Posts Tagged: Google’s

Google’s Pixel Watch is real and it’s coming soon

After years of being nothing more than a rumor, the Pixel Watch has been made real at Google I/O 2022. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
Mobile | Digital Trends

Google’s ‘raters’ are pushing for $15 an hour

Part-time employees at RaterLabs — an AI vendor whose only known client is Google — are campaigning to qualify for the $ 15 hourly minimum wage the tech giant promised to its "extended workforce" back in 2019.

Yahoo Financereported that the quality raters whose sole job is evaluating Google’s search and ad results for accuracy don’t qualify for sick leave, PTO or other benefits the company provides for its TVCs (temporary workers, vendors and independent contractors). Google increased base pay following critical reporting of its treatment of TVCs in 2018 — the same year it was revealed the majority of Google's workforce was not directly employed by the company.

A number of RatersLabs employees believe the work they do is vital enough to Google that they should receive the higher pay and benefits of their peers. Christopher Colley, who has worked for the Google vendor since 2017, told Yahoo Finance that he only earns $ 10 an hour, and hasn’t qualified for a raise over the five years he’s worked at RaterLabs. Colley is also part of the Alphabet Workers Union (AWU-CWA), a subgroup of the Communications Workers of America focused on organizing full-time and part-time workers of Alphabet.

“The raters work from home, use their own devices, can work for multiple companies at a time, and do not have access to Google’s systems and/or badges,” a Google spokesperson told Engadget. “As noted on the policy page, the wages and benefits policy applies to Alphabet’s provisioned extended workforce (individuals with systems and/or badge access to Google)."

Among the hurdles workers need to jump in order to qualify for the pay bump afforded to some TVCs is a minimum 30-hour workweek. As AWU-CWA was quick to point out, RaterLabs contractors are capped at only 26 hours.

Employee accounts on RatersLabs’ Indeed profile describe low morale, low pay and an unclear feedback process. “Reviews are monthly, with one bad review potentially costing you the job […] Guidelines can change the week before the review and you can be 'graded' based on them despite doing the work way before," wrote a former RatersLab employee in January 2022. "The job is very flexible, pay is mediocre, and you have no chance for advancement.”

This isn’t the first time that Google’s army of raters have spoken out about low pay, no opportunities for advancement and subpar working conditions. In fact, RatersLabs was formed by the CEO of Leapforce, a company that also hired raters for Google search and ad products. Back in 2017, Leapforce raters spoke out about chaotic working conditions, resulting in at least three contractors being fired, two of whom claimed their separations from the company were acts of retaliation. As Ars Technicanotes, a number of Leapforce workers filed complaints with the National Labor Relations Board which were eventually resolved via settlement. Appen — which acquired Leapforce in May of 2017 — is also the parent company of RatersLabs.

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

Google’s latest Pixel 6 and 6 Pro update fixes weak haptic feedback for notifications

Google’s recent Pixel software updates haven’t always landed flawlessly. At the end of last year, for instance, the company was forced to pause the release of an OTA after reports that the software caused the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro to drop calls. More recently, the March update introduced an issue that left the company’s latest phones producing much weaker notifications when you got a notification. Many Pixel 6 and 6 Pro owners complained after Google released the update, noting that no matter what they set their phone’s haptic feedback to, they would miss calls and emails because they couldn’t feel their device vibrating.

On Monday, Google began rolling out the May Pixel software update. It includes a fix for the vibration issue. “Improvements for haptic feedback under certain conditions and uses cases,” the company writes on its community website. The update resolves two other issues that affect all recent Pixels devices. The first involves a bug that had caused those phones to wake their displays without any input. The second solves a problem that could crash the Pixel launcher after you restarted your device. The update also includes the latest Android security patch from Google.

According to Google, it will roll out the May 2022 update to all eligible Pixel devices in the coming weeks. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can attempt to install the software on your phone by manually sideloading it. Just note that flashing a device always comes with a degree of risk.

