Posts Tagged: Google

Google says they’re finally optimizing Android tablet apps. Do you believe them?

At Google I/O this year, Google said they were working with developers and manufacturers to finally give Android apps the tablet-optimized versions they deserve. No more upscaled, wonky UI that leaves a ton of wasted space, blown up phone apps, or things that are just straight up broken and unpleasant to use on an Android […]

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Google Wallet is back with support for storing your Driver’s License

Remember Google Wallet? You know, the one that was renamed Android Pay and then most recently, Google Pay? Well, Google Wallet has been resurrected and it’s going to take over from Google Pay, albeit with a couple of new tricks. Confused? If you know anything about Google you should have been expecting this news when […]

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Google Pixel 6a could fix the Pixel 6’s biggest pain point

The Google Pixel 6A seems like it’s going to have a new fingerprint scanner, possibly setting it apart from the rest of the Pixel 6 line’s sensor problems.
Mobile | Digital Trends

How Google plans to improve video capturing on Snapchat, Instagram

Google plans to improve the video recording-experience on third-party Android apps such as Instagram, Snapchat with enhancements to the CameraX Jetpack library.
Mobile | Digital Trends

[Guide] How to stop apps sharing data with Google on Android

Apps taking your data to push ads to you is a tale as old as time itself (or at least since the invention of the smartphone). However, with newer and more transparent pro-consumer policies as late, customers are now getting a say in reducing the ads pushed to them on their Android Smartphones. With this […]

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Google faces lawsuit over controversial Play Store change

Google’s new Play Store billing policies aren’t very popular with developers, and some are taking their disagreement to the courts.
Mobile | Digital Trends

Google Pixel Watch: Everything we know so far

After years of being in the rumor mill, there’s a pretty big chance Google’s Pixel Watch is finally on its way. Here’s everything we know so far.
Mobile | Digital Trends

Google needs to convince us WearOS isn’t dead (again)

WearOS 3 still isn’t widely available, so at Google I/O 2022 we need to see strong evidence the platform really does have some life left in it.
Mobile | Digital Trends

10 years on, Google Glass is still a Google I/O high point

Google Glass remains the pinnacle of exciting hardware announcements at Google I/O, and 10 years on we look back at what made it so special.
Mobile | Digital Trends

Google Pixel 6a: Release date, price, leaks, and more

Google is working on its next cheap Pixel, the Pixel 6a. Here’s everything we know so far about the Pixel 6’s cheaper sibling.
Mobile | Digital Trends

Google Pixel Watch spotted in the wild, iPhone 4 style

A prototype unit of the Pixel Watch was allegedly left at a restaurant, giving us glimpse of Google’s first smartwatch and its dramatically curvy looks.
Mobile | Digital Trends

[Opinion] OK Google, it’s time you gave us back the Power button

So, there’s a ‘feature’ that has crept into the Android smartphone experience with the proliferation of the Android 12 update, and it’s the power button being tasked with activating the Google Assistant ahead of what used to be its primary function. Instead of pressing the power button for a couple of seconds to access the […]

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Unlimited Google Photos Storage is back for T-Mobile customers*

We all know that free Unlimited Storage for Google Photos is no longer an option thanks to the search giant squeezing every bit of blood out of that particular stone that it can. If you are a T-Mobile subscriber, though, you will soon have the option of signing up to the Uncarrier’s exclusive Google One […]

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The Morning After: Google and iFixit collaborate on parts to help you repair Pixel phones

Google is the latest phone maker to join Apple and Samsung in giving you resources to fix phones yourself. It’s partnering with the tinkerer of all tinkerers, iFixit, to provide official parts for Pixel phones later this year. Notably, the initiative will cover models ranging from the Pixel 2 (from 2017) through to the Pixel 6 Pro and beyond. According to the announcement, you’ll get access to a "full range" of components, like batteries, cameras and displays, whether you buy them individually or with iFixit’s own Fix Kit tools.

It’s shaping up to be an interesting year for people willing to repair their own phones. We still haven’t had a chance to see how Apple’s iPhone repair proposal will fare in real life — how hard is it going to be? — but Google is being smart by pairing with, arguably, the go-to people for those willing to take their phone’s life into their own hands.

