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Showing posts from March, 2021

Tough love | What Google gets wrong and should change

I will preface this by saying I am not a programmer but I am a fan of Google and will also mention that they get so many things right. However, they're not perfect and get things wrong too, which is why I am writing this blog. Google is great at building platforms such as Android, Chromium and among others which are awesome. But Google falls short when taking care of their own homegrown apps and services, and devices at times to their own detriment. There are many examples I can use but will stick to just a few.  The first one that comes to mind is the feature Bubbles. It was announced way back in 2020 around IO but did not roll out until recently which is several months after Android 11 was released. Why announce it to take months to roll it out. Another issue I found as of late is app-related. Google has done a brilliant thing by placing all of their apps in the Play Store to be updated easily and without the need for a full system update. Good, right? So, why are apps with bugs

Next gen Google Pixel Buds may be around the corner

  Technically the next Pixel Buds will be Google’s 3rd generation of the product. The OG Pixel Buds debuted in 2017 followed up by the current buds in 2019. I’m excited for what's to come but don't expect anything groundbreaking this time around. My guess is that we’ll see a more refined version of the current Pixel Buds and build on the things they got right. If I'm being honest the Pixel Buds 2 can be a bit buggy and had a rocky start at launch. In my experience, Google has mostly ironed out the issue however there are times when an issue pops up. Here’s to better internals with the 3rd gen model that can take full advantage of the software. See image for the FCC listing discovered today.  Image via FCC

Google Pixel 5 | My thoughts 5 plus months in

I’ve been using the Pixel 5 for more than 5 months as my only daily driver and I have some thoughts. To date, I can say that the Pixel 5 is my favorite Made by Google smartphone. Google got the basics right with this phone while adding in the AI and ML features. So while the phone may seem boring and understated I would clearly be on the opposite end of that opinion with a different perspective.  For example, the Pixel 5 has a near-all screen display with a punch-hole display in the upper left of the display. The Pixel 5 features a decently sounding under-display speaker where the earpiece is. This serves as an earpiece for calls to your ear and a speaker for stereo sound. All this seems cool already but Google didn't stop there but also put an Ambient Light Sensor under the display as well. See you can look at the phone and dismiss it however you can choose to loot at the other end and appreciate some of the unique things Google brings to the table.  I’ll touch on some things I fi

Google releases Android 12 Developer Preview 2

  Today Google released Developer Preview 2 of Android 12 to developers. Some features included in DP2 are user-facing updates to PIP, lockscreen pin entry, one-handed mode, tweaks to the dark theme, and many more. In a blog post Google’s Dave Burke, VP of Engineering writes Last month we shared the first preview of Android 12, an early look at the next version of Android. Today we’re bringing you the next milestone build in this year’s release, with more new features and changes for you to try with your apps. In Android 12 we’re making the OS smarter, easier to use, and better performing, with privacy and security at the core. We’re also working to give you new tools for building great experiences for users, whether they’re using phones, laptops, tablets, TVs, or cars. Some things to look for in today’s release include new rounded corners APIs, improved picture-in-picture APIs, better companion device management, easier effects like blur and color filter, app overlay controls, and mor

Google Nest Hub 2 leaks online then gets announced by Google

  In the wee hours of Tuesday, March 16th the Nest Hub 2 leaked online. Shortly thereafter Google said forget it here it is. I'm looking forward to this product and have already pre-ordered one to replace my gen 1 unit that's in my bathroom. See more on the announcement below... The Nest Hub you love, but better The new Nest Hub’s speaker is based on the same audio technology as Nest Audio and has 50 percent more bass than the original Hub. Fill any room with music, podcasts or audiobooks from services like YouTube Music, Spotify, Apple Music and Pandora — or enjoy your favorite TV shows and movies with a subscription from providers like Netflix, Disney+ and YouTube TV. With Quick Gestures, you can pause or play content at any time by tapping the air in front of your display. New features include… Get help for better sleep: Understanding your sleep is an important first step, but you may still have questions about what you can do to get better sleep. Sleep Sensing provides tail