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

Google’s Pixel Watch looks really round in the latest leaked images, could cost up to $400

Google’s Pixel Watch is finally a thing, and thanks to the unit that was casually left behind in a restaurant we now know that it’s also really round. First, there were images posted on Reddit of the Pixel Watch casing, and now there are pictures of the smartwatch with its strap attached and a separate […]

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Brave’s browser can automatically bypass Google’s AMP pages

Brave is putting Google's Accelerate Mobile Pages (AMP) on blast with a new feature called De-AMP, The Verge reported. It's designed to bypass any pages rendered with AMP and take users directly to the original website. "Where possible, De-AMP will rewrite links and URLs to prevent users from visiting AMP pages altogether,” the company wrote in a blog post.

If that's not possible, then "Brave will watch as pages are being fetched and redirect users away from AMP pages before the page is even rendered, preventing AMP/Google code from being loaded and executed," it added. 

The new feature was implemented in the name of privacy, security and internet experience, according to Brave. "In practice, AMP is harmful to users and to the Web at large," the article states. "Just as bad, AMP helps Google further monopolize and control the direction of the web." It adds that the next iteration of AMP "will be even worse." 

Google originally promoted AMP as a way to improve the mobile web experience by loading pages faster. However, it has recently been a target of critics who see it as a way for Google to increase its hegemony in the internet ad market by hosting content on its own servers. A group of publishers recently announced it was moving away from AMP, and a lawsuit filed by several US states accuses Google of running a monopoly that harmed ad-industry competitors and publishers.

Brave promises "the best privacy online" with its browser, so of course attacking Google is part of its business strategy. Despite its efforts, though, it lags well behind most other browsers in mobile market share, sitting in the "other" category behind Internet Explorer on Statcounter. De-AMP is now available in beta and "will be enabled by default in the upcoming 1.38 Desktop and Android versions, and will be released on iOS soon after," Brave said.

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

Google’s newest app makes it easier to switch to Android

Google is finally making its Switch to Android app available in the App Store after a soft launch.
Mobile | Digital Trends

Google’s ‘Switch to Android’ app helps iOS users do just that

Google has finally countered Apple's "Move to iOS" app by releasing "Switch to Android" for iOS on the App Store, confirming earlier rumors. As the name indicates, it's designed to help iPhone and iPad users import contacts, photos, calendars and video to an Android device. It also shows users how to turn off iMessage in favor of Android messaging and transfer photos/videos by connecting to iCloud. 

Google dropped the new app without a lot of fanfare, as TechCrunch notes. On its Switch to Android website, the app is still not mentioned and can only be found on the App Store with a direct link — search results still turn up nothing.

Google's 'Switch to Android' app is finally available on iOS
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The app is a big improvement over the current system, which requires you to back up photos, video, calendar and contacts using the Google Drive iOS app. It was first spotted last summer by 9to5Google in code tucked into Google's Data Transfer Tool, and seen in a more recent release with the ability to import iCloud video and photos into Google Photos. 

Apple's equivalent app arrived way back in September 2015, so Google certainly took its time responding. "Move to iOS" works in much the same way, helping users import photos, video, messages, contacts and more over to an iOS device. One Android device maker, Samsung, has its own device migration app as well called Smart Switch, helping you switch from an iPhone or other Android device to a Galaxy smartphone. However, it's only available on Google Play or its own Galaxy store and doesn't run on iOS. 

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

Google’s Pixel 6a earns FCC approval weeks ahead of launch

Google’s upcoming Pixel 6a has just passed FCC certification, hinting at an impending launch.
Mobile | Digital Trends

Google’s partnership with iFixit means it’s going to be easier to fix your Pixel phone

Fixing your broken Pixel smartphone could get a whole lot easier from now on thanks to Google’s new partnership with iFixit which will pair up handset owners with official replacement parts for their handsets as well as iFixit-branded toolkits. Being able to access genuine parts for your broken Pixel handset will go a long way […]

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What is Chromecast? Google’s wireless streaming tech explained

Google’s Chromecast technology is showing up on smart TVs, smart soundbars, and streaming media devices. But what is Chromecast and how does it work?
Mobile | Digital Trends

Google’s second-gen Nest Hub falls to just $55

If you've been looking to add to your Assistant-powered smart home without having to pay full price, a discount has just appeared via multiple retailers that will let you do exactly that. Right now, Best Buy, Walmart and Adorama have the second-generation Nest Hub smart display for $ 55, which is $ 45 off the usual price and one of the best deals we've seen since for the device since it launched last year.

