SO IT'S BEEN quite a busy week for Google one way and another, and the problem with that is that there isn't time to cover everything. You can read about all the bigger stories of the week with this link, but for the rest? Well, read on, friend.
Google News is first up and Google Assistant users can now listen to Google News, as an audio version has now been introduced. At first glance, it doesn't offer much that isn't already there. What's actually going on is more of Google's nifty AI, and you should find that asking for the news will now be more personalised and more tailored to finding your favourite sources with new content.
Santa news now and the man with the bag is back as Google's Santa Tracker gets a 2018 revamp. This time, it's 15th year, there's coding lessons for kids throughout December, so as well as all the usual fun and games, there's a chance to actually come away with something useful. Plus of course, when we hit Christmas Eve, you can watch Santa go round the world in real time courtesy of NORAD.
Google has already set about trying to reduce bias in its AI, and now Google Translate is getting the same treatment. By adding gender-neutral translations - for example "he is a tech journalist" AND "she is a tech journalist" will now be displayed, it's hoped that the AI will learn that there's no such thing as ‘jobs for the boys'.
Whilst Movies Anywhere, the app which combines all your video libraries into one glorious whole, is not available in the UK yet, Google is at least working to give you a choice. The next version of Google Play Movies and TV is on the way, and it looks like under the hood there's the beginnings of a price comparison option, so you can see if your title is cheaper (or even free to stream) elsewhere. If only they'd do something similar for Google Play Music. But given that's on borrowed time, it won't surprise you to hear that it won't
With all the focus on Flutter, it's worth mentioning that there's another new development tool from El Goog. It's called Hummingbird and it allows you to create and bundle web apps to multiple platforms. If you're not ready to go native, this could be for you.
A treat for Pixel users - the new Pixel Sounds app is here, offering visualisers, ringtones and themes for Pixel devices. It's 2005 all over again.
Finally, a note that after weeks of waiting, the Pixel Slate 2-in-1 is finally available to buy. Reaction has been mixed so far, but at least we don't have to wait anymore. And if you're a Google 1 (nee Drive) user, watch your inbox - there's 25 per cent vouchers plopping through your cyberbox, valid on products in the Google Store.
Right. That's quite enough for one week. Next Friday, yeah? μ
You're not the voice, try and understand it
Not 'Appy bunnies
News reaches us, per Plex