Google and Qualcomm are making Android updates a whole lot easier for device manufacturers. Devices will now get chipset-level updates for four years.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way a lot of us work, go to school, and how we spend time with friends or family. While most of these used to happen in person, times have changed, and now you’re more likely to end up on a video call for at least one of these. For many, Zoom has been the go-to choice for video calls during the past year.However, Google and others have done their best to lure you over to competing platforms. Yesterday, we covered how the Signal messenger app now has end-to-end encrypted video group calling.Later that day–Google announced its video chat competitor Google Meet–now supports four additional languages for Live Caption including French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish. Previously, Live Captions were only available in English.For those not in the know, Live Caption is a feature from Google which displays captions in real-time while someone is speaking. Think of it as having subtitles in a movie or TV show, but for real life. With this feature, it enables meetings to be more inclusive for those who speak a different primary language, the deaf, and people with various degrees of hearing loss.To use Live Captions during your own Google Meet calls, tap on the three-dot menu in the lower right-hand corner, select captions, choose a language from the list, and tap apply. Each user in the video call will be able to choose the language option which best suits their needs.Right now non-English captions are currently available on the web in Asian Pacific, European, Middle Eastern, and African countries. They will be rolling out to North America and Latin America in early 2021. Support for mobile apps is also coming to Android and iOS in early 2021.
Apple TV App Coming to ‘Chromecast With Google TV’ Early Next Year and More Android TV Devices in Future
Google today announced that the Apple TV app will be rolling out to the new Chromecast with Google TV dongle
Google's Stadia cloud gaming service is now available on iOS through a dedicated web app, which means that it is
Neverware may not be a name you’re familiar with or its operating system CloudReady. The company has built a promising commercial product that installs the open-source version of Chrome OS to most modern PC hardware. Google must have taken notice and both entities have announced that Neverware is now a part of Google.So, a little backstory might help understand why Google has snatched up Neverware. Essentially, CloudReady takes the open-source underpinnings of Chrome OS called Chromium OS and packages it as an installation medium that can be used on most laptops and desktops. Think of a Windows install but running a Google-less version of Chrome OS.The caveats with CloudReady have been that you didn’t get Google’s admin console or Android apps via the Play Store. While Neverware built its own admin portal that’s pretty solid, the announcement from the CloudReady team states that the existing project will be updated to the official Chrome OS family and bring the admin and Play Store.Other notable details are that the current CloudReady customer base will continue their contracted support options. This includes updates, certified hardware support, and license purchases. Neverware asks for patience in the release of more details as the transition takes shape. The free Home Edition will also continue unchanged for now.This news may seem trivial to some, but I find this fascinating. Google has now purchased an established commercial product that has a closely related development codebase. The kicker? It’s installable to hardware schools and enterprise customers already own.Now Google can expand its foothold in education and corporate America by only selling you on services and software. If you don’t have the need, or funds, to upgrade to new Chrome OS hardware it’s not a problem. In theory, Google could come to demo the sleek, new Chrome OS on your hardware to show you that it works on what you have in-house.Google has already supplanted Windows in many schools. CloudReady with actual Chrome OS could be the next step in that evolution. The ease of use, seamless updates, and easy admin management have made Chromebooks a preferred option for many IT departments.Most of that is conjecture, but Google is definitely in the position to make all those scenarios happen. And I can’t imagine why else you’d make the investment? Either way, this an interesting development for both CloudReady and Chrome OS that we should keep an eye on moving forward.
