Goodbye, Google Messenger: Android Messages is the new flagship messaging app

Messaging is an integral part of business for companies like Apple, Facebook, and Snap. Their respective platforms open up communication between people in unique ways. Google, however, has struggled for years to figure out messaging. A new messaging platform debuts every year or two and another is left behind. Then the entire strategy is overhauled and the same thing happens.

Google just made an unannounced change to its most popular app for messaging, Google Messenger.

Bluetooth turning off for some Google Pixel and Pixel XL users in new bug

No smartphone is without its share of bugs and other issues, and Google’s latest and greatest Pixel and Pixel XL phones have been experiencing several recently, causing many users to flood support forums asking for help. The latest bug to pop up causes Bluetooth on some Pixel and Pixel XL devices to randomly shut off without any interaction from the user.

Join us after the break for more.

Latest update to Google Phone app might be the root of Bluetooth issues

If you’re using a device that relies on Google’s stock Phone application that’s updated via the Play Store, you might have noticed some issues that started earlier this month that mess with your ability to make calls over Bluetooth. If you’ve run into that problem, well, the good news is that you’re not alone. Tons of other people have hit the snag, too, and everyone’s pretty sure it’s Google’s fault.

Google to launch RCS in Europe and Asia with help from Telenor

Google announced late last week that they are upgrading the text messaging service available to Android users in Europe and Asia through the addition of RCS service to users on the Telenor network. RCS stands for Rich Communications Services and is widely considered an upgrade to the traditional SMS platform that has powered text messaging for years. Through the partnership with Telenor, over 214 million users in European and Asian countries on the Telenor network will get access to features available via RCS.

Hey Google, this is how you should fix Allo

It’s safe to say that Google’s latest instant messaging app, Allo, isn’t setting the world alight in the popularity stakes. It’s faced with strong, entrenched competition in the form of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Apple’s iMessage, and even finds itself competing with other Google products such as Hangouts. It’s also not exactly clear why Google launched a separate video chat app called Duo instead of just including the function within Allo. To its credit, Google has asked Allo users how they would fix the messaging app a couple of days ago, and our readers were quick to offer the search giant some advice.

Google wants to know how you would fix Allo

There are a ton of messaging apps to choose from, with heavy hitters such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and iMessage (iOS) all vying for your attention. Despite already offering the Hangouts and Messenger app (among others), in 2016 Google saw fit to throw two new apps into the mix in the form of the Allo instant messaging app as well as a new video chat app, Duo. While Allo managed to hit the 10 million downloads mark on the Play Store back in December, do you actually know someone who uses the app? If so, Google is now asking for feedback on the app. Join us after the break to find out how you can contribute your two cents.

Google has taken down over 2 Billion URLs and 1 Million sites for copyright infringement

Over the years, Google received a lot of press concerning ongoing acrimony between the search giant and European regulators trying to enforce the EU’s right to be forgotten. However, that is not the only area where Google is engaged in ongoing activity to review sites for possible infringement. Another big area is in copyright infringement where Google’s latest transparency report shows they have now taken down over 2 Billion individual URLs location on over 1 Million web sites since 2011.

Google’s Valentine’s Day doodle is all about love and pangolins

When it comes to special occasions or events, we’ve come to expect Google offering something a little different in the form of its Doodles, and today (tomorrow as well, presumably), the search giant is all about love, in celebration of Valentine’s Day tomorrow. This latest Doodle brings us the Pangolin game with two star-crossed lovers that are oceans apart with one of the pangolins traveling the world learning how to express its love in a variety of ways to prepare for the first date.

Google serves notice on app developers that violate the Play Store’s User Data policy

These days, protecting your data is increasingly difficult to achieve, even on the Play Store where there are apps that access your sensitive information without a proper privacy policy. It seems that Google is on the case of these rogue apps, with the search giant sending emails to developers informing them that their apps violate the Play Store‘s User Data policy. Possible repercussions of this could see the offending apps having their visibility limited, or being removed from the Play Store.

Android Distribution February 2017: Nougat finally surpasses 1%

Since it’s February 8, Google feels now is the right time to share the latest Android distribution numbers. And, as always, we’re examining what’s going on and how each version of Android is trending. This month, however, is a little boring as just about nothing has changed from January. All of the trends are exactly the same.

Hit the break for details.

LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style, first Android Wear 2.0 devices, to be released on Feb. 10

Google announced today the launch of the first two smartwatch devices to be powered by Android Wear 2.0. Not taking up the branding mantle themselves, Google is making the new devices available as LG branded smartwatches – the LG Watch Sport and the LG Watch Style. The choices hit two different parts of the market spectrum, but both will be available starting this Friday.