Google starts rolling out Android Wear 2.8, here's what's new

Your favorite (or not) Android company, Google has just announced that a new Android Wear update is now being pushed out to all compatible devices. Android Wear 2.8 brings only a few improvements over the previous iteration, but they’re definitely worth the update.

Before going into details, it’s worth noting that this is an update on the Android Wear app on the smartphone, so it’s not the same as the OTA update on smartwatches. Also, keep in mind that the roll-out is going to take a few days to reach all phones.

Now, Android Wear 2.8 is supposed to improve notification glanceability …


Google hardware designer reveals early Pixel 2 iterations

Despite the fact that the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL were manufactured by HTC and LG, the phones were fully designed Google. Ivy Ross, lead hardware designed at Google has just revealed some of the early iterations of the Pixel 2, which made its debut on the market back in October.

Currently, Ross is responsible for the design of all Google products, including the popular Home Mini, Daydream View, and Pixelbook. According to her, the most important design aspect for Google’s hardware is to make products that perfectly fit into our lives and homes.

I believe more time we spend in front …

Google releases an official $15 Home Mini wall mount

The smart speaker market is rapidly growing. Are you a new owner of a Google Home Mini? Are you looking for a place to put your new, donut-shaped smart home speaker? Well, until now—unless you went for a third-party solution—the Home Mini was destined to occupy a flat, horizontal surface in your home.

However, Google has somewhat surprisingly partnered with mobile accessory maker Incipio to bring an official wall mount for the Mini to the Google Store. The mount itself is a simple plastic build with a slot for the tiny device to snap into place. It comes …

Deal: Save $250 on a Google Pixel 2 XL, or $200 on a Pixel 2 (Verizon only)

At the end of 2017, for a brief period of time, Best Buy
allowed Verizon customers to save $300 on the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. As
of this week, the retailer is back with a new Pixel deal, though a slightly
less generous one.

 

Right now, Best Buy lets you save $250 on a Google Pixel 2 XL, or $200
on a Google Pixel 2. The deal requires you to activate the phone(s) with a 24-month installment plan on Verizon, with
savings being reflected in reduced monthly payments – this means you’re not
getting a price cut if you want to buy the handsets outright. Both the 64 GB, and
128 GB variants …

Google Arts & Culture app can match your selfies to famous paintings

Google’s Arts & Culture app is arguably the best virtual museum you can “visit” from your smartphone right now. With its simple and intuitive interface and extensive, ever-expanding collection of art pieces, the can seriously become a real time-waster.

Yes, it is a great app for art and history lovers alike, but guess what made Arts & Culture so popular lately? The new feature that lets you match your selfie to famous works of art, that’s what. Yes, forget about actually having interest in all this otherwise, but let people snap selfies and have …

Google updates Android Excellence apps and games selection for Q1 2018

Google has updated its quarterly selection of the best Android experiences—both apps and games—for Q1 2018. The Android Excellence collection highlights the apps and games that deliver the best user experiences on Android, make use of the platform’s stand-outfeatures, have great design, technical performance, localization, and device optimization.

Best of all, in order to make the list, an app or a game doesn’t have to be popular, or sell a lot, but rather have stand-out qualities, such as the ones mentioned above. 22 new apps and 16  new games …

Google buys company that uses vibrations to make sounds come from a smartphone display

Last year, on the sly, Google purchased U.K. startup Redux. This is a company that has technology that allows the display on your mobile phone to act like a speaker. With this technology in place, manufacturers can produce phones without a speaker, and use the extra internal space for larger batteries and extra components. By vibrating the screen using tiny actuators, sound is created from the display.

In addition to producing the same type of sound you would expect to hear from your phone’s speakers, the Redux technology also produces haptic feedback when the user taps on the display. The …

Google Duo might get web app, group calls, other big features, app is coming to smart displays

Popular video chat app Google Duo could be receiving some major new features in the coming months. The news comes from Google Duo creator/lead engineer Justin Uberti who recently took to Twitter to reveal the 2018 roadmap for the service.

First day back at work, time to kick off our 2018 #GoogleDuo roadmap!
Coming soon, smart displays with Duo video calls via #GoogleAssistant:https://t.co/Dkx9TopV1v— Justin Uberti (@juberti) January 9, 2018
Uberti first confirmed that smart displays (smart speakers with a screen) powered by Google Assistant …

Some of Sony's older wireless headphones, earbuds will receive Google Assistant support via OTA

Sony revealed a bunch of new wireless Bluetooth earbuds at CES 2018 just the other day, with a couple of these coming with built-in support for the Google Assistant, namely the WF-SP700N and WI-SP600N earbuds. Well, at least the support is there, but the actual Google Assistant will arrive at a later date with an software update.

That same software update will obviously transcend to some older Sony headphones and earbuds, as the company is on track to bring this trendy new Google Assistant functionality to its last-year tongue-twisters, the WF-1000X, WI-1000X, WH-1000XM2, WH-CH700N, …

This new Google website shows all possible Google Assistant commands and interactions

Google is really betting high on its Google Assistant, which is now available on almost any contemporary Android device, a ton of existing and new smart speakers, and soon coming to an automobile near you. Google representatives also made a lot of cameos at various manufacturers’ keynote events at the currently-ongoing CES 2018 show. 
One can palpably feel it in the air that Google really really wants the Assistant to take off and become more mainstream.
But useful it may be, the majority of useful features of the smart bot are still …