LIFE AT GOOGLE and its parent company Alphabet doesn't stand still. Here's our weekly round-up of the big stories, little stories and downright rumours from Alphabet Castle this week. You can read all our full coverage of Google stories at this link.
- Google Maps will stop you having an armpit in your face: Sweaty buses and carriages are just the worst. Google is here to help though, with 18 UK cities amongst 200 around the world which can now spot delays and also work out how busy your journey is likely to be. It's rolling out now.
- Alphabet Chronicles its Cloud: Alphabet has been keeping cybersecurity company Chronicle separate since it bought it but that's all set to change, and with a bit of presto-chango, it's now part of Google, where it will be absorbed into Google Cloud
- Your next tablet could have pages like a book: Despite Google being officially ‘done' with tablets, it hasn't stopped the leak of a recent patent which used flexible screen tech to make a tablet which has turnable pages, like a book, each with a different screen or app. No news on it being "a thing" anytime soon though.
- At last, you can delete your personal information from your Google account: After years of campaigning, Google will now let you set automatic deletion of your old data from its servers. You just set up "more than 3 months" or "more than 18 months" and Google will delete anything older than that threshold.
- YouTube Music knows your favourite songs: Although YouTube Music remains in limbo, with many features that Google Play Music has still yet to transfer, it hasn't stopped a brand new feature being added. It can now work out your favourite songs from your choices, and keep up to 500 of them on your phone storage, meaning you won't have to worry about being stuck in the Underground with nothing to listen to.
- Googlers can protest if you don't know they're Googlers: Pride is this weekend and Google has a float. It also has a lot of peed off staff right now, and they've been given their instructions. Google has said it will let staff protest, but only if they're well away from the Google float. Wouldn't want to upset anyone, would we? Ahem.
- Now Chrome OS will come with release notes: Chrome OS is a wonder and a joy, but amongst the regular niggles is the fact that it's never quite clear exactly what an update brings to the table. No more, however, as there's now a web app for Chrome with full release notes. Trust us, most of it will be dull as oxtail soup.
- Google can be quite the stick-in-the-mud: Another reminder that relying on computers is no substitute for having a brain. Earlier in the week, 100 motorists got stuck in a muddy field because Google told them it was a short cut to the airport. It wasn't that.
- Google Chrome for Android has a lot of users: Chrome has just become the fifth Android app to hit five billion installs. Given that it ships in most handsets with access to the Play Store, this figure is spectacularly high. It's also estimated that it has served up a mind-melting 20tn tabs in that time.
- Soon you'll be able to treat progressive apps like regular Windows apps: If Google gets its way, anyway. It's working on a way to make PWA appear as programs in the Windows UI, meaning you can install them directly, just like regular apps. Again no date on when it will roll out though.
That's your big ten for this week. Happy weekend. μ
Bad for shareholders, mildly good for the planet
YouTube on the Tube
Claims that it hasn't ever actually worked