Buy Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen) at Best Buy – $ 55Buy Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen) at Walmart – $ 55Buy Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen) at Adorama – $ 55

There's a reason that the Nest Hub is one of our favorite smart home devices. After all, it earned a score of 89 in our review. It has a minimalist design, a bright 7-inch display, clearer and louder audio than its predecessor and faster performance as well. It's just the right size to fit into any room and can act as a second screen for your video doorbell or even track your sleep from your bedside table. While it may not be as accurate as a slumber-focused wearable, the Nest Hub will show you sleep duration, quality, schedules and snoring data (if that's something you're after).

These features make it a great smart display that’s worthy of a spot in your kitchen, bedroom or living room — and with this deal, you won't have to spend much in order to put one there.

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

Samsung’s Object Eraser mode takes on Google’s Magic Eraser

Samsung has a hidden challenger to Google’s Magic Eraser mode on the Galaxy S22 UItra. It’s called Object Eraser, and this is how you use it.
Mobile | Digital Trends

Google’s latest Pixel Feature Drop is here with Night Sight in Snapchat, Custom Text Stickers and more

It’s three months since December which means that it’s time for the next Pixel Feature Drop to be announced by Google. This latest drop brings a bunch of new features such as Night Sight in Snapchat and Custom Text Sticks to eligible Pixel handsets from today onwards. Exciting news, yes? Well, there is one fly […]

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Google’s Pixel 6 issues are causing a crisis of trust

Google’s Pixel 6 is suffering from bad PR — and the stakes are higher than ever.
Android | Digital Trends

Google’s ‘pausing’ of the December update is bad news for Pixel 6 owners

So, you bought yourself a Pixel 6 or 6 Pro hoping to benefit from being the first to receive timeous software updates. Hmm. Whilst this is often the case, as it should be considering that Google is the purveyor of both the Android OS and the Pixel 6 series, the December Pixel Feature Drop is […]

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Get your Christmas caroling on with the return of Google’s Blob Opera

Tired of the relentless onslaught of Christmas songs, not to mention Slade and Mariah Carey’s classics that seem to play on a loop everywhere you go? Google have you covered with the return of its Blob Opera that will let you create your own unique Christmas tune or one of the preset classics. The Blob […]

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Google’s long rumored Pixel Watch may finally be coming next year

Google could finally be launching a Pixel Watch after years of speculation. It may even come as early as next spring.
Mobile | Digital Trends

Google’s Pixel 6 Pro has quickly usurped the iPhone 13 Pro as my go-to camera

I’ve been using the Google Pixel 6 Pro for around a month alongside the iPhone 13 Pro, and the Pixel has proven to be a software and a camera winner.
Mobile | Digital Trends

The Moto Watch 100 might skip out on Google’s Wear OS entirely for a custom OS

Motorola’s next cheap smartwatch might not be running Wear OS after all as another smartwatch maker opts to go its own way.
Wearables | Digital Trends

How Google’s Magic Eraser changes history, one small human at a time

Google’s Magic Eraser tool on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro removes unwanted elements from photos, but is it any good? We take a close look at its ability.
Android | Digital Trends

It’s a case of “Oh Dear” as Google’s Pixel 6 Pro maxes out at 22W charging and not 30W as implied

When does a phone with 30W charging not charge at 30W? When it’s a Pixel 6 Pro apparently. In the run-up to the phone’s launch just 2 weeks ago it seemed that Google would finally upgrade the charging rate from a miserable 18W to 30W on the Pixel 6 Pro, but it seems that this […]

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Google’s rumored Pixel Fold could have same camera hardware as the Pixel 5

Google’s Pixel Fold seems like it could come with weaker cameras than the Pixel 6 and use the old Pixel 5 sensors instead.
Android | Digital Trends

You can now move WhatsApp messages between Apple’s iPhones and Google’s Pixels

Google just made switching to Android easier with a new tool that brings your WhatsApp messages along for the ride.
Android | Digital Trends

