with innovation. As the internet giant gears up to celebrate its silver jubilee, CEO Sundar Pichai penned an insightful letter, reflecting on the company's journey and the possibilities that lie ahead with the power of artificial intelligence.
The Justice Department argues that Google unlawfully diminished its competition
Whether you purchase a new tablet or a phone, you know that there is only going to be so much removable bloatware. In some cases, you might want to remove pre-installed software because you know that you won’t use it. However, big tech companies don’t make it easy to stray from default apps and services. Companies, including Amazon and Apple, are some of the biggest offenders. Now, the US Justice Department is taking Google to court, citing monopolistic business practices.
A new floating menu appears
YouTube is one of the most recognizable entertainment apps in the world, though the Google-owned service's recent move to aggressively restrict ad blockers hasn't been popular. Despite these setbacks, YouTube continues to add new features aimed at improving general usability from time to time, and another one has caught our eye this week, with the dreaded sharing menu finally getting a revamp.