Google showed off some family-centric features of the Google Home family during their latest hardware event, and we’re starting to see some of those new things roll out to hardware. There’s even some Halloween-themed fun in this update.
Ask not what Gmail can for do for you, but what you can do for your Gmail account so it can do even more for you. Google launched Gmail Add-ons earlier which promises to boost your productivity and workflow across the web and Android. Users of the Developer Preview will be familiar with the feature which has been fleshed out with more partners and additional add-ons in the pipeline.
Shopping online, especially on a phone, can be a hassle when it comes to checkout. Filling out your name, address, card info, shipping address, etc. is a pain, and not all apps and websites are optimized for it. Google gave us a glimpse of the Google Payment API back in May, but it’s now finally available to the masses. Credit card information stored in your Google account can now be used while shopping online, turning a potential headache into just a few clicks.
You’ve just got your brand new Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL handset and whoops! The handset slips out of your hand, bounces down two flights of stairs and out the door, coming to rest unscathed on the curb. You scamper down to recover your phone to find that a street-sweeping vehicle has run it over, leaving the display utterly smashed! What do you do? Well, much like original Pixel and Pixel XL phones, Google has partnered up with uBreakiFix so you can simply pick up your Pixel 2 handset (gently does it) and take it to your local branch to get it fixed with OEM parts.
Is it too early for leaks about a phone that will probably launch in October 2018? More specifically, the 2018 range of Pixel smartphones. Considering that Google only launched the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL on October 5th, this leak comes early in the development stages. The leaked code-names suggest that Google has started work on up to three new Pixel handsets, as well as an even more mysterious fourth device. Join us for more details after the break.
As new Google Pixel 2 XL phones start to hit the market, potential buyers have a possible mark against moving to the new phone to factor into their considerations. Over the weekend reports started to surface indicating the LG produced Pixel 2 XL may have a burn in problem with the screens. To their credit, Google indicates they are investigating the reports to determine whether there really is a problem with their latest flagship device.
Not too long ago we heard about Google rolling out the “Hey Google” hotword to Android devices to make Google Assistant a little more conversational. It isn’t fully replacing “Okay, Google,” but is instead being offered as an option, and that change is starting to roll out to some devices right now.
Google has launched a new site that will help you specifically find accessories approved for Google devices. These aren’t Google-made accessories, either, but instead official accessories by approved partners, which opens up a ton of avenues to find everything from headphones to cases to skins.
Google’spop-up stores made it easy for customers to walk in and buy up a Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL without having to go directly to a Verizon store. They employed a third-party Verizon retailer, Victra, to handle sales and activations for the Pixel.
Google’s annual global Playtime series started yesterday with back-to-back events in Berlin and San Francisco. The series is designed to help developers find success with Android’s growing portfolio of hardware, including phones, tablets, Wear devices, TV’s, Chromebooks and Daydream. Every month around the globe, there are over 8 billion new Android app installs per month. Microsoft recently quit the smartphone game because of a lack of developer interest, which highlights just how vital developers are to Android’s successful ecosystem.
Google has announced their own Advanced Protection Program, which looks much more like a security monitoring service than a traditional Google product. In the wake of so many credit card breaches and network vulnerabilities, though, this makes a ton of sense.
Google occasionally does pop-up locations in big cities to show off their products and give people a chance to test them out before buying them. The “stores” don’t really sell anything, but the hands-on experience is unique for Google since they don’t really have a physical retail presence in the US like Apple or Microsoft.
Google has already woven a tight relationship between Chromecast and Google Home, making it incredibly easy to cast your favorite shows and videos up onto your television with just your voice. Of course it worked with regular YouTube, but it also tied in services like Netflix. And today, they’re expanding that even further by adding YouTube TV into the mix.
A custom eight-core Image Processing Unit (IPU) is sitting idle inside the new Google Pixel 2 phones, just waiting for Android 8.1 to wake it up. Google already claims that the Pixel 2 cameras are the best on any smartphone, so the fact that a Google-designed SoC will soon dedicate itself to image processing is an exciting prospect. Google says that photos will process faster and more efficiently when the SoC is switched on, making the best camera even better. This isn’t just a software update, but a true hardware addition.
Following the texting bug that hit Samsung Galaxy S8 phones a week ago, many Pixel phones are unable to receive text messages after the official Android 8.0 Oreo update. Outgoing texts seem unaffected, but incoming messages just aren’t happening. Google is aware of the issue and actively working on a solution.