85 articles published since August 02, 2023
About Krystle Vermes
Krystle Vermes is a Boston-based news writer for Android Police. She has more than a decade of experience as a journalist in industries ranging from technology to health. You can learn more about her work at krystlevermes.com.
You can view device controls in a centralized dashboard as well
Many of us have smart home devices that make life simpler through automation. That being said, these devices can add up over time, and it can become a hassle to manage them all. Even products by the same manufacturer can be challenging to synchronize, schedule, and automate, depending on the tasks. Home Assistant, an open source home automation platform, is making it easier for some homeowners by consolidating multiple devices. Now, it’s supporting Android's built-in smart home device controls, too.
You could easily tweak images while in Files using the tool
While referring back to images on your mobile device in Google Files, you might open them in a different app to make edits. In these instances, Google Photos may not be the go-to app you use — after all, there are plenty of great photo editing apps out there. Now, the company is rumored to be working on more integration between Files and Photos, and the changes could make you less inclined to stray.
Nest Hub Max owners can already queue Assistant without a prompt
One of the best parts of a tablet is its versatility. In addition to supporting mobile apps, these devices can be used for video streaming, making calls, and more — all with a display that is conveniently larger than your phone. However, not every tablet has the same range of functionality. The Pixel Tablet is one of the newer models on the market, but it notably lacks some of the features found on existing tablets. Now, a Google app update indicates the company might bring a helpful Nest Hub Max feature to the Pixel Tablet.
The company claims no user data has been compromised
Password managers have made it easier to organize and consolidate passwords across different platforms, apps, and websites. However, even these services don’t have impenetrable security, and when bad actors break through, it can quickly result in a crisis. This is what 1Password is currently trying to mitigate following a data breach impacting Okta.
The flaw was blamed on the Emergency SOS feature
If you’ve ever experienced an unexpected emergency in the digital age, you likely know the benefits of having a phone on you in these moments. An immediate connection to the outside world can be the difference between instant emergency care and an increasingly severe situation. However, Google may have made it too easy to send out a call for emergency services. After a reported spike in these calls, the situation has since been remedied.
Japan launches investigation into Google's search practices on smartphones
Google is renowned for its search engine, but the tech giant has expanded into other industries since its humble beginnings. From smartwatches to operating systems, there seems to be a Google product or service for everything. That being said, countries around the globe have been keeping an eye on the company’s reach. Now, Japan is joining other countries in raising the alarm over how Google is impacting fair competition.
Creators have only had the option to hold comments or disable them
If you’ve ever hosted a video on YouTube, you know as a creator that the comments section can quickly become dicey. Not everyone is going to be a fan of your content, while others might simply enjoy trolling. YouTube already gives creators the option to disable comments or hold them until they can be reviewed. While this undoubtedly helps filter out unwanted feedback, YouTube is now experimenting with allowing creators to pause commenting as well.
You can also now set a new default editor for RAW photos
Those who edit photography know the importance of RAW images. When you take a photo with a digital camera, the RAW version will include all of the data that the sensor captured in the moment. That being said, this type of image is usually large in size, which can be a problem if your storage is limited. Google Photos will now automatically back up RAW photos for you, but for these reasons, the feature may do more harm than good.
The feature will first roll out on mobile across 40 countries
We live in an era of misinformation, in part due to the seemingly endless number of ways we can catch up on the news. The sheer volume of media sources has also made it difficult to keep up and understand the latest happenings. Now, YouTube is aiming to make it a little easier for everyone by consolidating news videos on a single page.
The feature is expected to roll out to more users in the coming days
Many privacy-driven instant messaging apps have rolled out some version of view-once messages. These allow users to send text and media that can only be opened once by the recipient. Of course, workarounds like screenshots can still be a concern depending on the app you’re using. However, it can provide some peace of mind, assuming you’re also exchanging messages with people you trust. Now, WhatsApp is rolling out this type of feature, specifically for voice messages sent on the app.
You no longer have to reset your wearable to migrate it to a different device
If you’re a dedicated smartwatch user, you already know the hassle that can come with connecting one of these devices to your phone. In order for the wearable to sync and function properly, however, this connection is critical. Yet even the best Android smartwatches require you to fully reset the device if you want to transfer it between phones. Now, Google is making this process easier for owners of Wear OS 4 devices — a new system update bypasses the need to reset and start from scratch.
