Google’s Sundar Pichai becomes the thirteenth member of Alphabet’s board

While the number 13 is considered unlucky by some, it’s proving to be a lucky number for Sundar Pichai at least, because Alphabet has announced that Google‘s CEO is set to become its thirteenth board member. Pichai will become the second Google executive on Alphabet’s board with Diane Green, the head of Google’s cloud division, being the first. 

Google adds the International Space Station to Street View

The International Space Station (ISS) has orbited the earth for 16 years now, but a scant few of the world’s population ever get the chance to experience it for themselves, instead, that privilege was limited to scientists and other highly educated folk conducting experiments and collecting data, until now. Thanks to Google, the ISS has become the first ‘off planet’ location to be added to Google Maps’ Street View app that recently achieved the 1 billion install status. 

Google Home update lets you play purchased or uploaded songs on Google Play Music

Streaming music via Google’s Play Music service to the Google Home is a great way to listen to your favorite songs, but if you aren’t a paid subscriber you’re restricted to music sourced from the free radio stations. Thanks to the latest update, though, you can now stream both the music you’ve previously purchased and uploaded to your Google Home unit.

Desktop client for Google’s Allo app is still a few more weeks away from release

Google’s Allo app launched last year, and it’s safe to say that so far it hasn’t become the go-to app for instant messaging, despite being pre-installed on new handsets. One of the main complaints about the Allo messaging service is the lack of a desktop client, while Google is working on one it is still a few more weeks away from being released.

Some Pixels users experiencing ‘installation error’ with July’s security update

One of the benefits of owning a Nexus or Pixel device is the frequency of updates and the monthly security patches that usually roll out at the beginning of each month, the latest of which became available to download yesterday. The July update isn’t going quite as planned though as some Pixel owners have found that they are unable to install the OTA, with their handsets giving up “Couldn’t update” and “Installation problem” errors. 

A new mid-tier handset is coming to Project Fi later this year

There could be good news for Project Fi users that are a little frustrated with the lack of choice when it comes to the number of supported handsets. Until now, Project Fi has only been officially supported on the Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Pixel and Pixel XL handsets, but thanks to a tweet from Project Fi’s official account, we could see a new mid-tier Fi-compatible handset from a partner later this year.

Upcoming ‘Eve’ Chromebook could feature a dedicated Google Assistant button

Since launching at Google I/O in 2016 as an integral function of Google Home, Google Assistant next appeared on the search giant’s Pixel handsets. A few months later at MWC 2017, the LG G6 became the first non-Google device to sport the virtual assistant before Google announced that it would roll out to every Android handset (running Android 6.0 and up). Google Assistant made the jump to iOS last month, and unsurprisingly, it would appear that we’ll soon see Chromebooks sporting Google Assistant.