Wear OS update coming this Spring along with new Tiles

  This week Google announced the availability of Jetpack Tiles library that's currently in alpha. With this announcement, Google slid in that a platform update will be available this Spring in parallel with new custom Tiles. I for one, like Tiles over opening full-blown apps as key information is displayed without the need to open an app and waiting for it to load.  Google also shared what I expect are some mock-ups of new custom Tiles. From the looks of it, we may see a redesign of the Workout and Calendar Tiles. What stands out to me is a bigger font and a design that's more in line with Android 11 and 12. New Tiles we could see are Favorites, Steps, and Music. Of what's new I would love to see a music Tile for Youtube Music.  For more on this check out the link below. Link(s) Google

Pixelbook Go | My thoughts after 1 year

  I’ll start my review off by saying I am a Chromebook user and have been using a Chromebook as my only computing device since 2015. I'm used to the OS and it fits my lifestyle with no glaring issues. Although there are shortcomings with Chrome OS my focus for this blog post is the Pixelbook Go and my experience with it. Now with that out of the way, I will save you the trouble of reading all the way to the end just to know if I like it or not. The answer is NO. I absolutely LOVE it! It's my favorite Chromebook to date and I will go into detail on that in just a bit. But first a little history. My first Chromebook was the Toshiba Chromebook 2, followed by the Pixelbook, then the Pixel Slate, and last but not least the Pixelbook Go.  My experience with Chromebooks is pretty vast although my personal portfolio of devices is not that extensive and that's mostly due to me trying and ultimately returning a number of Chromebooks for a variety of reasons. The ones I owned are the

Google's Chrome OS turns 10 and receives a huge update to celebrate

  It may be hard to believe but Chrome OS is turning 10 years old. I was somewhat of an earlier adopter going all-in on the lightweight OS back in 2015. Chrome OS has come along, to say the least, and I look forward to Chrome OS maturing over the next decade.  With Chrome OS turning 10 today, Google decided to drop an update packed with a bunch of features. Check out what’s new below in the latest OS update. Directly control your Android phone Using your Chromebook, and your phone is out of reach? With Phone Hub, you now have a built-in control center that brings key capabilities from your Android phone to your Chromebook. See the tabs that you last opened on your phone, check your phone’s battery life and cellular signal and even respond to messages, all from your Chromebook. To set up Phone Hub, click the Phone Link symbol on your Shelf. Get online faster with Wi-Fi Sync We've expanded Wi-Fi Sync to work with more devices, making it easier to get online. Your Chromebook can autom

Google is switching things up with Chrome/Chrome OS releases

  Google has something brewing this year for sure. I'm merely speculating but this announcement today may seem insignificant now however could be more meaningful later this year. For Chrome, Google is moving away from a six-week update cycle to a four-week update cycle. This means features will be released quicker along with Google maintaining its 2-week releases for fixes and patches.  As for Chrome OS, Google is a bit vaguer and more news will be shared later this year. For now, all we know is that Chrome OS will receive multiple stable releases but nothing more specific was mentioned. Again we should learn more later this year but it sounds to me that Chrome OS will be on a different release cycle than Chrome. More feature releases? One could hope. Alex Mineer from Google says: For more than a decade, Chrome has shipped a new milestone every 6 weeks, delivering security, stability, speed and simplicity to our users and the web. As we have improved our testing and release process

Google releases a Pixel Feature Drop (March 2021)

Alongside the March Security Patch Google released a Feature Drop for Pixel devices today. This is probably my favorite thing about owning a Pixel phone. If you didn't know Feature Drops are released once a quarter and include some pretty handy features exclusive to Pixels. The last Pixel Feature Drop was in December 2020. Pixel Feature Drops are a way for Google to update our devices to some cool new features without waiting for the next major OS update. Check out what's included in today's Pixel Feature Drop below. A more shareable Recorder. You can now share links to your Recorder files, allowing anyone to hear recordings and see transcripts at , even if they don’t have a Pixel*[2]. You can also back up recordings to your Google Account to help keep them safe*[3]. Take your Pixel under the sea. Your Pixel now supports the Universal Smart Phone Housing for scuba diving by Kraken Sports*[4]. Get access to your Pixel’s camera features, like Night Sight,