Monday , 23 July 2018
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Google Updates: SOS, OK, 60 and £19bn

THIS WEEK’S Google News: Google Instant Search is no more as the company tries to bring the desktop search into line with mobile. Lipizzan isn’t a type of lip-balm and never was. The Pixel 2 will probably rock a Qualcomm Snapdragon 836, but won’t have a headphone jack. Chrome 60 hits beta with full Mac Touch Bar integration. Android O’s final preview for developers is out. It’s nearly time. And that £2.1bn fine against Google has eaten into Alphabets profits, but it still turned in £19bn revenue for the quarter. Boom!

Value added news time and it’s looking increasingly likely that Android O is going to be Oreo. The traditional Easter Egg has appeared in the latest preview edition, and it shows an octopus (because eight legs for Android 8.0) in the animation stylings of an Oreo advert, with the same blue and white colouring. It’s not a definite, but the plot, like the gooey vanilla creme centre, is thickening.

Google is launching SOS Alerts, a bit like Facebooks for crises. They’re part of Maps and Search and will give you phone numbers, news, translations of phrases, donations to help and so on, to assist you, as well as local information if you’re in the heart of it all. There’s nothing about marking yourself as safe, but Facebook has that bit sewn up anyway.

Finally, it’s sounding more and more like Google Assistant is about to come to Chrome OS. The “OK Google” hot-word has been removed this week, but Google rarely takes away without replacing and it seems it’s the next logical step and with rumours rife, it could well be coming soon, squaring the circle of Google Assistant in the Google ecosystem.

On to your weekly freebies – Cubes is a lovely little puzzle game, usually 99p. It has a 4.6 rating on the Play Store. So that’s nice. We liked it.

We’d not seen anything like Weather Route before and it’s a really good idea. You plot your journey and it gives you a forecast for the entire journey. It’s not without its flaws, but they’re solvable ones and it’s worth grabbing while it’s free because it will be good.

Finally, Laserbreak Pro – yes it’s another game, but it’s a cool one. Down from 59p, this is all about redirecting lasers off mirrors. You know the drill. It’ll bust your brain. µ

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