Google’s 3-year update promise for the Pixel 6 is disappointing but predictable

The Pixel 6 might be coming with a new Tensor chip, but Google isn’t extending the software upgrade timeline past the current three-year mark.
Android | Digital Trends

Walk the Great Wall of China in Google’s latest virtual tour

Check out Google’s latest virtual tour that lets you walk China’s Great Wall and also offers lots of interesting information on the famous structure.
Mobile | Digital Trends

What is Android TV? Google’s smart TV platform fully explained

Android TV may not have as many users as Apple TV or Roku, but that’s changing fast. What can it do, and how can you get it? Here’s everything you need to know.
Android | Digital Trends

Google’s newest Android updates bring accessibility changes and emoji updates

Google has rolled out its latest Android feature drop with updates hitting everything from accessibility and Google Photos to Gboard’s emoji kitchen.
Android | Digital Trends

Next up on Google’s kill list is Android Things

Having killed off Google Play Music and preparing to kick Cloud Print to the curb by December 31st, Google has found time to announce the upcoming demise of Android Things, its lightweight OS for smart displays and speakers that launched as Brillo back in 2015. Google will begin shutting down Android Things from January 5th, […]

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Google’s Chrome 87 release brings a much-needed performance boost and optimizations

Having begun life as the speedy alternative to the lumbering Internet Explorer, Chrome has become bloated and resource hungry as the years have passed, so much so that the new Chromium-based Edge browser from Microsoft is a worthy alternative. It seems that Google’s engineers have realized this because Chrome 87 brings with it a number […]

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Pre-orders are live for Google’s Pixel 4a 5G but you still have a long wait before it ships

With Pixel 5 orders finally shipping out in the US it’s the turn of the middle sibling to become available to pre-order, almost a month since it was first announced. At $ 499, the Pixel 4a 5G sits between the Pixel 4a and the Pixel 5 in terms of hardware and price and is powered by […]

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The Morning After: We reviewed Google’s new Nest Audio smart speaker

It’s finally time for Apple to unveil this year’s new iPhones. Invitations have gone out for the “Hi, Speed” event on Tuesday, October 13th at 1PM ET where we expect to see Apple introduce its first new devices with 5G and the A14 Bionic chipset. Ch…
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Google’s updated WiFi router starts at $99, or $199 for a 3-pack

Just because Google released a Nest WiFi router last year doesn’t mean it’s retiring the one it launched back in 2016. In fact, the tech giant has given the original Google WiFi router a refresh and a new price point for those looking to boost their…
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Google’s Android dongle may be called ‘Chromecast with Google TV’

Over the past few months, leaked renders and internal listings pretty much confirmed that Google is working on an Android TV dongle codenamed “Sabrina.” Now, Artem Russakovskii of Android Police has discovered a listing on Target’s retail system that…
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Google’s fall Wear OS update brings a speed boost and a “beautiful new weather experience”

A lot has been said about Wear OS but it’s likely that no one has ever said it offered a slick experience. This is something that just might change though thanks to the new Snapdragon Wear 4100 chipset and the newly announced Wear OS update that will be rolling out this fall. Unlike the current […]

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After Fortnite is removed from Apple and Google’s app stores, an Epic lawsuit is launched

It was a relatively slow week in the tech world until Epic Games came along with its Mega Drop 20% discount that passed along the saving on V-Bucks and real-money offers to players that chose to pay via Epic Direct payments. Those who chose to pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay were left to […]

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COVIDWISE COVID-19 exposure tracking app released by Virginia Department of Health, utilizing Apple and Google’s contact tracing technology

COVIDWISE, the first US COVID-19 exposure tracking app that fully utilizes Apple and Google’s contact tracking technology, has just released by the Virginia Department of Health. The app places anonymity and privacy high on the agenda and is free to download. Virginia is the first US state to release an app that fully uses the […]

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Google’s Shoploop is a new way of being influenced to buy things you probably don’t need.

