Android Confidential: Just how big is that notch on the Google Pixel 3 XL anyway?

The notch. By now it’s become a fairly commonplace feature on premium phones. Even some budget handsets are starting to get in on the act. But the Google Pixel 3 XL reignites the notch frenzy. Why? Because it’s so damn big. Google didn’t just add a normal screen cutout to the top of its latest flagship phone, it added the biggest one I’ve ever seen, big enough to house two cameras and a speaker. I generally don’t mind phone notches, but there’s something about the Pixel 3 XL’s that really…

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Google Chrome for Android soon to get a new Explore UI when opening a new tab

Google is testing a new “Explore” feature on its Android Chrome app and the good news is that you can test it out by yourself without needing to install Chrome Beta or Chrome Canary. The feature introduces a new layout when opening a new tab that will help you explore topics and websites based on your interests and browsing history. Here’s how it looks.     Screenshots from the new tab If you want to get it too, just head over to your Chrome app for Android, open a new tab,…

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Google Lens Visual Search Assistant Feature Starts Rolling Out on Pixel, Pixel 2 Phones

Google has started rolling out visual search feature Google Lens in Assistant for the first batch of Pixel and Pixel 2 smartphones. “The first users have spotted the visual search feature up and running on their Pixel and Pixel 2 phones,” 9to5Google reported late on Friday. At first built into the Photos app, with the launch of the Pixel XL 2, Google Lens can recognise things like addresses and books, among others. In Photos, the feature can be activated when viewing any image or screenshot. However, in Google Assistant, it is integrated right into the sheet that pops up after holding…

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India will have to wait longer for Android Pay as Google shifts focus to Tez, its digital payment app

Google is not going to roll out its Android Pay service in India any time soon. The company is rather focused on pushing its new app – Google Tez, a Unified Payments Interface (UPI)-based digital payment application, in the country. During a Q&A session following the launch of Google Tez app on Monday, company’s senior executive Caesar Sengupta told the media that the company has no immediate plans to launch the Android Pay service in India. He cited lack of wider availability of (Near Field Connectivity) NFC-enabled smartphones and penetration of…

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Google opens Expeditions VR education app to the public

Google has long sold its Cardboard VR format as a super accessible platform for getting people into virtual reality. One of their major initiatives for it has been in education markets through its Google Expeditions program, which allows students to get in the center of 360 photos and 3D scenes with historical importance. The program has enabled trips to the TaJ Mahal, Colosseum and behind the scenes of Alexander Hamilton’s life. Today, the company announced it is opening the educational VR tours to the public through a new Expeditions App. All you need…

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Google, GE Appliances Partner to Expand Smart Home Ambitions

GE Appliances announced a deal with Google Wednesday enabling the US tech giant’s voice control home hub to be used for cooking, cleaning and other functions. The deal enables GE’s “Geneva” to communicate with the Google Assistant, so users can say: “Ok Google, ask Geneva Home to set the oven timer for 10 minutes.” The announcement comes nearly a year after GE Appliances unveiled a similar tie-up with Amazon’s Alexa-powered speakers.   It also comes as Google was expected to unveil more partnerships and initiatives in artificial intelligence at its…

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How Google Took Over the Classroom

CHICAGO — The sixth graders at Newton Bateman, a public elementary school here with a classic red brick facade, know the Google drill. In a social-science class last year, the students each grabbed a Google-powered laptop. They opened Google Classroom, an app where teachers make assignments. Then they clicked on Google Docs, a writing program, and began composing essays. Looking up from her laptop, Masuma Khan, then 11 years old, said her essay explored how schooling in ancient Athens differed from her own. “Back then, they had wooden tablets and…

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Google embraces 360-degree video with new Street View certification for cameras

Google’s Street View is one of those amazing things we take for granted. At the tap of a button we can be transported to millions of places around around the globe and take a 360-degree look around as if we were standing right there. And now Google wants to put the power of Street View right in your hands. On its Keyword blog, Google has announced a new “Street View ready” certification standard that will let anyone publish an interactive tour fit for Maps. Previously, creating 360-degree videos required a…

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Google Duo Aims to Make Video Calling Super-Easy

Google on Monday launched Google Duo, a one-on-one video calling app that runs on iOS and Android. The app will be available worldwide in the next few days, said Justin Uberti, principal software engineer at Google. Duo switches from cellular service to WiFi, and transitions from high-speed to lower speed wireless service smoothly, promising to let users continue video calls irrespective of their location and service speeds, although video degradation may be apparent on slower services. A separate account isn’t necessary to sign up for the app — a phone…

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Alphabet Loses Google Ventures Founder Bill Maris, But ‘Everything Is Great’

Bill Maris, the founder and CEO of Alphabet’s GV (formerly known as Google Ventures), is leaving the company. GV is the venture capital investment arm of Alphabet, which was founded in 2009. GV has made investments in many companies such as ride-hailing service Uber, health food company Impossible Foods, discount online retailer Jet.com, which was recentlyacquired by Walmart for $3.3 billion, and more. During an interview with Recode, Maris revealed that he had spent about eight years in GV and he is leaving to spend time with his family. “I have…

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