THE WEEKEND beckons and with it our weekly roundup of the best stories from Alphabet Castle that for various reasons didn't otherwise get covered (plus of course we get to be even more snarky than usual in this column). The main Google-related news of the week can be found, constantly updated, at this link.
Onward and upward then, starting with Adobe Flash (shudder). Starting with Chrome 76, which should become stable in July, you'll not only find that all Flash content is deactivated by default, but will also "loudly" tell you that you've reactivated it, reminding you that Flash will be completely removed in 2020.
Next up IFTTT - and no, it's not a Google product, but it is used by Google product users a lot and they could be in for a bit of a shock. From 1 April, there are going to be big changes to the API for Gmail. That is, according to IFTTT, going to break a lot of applets that people have written. The only things you'll be able to do after that are Send an Email, and Create a Draft email. The rest are in the bin.
Good news for Google Fit users. After removing a number of measurements from the app when it relaunched last year, a new version that is rolling out that reinstates sleep tracking and elevation (ie your distance above sea level, meaning they can once again be imported from other apps like Strava and Withings Health Mate.
Google Assistant briefly had one of its sillier features previewed this week, thanks to a bug. We'd long been warned that a John Legend (he's a singing person, Granddad) was going to be leading his gob to an alternative voice for your smart home, but nothing transpired. With I/O coming up and Google hating to not have done something it said it would, the Legend appeared this week. However, it's gone again. Apparently, it was a bug. Yeah. OK. Let's go with that for now.
Finally this week, but certainly not least, Google Podcasts has had a busy week. After Auntie Beeb pulled its content from the platform for reasons, the new version of GP is coming. It will add the ability to search in the app, as well as - and this is the cool bit - transcribing podcasts so you can read them as well as listen. Very cool. μ
Bad for shareholders, mildly good for the planet
YouTube on the Tube
Claims that it hasn't ever actually worked