WELCOME TO OUR weekly clearinghouse of Google/Alphabet news. Just because the big announcements have gone – that’s not a problem – in fact, it’s a good thing because we can concentrate on those smaller stories you might have missed.
If you want to read our long-form coverage, it can be found here.
So first of all, the death of another great experiment, as Android’s Nearby Notifications are laid to rest. Although the update wasn’t as big in the UK, in major US cities you could barely walk down the street without getting messages pop up to tell you about some amazing offer at a nearby store. Or how big someone’s dinkle is.
It’s that second one that’s the problem. The amount of spam messages has been too high and so Google is taking down the public nagging features of Nearby. Given that Woolworths used to ‘Bluejack’ all and sundry back in the day, we shouldn’t be that surprised.
Meanwhile, if you were hoping to visit Google’s first retail base, planned for a disused sub-station in a suburb of Berlin, prepare for disappointment. Locals fearing gentrification have chased the company away, and a new site will now have to be found.
Seems that there wasn’t as much demand for the Pixel Slate there as first thought.
You might have spotted some new and mysterious apps have appeared in the Play Store, straight from Google. But what are they? Well, ‘Pixel Tips’ is pretty obvious, Connectivity Health Services is connected to monitoring your vitals, but what of Voice Action Services?
Well, from what we can tell, this is an app that allows voice control without dependence on Google Play Services. That means basically, it’s the first hint of Google attempting to comply with the EU’s rulings about its dominance. We wonder if that’s the first of many.
But let us not dwell on the bad stuff- Google can do ever such nice things too. Like for example, this week, as it rolls out a number of 4K versions of films to the Play Store, its upgrading everyone if they have the SD/HD versions. For nowt.
The range is limited. But if one or more of yours is affected, just open the app for a pop-up telling you what your treats are.
This is a particularly good offer because them 4K versions? Expensive. Very expensive.
Finally, a top tip for Pixel 3 owners. Don’t use anyone else’s wireless pads. It looks like Google has set your device so it’ll only charge at the lowest wattage setting. So it will take ages. Not sure why they’ve done this, but ouch. μ
Source : Inquirer