Google has long frustrated users with the Pixel phone for generations. The original Pixel showed a huge jump in camera technology but lacked truly compelling hardware. From there we’ve had the giant display notches and weird air gestures. However, with the new Pixel 5, I think Google has made the best Pixel device yet by returning to basics.DesignLet’s be honest, the industrial structure that is the Pixel 5 isn’t earth-shattering. This year’s model is a metal body covered in a matte plastic coating. This makes for a great feeling in the hand, but it’s not winning any design awards.The Pixel 5 is like a pickup truck. Most of them aren’t sculpted works of art like a sports car, but they get the job done. That’s the Pixel 5. It’s utilitarian and just functional.Despite the militant casing, Google has updated many features of the Pixel 5 to make it look like the most modern version of the Pixels we’ve seen thus far. Specifically, the 1080×2340 6-inch display is now edge to edge with a symmetrical layout. Other than a hole-punch selfie camera in the top left, the front of the Pixel 5 is all screen.This leads to a compact footprint very similar to last year’s Pixel 3a. I have recently found myself not wanting a larger screen in most instances. The Pixel 5 does a great balancing act of screen real estate and pocketability.Around the right side, you have the traditional Pixel layout of the volume rocker and power button. At the bottom is a pair of down-firing speakers and the USB-C power port. The left is flanked by a flush SIM tray and that’s all.It’s also worth mentioning the Pixel 5 technically has a stereo speaker system. However, if you can’t find it in the photos, it’s because the top earpiece speaker is now under the display. The sound “vibrates” the screen in place of the standard grilled cutout found on most devices. I personally don’t have an issue with it but you might find it slightly more muffled than previous Pixels.Another hidden feature? Wireless charging is present even though the main body of the Pixel 5 is metal. How? Glad you asked.Google has done a bit of trickery here. You may have noticed the main body reference above. That’s due to the back of the phone has a literal cutout for the Qi wireless charging coil. With the plastic coating over the entire body, you can’t see the difference.CamerasFlip the over and you’ll be greeted with a squared, double camera array. This houses a 12.2MP main shooter and a 16MP ultra-wide lens. The 12.2-megapixel is the same lens that Google has carried since the Pixel 2. However, the company has continuously improved its output via software.That is still true. While other cameras in the likes of the Samsung S20 have closed the gap, and possibly exceeded it with hardware, Google’s Pixel 5 still takes some of the best photos you are going to find from any Android phone. It’s also the most consistent in my experience.Other shooters may outperform the Pixel 5 from time to time, but I have no hesitation in quick shots with Google’s software running the show. The results are almost always better and the photo results have the same top-notch output. A Pixel shot always looks like a Pixel shot photo.The camera bump also sees a new 16-megapixel ultra-wide. This new shooter allows you to get a pretty decent field of view other than the main shooter’s compact layout. The results aren’t quite as sharp as the 12.2-megapixel, but they still produce nice shots when you want the added capture range. 1 of 6 The addition of an ultra-wide 16-megapixel lens comes at the removal of the dedicated telephoto option. I personally am content with the trade-off. The post-processing of the main camera still produces great portrait shots without the need for another sensor.Speaking of, Google has thrown in a few more tricks in the software. One is Portrait Light. This gives you the ability to change the light and shade of the portrait photo after the fact.If the subject looks off or the light source is coming from a weird angle, you can simply just move the light. It sounds trivial, but in practice, it’s pretty impressive. Google being able to have this much leverage over a photo after the hardware has done its job is remarkable.Another change is that Night Mode is now automatic in the default camera option. You can still choose it manually in the slide menu as well. However, having it just happen based on the lens picking up a lack of light is just a much more natural interaction than the previous iteration.Google has also finally made video a priority. You can now shoot recordings in full 4k 60 with image stabilization on by default. The results are much improved from previous generations and help eliminate shaky hands like mine.Battery LifeOne of the few things that Google has consistently not made a priority on the Pixel line is battery life. This has officially changed with the Pixel 5. With the more efficient Snapdragon 765G, the Pixel 5 has zero issues lasting me all day and into the night.While results will vary from user to user, I’ve been impressed by the new 4000mAh battery pack. I’m seeing around 15-18 hours of general use before having to really look for a charger. This is a far cry of my Pixel 4 XL that always struggled past 12 hours.Real World UseWe’ve covered all the basics and specs, but what’s that translate to when actually using the new Pixel 5. To me, this makes for the best overall experience Pixel users have been offered by Google. You still get an outstanding camera and clean software. You still get the great Google Assistant options like music detection and call monitoring.The icing on the cake is the price and newfound battery life. While this is mainly due to the choice in a more mid-range processor from Qualcomm, you won’t see it much in day to day interaction.Is it slightly less powerful than the 800 series in other flagships? Yes. Does it show up much? No. Honestly, you will only see it with the occasional gaming and in the time it takes to post-process photos at times.One of the best features is a return to the good ole days of 2 years ago…the fingerprint scanner is back! While many will debate me on this, the traditional capacitive fingerprint reader is a much more consistent option for biometric security. Add that to the current conditions of a health crisis of millions of folks wearing masks makes it a welcome reunion on the Pixel 5 hardware.Final ThoughtsThe Pixel 5 is a hard pivot for Google’s smartphone strategy. Despite this move, it’s not a bad one. The company has ceded to the giants of Samsung and Apple. Instead, it will try to fill the “high mid-range” that OnePlus has recently left behind.With great size, much better battery life, and the same solid performance, the Pixel 5 is the best Pixel we’ve seen yet. Better yet, at only $699 in either Just Black or Sorta Sage it’s not going to break the bank. Google has a winner and the best Pixel you can buy with the Pixel 5.