— Mat Smith

 

The biggest stories you might have missed

Hummer EV first drive

An enormous electric super truck

TMA
Engadget

The Hummer has always been ostentatious. So it’s no surprise the Hummer EV is not only large but also heavy, and really not all that efficient as an EV. But what it lacks in miles per kilowatt, it makes up for in over-the-top fun.

Roberto Baldwin got to drive the larger-than-life SUV, and it proved to be a capable off-roader that showcases GM’s Ultium platform. It is still, at its core, a Hummer.

Continue reading.

iOS 16 could include upgraded health tracking features

But don't expect an UI redesign.

The next major update of iOS could include “significant enhancements,” according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. In his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman anticipates iOS 16 will include an update to notifications and an assortment of new health-tracking features.

Gurman added that the Apple Watch’s watchOS 9 may include upgrades to its activity and health-tracking features, but stopped short of sharing specifics. Boo.

Continue reading.

‘Sonic the Hedgehog 2’ has the best opening weekend for a video game movie

Breaking the record set by… the first Sonic movie.

TMA
Paramount

With a $ 71 million debut at the domestic box office, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has set a new record for the US film debut of a video game adaptation, beating the previous high watermark set by its predecessor in 2020. The sequel made $ 57 million during its opening weekend, and Paramount now plans to expand this success into a cinematic universe. What have you done?

Continue reading.


Police got confused trying to pull over an autonomous Cruise vehicle

‘Step outside the vehicle, please.’

Since February, GM’s Cruise self-driving unit has offered public taxi rides across San Francisco. And so far, the service hasn’t had many issues. A video from April 2nd showed San Francisco police attempting to pull over a driverless Cruise vehicle in the city’s Richmond District, only for the car to temporarily take off.

Watch for the confusion.

Watch the first trailer for ‘Kingdom Hearts IV’

Disney, Final Fantasy and a kinda-Tokyo.

Kingdom Hearts IV
Square Enix

During an event celebrating the franchise’s 20th anniversary, we got our first proper glimpse at the next Kingdom Hearts game. Kingdom Hearts IV marks the return of Sora after 2019’s Kingdom Hearts III seemingly concluded the story arc that began with the original game in 2002. The trailer showed Sora waking up in a city called Quadratum, a Tokyo-inspired city rendered in a semi-realistic way, marking a major artistic shift for the series. The city is soon attacked by a towering monster and the story-centric opening scenes seamlessly transition to gameplay… and fighting.

Continue reading.

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

Google Docs now offers emoji reactions

Collaboration is a huge part of Google Docs, letting multiple users chip in edits, comments and more. Now, you can include not just text in your comments but emoji reactions, much as you can in messages or on social media. "The new emoji reactions feature provides a less formal alternative to comments to express your opinions about document content," Google said in a blog post announcing the feature.

Emoji reactions come to Google Docs
Google

The new option appears when you highlight text in a document while in "editing" mode. From there, you'll see a new "add reaction" icon smiley face icon that lets you place emojis in the editing comments section. Google notes that emojis used will be shared with Google chat, "so any preferences set in one app will be reflected in the other." Both apps can also be used to update emoji preferences via the picker. 

Google recently feted the 15th anniversary of Docs (along with Sheets). It has gradually boosted the feature set over that time, with the last update allowing you to draft emails in Docs and then send them using Gmail. 

Emoji reactions on a Google Doc could be an easy way to add feedback, but then again they may not fly in some business environments. Either way, the feature can't be disabled by the user and "there is no Admin control for the feature," according to Google. The feature started officially rolling out yesterday, but it may take some time to appear depending on your domain type and region. 

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

The next Google System Update will begin rolling out on April 1st (really)

As April looms on the horizon with its silly tradition of pranks and outrageous stories, Google has released the details on its latest System Update which brings a bunch of fixes and new features for the Play Service and Google Play functions that perform a myriad of functions behind the scenes on your Android smartphone. […]

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Apple and Google close loophole that allowed Russians to use Mir cards for mobile payments

Apple has closed a loophole that had allowed some Russians to continue using its mobile payments service despite the ongoing economic sanctions against Russia. According to Reuters, the company told the country's largest lender on Thursday it would no longer support Russia's homegrown Mir payments system through Apple Pay.

"Apple has informed NSPK it is suspending support for Mir cards in the Apple Pay payment service," the National Card Payment System said Friday. "Starting from March 24th, users cannot add new Mir cards to the service. Apple will stop all operations of previously added cards over the next few days."

