Android 9 Pie (Go edition) will make Android Go better this fall

Android 9 Pie may have gotten the headlines, but Google has also announced that its latest pastry-named OS is coming to its Android Go line with Android 9 Pie (Go edition). The biggest change in Android 9 Pie (Go edition) is increased storage. According to Google’s blog post, the operating system for Android 9 Pie (Go edition) takes up less space on a device, giving users up to 500MB of additional storage out of the box compared to previous versions of Android Go. Additionally, Google is promising faster device boot…

Google One launches with cheaper cloud storage plans

For some reason, Google is rebranding Google Drive storage plans under the name Google One. Along with the rebranding, Google is also improving its pricing in ways that give customers more options and more storage at lower prices. It marks the service’s first price cut in four years. Google One plans start at the same place as Google Drive plans — $1.99 per month for 100GB of additional storage — but the situation improves after that. Google is introducing a new $2.99-per-month tier, which includes 200GB of storage, and it’s…

How a wily Californian beat Google and Facebook’s influence operation

Amid a national reckoning over the perils of social media, a looming question has been whether — and how — the US government might respond. A series of hearings in Congress raised the specter of onerous new rules without ever quite convincing anyone that regulation was imminent. Amid deep partisan disagreements, the worst that Facebook, Google, and Twitter have had to contend with some sharply worded questions. But all the way across the country, a different story was playing out. A single wealthy man, suddenly radicalized on the subject of…

Oppo’s latest phone has the best notch yet

Oppo has announced the F9, a phone with a notch that actually looks pretty great. Seriously, look at it — it’s smaller and less obtrusive than even the Essential Phone’s, with a speaker sleekly integrated into the top edge of the phone. It doesn’t require an extra-thick on-screen status bar, nor does it look like it was created with some sort of hole-punching device. The notch feels like a natural part of the F9’s design, the bezel-less screen breaking away for a moment to let the selfie camera through before…

Google says a fix is coming for fast-charging problems with original Pixel and Pixel XL

Google is currently testing a software fix that will fully restore the fast-charge functionality of its 2016 Pixel smartphones after users reported slower charging speeds following the recent upgrade to Android 9 Pie. Some third-party charging plugs no longer rapidly charge the Pixel XL in the same way that they did prior to Pie’s release; Google says its own bundled charger (and others certified for USB Power Delivery) should still be delivering rapid charging. An update containing the fix should be available “in the coming weeks.” “We’re aware of an…

Pandora Premium is now available on Google Home speakers

Pandora’s subscription music service, Pandora Premium, is now available on Google Home speakers and other audio devices with Google Assistant. It’s yet another source for on-demand, voice-controlled music playback that joins Google Play Music, Spotify, YouTube Music, and Deezer Premium. Pandora says it has seen a 50 percent uptick in usage on “voice-activated devices” in the last year. Once you’ve set Pandora Premium as your default music service in Google Home’s settings, you’ll be able to request specific songs, albums. or playlists by voice. Google’ full range of speakers —…

Google Voice updated with new icon, contacts tab, and improved do not disturb

Google is starting to pay attention to Google Voice again after making the calling service part of its business-focused product suite earlier this summer. So far, that hasn’t meant much. But yesterday, the app received an update on iOS that brought with it a new icon, a small reorganization, and a helpful new do not disturb feature. The first two changes are minor but nice. The old icon hadn’t been updated in a while and looked a little stiff and robotic, whereas the new one is basically a twist on…

Google still tracks you through the web if you turn off Location History

You may have assumed that turning off Google’s Location History option meant that Google is no longer tracking your movements. But the reality is that Google can continue to collect location data and even track you on a minute-by-minute basis, remembering your home address, and other places you’ve visited throughout the day, the Associated Press reports. AP found that Google continues to track you through services like Google Maps, weather updates, and browser searches — any app activity can be used to track you. By turning off Location History, you’re…

YouTube is paying top creators to promote its new Twitch-style features

YouTube, facing increasing pressure from competing platforms, is trying to help new monetization features get off the ground — and it’s even willing to pay creators to promote them. According to a report from Bloomberg, the Google-owned platform is offering creators up to hundreds of thousands of dollars if they agree to use new donation and paid memberships features introduced earlier this year. The move could keep these influencers from leaving the site for rival streaming sites like Twitch and monetization platforms like Patreon. Super Chat, introduced back in January,…

How to install Fortnite on Android

Epic Games launched its battle royale hit Fortnite on Android devices last week with a big catch: it was exclusive to Samsung-made phones for a few days as a way to help market the new Samsung Galaxy Note 9. Now, the exclusivity period appears to be over, and beta invite codes are going out to select users of non-Samsung phones like the Google Pixel 2 XL. If you’re itching to dive off the battle bus on mobile, you might have to hold on just a little while longer: there appears…

