IT'S THE WEEKEND, but before you disappear off to do whatever it is you do at the weekend, we've had a busy week for Google news - here are 10 things we didn't know last week:
- That adblocking decision could see Chromium fork off: The backlash over Google's forthcoming removal of the WebRequest API which will stop many ad-blocker extensions from working goes on. Now three of the big alternative Chromium browsers - Opera, Vivaldi and Brave have said they'll fork off their builds to continue offering ad-blockers. Your move, Google.
- Google Stadia needs work but is already pretty impressive: The first demonstrations of Stadia, Google's forthcoming game streaming platform are taking place at E3. Word on the street is that it's laggier than hoped but better than we expected - and there's still work in progress.
- Google realised that it can't fight leaks, so it's joining in: Google has had a serious problem with leaks in recent years - the Pixel 3 and 3a ranges were an open secret. So this week, Google decided to be its own leaker, revealing our first view of the Pixel 4. It doesn't tell us a lot if we're honest, but it's exciting nonetheless.
- It looks like Google-Nest will be bringing us a Tile rival soon: Ah, FCC filings, thou art an endless source of gossip. In this case, it's a Bluetooth beacon that will probably form part of the Google Nest range. At the moment, you can use Tile trackers with Google Assistant, but a native Google Home product would be even more useful.
- Chromecast and Google Home are borked: Users of Google Home and Google Chromecast products (including us INQ types) have been having a lot of problems with their devices which seem to be disappearing from the home network (and therefore the app) willy-nilly. A fix is coming, we're told.
- Google Photos is striking out on its own: Up to now, Google Drive and Google Photos have co-existed fairly happily, but bewilderingly for some. Now your Google Drive picks won't sync to Google Photos and vice versa, mainly so people don't delete stuff from one, unwittingly deleting it from the other.
- Android 32-bit is about to breathe its last: Although Android has been a 64-bit operating system for a few years now, Android Studio has still supported 32-bit builds for legacy handsets. Now though, the party is over - the wind-down begins at the end of the month, with complete EOL at the end of 2020.
- Gmail is about to get a lot busier: Dynamic Mail was promised by Google at I/O this year, and it's rolling out in a couple of weeks to GMail users. In short - interactive emails powered by AMP.
- Now your phone will tell you if you're being kidnapped: There's a nice new feature in Google Maps this week. It will now monitor your route so if you're in a cab that takes an unwelcome diversion, it can alert you before its too late. Or expensive.
- Youtube is fixing its notification dumpster fire: Great news for content creators (as opposed to real journalists). YouTube is finally going to fix the hot mess that has been YouTube notifications over the past year. They should all work properly starting with the next edition of Creator Studio. Phew.
If that lot hasn't sufficiently quenched your thirst for Alphabet Castle stories, you can always click here for a live page of Google stories hot off the inky fingers of our lovely INQ journalists. μ
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