Google took similar action last week as well. According to a separate report from The Wall Street Journal, the company paused a pilot that had allowed Russians to connect their Mir cards to Google Pay. "Google Pay is pausing payments-related services in Russia as a result of payment services disruption out of our control," a Google spokesperson told the outlet.

As The Verge notes, the Central Bank of Russia established Mir after the US and other countries imposed sanctions on Russia in response to its annexation of Crimea in 2014. According to statistics shared by the Central Bank, Mir cards are involved in more than 25 percent of all card transactions within the country. Previously, cards from major Russian financial institutions like VTB Group and Sovcombank stopped working with Apple Pay and Google Pay shortly after the Kremlin launched its invasion of Ukraine on February 24th.

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

Lawsuit accuses Google of fostering systemic bias against Black employees

A new lawsuit against Google accuses the company of fostering a "racially biased corporate culture" that offers Black employees lower pay and fewer opportunities to advance than their white counterparts, reports Reuters. Filed on Friday with a federal court in San Jose, California, the complaint alleges the company subjected former diversity recruiter April Curley and other current and former Black employees to a hostile work environment.

In 2014, Google hired Curley to design a program to connect the company with Black colleges. Shortly afterward, she claims she was subjected to denigrating comments from her managers, who allegedly stereotyped her as an "angry" black woman while passing her over for promotions.

"While Google claims that they were looking to increase diversity, they were actually undervaluing, underpaying and mistreating their Black employees," Curley's lawyer told Reuters. The complaint notes Black people make up only 4.4 percent of employees at Google and approximately 3 percent of its leadership.

We've reached out to Google for comment.

Curley is not the first person to accuse Google of fostering a work environment hostile to Black employees and other people of color. In the aftermath of Timnit Gebru's controversial exit from the company, Alex Hanna, a former employee with the tech giant's Ethical AI research group, said she decided to leave Google after becoming tired of its structural deficiencies. "In a word, tech has a whiteness problem," Hanna wrote on Medium at the time. "Google is not just a tech organization. Google is a white tech organization."

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

Google I/O takes place in-person and online on May 11-12th

Shortly after releasing its customary puzzle for users to decipher in order to find out when Google I/O will be held, its CEO Sundar Pichai revealed that it’s on May 11-12 and that it will happen in the Shoreline Amphitheater where it is usually held, Covid-19 notwithstanding. While there will be a limited in-person audience […]

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Apple iPhone SE (2022) vs. Google Pixel 5a 5G

Apple’s iPhone SE (2022) is finally here. But is it good enough to take on the Google Pixel 5a 5G? Here’s how the two sub-$ 500 phones stack up.
Mobile | Digital Trends

Google has announced the Steam for Chrome OS alpha program for select Chromebooks

The 2022 Google for Games Developer Summit is underway and according to a rather brief announcement by the search giant, Steam for Chrome OS is an actual thing. Basically, it’s being released in ‘Alpha’ form which means that it’s not quite ready for prime-time but rather, as the name of the summit suggests, targeted towards […]

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The best Google Pixel 6 screen protectors

If you’re lucky enough to own a Google Pixel 6 phone, take a look at our pick of the best screen protectors to keep your handset safe from harm.
Android | Digital Trends

Google Pixel Buds A-Series vs. Apple AirPods 3

Thinking of buying a new set of earbuds? Google’s Pixel Buds A-Series and Apple’s AirPods 3 are two great choices, but which is the best? Here’s what we think.
Wearables | Digital Trends

Google is rolling out a rapid Air Raid Alerts System for all Android phones in Ukraine

By now you are probably aware of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine which is resulting in a huge humanitarian crisis in the country and widespread devastation caused by Russia’s indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas. It’s shocking, shameful, and has resulted in millions of Ukrainians trying to cross the border into friendly nations such as Poland and […]

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Google Play Store removes info on apps’ most recent update

The Google Play Store has gotten rid of a popular feature, resulting in a fan outcry and confusion.
Android | Digital Trends

Elden Ring is an enormous missed opportunity for Google Stadia

Unless you’ve been avoiding social media all weekend, you’ve probably heard about Elden Ring, FromSoftware’s latest game. Maybe seen a couple screenshots, a clip of a particularly intense boss battle, or just people on Twitter talking about item discoveries, secrets around the map, or anything else. It’s a huge game that’s garnering near perfect reviews […]

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Some Russian bank cards no longer work with Apple Pay and Google Pay

Following Western sanctions on Russia’s financial institutions in response to the invasion of Ukraine, customers of several of the country’s largest banks can no longer use their debit and credit cards in conjunction with Apple Pay and Google Pay. Among the affected organizations include VTB Group, Sovcombank, Novikombank, Promsvyazbank, and Otkritie FC Bank, according to a press release from the Central Bank of Russia spotted by Business Insider.

