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All posts tagged "Google"

  • Reviewer’s Google Home Mini goes rogue, records everything

    Manufacturers of smart speakers have gone to great lengths to explain to users that the devices respect their privacy. But Google was in a rather tricky situation after a tech journalist's Google Home Mini speaker malfunctioned. Android Police journalist Artem Russakovskii was one of many to receive a Google Home Mini at the company's 4 October event. But quickly found that it was listening to and recording everything, instead of only listening to a hotword to activate. "Several days passed without me noticing anything wrong. In the meantime, as it turns out, the Mini was behaving very differently from all the...

  • Pixel 2: Google explains decision to ditch 3.5mm audio jack

    The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are just the latest smartphones to ditch headphone jacks, making for a rather odd turn of events compared to the original Pixel. Back at the original Pixel launch, Google mocked Apple for ditching the audio jack. But now, it's Google that's defending itself over the decision. Google community manager Orrin Hancock has used the forum to explain the decision to drop the jack, saying it "provides a better audio and digital experience". "The Pixel 2 still comes with a headphone jack but we have moved to USB-C, a standard that is...

  • The Gearburn Podcast #20: The good, bad and overpriced of Google’s launch

    Welcome to the (sometimes) fortnightly Gearburn Podcast, where we postulate on the biggest happenings in the current tech world. This week, Hadlee and Andy sit down to discuss Google's underwhelming launch that gave us all slight déjà vu to a launch of Apple past. From the overpriced Google Pixel 2 to the funky Google Clips and the questionable Pixelbook, Google has presented products that we aren't quite sure we buy into. We discuss why in the podcast below. If you like what you hear and would like to comment, add a suggestion or share your valued opinion with us, catch us on Twitter @gearburn. Feel free...

  • Here are all the other gadgets that Google announced last night

    The Pixel 2 phones were the main attractions at Google's event last night, but the company had a lot more to show off. From new smart speakers to smart earbuds and everything in between, here's what else Google had to reveal. Google Home Mini It was leaked before the event, but Google now has a rival to Amazon's own Echo Dot smart speaker. Much like the Echo Dot, the Google Home Mini is a smaller version of the larger smart speaker, delivering the same core functionality. So that means voice queries, reminders, playing music and more. And much like the Echo Dot, the Home Mini...

  • Google Pixel 2: here’s what you should know

    The dust has finally settled following last night's Google event, which saw the company reveal a host of hardware, including the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. But what is there to know about the company's two new smartphones? We've gathered some of the more important details... No headphone jack True to the rumours, Google's smartphones omit the headphone jack in favour of Bluetooth or USB Type-C audio. It's extremely cheeky, given the fact that it mocked Apple for doing the same at the original Pixel launch. Want to use your legacy 3.5mm accessories? There is an adapter in the box, but otherwise,...

  • Google Pixel 2 launches this week: what to expect?

    Last year saw the Pixel making its debut, instantly standing out thanks to world-class mobile cameras, powerful internals and a stock Android experience. Now, we're two days away from the Pixel 2 being revealed... There have been loads of rumours regarding the new smartphones, but what are some of the more prominent details we're supposed to expect? Horsepower Early reports initially claimed that Qualcomm would supply a Snapdragon 836 processor for the new phones. But XDA later revealed that the Snapdragon 836 didn't actually exist. So we're expecting the Snapdragon 835 and 4GB of RAM (although 6GB wouldn't be out of the question,...

  • Is Google very close to buying HTC’s smartphone division?

    Last month saw reports that HTC was exploring a variety of options, ranging from a full company sale to its mobile unit being spun off. Now, it would appear that Google is closing in on a deal to acquire the mobile division or a major part thereof. The two companies are in the final stage of talks that would see the Mountain View company only take a mobile-related unit rather than the whole company or the VR division, a Taiwanese publication reported. The website claims that negotiations should be completed by the end of the year -- at least that's what Google Translate tells...

  • Hands on with the first ARCore apps on the Play Store

    Google announced ARCore late last month, being its development platform for augmented reality (AR) on Android. The move comes a while after Apple revealed ARKit, its own bid to bring better augmented reality to smartphone users. Much like ARKit, Google's platform is designed with traditional smartphones in mind, rather than Project Tango phones that bristle with extra sensors and cameras. So how does it run on something like the Galaxy S8, which only has one main camera? Not too badly actually. But before you get your AR on, you'll need to install the ARCore preview app, available from GitHub (direct download link). Do note...

  • ARCore: Google reveals AR platform to bring tech to masses

    Apple's ARKit development tools have brought augmented reality back into the limelight in recent months, owing to the depth (heh) of features enabled by the technology. For one, Apple and third-party devs have showed off motion/environmental tracking, showing great potential for expanding augmented reality beyond sophisticated multi-camera smartphones. Now, Google has seemingly taken Apple's cue and revealed ARCore, effectively being its take on AR development for normal smartphones. "Today, we're releasing a preview of a new software development kit (SDK) called ARCore. It brings augmented reality capabilities to existing and future Android phones," the company wrote in a blog post, adding that developers can...

  • Pixel camera app, complete with HDR+, hacked to run on other phones

    The Google Pixel stood out last year thanks to its camera chops, touting the same fundamental specs as the Nexus 6P, but with one key difference. The camera app delivered HDR+, which dramatically stepped up photo quality. Far from being blurry like the HDR modes of yore, the Pixel's HDR+ mode resulted in much improved photo quality at night, for example. Unfortunately, Google didn't release the updated camera app for all, but a Ukrainian developer has stepped up to the plate. According to XDA, the developer spent two evenings hacking together the Google Camera APK. The end-result is that the app...