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Showing posts from March, 2022

Now Playing | Pixel feature highlight

Some features should just be standard on a smartphone and Now Playing is one of them. Now Playing has been around for a while now but recently the Pixel exclusive feature picked up some new tricks. First, for the uninitiated Now Playing is a feature that scans for music that's nearby in the background and displays said music on the lock screen of the device. It is important to note that the feature is fully offline and does not require an internet connection. Additionally, Now Playing surprisingly does not drain the battery.  So, what's not new? Well, the functionality is mostly the same. Play some music your phone recognizes and it will display on the lock screen and in the notification area. You still get the song title and the artist's name which is very handy. So, what's new? The two new features are Now Playing search and Now Playing favorites. With Now Playing search, Pixel can search for songs not automatically recognized. This feature does utilize the internet s

I'm starting to see more of Google's apps optimized for Chrome OS and Android tablets

Google hasn't wasted any time getting some of its apps ready for Android 12L. For those unaware, Android 12L is the next point release for Android 12 with a focus on large screens such as Chromebooks and Android tablets. Over the past week or so I have noticed a few of Google's own apps have seen some updates that take advantage of the larger screen size. This is definitely a welcome change and one I hope to see further developed. Let's check out a couple examples... First up, we have the Google Podcasts app which is my current podcast app of choice. Over the weekend I received an update for the Google app and I noticed when I opened up the podcast app that things looked a bit different. Previously there was just a single row of podcasts on the Home and Explore sections making it quite the task to scroll through podcasts. Now, two podcasts are available per row making it twice as fast two navigate and it is also nice to see the app take up a proper amount of space on the sc