AN ODD WAY to start this week, with a freebie. Users of the much loved but overpriced Google Pixelbook are being offered a free pen loop this week, so their stylus will stop going walkies. It's a nice gesture as afterthoughts go. If you want one and you've registered as a Pixelbook user, you can click here.
We've been seeing the rest of the tech press going loopy over the fact that Pixelbooks can now run Google's mysterious Fuchsia OS. We know. We reported it over two weeks ago. Sigh.
Android Pay continues to expand in the US with another 80 banks being added to the list. Yet here, apart from the (very welcome to hipsters) addition of Monzo, there's been very little movement. We know Barclays, for example, are determined to be contrary, but some of the others would be nice.
Google's hardly-noticed Arts and Culture app started to go viral this week after it added a feature which compared your likeness to famous works of art. Which is a neat idea. Hopefully, it will persuade a few more people to hang out at the local gallery. The app is full of info on high culture locally.
Chrome for Android will soon be quicker to use. The DNS Prefetch (Asynchronous DNS) service which has long been part of the desktop app is being added to the mobile edition, which will mean that Chrome will start looking for the DNS of addresses in links before you click on them, just in case. It's actually already available and has been for some time, but it's disabled. If you can't wait, you can always enable it in the Flags menu.
Three for free has been a bit tricky this week. There's a lot of stuff on temporary discount, but not that much of it is particularly inspiring.
Fortunately, I Love My Circle (£0.99) has a name stupid enough to grab our attention and a silly enough premise (you want to live in peace with your circle but the rectangles don't approve of your love) to grab our attention. Good reviews too.
If you desperately feel the need to defend some ducks, then Duck Warfare (£0.89) could be for you. It's a cartoon strategy game about defending the local part from a corporation that wants to evict you. Very Watership Down. Because, you know, ducks have down. Never mind.
Trying to get back into shape after Christmas? You're not alone, and BMI Calculator will help. A four-star app based on reviews in the store, you can use it to work out what you weigh, what you should weigh, and so how much sacrifice you'll have to make. Alternatively, have a cake. 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