ANOTHER WEEK another mixed bag for Google. We've already heard about yet another anti-trust suit being brought against the company this time over Tizen, how Sundar Pichai made a little girl's day, how Google paid its autonomous car executives too much so they left, and that Project Loon has made a huge breakthrough.
Meanwhile, plenty of other things happened, starting with the inaugural Google Play Indie Game Awards. The INQUIRER was supposed to go to this glittering event held in London on Thursday, but sadly we didn't make it. We hear the crisps were good.
Anyway, the winner from 20 nominees is Reigns, a game from UK indie DevolverDigital. You play a king and for each decision, you get a binary decision which could enrich or bring down your empire. Runners up were The Battle of Polytopia and Causality - a strategy and a puzzle game respectively. Interesting to note that casual gaming won out against arcade style games, from the 1,200 entries.
Google Play Services 10.2 is rolling out and its an important milestone, as it kills support for Android 3.4 Gingerbread which although long obsolete was at one time the belle of the Android ball.
Rumours are circulating again about an operating system called either 'Fuschia' or 'Andromeda' or possibly both, which will unit the houses of Chrome and Android. We have info yet, but there are already whispers that it will premiere on a device this year. At this stage, we can only speculate on whether this will be an additional third platform, or it will supersede Android and Chrome OS at some point.
Meanwhile, speaking of bringing things together, the latest version of the Google App (the one you say ‘OK Google' to, is said to be rolling out at the moment to non-Nexus devices. We are yet to get it working in the office, but its bound to be an opinion splitter with many questioning if the Assistant is too complicated and intrusive.
Similarly, the company is seeking counsel from users on why Google Allo, which was supposed to take over the Hangouts mantel has been such a dismal flop, after it dropped out of the Top 500 apps.
Finally, if you're still in the market for a Pixel phone, get thee to EE, who are stocking it in Blue. US problems with power supplies have delayed a rollout there. µ
Plus IoT factories and a pricey Pixel pouch
It's all fun and games until someone loses their rent
Speeding this way from the Spring
It's generating lower margins than smart-speaker rivals from Amazon and Google