THIS WEEK in Google we've already learned that the company is to be fined for failure to remove extremist material, fined again by the EU for antitrust claims said to be in excess of a billion Euros, welcomed an Apple chip veteran in the form of Manu Gulati to design its Pixel smartphones and said goodbye to its iconic Waymo self-driving Bubble cars.
Elsewhere this week, there's the news that soon, assuming you have the cloud capacity, Google Drive won't just back up your files, but your entire hard drive, potentially putting a lot of software companies that make backup packages out of business.
This week has also seen the roll out of "Android Excellence" a new marque in the Google Play Store, similar to the Man from Del Monte saying ‘yes'. They're designed to show the apps and games that make the most of Android, and while there's some great titles in there, the predictability of apps like AliExpress, Pocket and Runtastic leaves us with a bit of a yawn face.
There's a rumour/leak (depends on where you're viewing it from) that the Pixel and particularly the Pixel XL hasn't done as well as we thought, and that plans for three successors have been scaled back to just two. The report suggests as few as a million were sold. Google hasn't said either way yet.
And 'huzzah' and a bit of 'phew' because Google has added 16 Chromebooks to the "can run Android apps" list. Among them are (some) devices from Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung and Mercer (no, us neither).
And as ever, three for the weekend - games and apps that are Free in the Play Store for a limited period. First there's Cell 13, a rather cool looking logic puzzler that will keep you going for hours and has some great reviews (as you may have guessed, we haven't had time to test them this week, though we usually do). Dramatic Black and White is a rather nifty monochrome photography app that according to its makers gives "Ansel Adams quality". Good if you've not got a decent monochrome setting. Finally, Animated Birds is a lovely chilled live wallpaper that does just what it says. Remember - buy now, these are only free for a set period. µ
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