WE'VE BEEN rooting through the stuff in the office once more to find interesting Google/Android/Alphabet news that perhaps didn't make a full story. If you want the longer coverage stuff, you can bookmark our Google stories tag here.
First up this week - check out the latest version of Google Maps. If you're using the Location Sharing feature to track where you mates are (come back Google Latitude!) then there's a nice addition. You can now see how much battery the other person has got, so hopefully, you'll spend less time wondering why they've suddenly stopped responding.
Now, don't quote us on this, but there are rumours around the tech campfire that Android P will be released on 20 August. And the best bit? That means we finally get to find out its name! We're still up in PB&J - but we'll see.
More rumours - this time that Google is planning to break back into China via a censored version of its engine to comply with local laws. We should point out that this sort of rumour comes around, usually when there's not much other news to report, so let's take it with a pinch of salt for now - we're investigating.
Here's a funny one. How many notches are too many? Google says three. It has issued a decree that no phone running its services on Android may be inflicted with more than two notches. Two too many for our liking, but hey.
Also - following the announcement of US presales of the new Lenovo Smart View speaker with Google Assistant, it now seems that JBL is breaking cover with their device, which will be $200 and is now up for presale. We're going to be in the US in a couple of weeks. We're saving up.
Moving on, you don't have to look too far for cheap apps this week as Google Play is having a sale. We've picked a few highlights, but don't forget there are also deals on books, audiobooks, films and TV series to wade through. As ever Google Play Music is more or less ignored, but given that it will disappear into YouTube Music at some point, it's hardly a surprise.
You know that thing people always say about how if they got three wishes, they'd just ask for unlimited wishes? Yeah, that. This is an app that offers up cheap apps, either through sales, promo codes or exclusive offers. All the entries have scored four stars or up in the Google Play Store so you know it's not going to be tat. Are we talking ourselves out of a job by mentioning it? Nah. You won't get this level of sass anywhere else. The app is still in beta, so be patient, but as this app is usually 69p, pick it up quick.
With shows like Springwatch proving more popular than ever, now could be the perfect time to take up birdwatching. If you're a beginner, this app will help you identify the birds around you and learn more about them. To get you started, if you're in London, those green things divebombing all the time?, they're parakeets. The most common theory is that just after the war, a pair escaped from their owner. And bred. And bred. And bred. Again, usually 69p so have at it.
Nothing to do with birds this time, but a way of helping you find your phone when you've put it down… somewhere. You pick a sound file (we chose 'crisps') and a trigger word, and then, when you need to, just say the word and it'll play the sound file, even on silent. Only slight problem with choosing ‘crisps' is that we've set off the ruddy thing 17 times today in the course of normal INQ Towers conversation. If we've not mentioned it, we love Crisps. μ
Pentagon, more like, er... data-gone
But you should probably still set you messages to private
Pichai says development of censored engine is going 'very well'
More secure protocols will be adopted at Redmond