Looks like we weren’t the only ones hitting the snooze button this morning. Several Google sites and services such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, YouTube, and many more went down worldwide right before 7 AM ET this Monday morning. It didn’t take long for users to vent their frustrations when #YouTubeDOWN began trending on Twitter within minutes of the popular video-sharing site going down.The issue was acknowledged by Google and has since been resolved with service being restored for the “vast majority of affected users” at 7:52 AM ET. However, Google hasn’t yet revealed the cause of the issue. Currently, a look at the Google Workspace Status Dashboard shows everything lit up in green. That’s a far cry from how it looked earlier this morning with every service lit up in red.If you’re lucky, you slept through the entire thing. However, I was not so lucky, and was greeted with error messages when first trying to load Gmail this morning. Many other users also reported having troubles with controlling their smart homes showing that Google Assistant was also affected.One bright spot seemed to be that Google Search continued functioning throughout this outage. Also, YouTube continued working for users who signed out of their accounts or used incognito mode. Making it look like the main issue had something to do with Google login services.Third-party services that rely on Google were also affected, such as Pokémon Go as shown by Downdetector. Don’t worry, it’s back online with everything else, now you can get back to catching them all.The recent outage illustrates just how dependent many of us are on Google, myself included. When you can’t access your calendar, email, work documents, or even control the lights in your home; it can feel a bit paralyzing. Fortunately, this outage only lasted for an hour, but it’s a good lesson to always have a backup and to never rely fully on “the cloud”.
Gmail, YouTube and Google Docs are all experiencing severe outages, with reports of problems accessing the services across much of
Google is reportedly testing a dark mode for its desktop web search site, following a trend of introducing darker user
Today, you can do almost everything from your smartphone, from banking to Excel spreadsheets to platform-level gaming. Now with Google Health Studies, you can participate in medical research with the same ease on your Android smartphone.Google Health Studies addresses two of the biggest blocks for medical research in one. First, for researchers, finding a sample that is representative of the entire population is very complicated and without generalizable data, the studies lose value. So allowing researchers to access a pool of everyone with an Android phone (somewhere in the realm of 2 billion users) helps to solve this problem. Next, for individuals, finding the time to participate in a study presents its own issues, not to mention if there is a need for travel to the research facility. Now you can do it directly from your smartphone.One question that may come up is how will my data be used in Google Health Studies? Participants can see what data is being contributed, who it will go to, and why and when it is shared. You will explicitly consent to how you want your data to be used and even be given the option to see the findings that resulted from your participation. In addition, your data will be kept on your device and when researchers access data, it will be encrypted data released from multiple devices at once, so there is no way for you and your device to be identified from that.Since we’re still living with COVID-19, the first study you will see in Google Health Studies if you’re in the United States is the Respiratory Health Study, studying how respiratory illnesses such as influenza and COVID-19 affect individual communities. Participants will regularly self-report their experiences with COVID, such as symptoms and preventative measures. This is the only study as of right now, but Google hopes to greatly expand that in the future.You can download Google Health Studies on the Play Store right now.
Google announced a new accessibility app for Android phones yesterday called Look to Speak. As the name suggests, the app literally allows people with speech and motor impairments to speak by using their eyes.They do this by looking left or right to quickly select words or phrases from a list presented by the app, then the phone speaks the message out loud. Furthermore, the list of words and phrases can be customized within the app allowing each person’s individual personality to shine.Additionally, the eye gaze sensitivity can be adjusted in the app and all of your data stays “private and never leaves the phone.”The tech behind Look to Speak is nothing new, eye gaze technology has been utilized for many years now. However, Look to Speak makes it more accessible than it ever has been before. The app is available on compatible Android 9.0 phones and above, including Android One phones.Not only does this give people a wide range of affordable devices to choose from, but it also allows for the technology to be portable and available no matter where you go. This could open up eye gaze technology to people all over the world, many of whom may have never had the means to use other similar products.Look to Speak is a “Start with One” project part of the “Experiments with Google” platform. These are ideas that begin by trying to help out one specific person with a need and then grow to change the lives of an entire community. You can download the Look to Speak app today on compatible Android 9.0 and above phones to give it a try.
