WELCOME BACK to our roundup of bit you may have missed from Google.
First up, if you’ve not checked Google Assistant’s compatibility lists lately, we’d suggest you have a look. The figure has now reached 1,500 devices from over 200 brands. It’s catching up with Alexa as the centre of your home, and fast. Good job too as it seems that both Google and Amazon actually lost money on smart speakers this holiday period.
Another week, another Pixel 2 XL bug. This time the LG-made monolith of mayhem has a bug that seems to be blocking the volume when messages are being recorded for messenger apps such as Skype or Whatsapp. The issue has been around since November.
G Suite could be about to get a dedicated PBX phone VOIP system, codenamed Wolverine. This would mean that Google would have a bona fide competitor for Skype for Business, however, it would also mean yet another confusing addition to their portfolio of comms apps. We reckon this would be about the eighth.
If you’re not a fan of the new Google Calendar layout that brings Material design to service, we’ve got bad news. Google has started rolling out as the only game in town to everyone starting this week. We still miss Sunrise.
Zagat is one of those weird Google brands that has maintained a separate identity to the rest of the company. And now it looks like it will remain that way. Reports this week suggest it is planning to offload the service and branding. Odd as it would have made more sense to just incorporate their data into the Googletron.
Finally, say farewell to the Pixel C, the Android-powered convertible which has been withdrawn from sale this week in favour of the lovely (but more expensive) Pixelbook which runs on Chrome OS. The Pixel C was a valiant first attempt and it seems a shame that Android for Desktop has had another casualty after we lost Remix OS last year.
On to your three-for-free this week. As always these are games or apps available from Google Play for free, where normally they’d have a price tag (crossed out). Be quick though. Often these deals only last a couple of days.
PARKOUR FLIGHT (£1.19)
Yeah! Parkour! Better known as Freerunning, this is the sort of sport you wouldn’t think would translate well into a game, but with its blocky vector 3D graphics is can actually be rather fun.
THE FIRM (£0.84)
Buy low! Sell high! That’s the strategy in this big business game. It’s a 8-bit blocky style strategy game that reminds us in some ways of Football Manager by programming legend Kevin ‘The Beard’ Toms
POKE ME – WATER DRINK REMINDER (£0.59)
New year, new you? One of the best things you can do is drink loads of water. The recommendation is that you guzzle 2 litres a day. Poke Me acts a reminder to glug wherever you are. µ
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