GOOGLE'S OTHER NEWS is back for another week. If you want the hot-button issues, then go here (afterwards, manners cost nothing) for a full list of Google coverage this week. Meanwhile here are some of the one-line info, and believable rumours doing the rounds, interspersed with some free apps.
First this week - the mystery of Fuchsia OS has taken a not entirely unexpected turn with the arrival of Android runtime. What this means, for the non-tech-heads, is that whatever Fuchsia is, it will run legacy apps. And if that means it's the fabled coming together of Chrome OS and Android, then this is a big step. Maybe we'll finally learn more at I/O.
Three For Free: Mind Games Pro (£2.69)
Although the Brain Training fad seems to have died down, the inherent reason it started hasn't changed - stretching your mind is good for you. As such, if you're the sort of person that plays mind games, make it these Mind Games while they're free.
As of yet, we don't have an official on this, but it sounds like Google Play Music is going to be retired - rolled in with YouTube Red under the name YouTube Remix. This presents a whole wadge of questions - will you still be able to buy or just stream? Will they run concurrently to start with? Will we finally be able to access our Google songs in Drive like we do with Google Photos? All will be revealed, but if the rumours are true, GPM could go this year. We'd bet against downloads being part of any new service - Microsoft has ditched Groove this year, and Google has gone from selling bargain MP3s to virtually no discounts at all - not a sign its committed to the format.
Three For Free: Mosalingua Learn Brazil-Portuguese (£4.99)
Every few weeks, Mosalingua offers another of its language courses for diddly-squat. We like them and saving a fiver is definitely a good advert for them. As such, why not learn Brazil-Portuguese this weekend? Shame it's too late for the Olympics really.
Another big mystery is when exactly we're going to see a Google Home device with a screen. At the moment, several third parties are working with Google, but there's no official device. And we'd give a quiet side bet that when it does happen, it'll be the flagship device from the first batch of Nest products since Google took the company back under its wing. Again, just a rumour, but seems likely.
Three For Free: Widget Maker (£3.19)
Widgets are what separates Google from iOS. The home screen info-packs have no peer with Apple and they can be useful for all sorts of things. If your needs aren't being served, why not make your own? And if that's not good enough, there's a Clock Maker app that's also free. So that's sort of your fourth of three for the week.
And finally this week - while we're all drooling over the long overdue Gmail interface that launched this week (if you haven't found it yet, click the "cog" item in the top right, and there's an option to "try the new Gmail") there's talk that Chrome will be next for a facelift. There's a fair bet that it's accurate because it's already live in the Canary channel showing a design evolution that is almost imperceptible unless you are looking.
But test channels aren't a guarantee of something that is going to launch - any show-stopping bugs between now, the Beta channel next month and the stable channel at the end of June would delay it for an indeterminate length of time.
That's it for now. More next week.
Three For Free: Disclaimer - These apps are available directly from the Play Store for free at the time of writing but can return to full price at any time. The content of these downloads is not provided by or connected to Incisive Media. If you are a developer that wants to flag an app for inclusion, get in touch. µ
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