No more Pixel laptops, even brand expansion seems questionable

At Mobile World Congress 2017, Google met with several journalists to discuss ongoing and future initiatives for the giant tech company. One Google representative in attendance was Rick Osterloh who is the senior vice president for hardware and effectively runs the consumer hardware side of things. During the meeting and in subsequent comments, Osterloh revealed the Chromebook Pixel line of laptops has reached the end of its life and he also threw some doubt as to how committed to the Pixel brand Google may be.

Google Assistant to land on many more phones

Last year when Google first revealed Google Assistant, followed by its exclusive introduction via Google Pixel phones, there was some concern that Google was starting to create divergent paths for Android features. Google always indicated that going forward they would eventually make at least some Google Assistant features available to other manufacturers and devices. Their latest move though reveals a slight change in strategy as Google has announced Google Assistant will be coming to many (if not all) devices running Android 7.0 Nougat and Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Google talks RCS and the default messaging situation on Android

Okay, so it really doesn’t seem like Google has any idea what they’re doing with Android’s messaging situation. We now have Android Messages to replace Google Messenger, Hangouts is dead-but-not-really, and Allo is, uh, existing somewhere. It’s a messy, messy group of apps and services (and we didn’t even mention Google Voice) that doesn’t seem like it has any clear goal in sight. 

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.