Customers with those banks can still use their cards to make contactless payments, provided they support the feature. However, they won’t work overseas, and they can’t be used to make online purchases from retailers registered in countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia.

As The Verge notes, Apple Pay and Google Pay aren’t as popular in Russia as homegrown options like YooMoney. According to data from 2020, only 29 percent of Russians reported using Google Pay at the time, while 20 percent said they had used Apple Pay. As such, those restrictions aren’t likely to impact Russian consumers too much given they have access to alternatives. However, the possibility of excluding Russian banks from the SWIFT interbanking system could lead to things like currency volatility that would further hurt the country’s economy.

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

What Google Maps can tell us about the Russian invasion

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could very well be the first major military conflict that can be tracked live on Google Maps. 
Mobile | Digital Trends

The first Google Pixel 7 Pro leaks show few design changes

Google’s Pixel 7 is going to look a lot like the Pixel 6 Pro if these first few renders are accurate.
Android | Digital Trends

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G vs. Google Pixel 6 camera shootout

The Pixel 6 and the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5g both offer great cameras on a budget. So we pitted them against each other.
Android | Digital Trends

Google Messages vs. Samsung Messages

Did you know you could replace Samsung Messages with Google Messages on your Samsung phone? Check out why it might be worth it.
Android | Digital Trends

Bixby vs. Google Assistant

Bixby vs. Google Assistant: Which virtual assistant is better?
Android | Digital Trends

Google releases its last Pixel 3 security update

Don't expect to receive more updates for your Pixel 3. Esper's Mishaal Rahman has learned Google is delivering one last security update to the Pixel 3 and 3 XL. The company previously said the Pixel 3 would get one last update in the first quarter of 2022, and confirmed to Engadget this represents the device's last hurrah.

It's not certain what the patch fixes. However, DarkPlayer noted the build ID matches that for an October patch that targeted newer Pixel models on Verizon. This is a catch-up release rather than an up-to-the-moment patch.

You can expect more if you have a recent Pixel, at least. Google has posted a February 2022 update for the Pixel 3a and newer phones. The revision tackles several significant problems, including reboots during camera use, Bluetooth audio disconnection and quality problems, carrier-specific connection woes and keyboards that override input text in some cases.

This won't thrill you if you're fond of the Pixel 3 — you'll have to upgrade if you want up-to-the-minute security fixes. Don't fret if you have a Pixel 6, though. Google has promised five years of security updates for its latest phone line, so you might not have to worry about patches until 2026.

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

A new Google Pixel 6 update is breaking Magic Eraser

A recent update appears to have broken the Magic Eraser, leaving many users frustrated and unable to use one of Google’s most marketed Pixel 6 features.
Android | Digital Trends

Google sold a boatload of Pixel phones in Q4 2021

The Pixel 6 series may have its share of software issues but there’s no denying that it’s captured the interest of smartphone buyers with its new modern hardware and intriguing design. We know that the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro have sold well since going on general sale, but it turns out that they’ve actually […]

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Google Pixel Notepad: Everything we know about the foldable

Google is likely launching its first foldable pretty soon. Here’s everything we know about the so-called Pixel Notepad (or Pixel Fold) before that happens.
Android | Digital Trends

New leak points to Google finally unveiling the Pixel Watch on May 26th

Every since Wear OS was a thing, there have been countless rumors that this could be the year that Google announces its own smartwatch to complement its range of Pixel smartphones, and every year the rumors are proved wrong. Well, it’s time to strap in once again because it seems that 2022 is the year […]

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Google Play Games for Windows is rolling out in beta – coming to the US “soon”

There’s big news afoot in the Android gaming world with the announcement that Google Play Games is coming to PCs, and is actually already rolling out in beta form in three countries. Google says that it aims to provide a seamless gaming experience whether you are gaming on a PC or mobile device. Google Play […]

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The Google Pixel 6 Pro doesn’t deserve its bad reputation

