ITS BEEN a busy week for Google/Alphabet tidbits, so it's a good flippin' job you've found our weekly update of all the news in brief that didn't make it into the main weeks reporting. You can view all those longer stories here but let's waste no time and mop up the rest.
With Safer Internet Day falling this week, it seems that Google has taken the opportunities to protect us a little more with two new apps.
As well as Password Checkup, the firm has teamed with other major internet companies for a service that sees them pool their data (anonymously, natch) and lets a site know that there's been a problem affecting you (like a hack) that might have a knock-on effect on them. This feature is optional both to you, and has to be implemented on the website, so don't worry about anything happening without your knowledge.
If you fancy a career change, or just feel we don't know all we need to about the long rumoured Pixel Watch, then good news, because Google is hiring a new VP of Wearables. It's a sign that the Big G hasn't given up completely on wearable tech, though let's face it, it has some serious catching up to do.
Some friction between El Goog and the NYPD - although it's less popular here, Waze which offers a slightly different service from Google Maps is a big deal in the US, thanks to its user generated traffic reports. But the Big Apple Feds are not happy that people are using it to warn others of where to avoid speed traps and DUI breathalyser stations. We're not sure if Google plans to agree. Technically it's a First Amendment issue.
Nest's new security system, expected to launch soon in the UK, has a new trick and it's thrown some people off - it's now a Google Assistant. The thing is, nobody knew it had a microphone - it's not listed in the specs, but has apparently been there all along. Who knew?
Finally this time, there's a neat new feature for Android, aimed at the hard-of-hearing. Live Transcribe uses the same tech that lets Google Assistant understand you to create live subtitles for the world around you, which is a pretty neat trick. It goes with the Sound Amplifier app that lets you use your headphones as a hearing aid, blocking out background noise and boosting the conversation. Both are out now. μ
Oh and it'll also help give aural pleasure
But it might still not be enough to make virtual reality super appealing
And a ridiculous competition
Now you can talk to your silly-looking earbuds too