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All posts tagged "Google"

  • Google Assistant coming to way more countries, SA included – report

    South Africans don't need to jump through many hoops to get Google Assistant on their devices, but it looks like Google is going to officially bring the service to the country -- and many more markets. According to a slide tweeted by Dutch journalist Elger van der Wel, Google Assistant is coming to the Netherlands, Italy, Russia, Japan, Saudi Arabia and South Africa in 2018 (all the countries with blue colours in the slide). The slide was apparently shown at the DNI (Digital News Initiative) Summit in the Netherlands. Voor het eerst officieel uitgesproken door Google: Google Assistent komt dit jaar naar...

  • Nest, Google hardware teams to merge, separate branding to stay

    It's taken them four years, but Google has announced that smart home company Nest (acquired by Google in 2014) will merge with the Google Hardware team. The move will see the two join forces to "combine hardware, software and services", read an excerpt of a post on Google's blog. Previously, the Nest team worked as a separate division. "The goal is to supercharge Nest's mission: to create a more thoughtful home, one that takes care of the people inside it and the world around it," the post continues. "By working together, we'll continue to combine hardware, software and services to create a...

  • 8 features we’d like to see in Android P

    The latest version of Android is trickling out ever so slowly to a select few phones, but it's one of the more important updates yet. The work doesn't stop as soon as one update is out though, as Google undoubtedly starts work on the next update. Here are a few things we'd like to see from Android P... A desktop experience option Maybe that's where the Fuschia OS project is heading, but a desktop mode for Android seems like a handy feature at first glance. This would allow you to connect your phone to an external display (via a dock, lapdock or other...

  • Microsoft calls out Chromebooks (literally) with $200 laptops

    Laptop manufacturers have hopped on the Chromebook bandwagon in a big way, offering a variety of Google-powered laptops. And the cheaper devices have quickly found a niche in the education sector, being an affordable option for students. Now, Microsoft has announced that it will be showing off education-focused Windows laptops, starting at US$189. And the company has clearly painted a target on Chromebooks in its announcement. "This week at Bett, we'll show new Windows 10 and Windows 10 S devices from Lenovo and JP, starting at just US$189, providing more options for schools who don't want to compromise on Chromebooks," read...

  • RCS: move to replace SMS gets major boost with Huawei

    The RCS messaging protocol is seen by many as the successor to SMS, offering a variety of advantages over the legacy technology. Google has been a major driver here, rolling out the RCS-compatible Android Messages app and the Jibe RCS platform for network partners to get up to speed. It's been quiet on this front for a while now, but Google has just announced a major partner in the form of Huawei. In fact, the Chinese brand will be integrating Android Messages across its Android phone portfolio "in the coming months". Huawei will also be working with Google to offer the Jibe RCS...

  • 5+ great smartphones we can’t officially get in South Africa

    Between Apple, Samsung, Huawei and Xiaomi, we've got a rather healthy variety of smartphone brands in South Africa. However, there are a few standout smartphones that aren't officially available at all in the country (best use mail forwarding services, third-party websites and the like). We take a look at a few of the more prominent devices... Google Pixel 2 One of the most obvious picks has to be Google's smartphones, as Google's entire hardware portfolio is missing in South Africa. Last year's Pixel 2 was one of the most critically acclaimed devices of 2017, delivering a fantastic camera, powerful internals, squeezable edges, IP67 water-resistance...

  • Comparison: Snapdragon laptops versus Chromebooks

    December 2017 saw Qualcomm finally reveal proper Snapdragon-powered laptops at its Tech Summit, capable of running full-fledged Windows 10. Featuring proper Windows apps and long battery life (according to Qualcomm and manufacturers), the Snapdragon laptops might just deliver the goods. But how could these laptops compare to Chromebooks? After all, we see Android app support and long battery life in many a ChromeOS device. And it doesn't hurt that there are a ton of ChromeOS laptops out there for every price point. We compare the two platforms. ChromeOS versus Windows 10 An LG V30+ on top of the Snapdragon-powered...

  • Google at CES 2018: Assistant everywhere, smart displays now a thing

    CES 2018 is in full swing this week, as a variety of companies use the opportunity to reveal new products and services. Google is no exception, using the Las Vegas mega-event to make several key consumer-related announcements. Starting with Google Assistant, the tech firm revealed that the voice tool was available on over 400 million devices. It adds that it sold just over one Google Home a second since the Home Mini (review) started shipping in October -- more than seven million units by our calculations. Assistant in more places Google isn't stopping there though, announcing more partnerships with third party manufacturers to bring...

  • Watch these 5 smartphone brands in 2018

    2017 was a year for tall screens and itsy bitsy borders, delivering high-end smartphones with a distinctive look compared to years prior. Apple, Samsung, LG and others got on this bandwagon, offering a host of other features as well. But what could we expect from these players next year? We look at a few mobile brands you should be watching in 2018. Apple Let's start with the juggernaut. The company enjoyed both a tick and a tock year, offering the otherwise safe iPhone 8 and 8 Plus (review) devices. But it was the iPhone X that really stood out, serving up that...

  • FYI: Google Home Mini works just fine in South Africa

    Google hardware is notoriously tough to come by in South Africa, as we've found out over the past couple of years. This is chiefly due to a combination of pending localisation and regulatory approval, country manager Luke Mckend told us in an interview earlier this year. For what it's worth, I managed to grab a Google Home Mini for US$30 during a work trip to the USA last week. And the good news is that it works well enough thus far (in case you didn't know), even without proper localisation in place. In terms of the hardware setup, the Google Home Mini...