The Google Pixel 6 Pro is facing some bad press, as some phones are hit with software problems. But as we’ve discovered, it’s not entirely deserved.
Android | Digital Trends

‘Exploring fitness’ won’t get Google TV anywhere near Apple Fitness+

Google has to do more than just “explore fitness” if it wants to get Google TV anywhere close to the exercise experience of Apple Fitness+.
Android | Digital Trends

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE vs. Google Pixel 6: The battle of the affordable flagships

In this battle of affordable flagship phones, we pit the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE against the Google Pixel 6.
Android | Digital Trends

The most common Google Wear OS problems and how to fix them

Got a Wear OS smartwatch? We’ve rounded up some of the more common Google Wear OS problems, along with some workarounds and solutions for solving them.
Wearables | Digital Trends

How to use Google Translate

With Google Translate you can translate written or spoken text using just your phone — even without internet.
Android | Digital Trends

Oppo Air Glass avoids the one feature that made Google Glass so controversial

Oppo’s Air Glass wearable may remind you of Google Glass, but without a camera, they avoid the privacy complications of Google’s original smart glasses.
Wearables | Digital Trends

Google employees who don’t comply with COVID-19 vaccine rules will reportedly be fired

Google is giving employees until December 3rd to declare their COVID-19 vaccine status. And according to CNBC, if they fail to comply with the tech giant's vaccine mandate, they'd have to apply for a medical or religious exemption and convince Google that it's warranted if they don't want to eventually lose their job. Google will approve exemptions on a case-by-case basis. 

In its report, the publication said that it has seen an internal memo warning personnel of the consequences if they still haven't complied with the company's vaccine rules by January 18th. Those who refuse to be vaccinated or who have failed to secure a valid exemption will be placed on paid administrative leave for 30 days. Google will then put them on unpaid personal leave for up to six months and will ultimately fire them if they truly don't want to be inoculated against COVID-19. 

The tech giant reportedly explained in the memo that it's implementing its vaccine mandate to comply with the administration's executive order. Under that order, all US companies with more than 100 workers must be fully vaccinated by January 18th. While the order is in limbo after courts had blocked its implementation, Google may have simply chosen to push through with its plans to ensure that it's compliant in case the order suddenly takes effect.

"We expect that almost all roles at Google in the US will fall within the scope of the executive order. Anyone entering a Google building must be fully vaccinated or have an approved accommodation that allows them to work or come onsite… frequent testing is not a valid alternative to vaccination," the memo reportedly reads.

Earlier this month, CNBC also reported that Google delayed workers' return to office and will no longer require personnel to come in a few times a week starting on January 10th. However, it still encouraged employees to come into the office "where conditions allow, to reconnect with colleagues in person and start regaining the muscle memory of being in [one] more regularly."

While it will strictly enforce its rule for all employees that fall within the scope of the order, Google did give those who don't want to get vaccinated an option. If they can't secure a valid religious or medical exemption, they can "explore" other roles within the company that don't conflict with the order. If they can find such a role and it doesn't require in-office work, they can also permanently work remotely going forward.

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

Google Play Games is coming to Windows PCs in 2022

With the first preview of Android apps on Windows 11 already available in the US, Google has realized that it risks being left behind and so has announced, in typical Google fashion, that it will bring Android games to the platform in 2022. There’s no mention of Android apps, though, with the search giant only […]

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The Google Stadia app is finally rolling out to selected LG Smart TVs

It’s almost eleven months since LG announced that its smart TV’s would gain access to Google’s Stadia but the day has finally come. Those with LG Smart TVs running WebOS 5.0 and 6.0 are now able to install the Stadia app on their televisions and gain access to AAA gaming titles without needing to buy […]

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How to use Google Maps

Google Maps will have you navigating around like a champ in no time. Whether you’re a novice or a pro, here are your favorite navigation app’s handy features.
Mobile | Digital Trends

Google Play users have voted for their favorite game and app for 2021

At the beginning of November, users were able to vote for their favorite app and game on the Play Store for the Google Play Users Choice Awards that are held every year. The Google Play editorial team also reveal its choice of best apps and games based on their quality, design, technical performance, and innovation. […]

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The first Google Pixel 6 Black Friday deal is here — but hurry!

If you’re dying to get your mitts on Google’s newest smartphone but have been waiting for a discount, the first Pixel 6 Black Friday deal has finally arrived. 
Android | Digital Trends