BACK ONCE again with the ill behaviour, it's our weekly look at the things that we didn't know about Google last week, but we do now. Some of them have been covered in full - the links are provided. Others are juicy tidbits we didn't get to during the week. But we're telling you now. So that's ok then. Fine. Fine? Fine.
- The Play Store is about to look a little different: Quite how we're reporting this in 2019 beggars belief, but the Material Design language, introduced to bring cohesion to Google/Android back in 2014 has finally reached the Play Store. It's rolling out as we speak, so keep checking back. There's not much new here, aside from a paint job, but it's nice to see even minor things like Google's main f***ing shop window getting the priority they deserve.
- Google Maps is ready to choose your food for you: One of the things that struck us about this years Google I/O is just how much Google would really like to do your thinking for you. Nowhere is that better illustrated in a new skill for Google Maps. Now, if you find a restaurant, you can interact with the menu - it'll show you popular dishes, but also, if a dish has been snapped and tagged appropriately by another visitor, you'll be able to see the food too. That's rolling out now too - Apple interlopers will get it in a few months.
- Google can't condone that funny cigarette of yours: Surprised, though we are, that it lasted this long, there's been a big change to the Play Store T&Cs (THCs?) banning apps from facilitating the sale of marijuana, even where it's legal. Fortunately, in terms of enforcing it, Google is being pretty chill.
- Wellbeing isn't slowing down your Pixel 3: Despite the fact that Google's flagship device, which has been causing hair-tearing lag problems since its last update, can be demonstrably faster with Wellbeing switched off, Google says that's not the problem. However, it does say it has found some other issues that might be causing the stank of Pie - and fixes will be with us next month. Which, if you're reading this on day of publication is tomorrow. Otherwise, This Month.
- It's a mixed bag of blessings for Android Auto users: On the plus side, Google Maps now has a database of speed traps and radar locations that can be used to alert you to the presence of El Plod. This is a good thing. Unfortunately, it was announced on the same day we found out that something is causing Assistant and Bluetooth not to play nicely - upshot, sudden silence halfway up the M6. Ach.
- A corpse-app can still Twitch for several minutes: YouTube has shut down its Gaming app, moving the content into the main interface. You'll get a separate YouTube Gaming channel in the new app, but you will lose your game-saves. We're not sure which is the bigger pain in the ass - moving to a new app (albeit one you already have) or losing all that lovely data.
- Google is dicking about with cold fusion again: After the theory that you can create miniature suns to power the home was debunked about 30 years ago, we didn't hear much more about it, but apparently, Google is experimenting with it again. So far, with no joy, but there are purring noises of minor progress coming from the project. Just don't hold your breath for any successfully pursued holy grails just yet.
- Google has more contractors than actual staff: Not only that, they're getting seriously annoyed. They get less pay, lousy conditions and seem to be the first against the wall at the first sign of trouble. It's all about saving headcount costs, but FFS Google, really?
- YouTube is working on AR Lippy: A recent teardown from Android Police shows that the YouTube app has some hidden fancy-pants features - notably, you'll soon be able to see what you look like in that Lippy that Zoella is peddling. A new AR feature will be tied to a ‘Try Lipstick' option that can be enabled by Channel owners. Mwah.
- Google is coming down hard on privacy-popping permissions: In one of its 90-day compliance announcements, Google is now requiring that apps use the fewest permissions possible, with no doubling up from overlapping APIs. It's all about locking down your data held in Chrome and Drive. Which is no bad thing.
That's your lot for this week. More next. μ
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