FRIDAY CAN mean only one thing. OK, only one other thing, put the can of Tennants Super down for a minute. Here's our weekly clearinghouse of the news-in-brief from the Alphabet castle. If you want to see longer stories, you can always check this link
Android users who aren't using a Pixel can now take advantage of Google's attempts to generalise everything we say. Smart compose for Gmail (which can be switched off, by the way) will predict what you're going to say next - simply swipe right to accept, or carry on typing and it disappears.
Google's Home Hub is getting an upgrade, alongside other Smart Displays - the continued conversation feature which allows you to ask a follow-up question without all that "Hey Google" malarky is finally rolling out to devices with a screen. This is a huge relief, as it shows that Google is actively working on compatibility for its devices and services - look at Google Podcasts, which has only just got Chromecast support.
Speaking of Google Assistant, watch your settings - Google has rolled out a bunch of new voices for the device if you're getting bored with the default.
Hangouts is slowly being taken apart, piece by piece as we move closer to a full switch to the new Hangouts Chat. Another milestone was reached today - the app is no longer available for WearOS devices. Not that many people will notice.
Meanwhile, the promised Android Slices feature is rolling out to Pixel devices. It enhances your searches with personal content from around your Google empire, which depending on your perspective is either a boon or a privacy nightmare.
That said, Google giveth and Google taketh-away - Pixel users are no longer able to use voiceprints to unlock Pixel devices.
Finally this week, YouTube, recently valued at $140bn, has taken a lot of flack recently for channels that spread fake news, radical dogmas and conspiracy theories. The site has started tackling this, starting in India, which has had a serious fake news problem recently.
Users who look up results that spread wild theories will now see a fact-check box, debunking the theory with evidence. The flat earthers will love it.
The feature will be rolled out globally, but no date has been set. μ
Libra RE: not fine
NCSC notes upsurge attacks that redirect users to malicious websites
No let up for the main pawn of the trade war