Technology, Top News

Google Updates: Blackstacks, AMP and Podcasts

IT’S FRIDAY so it must be time to catch you up on some of the smaller Google stories that you may have missed, and thank Jimeney, there’s something other than the Pixel 3 to talk about.

Firstly, let’s talk about Bluestacks. For the unfamiliar, it’s an app that allows you to run Android apps (mostly games) from your Windows desktop. Up to now, it has been largely a nice-to-have but not especially brilliant on the performance side. However, with the release of Bluestacks 4 this week, we’re moving into a position where some gaming performance outstrips that of playing on a  flagship Android device. That’s what it says here anyway.

Slightly off topic, but you may be aware of something called “AMP” which Google uses to make it easier to get to a news story more quickly, especially on mobile. Well, it seems that Microsoft sees it as important enough to justify rolling it out for Bing, giving it yet another reason to try and persuade you that you should switch to its myriad of apps instead of the native Google ones.

It comes as Google released a large chunk of the AMP framework to the Open Source, so expect more integrations soon.

Earlier this year, Google launched its Podcasts service after a long time (well, ok, years) in the waiting. One thing that was missing from the otherwise well-received addition was Chromecast support. But, fear not! It’s here! So now you can listen to your favourite shows on your TV or HiFi instead.

The rumoured rewards system for Google Play has started rolling out, offering rewards and discounts for regular users. At present, it’s only available in Japan, but we’d expect to see it further afield soon.

Fans of Google Assistant will be pleased to hear that, thanks to a patch from the Pixel 2’s AI, it will be a lot better at song recognition. Which is a relief coz it couldn’t have been much worse.

That’s it for this week. For the longer stories of the week, you can always look at our Google News feed which lives here. μ

Source : Inquirer

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