FIRST OFF this week, thanks to Google for sending us a bunch of Fortune Cookies to celebrate the Year of the Dog. They suggested there was a competition for who could find the eight skills on the fortunes fastest. We didn't win. There were 38 cookies and only a few of us. Barf before glory, sadly.
Anyway, some proper Google news you may have missed now, starting with the news that Google Cloud is buying Xively, part of LogMeIn specialising in the Internet of Things.
This isn't something that's likely to affect your smart home - but it will mean a marriage of Google Cloud and IoT for enterprise - from predictive analytics and Industrie 4.0 to managing meeting rooms.
Although Google is no longer actively supporting any smartwatches, the platform is alive and well, with an increasing number of brands, mostly fashion, supporting it.
To that end, Oreo has started to roll out on quite a few this week. The Huawei Watch 2 started today, but we've not seen it in the UK yet. Others include the Ticwatch S and E, ZTE Quartz and Casio WSD-F10.
As we compile this, we hear that the Huawei Watch 2 update is stopping Android Pay from working outside the US and UK, but as it required a PIN code every time, it's not a massive loss.
Here's a strange one. Google recently signed a deal with Getty Images to get them off its back over copyright. It looks like it has had some caveats because the "View Image" button has been removed from Google Images.
All this means is that you have to go through to the web page to download an image, so it seems a bit over the top.
Finally this week another moan. The Pixelbook was always an expensive proposition. Now we've found out that the official sleeve is out. It's $100. What's it made of exactly? Saffron?
Google is determined to price itself as a premium hardware brand. It's not working. That's why it only sold 4m Pixel phones in 2017. Shame, they're great phones but too much too soon.
As we're talking about Android Wear, then let's start your three-for-free this week with a rather nice watch face app. Photo Watch Face (£1.99) offers three layouts, with the option to use any photo you like. It's a little thing, but it matters - given that you can do it on your phone, it's surprising no one has done it before.
As happens every so often, Runtastic has made one of its suite of apps free for a few days. Runtastic Heart Rate Pro (£1.99) does exactly what it sounds like. It uses your phone's camera, which still sounds like witchcraft to us - also watch out as you'll also need the flashlight on, and they do often get hot.
Very few freebie games on offer this week, but let's give an honourable mention to AceSpeeder3 (£1.99) a Wipeout type racer game which is a bit bland in gameplay but is gorgeous to look at and that's half the fun. µ
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