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Showing posts from January, 2021

Gmail on the web has a slightly new look

  Not sure if this is new or not but there is some new iconography in Gmail for the web. I use the web version of Gmail daily and haven't noticed this change until this afternoon. The new-look pretty much matches what's available on the Android app. This may be an A/B test or server-side push so don't fret if you don't have it yet. Have a good weekend folks!

Google releases Chrome OS 88 today

  I tend to look forward to these updates. Cool thing is that they come every six weeks or so. Check out some of the highlights Google mentioned in their blog post. Faster and easier web sign-in - Now you can securely sign in to websites with the PIN or fingerprint you’ve set up to unlock your Chromebook with our new Web Authentication (WebAuthn) feature. Lock screen enhancements with a Screen saver - You can use your lock screen to check information like the current weather and what music is playing; you’ll also be able to pause a track or skip songs without unlocking your device. Link(s) Google

These Google apps I hope get PWA support soon

With Chrome apps set to cease to exist in the near future on Chrome OS. Here are the Google apps I wish to get PWA support. Google Keep - My go-to notes app and offline support would be great. The Android app does the job but this is one app students such as myself can benefit from having an app built with Chrome OS on top of mind. This is one app I can see being improved with updates to the Android app. Google Calendar - Offline support was recently announced so I assume PWA support may be around the corner. Youtube Music - I'm not sure how likely it is for this app to have PWA support but it would be great. One issue off the back I can see is with offline support especially for those who wish to have music saved locally. My guess the Android app will receive better support on Chrome OS and a major makeover to match the web version.  To a lesser degree Gmail - Don't get me wrong PWA support would be dope but I’d be more interested in multi-account support similar to the Androi

Google Play Store on the web can use an update

The Play Store on the Web and the Android app are clearly from two different eras. The Play Store on the web is card-based and doesn't really fit in with the current Material Design or Material Theme being used on the Play Store Android app. The Android version has this clean, minimal, and white background when the light theme is applied. The same clean, minimal, and black background when a dark theme is in use.   So this has me wondering if this is the year we will get an update to the web Play Store. Functionality wise it works as intended but I for one would like to see some consistency with the Android version. Last year, Google mentioned some unrelated changes are coming to the Play Store and I hope an updated web client is part of a bigger story. I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for this one.

Google TV is Google's new killer app

  I've been using Google TV on the new Chromecast w/Google TV and been enjoying it. On its surface, the Google TV app is no different from any similar service. It suggests content and some of the suggested movies and shows are based on your watch history. But Google sets itself apart with the best organization of content and where those recommendations are coming from on any app or service. At least for me! Here is a couple of stand out features that would be hard not to have. On the TV Google TV as far as I can tell is about the same on the new Chromecast, however, there is one section I have yet to find in the Android app and that's Trending on Google . Here you will find are the most searched shows on Google and relevant to the streaming services you use. I found so many movies I forgot were coming out or never watched and found interesting. Pandemic much. The list of movies and shows in the section have some paid content but is still based on your interest. Please bring thi

Today's Google Doodle is worth checking out

  For some time now, Google has made a doodle available on its website every year to celebrate Martin Luther King and this year is no different. Happy MLK Day! Link(s) Google

Google and Fitbit officially tie the knot

Google completes its Fitbit acquisition after many months of scrutiny. In a blog post, Rick Osterloh announced today that the deal is now complete and Fitbit is officially part of Google.  Rick Osterloh says... "This deal has always been about devices, not data, and we’ve been clear since the beginning that we will protect Fitbit users’ privacy. We worked with global regulators on an approach which safeguards consumers' privacy expectations, including a series of binding commitments that confirm Fitbit users’ health and wellness data won't be used for Google ads and th is data will be separated from other Google ads data". "Together, we can make health and wellness more accessible to more people. We’re confident the combination of Fitbit’s leading technology, product expertise and health and wellness innovation with the best of Google’s AI, software and hardware will drive more competition in wearables and make the next generation of devices better and more affor

Years later and I'm still not over Google Reader

  It's around this time of the year where I start to look at what apps and services I'm using and if there are better alternatives. The past few years I've been open to trying new RSS readers because I find what's currently available are subpar at best. Maybe it's me and should seek out a more modern way to get my news. I hear many people say that they get their news from Twitter but I'm not on social media all that much and I don't foresee that changing. I guess I'm old school in that I prefer to sit down with my laptop and go to a website and find the news I'm looking for from my go-to sites in one place. However, the offering currently just seems to have some glaring issues that may be resolved if I paid for them. One problem I'm finding is that some articles do not appear in my current RSS reader of choice. The other thing I'm seeing is that articles are not appearing in real-time. Some articles appear hours later or as I previously state

These three features would make the Chromecast w/Google TV just about perfect!

