Technology, Top News

Google Updates: Free Android Apps plus earbuds, AI kits and Nokia news

AND SO, Friends, time for another weeks clearinghouse of Google in-brief. If you want to catch any of the bigger stories we’ve covered this week from Google, Alphabet, Android, Chrome et al, then you can bookmark here.

We’re going to sprinkle the Three for Free (paid for Android apps gone temporarily free) in between the news to give it all a bit of a holistic and groovy feel. Let us know if you’d prefer us to switch back, we’re nothing if not flexible.

Right, first up this week, and a rare step outside Google to a company called Mobovi who have already wowed us with the first third-party Google Assistant, the TicHome Mini, some reasonably priced but fully featured Android Wear (the TicWatch range) and are now about to claim the prize for not only the first attempt to bring a proper Airpod clone to Android, but the first with Google Assistant baked in and let’s face it, they have got to be better than Google’s first efforts.

If you want in, the super-early-birds have gone but there’s still a tasty discount if you go in at $79 (about £65). So far, the company has raised $572k against the $50k  it needed, so it’s not a question of if, but when.

Three for Free #1: onTouch English Dictionary (£1.39)

We’re very proud to actually be cited in Wikidictionary for our use of the words “bork” and “borked”. If you’d like access to definitions from Wiki without leaving the app you are in, then onTouch is the solution. Add it in and you can highlight words and get definitions as pop ups. Really nice idea.

Six months on and there’s little doubt that the Pixelbook is a lovely, but vastly overpriced machine. One of the concerns we’ve had is that it involves being “Windowsless” and whilst that’s an admirable goal when you’re spending a grand, you really expect to be able to pop back to Windows if you need to. Well, fret no more, because apparently, Google is working on AltOS, a system which will allow Windows to dual-boot on the Pixelbook. At the moment, there’s rumours on Reddit and no official confirmation, but Google I/O is coming and this may well be one of the growing cavalcade of announcements.

Three for Free #2: Retro Watch Pro (£0.99)

We’re loathed to spend too much time on themes and watch faces. After all, Wear OS has hardly set the world on fire, but we really liked this one – lovely green on black action here with a choice of emojis. It’ll add some retro hipster love to your wrist.

If you missed the first round of AI maker kits that Google released, including one that was given away as a cover mount on a magazine (it’s sort of like The INQUIRER on paper) then good news – bigger, better kits have been released and this time there’s a Raspberry Pi in the box. The AIY (AI It Yourself) range includes Vision and Voice kits and also include an SD card so you can hit the ground running with an operating system.

Three for Free #3: SkanApp PDF Scanner (£6.99)

Scanners take up a lot of room. Fortunately with camera phones so improved these days, it’s pretty easy to use your phone as a scanner and this one works without you have to press a button – it works out when the document is in best frame and then clicks it and saves it as a PDF seamlessly. At £7 it was excessive. For free, it’s almost too cheap.

Finally, for now, a big “squee” went up in the office when we heard that Nokia’s troubled Health division, formed by the acquisition of French IoT firm Withings, could be up for sale, with Google as a likely buyer. The company has always made quite beautiful wearables with a balance of form and functionality. Now if it can smush it into the Google Fit platform too, it would be the perfect fit for a brand that hasn’t quite lived up to its huge potential.

That’s it for this week. See you next Friday.  µ

Footnote: Three for Free apps are handpicked from those which developers have made free of charge at the time of writing (usually Friday morning GMT). They are all offered free for a limited period and Incisive Media takes no responsibility for this – if you snooze you lose. If you’re a developer and you want to promote a temporary free app, you can contact us.

Source : Inquirer

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Founder and Editor-in-Chief of 'Professional Hackers India'. Technology Evangelist, Security Analyst, Cyber Security Expert, PHP Developer and Part time hacker.

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