NORMALLY AFTER a big show like MWC, we like to tell you about whatever kooky promotion the Google team has come up with. This year, however, it was much the same as last - a trail of stands to collect Bugdroid badges and an "Android Avenue" of demos. So it's business as usual - the news in brief from the Alphabet Castle. Longer stories, as ever, are found here.
Google Assistant first this week, and it appears that we're about to get even more options for home automation. Three new categories - fireplaces, air fresheners and heaters have been added (we didn't know those first two could be 'smart' either).
Good news for that person who uses Google Duo. Yeah, you. With the face. Duo can do audio calls too! Who knew? They're being added to Google Home speakers right now and are already available on Google Home Hub. That said, given that you can dial any number through Google Home devices already, the point of this is a bit… well…. vague. Google Duo is proving to be a serious priority for the company - the latest version of Oxygen OS for OnePlus provides deep integration with the video chat app.
Chrome is about to get a serious speed boost. Google is adding such a back-forward cache or bfcache - it means that it will store visited pages with a snapshot, meaning if you've visited them before, they'll reappear in the exact state you left them - also great if you've hit a link by accident.
If you're the sort of person that looks on with envious eyes at your iPhone toting friends' ability to store tickets, boarding passes and the like with Apple Wallet, then happy birthday - a new version of the Google Pay app shows an in-development feature that will do just that - you will even be able to send them to Google Pay from Gmail.
Google Clock - the native Android app for time and stuff, has a new trick up its sleeve - it'll now let you wake up to YouTube Music as an alarm. It also supports Pandora, but we Limeys don't have that here yet.
Before we go - a note to check out the Google Play Store. In honour of International Women's Day, there's a section highlighting games made by female developers. Tokenism? Maybe a bit. But there are some cracking titles to check out.
We don't have enough faces or palms
You'll find it in the App Store under 'hipster'
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