I've been the happy owner of the Chromecast/Google TV for about two months now and have some thoughts. After using it the first day I knew right away this was the streaming device for me. First I noticed how fast and fluid the UI was. Then the content-based suggestions caught my eye with how well so many movies and tv shows were tailored to what I would enjoy. Once I started downloading apps and found that just about every streaming service is available I was even more excited but will get to that in my final review. These are the features that will make the Chromecast w/Google TV perfect for me.  Multi-user support Maybe not in a traditional sense where a user logs in and only see the apps they downloaded. I'm thinking more surface level where content-based suggestions live. Right now only movies and tv shows I'm into are being shown. This would be fine if I lived alone but I'm married and have two children and my interest aren't necessarily theirs. I'm also a

Google One is now in the Google Apps Launcher on Chrome

If it hasn't already it will soon. Google One appeared in my Google launcher app this evening. I like how Google is steadily adding more links to their apps and services. Stadia was added a little while ago and now Google One is the latest addition. Makes me wonder though, where is Youtube Music? 

New Google Nest cameras are on the way in 2021

I'm a huge fan of Nest cameras and have several of them around my home. They're going on nearly 4yrs old now and still work great. With reports surfacing tonight has me very excited about what is coming in 2021 from the Made By Google hardware team. It's been a few years since Nest has introduced a new camera and so much time has passed that has me wondering and excited about what could be made under a unified Google and Nest collaboration. The previous Nest cameras were made in house and without Google's input. Below is the report from 9to5Google. The company confirmed to us that today it has since sold out of that model, and that existing owners will see “ongoing feature support, software fixes, and critical security updates.” Google today also revealed that “Nest will keep investing in new innovations.” This specifically includes a “new lineup of security cameras for 2021.” No other details were provided as the company provides a preview of what to expect

New Year, New Pixel Update

  If you own a Pixel device you can expect monthly Security and Functional updates. Today Google released its first update of the year for the Pixel 3 and newer. This update brings Security fixes to Pixel devices but I tend to be more interested in the Functional side of the update. Functional updates bring specific fixes to certain aspects of the device. I was especially waiting on this update because I’ve been having issues with the auto-brightness on my Pixel 5. For some reason, the auto-brightness would turn off the screen on my phone when I was in a poorly lit room. I've already installed the update and that problem seems to be resolved now. Other issues have been reconciled and a list of those items can be found below. So far performance appears to be solid and a wee bit more optimized.  Happy updating!   Build numbers: Global: Pixel 3 (XL): RQ1A.210105.003 Pixel 3a (XL): RQ1A.210105.002 Pixel 4 (XL): RQ1A.210105.003 Pixel 4a: RQ1A.210105.002 Pixel 4a (5G): RQ1A.210105.003 Pi

Nest Audio | Early Impressions

I've been having the Nest Audio’s for just over two months now and they are just what I thought they would be. A worthy successor to the OG Google Home. The sound quality is much improved and I am pleasantly surprised how loud they can get. I have two and use them as a stereo pair in my living room. My plan is to write a more in-depth blog that will be more detailed. These are just my early impressions. So how good is that sound In a word, impressive. I am in no way an audiophile and these speakers are not meant for those looking for professional-grade or high-quality sound. I would classify the sound produced by Nest Audio as for casual listening. The speakers get nice and loud while producing rich sound and solid low-end bass. Vocals are clear with excellent music separation with the mids, highs, and bass. I tend to look for details in the music that can be hard to hear but the Nest Audio played them well. Having two Nest Audio’s definitely fills a large room with good sounding m