Android 9 Pie seems to be messing with the Pixel XL’s ability to fast charge

As with any major software release, Google’s recent launch of Android 9.0 Pie hasn’t gone off without some early bugs and issues. The company just pushed out an Android Auto app update to get its in-car experience working nicely again with Pie, but owners of the original Pixel XL are having some troubles of their own. Users are reporting that Android Pie has seemingly stopped their phone from fast charging when plugged into many chargers. Even Google’s own charger isn’t working as it should in some cases. Other Pixel XL…

DeepMind’s AI can detect over 50 eye diseases as accurately as a doctor

Step by step, condition by condition, AI systems are slowly learning to diagnose disease as well as any human doctor, and they could soon be working in a hospital near you. The latest example is from London, where researchers from Google’s DeepMind subsidiary, UCL, and Moorfields Eye Hospital have used deep learning to create software that identifies dozens of common eye diseases from 3D scans and then recommends the patient for treatment. The work is the result of a multiyear collaboration between the three institutions. And while the software is…

Google may add Windows 10 dual-boot option to Chromebooks

Google appears to be working on dual-boot support for Chromebooks. XDA-Developers has discovered that Google has been working to support an “alt OS mode” for its Pixelbook laptop for months now. Dubbed “Campfire,” an obvious nod to Apple’s own Boot Camp feature, Google’s dual-boot is rumored to support Windows 10 on Chromebooks. XDA-Developers claims Google is attempting to pass Microsoft’s hardware certification for Windows 10 to allow its Pixelbook to officially run the alternative operating system. References to Microsoft’s Windows Hardware Certification Kit have appeared in development builds of Chrome…

Many Android devices ship with firmware vulnerabilities, researchers find

Asus, Essential, LG, and ZTE have all vowed to patch security flaws found by mobile security firm Kryptowire, according to Wired. The firm’s research was meant to point out that some security meltdowns stem from code written by phone companies to modify Android. Researchers found bugs in the firmware of 10 separate devices carried across the major American carriers, according Wired, which saw an early version of Kryptowire’s report. The security lapses could lead to everything from letting an attacker lock someone out of their device, to getting control over…

Google Play warns users it doesn’t carry Fortnite Battle Royale

Google is warning Android users that it doesn’t carry Fortnite Battle Royale in the Play Store. If you search for Fortnite in the Play Store, it will return a notice from Google. “Fortnite Battle Royal by Epic Games, Inc is not available on Google Play,” the sign says, likely as a clarification to users, as first spotted by 9to5Google. By saying upfront that the Play Store doesn’t have Fortnite, Google is attempting to protect unknowing users who might download some malicious clone of the app. Epic Games requires users who…

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 is shaping up to be the anti-Note 7

Two summers ago, Samsung had its Icarus moment with the Galaxy Note 7. That device combined the traditional strengths of the Note line — big screen, large battery, and handy stylus — with the slender proportions of a regular phone. But it also had a design flaw that led to its spontaneous combustion, which in turn triggered rushed recalls, a global apology tour, and a substantial hit to Samsung’s bottom line. Singed by the memory of its hubristic excess of ambition, Samsung is returning to the Note series this year…

Chrome now supports Windows 10’s notifications

Google is updating Chrome for Windows this week to support the native notification center inside Windows 10. Google has been testing the new support for months, and it means Chrome notifications will now go directly to the Windows 10 Action Center (notification center) by default. Google is currently rolling this out to around 50 percent of Chrome 68 users (as spotted by Thurrott), and it will be the default for the majority of users in the coming days. Chrome’s notifications will now adhere to Windows 10’s Focus Assist feature which…

Google reportedly using Chinese site it owns to develop search term blacklist

We now know more about how Google is developing its censored search engine for China. To comply with Chinese authorities, Google has been using search samples from a Beijing-based website it owns to make blacklists, according to The Intercept, which broke news of Google’s work on the censored search engine last week. While most of Google’s services are blocked in China, its website 265.com remains open. The search engine on 265.com redirects to Baidu, China’s dominant search company, by default, but Google can apparently see the queries that users are…

11 useful Android 9 Pie features you shouldn’t overlook

Google has officially released Android 9 Pie, the latest big update of the company’s mobile operating system. It’s got a new look, gesture navigation, more AI smarts, and, if you sign up for the beta, Digital Wellbeing tools to help you gain a better understanding of your smartphone usage. There’s other legitimately helpful stuff in there, too, like adaptive battery, which learns your usage patterns and restricts the amount of juice that rarely opened apps can use up. I’m not going to discuss any of those things today. They’ll be…

Google Pixel 3 XL leak appears to show production hardware and wired USB-C Pixel Buds

We’re still presumably months away from the official Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL announcement, but that isn’t stopping the leakers. The latest images of Google’s next flagship appear to show finalized production hardware and what seems to be a pair of wired USB-C Pixel Buds. The pictures come from Russian tech blogger Канал Лучкова’s Telegram channel (via Android Police), and they’re in line with earlier images we saw from other Pixel 3 XL leaks, including the already controversial notch. In these admittedly less-than-ideal shots, it appears to be a…

