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Showing posts with the label Google

Pixel Rules rule | Google's unsung feature on Pixel devices

If you are a Pixel user, you know that Google has a ton of features available on their Pixel smartphones. Some may say that Google has the smartest smartphone and I definitely fall into that camp. But there is one feature that I rely on and is very useful that does not get much attention and that's Rules. Rules are not the easiest feature to discover but the functionality is worth the search.  For the uninitiated, Rules is a feature that enables your smartphone to take certain actions automatically when connecting to a specific Wifi network or when you enter into a specific location. Once set up you can turn on DND, set the phone to silent, vibrate, or ring. Very basic but the use case is very handy especially for someone like me that frequently forgets to set my phone to vibrate when I get to work. I've been that guy that phone rings during meetings. The other cool thing is that Rules removes said Rule you set up when you leave the location or disconnect from the Wifi network.

My favorite tech in 2021

  2021 was a less interesting year in tech than I originally thought it would be, however, that doesn't mean that it was a bad year. For Google, in particular, I believe they have laid the groundwork to have an even better 2022 hardware year than in 2021 with the advancements they made in software development. Think Jetpack Compose. The following are some items I purchased in 2021 or was released in 2021. First up we have is probably my favorite device for 2021 and that's the Pixel 6. A clear upgrade over the Pixel 5 with a gorgeous all-new design, upgraded cameras, and a whole new UI called Material You. Google really went for it this year and it seemed to have worked out for them with the phone being mostly unavailable to buy. Although the Pixel 6 is not perfect I believe Google is moving in the right direction with design and software. After introducing their first pair of truly wireless earbuds in 2020 Google followed up the Pixel Buds with an awesome entry-level pair of ea

Google shows the Pixel Buds A some love on its homepage

  It's not every day Google advertises on its homepage but that changed today with their newest product on full display. Clicking the link takes you right to the Google Store Pixel Buds A page where you can learn more about the product or purchase them if you are so inclined. Putting the Buds A in such a prominent position tells me Google is confident in the device and wants (needs) visibility by as many potential buyers as possible. I like the move and hope Google does more of this in the future. Link(s) Pixel Buds A

Google App Spotlight | Google Assistant Hold for Me is a legit feature

  I usually adopt features rather quickly when Google announces something new, however, that wasn't the case when Hold for Me was first introduced last fall. The feature sounded cool but I was a bit skeptical if it worked as well as it was being pitched. Also, it's not a feature that you may use every day, for me at least. But that changed today when I called my bank and was immediately presented with the Hold for Me option when the automated voice kicked in during the call. When on a call and when a voice automated service is detected the above screen appears with the option for Hold for Me. When Hold for Me is selected the screen displays what's happening on the call. You don't hear anything but you will see a Live Transcribe of what's occurring during the call. Music playing indicator and/or a transcription of what's happening as you are on hold. Once a person picks up and the Google Assistant detects it you will see a green button to answer or pick up the li

Google CEO talking India's COVID crisis with CNN

Sundar Pichai, Google Ceo spoke with CNN on the India COVID situation this morning. Video can be found below if you are interested in hearing what he had to say.

Wow, Roku is really really mad at Google

Roku and Google may be going through contract negotiations but something is telling me that this may have something more to do with the new Chromecast with Google TV than the terms and conditions of a deal. If you are unaware, Roku sent their customers an email informing them that the Youtube TV channel may be going away due to ongoing contract negotiation issues with Google. Now, this is not uncommon as huge companies tend to have these spats behind closed doors but this situation was being reported on quite a bit today. Check out what Roku had to say (via The Verge) “Google is attempting to use its YouTube monopoly position to force Roku into accepting predatory, anti-competitive and discriminatory terms that will directly harm Roku and our users,” a Roku spokesperson said in a statement Monday. “It should come as no surprise that Google is now demanding unfair and anti-competitive terms that harm Roku’s users.”​ And now Google’s retort (via The Verge) “We have been working with Roku

Google I/O is back in 2021

Last year Google canceled I/O but still held virtual non-events, so to speak. I would call them informative sessions where they would discuss what's new in said OS. This year we’ll be going back to a more traditional I/O, except for the fact that it will be all online only. That’s okay. I'm just happy to hear that there will be an I/O this year. I believe Google has a big year planned this year and it starts next month. Google I/O will be held May 18 - 20 where we’ll see what they've been working on for the past year or so. Link(s) Google

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

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 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

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