Google today announced that Apple Music will begin rolling out today on Google Assistant-enabled smart speakers and displays in the
Something OldBack in August, we learned that Google Play Music would be replaced by YouTube Music by the end of this year.Now, that end seems to have finally come. If you try to open the Google Play Music app and it will tell you to transfer your data to YouTube Music. You can also download your music through the “Manage Your Data” button. Even the Google Play Music web client is officially blocked, offering a transfer to YouTube Music or a download/deletion of your music library.Something NewIn October, Google put a $1 billion plan in place to pay publishers that appear in the “News Showcase” carousel. The other day, Google News updated with some important additions.First, Google’s plan pays publishers to provide access to some paywalled articles for free. This is a way for readers to get interested in the publisher’s content and possibly register/subscribe with the publisher.In addition, News Showcase is currently available on iOS and will soon be available on news.google.com.Google has over 400 publication partners, with many seeing much stronger reader engagement.
In light of the holiday season, Google has released six new features for Android outside of a major OS update. Here’s a rundown of some of the cool new things you can do now.(Almost)Endless Emojis with Emoji KitchenEmoji Kitchen is a feature for Gboard that allows you to mix emojis into customized stickers. Now, with Emoji kitchen, there are over 14,000 combinations of emoji you can make. Simply tap two emoji and suggestions will come up or double tap one emoji to find more intensity.This feature will be rolling out over the next few weeks on Android 6.0 and up. Just make sure you download the Gboard app so you can be ready when it comes. You can also read more about it on the Google blog.Auto-generated AudiobooksMany books aren’t made into audiobooks, which is an issue as people are slowly turning around to the convenience of audiobooks. To fill this gap, Google is working with American and English publishers. They will use auto-generated narrators for books without audio versions. This is an option publishers can elect, with the tool currently in beta, though it will be rolled out more widely in early 2021.Various additions to Voice AccessVoice Access is an easy way for people with motor disabilities to control their phone. Now, Google is allowing you to add labels to screens in your app to make navigation even simpler. This has already been rolled out for Android 11, though now it is available globally on any device running at least Android 6.0.Get around easier with the Go TabThe Go Tab in Google Maps is a simple way to pin your favorite or common destinations so you can easily see directions, disruptions, and an ETA. For those who use public transit, you can add your common routes to the Go Tab to see departure and arrival times, ETA, and alerts from your transit agency.Android Auto across the globeAndroid Auto will be expanding to new countries across the world, allowing you to bring your favorite Android features to your car display. For Android 10 devices, just plug your phone into the car. Android 9 and before will need the app.App Sharing with Nearby ShareSoon, Google’s nearby share will allow you to send apps from Google Play to people around you, even without a connection. This can be done from the Google Play “Share Apps” menu. This feature will roll out in the next few weeks.
Google has updated its 2FA Authenticator app for iOS with a new account transfer feature that makes it much easier
Apple recently released the HomePod mini, a new $99 version of the original HomePod that's smaller, cuter, and, most importantly,
Google recently announced that it will no longer offer unlimited free storage for Google Photos. But it's a service that's easily worth paying for.
On November 18, 2020, Google introduced us to the new Google Pay app. This time the app features a big focus on your spending habits and keeping track of the people and businesses you’re having transactions with.For example, if you’re splitting the bill with friends at dinner or managing the bills at home with roommates, Google Pay provides a way to track these payments, create groups, and even send messages. That’s right, Google now has yet another new messenger, sorry no support for gifs here though.Beyond that, Google Pay also makes it easy to order food, buy gas, or even pay for parking from within the app. At this time, there is support for over 100,000 restaurants, over 30,000 gas stations, and you can pay for parking in over 400 cities.There’s also an “Explore” tab which provides a way to view and discover new offers and promotions aimed at helping you save money, all without clipping coupons. To redeem an offer from popular stores such as Target, Burger King, Etsy, and more–tap the promotion, make a purchase, and the discount will be automatically applied at checkout.Making transactions is only one aspect of the new Google Pay app, it also puts a strong focus on managing your finances. If you connect your credit cards or bank account with the app, it will give you summaries on your spending. Not only that, but in true Google fashion, you’ll be able to search your transactions to stay on top of where your money is going.General searches for terms like “food” will return purchases from the grocery store and orders from restaurants you’ve placed. You can also use terms such as “last month” or “spending last week” to view all of your most recent transactions.Finally, starting in 2021, Google Pay will be dipping its toes into mobile banking by partnering with 11 banks and credit unions. The new venture is named Plex, and it offers “mobile-first bank account integration into Google Pay.”Essentially, you’ll be able to sign up for a checking or savings account with “no monthly fees, overdraft charges, or minimum balance requirements” within Google Pay from institutions like Citi or SFCU.While Plex won’t go live until 2021, you can still join the waitlist in the meantime. Although we still find Plex to be a bit of an odd name choice, considering the popular media management software app that goes by the same name.Before you jump in and start adding all your cards and bank accounts to Google Pay, I’m sure you want to make sure it’s secure. To that end, Google states the app is “built with multiple layers of security to keep your money and information private and safe.”On top of that, Google Pay has features built-in to warn you when you’re sending money to a stranger and offers a range of privacy settings. Furthermore, “Google Pay will never sell your data to third parties or share your transaction history with the rest of Google for targeting ads.”