You can also include the weather forecast for the day in an alarm
Many people choose to wear their Pixel Watch around the clock for everything from reminders to health data tracking. However, getting this wearable to sync with your Android phone hasn’t always been easy. For instance, the option to seamlessly sync the Bedtime and Do Not Disturb modes to the wearable was nonexistent until the Pixel Watch 2 came around. Now, watch owners will at least be able to keep up with their alarms, thanks to an update to the Clock app.
The service was initially trialed in Canada and the UK
Netflix’s push into the cloud gaming industry was confirmed by Mike Verdu, the company’s VP of gaming, at a conference in 2022. At the same time, Netflix announced that it would be going as far as opening a gaming studio in California. Companies like Google and Amazon have seen limited success in the cloud gaming market thus far, but this hasn’t stopped Netflix. After initially launching a trial of its cloud gaming service in the UK and Canada, the company is now rolling out a trial in the US.
Wireless debugging was the standard for bootloader access on its predecessor
If you own a Pixel Watch and use custom ROMs, you likely already know how much of a hassle it is to unlock the device’s bootloader. ADB commands can be executed via Wi-Fi, but a hardwired connection is necessary if you want to access the bootloader for more tasks. The first-gen Pixel Watch charges wirelessly, but it has data pins hidden under the watch band connecter, and you can splice a USB cable into them if you want to hardwire the device. However, this often takes more time and skill than most people have. With the Pixel Watch 2, Google has made things a bit easier, which may give you an incentive to upgrade.
The feature will show you the air quality and forecast for the next few hours
It isn’t uncommon for Google to roll out new features for existing apps, like Maps and Calendar. However, the pace at which these updates are launched can differ depending on the operating system. For example, the option to view local weather within the Maps app for iOS has been existent for years, but Android users haven’t had it — until now. Google is introducing the feature to Maps for Android, almost four years after it arrived for iOS.
A Google product manager confirmed the news during a Q&A on Reddit
If you use widgets on your phone, you understand the value of being able to quickly tap and launch an app action. Depending on the app, the widget you use might be multifaceted, allowing you to manage other connected devices. As Google Home users know, however, this hasn’t been the case for the company's flagship smart home app — specifically for managing individual smart home devices. Now, a comment made by a Google product manager suggests that widgets could eventually become a reality.
The feature will show you content based on your web activity
If you use the Google app, website, or even the Pixel Launcher on your mobile device, you’re likely already familiar with the Discover feature. It populates the page with content based on your web activity and what Google knows about your interests. Microsoft’s Bing homepage is notably similar, but it allows users to customize what they see. Now, Google is testing its Discover feed on the desktop version of the Google search page — and it may soon show up for you, whether you like it or not.
Organize Tabs will automatically group similar tabs in your window
When you’re browsing the web for an extended period of time, you’re bound to rack up several tabs. The end result is frustration when you need to backtrack. Google has seemingly been aware of this all-too-common problem, and it appears to be developing an automatic workaround for Chrome users. A new feature called Organize Tabs has popped up in Chrome Canary 120, and it might prevent this headache once and for all.
Leaked documents suggest the company will allow you to opt out for now
Since its early days as a mobile service provider, T-Mobile has branded itself as an “un-carrier.” The company worked hard to differentiate itself from its competitors, promising customers more flexibility when it comes to everything from add-ons to phone plans. Now that it’s joined the rankings of large service providers, however, T-Mobile seems to be changing its tune. Leaked documents circulating online suggest that the company is planning to force its new plan tier on existing customers, which could amount to costlier monthly bills.
Pixel 7 phones and newer with Android 14 can edit and export HDR images
With the launch of the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, we learned that Google's newest devices would be the first to support Ultra HDR images. Building on the JPEG format, Ultra HDR makes for crisper images with more contrast and vibrancy. This is possible through an HDR gain map that is embedded within the image’s metadata. However, Ultra HDR image support has been limited to Chromium-based browsers operating on Android 14 or Windows 11/macOS. Now, Adobe is changing that with the rollout of Ultra HDR support within Lightroom.