If you love watching influencers using and recommending products on Instagram or YouTube and then searching an online shop for that specific item, Google’s new Shoploop service aims to simplify the multitasking process by bringing it all together in a single app. Shoploop, from Google’s Area 120 section, is a video shopping platform for discovering, […]

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Group Calling Now Available on Google’s Nest Hub Max

You may remember that nearly a year ago, Google began closing the gap between Google and Nest, presenting it as one solid brand to consumers. Shortly thereafter, Google released the Nest Hub Max, a smart home device designed to perform a number of functions, including a home security camera, digital picture frame, Chromecasting, and more.  […]

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Google’s little-known Pigeon app is shutting down on June 24th

Google is killing off another one of their smaller projects later this month. Surprised? No, probably not. To be fair, they probably deserve a pass for this one. Pigeon shuts down June 24th Pigeon is a crowd-sourced transit app from Google that had very limited availability. It only worked in select cities, and the app […]

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Here’s Google’s upcoming Android TV dongle with an overhauled interface

We’ve been hearing some rumors about an overhauled Android TV experience coming from Google, including an Android TV dongle that’s kind of a Chromecast, but kind of not. Now we’re getting our first look at the device, codenamed Sabrina. There’s a lot to unpack here, but cord-cutters should be excited. New Android TV The device […]

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Google’s Pixel 4a will reportedly ditch squeeze-based Google Assistant activation

It’s been a feature of Google smartphones since the days of the Pixel 2 and 2 XL but it seems that the upcoming Pixel 4a will launch without the ability to squeeze its sides to activate Google Assistant. It’s a feature that used to annoy the heck out of me until I disabled it, but […]

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Google’s Phone app expanding support beyond Nexus and Pixel devices

Google has begun allowing select devices from other OEMs to install their Phone dialer app from the Play Store, the latest service they have slowly started opening up. At this point the release cadence for new smart services that Google develops seems pretty clear – they announce and typically launch their new Assistant feature, or […]

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Google’s $800 million COVID-19 relief effort includes 2 million face masks

Google's support for the fight against COVID-19 includes more than advisories and a search hub. The internet firm is making a $ 800 million-plus investment in multiple areas to aid treatment, support businesses and keep the public informed. This inc…
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Google’s wireless gigabit internet is now called Fiber Webpass

Google Webpass is now known as Google Fiber Webpass in all the cities where the wireless gigabit internet service is available. The tech giant first used the Fiber Webpass name when it deployed both its Fiber and Webpass internet connection services…
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Android 11 features: here’s what new in Google’s latest OS

Interested in setting up the early Android 11 developer preview, but want to see if it’s worth going through the hassle first? We’ve got you covered. We’ll go over some of the new Android 11 features and what Google’s added to our favorite operating system so far, at least until Google I/O kicks off. New […]

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Nearby Sharing is Google’s AirDrop competitor: here are the details

Google’s AirDrop clone has been in the works for a while, with several rumors popping up every few months. The feature seems to have progressed pretty steadily since it was originally leaked awhile back, and now it seems like the official release is pretty close. While it was originally called Fast Share, it looks like […]

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These are the winners of Google’s Android search auction in the EU; Bing didn’t fare very well

After taking a hefty fine from the EU, Google was also forced to open up Android’s search engine and include other options for users to pick from. They went about it in a very weird way by offering up a paid auction, but regardless, those results are in. Here’s what users in other countries will […]

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Google’s EU Android search choice is good for DuckDuckGo, bad for Bing

Last year — following an antitrust ruling by the European Union — Google announced it would start offering a choice of search providers to Android users. The "choice screen" set to appear on Android devices shipped in Europe from March 1st is desig…
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Google’s Messages could soon get floating conversation heads

We’re all familiar with the floating conversation heads in Facebook Messenger, but now it seems that Google’s Messages app is testing something similar for its own texting conversations. It’s being developed in the back-end as the Bubbles API. It hasn’t made it into a stable release of Android 10 yet, but it is expected to […]

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Google’s Fitbit acquisition is official for $2.1 billion

Despite being one of the first in the wearable game and buying up Pebble, Fitbit is going to fold under Alphabet’s wing. Google’s parent company was reportedly trying to buy them earlier this week, and that deal has now closed. It’s worth $ 2.1 billion, too, so some serious money was spent. What’s Google going to […]

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