Qualcomm’s overdue smartwatch chip may finally come on September 10th

Time may finally be up for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 2100, the venerable yet outdated processor that has served as essentially the only option for WearOS watch manufacturers since it launched two years ago — back when the platform was called Android Wear. Qualcomm has sent out invitations for a September 10th press event focused on smartwatches (via Android Police), which would suggest a new wearables-focused chip is on the way. Qualcomm has already said as much, with its head of wearables previously confirming that a new processor and mysterious flagship…

Fortnite for Android leak shows it’s limited to Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 and Tab S4 at launch

Fortnite for Android is coming soon, and rumors have suggested it will be a 30-day exclusive to Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9. A newly leaked version of the game appears to confirm that Fortnite for Android will be limited in some way to Samsung’s latest devices. XDA-Developers has obtained a leaked APK of Fortnite for Android, and has discovered it’s restricted to both the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy Tab S4. XDA-Developers reports that the game has a variety of checks for Samsung’s new devices, and it even looks for…

Apple and Google haven’t banned Infowars apps, and their downloads are booming

Infowars Official, the app named after Alex Jones’ controversial radio talk show, has become the fourth most popular news app in the United States that’s currently available in the iOS App Store. It was the 47th most popular just two days ago. The free app, which launched in June, streams live shows and written pieces from Jones and other conservative pundits. It also links to the Infowars store where visitors can buy T-shirts and skincare products. An Android version of the app is available in the Google Play Store; there,…

Google is adding ARCore support to the Chromebook Tab 10 with Classroom updates

Google has been adding new features to Classroom throughout the summer in order to prep for the upcoming fall semester, particularly with the recent launch of the Acer Chromebook Tab 10, which is the first tablet to run Chrome OS. Now, Google has announced it will bring ARCore support to the tablet, allowing educators to become a virtual Ms. Frizzle and lead their students on augmented and virtual reality adventures. The Chromebook Tab 10 is compatible with all of Google’s Classroom apps, and it allows students to have Magic School…

Baidu CEO says it will defeat Google if it returns to China

Last week, reports surfaced that Google is planning to return to China with censored apps alongside talks about bringing cloud services over as well. Naturally, its biggest rival in China has something to say about that. Baidu CEO Robin Li wrote on his verified WeChat account that if “Google decides to return to China, we are very confident we can just PK and win again.” By PK, he was referencing “player-kill,” Chinese slang that originated as a gaming reference for when you kill another player, usually in a multiplayer role-playing…

The Palm smartphone reboot is shaping up to be disappointing

It’s been a long time coming, but it appears that the revival of Palm smartphones is imminent. It looks like, unfortunately, whatever’s in the works won’t be anywhere near as exciting as the Pre was so many years ago. Android Police spotted that a device called the PVG100 made by Palm Venture Group — now owned by TCL — was filed with the FCC last week and passed through the Wi-Fi Alliance’s certification program back in June. Those are both late stage steps in the development cycle of any new…

Asus brings a $110 Android Go phone to the US

Asus has brought the ZenFone Live L1, its first Android Go phone, to the US. The phone has budget specs, but it could stand out at $110 thanks to a couple of features uncommon for its price range: an 18:9 display and a face unlock feature. That said, even with its tall display, the ZenFone Live still manages to look bland in the images Asus is sharing. A lot of that comes down to its 5.5-inch screen being surrounded with big bezels on either side. The screen has a resolution…

These are the last platforms where you can find Alex Jones and Infowars

It’s a tough day to be Alex Jones. Following months of debate around the limitations of speech on tech-owned internet platforms, many of the biggest and most popular players in the world of social media have announced that they will no longer host content related to Infowars — the conservative radio personality’s controversial talk show, video network, and website that often peddle false or misleading information. The biggest criticism of Jones and Infowars centers on the seemingly endless torrent of conspiracy theories that were a part of the network’s regular…

The 5 most important Android Pie updates

Android Pie could be one of the most consequential Android updates in years. Not only is Google changing the way Android is navigated, but it’s also changing the way we interact with our phones — and how our phones interact with us. The update’s overarching goals are to make our phones less distracting and less stressful and to give people control over how much of their attention they suck up. It’s all about taking on notification and app overload. Pie is now available for the Pixel, Pixel 2, and Essential…

The Essential Phone is being upgraded to Android 9 Pie on the same day as Google’s Pixels

The Essential Phone is getting Android 9.0 Pie on day one — just like Google’s own Pixel smartphones. Essential is rolling out the major OS update today. The company has routinely been releasing the last few Android 9 betas just hours after Google made them available, and now its one and only smartphone is getting Pie’s features months before you’ll find them on devices from Samsung, LG, Motorola, and the rest. This is a thing that just doesn’t happen nowadays. The quick rollout is due in part to Google’s work…