Lately, Google has been handing out free Stadia Premiere Edition bundles left and right. First, they ran a promotion giving them away to YouTube Premium subscribers. Now, you can get a free Stadia Premiere Edition bundle by pre-ordering the hotly anticipated and often delayed Cyberpunk 2077 from Stadia.The promotion begins today and runs until December 17, 2020, but it’s only available while supplies last. We saw the YouTube Premium promotion end pretty quickly due to limited supplies, so you might wanna jump on this as soon as possible. Also, don’t worry if you’ve already pre-ordered Cyberpunk 2077 prior to this announcement, you’re still eligible for a free Stadia Premiere bundle.After you order the game, a redemption code will be emailed to you within a week of the release of Cyberpunk 2077. However, once you redeem your free bundle via the Google Store, it could take up to several weeks for it to ship out, but Google promises to get them shipped out as quickly as possible during the busiest time of the year.Considering all the hype around Cyberpunk 2077, and the fact that the Stadia Premiere Edition usually sells for $100, this is a fantastic deal. For only $60, you’ll get a copy of Cyberpunk 2077, a Stadia controller, and a Chromecast Ultra. Everything you need to enjoy what could be one of the best games of the year. Additionally, if you’re a Stadia Pro subscriber you’ll even be able to save $10 off the total if this is your first game purchase.Also, remember that you don’t need to be a Stadia Pro subscriber to play games with the service since Google launched the free tier earlier this year. As long as you purchase the game, you can play with Stadia on all supported platforms, even on your phone using a controller you already own or the Razer Kishi. There are even a couple of free options at the moment such as a demo of Immortals Fenyx Rising and Destiny 2: New Light that you can play today by just creating a Stadia account.However, the quality will be limited to 1080p at 60fps with stereo sound for free-tier users. If you want to play in 4K HDR at 60fps with surround sound, you’ll need to be a Pro subscriber.Along with this promotion, Stadia recently celebrated its one year anniversary. While the initial launch may have left many disappointed due to the lack of available games and features. Stadia has since addressed many of these issues by expanding its game library and the addition of new features. I covered many of these new features in my recent review of the cloud gaming service, including on-screen controls, stream connect, family sharing, and more.
Cisco is the world leader in networking technology and hardware and it shows no signs of slowing. According to a 2019 Global Knowledge report, one-third of North American IT pros say Cisco CCNA tech will be a key ingredient in their organization this year.With salary figures routinely at $100,000 and above, Cisco-certified personnel are highly coveted and in demand. Right now, you can get on the path to join that elite-level of IT administration with the Complete 2021 Cisco Enterprise Certification Training Bundle, just $49.Spread over more than 66 hours, this online training features 225 lessons to ready you for CCNA & CCNP certification exams. Designed for those with a little bit of background on Cisco, it’s available 24/7 and through both desktop and mobile.FeaturesWork Towards a Top Cisco Certification & Build a Rewarding Career as a Network AdministratorImplement & Troubleshoot for Advanced Routing Technologies and ServicesDesign Network Architecture for Cisco Enterprise NetworksGain the Core Knowledge & Skillset You Need to Be Successful in Implementing Technologies While Working in an Enterprise Network EnvironmentOnce you’re through the training you’ll get a certificate that you can use for negotiating a pay raise. More importantly, you will be ready to sit for the CCNA 200-301 certification exam. And that could lead to an entirely different position or career.AvailabilityValue at well over a thousand dollars, you can purchase the Complete 2021 Cisco Enterprise Certification Training Bundle in the AndroidGuys Deals Store for just $49 right now. Hurry, though, the price drop won’t last forever!Best SellersEarn Credits!For every $25 you spend in the AG Deals Store you get $1 credit added to your account. And, if you refer the deal via social media or an email that results in a purchase, you’ll earn $10 credit in your account.First Time Buying?If this is your first time buying, you are also eligible for 10% discount! Just be sure to subscribe for email updates.Free StuffNot looking to spend any money today? No worries. You can still visit the AndroidGuys section for freebies and pick something anyhow.
Widilo is a new service in the UK which is expected to launch soon. It is one of the most rewarding cashback and coupon code sites and offers a variety of services to its clients. Widilo offers a lot of services that would interest a large category of people include androidguys.com audience. Are you a lover of online shopping and are looking for ways to make discounts on your shopping? Widilo is the best platform to join. The platform offers rewards to online shoppers, such as cash backs and promotional codes that they can use at their favorite online shops. Not only does Widilo offers those rewards for online shoppers, but you can also build up reward points after some time.Categories and shops which offer discountTo enjoy the various categories that offer discounts on Widilo, you need to join the site. Joining is free, straight forward, and takes less than a minute. To get the most out of this site, you need to shop online as usual, from the numerous retailers. Various links are available, those that will lead you to retailers. Once you shop online, you earn cashback and discounts that you can withdraw to your bank account. Some of the platforms you can enjoy cash backs plus discount codes include Acer, Adidas, Amazon, ASOS, Booking.com, Deliveroo, Dell, Desigual, e-Bay, E-buyer, EE Mobil, Europcar, Expedia, and FoodSpring. Other deals include shops and online shopping sites such as Foot Locker, Groupon, Hotes.com, HP, LOOKFANTASTIC, Lovehoney, Made.com, Morrisons, Myprotein, Nike, Tesco, The protein Works, Three, Topshop, Under Armour, Vistaprint, Volcom, and Zipcar.One of the aims of the Widilo site is to assist you in saving money all year round through online shopping. When you activate cash backs on this site, you get to earn points. The points are earned through the Currys discount code that gives you a certain percentage off the product you purchase. Visit Widilo site to Get the best Currys PC World discount codes , to enjoy cash back. The more you shop online, the higher the rewards. The points you accumulate after shopping online are based on tiers, which reflect how much cashback you have earned on the site. The site is frequently on the lookout for upcoming suppliers and new brands in the market to ensure that you enjoy variety during your shopping experience. Aside from saving money through cash backs or with promo codes, you get to discover new brands that you might have never heard of in the past.How do you ensure that you never miss out on cashback and discount codes?Widilo site has over a thousand shops, meaning that you have access to thousands of deals and brands. To ensure that you never miss out on cashback and discount codes, enter Widilo’s toolbar extension, the Widilo’s cash reminder. The tool will alert you of the incoming cashback options to consider and make the cashback option active when you make an online purchase at the site with just a single click. Missing out on deals and cashback can be frustrating, but the site is keen to send numerous reminders. The cashback reminder option is easy and quick to set up. You only need to head over to the Widilo website, download the toolbar extension near the search engine, and that’s it. The reminder is free. What better site to join other than Widilo?EDITOR NOTE: This is a promoted post and should not be viewed as an editorial endorsement.
Roku is the most popular streaming platform in the US, but it still doesn’t make it immune to disputes. The company has been a holdout to bring HBO Max to its software. However, starting tomorrow, December 17, that will change as the app will finally be available to download.The move is just in time for the huge event of Warner Media releasing Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max simultaneously with theaters on Christmas day. HBO and Roku have reached an agreement to make sure Roku users are no longer left out in the cold. It also sets both companies up to enjoy the 2021 slate that Warner Media has in store of more direct to HBO Max blockbusters like The Suicide Squad, Dune, Matrix 4, and Space Jam: A New Legacy.This is a great move for consumers. Roku has over 40 million users that can now enjoy all the amazing content that HBO Max has to offer. With this new deal, you can also subscribe directly to HBO Max from your Roku device with Roku Pay.This is a huge win for HBO Max and Warner Media. For this new push to have major films directly to homes to be a success, they need subscribers. While they saw an early push the company estimates only around 12 million active users.That may seem like a lot until you tally that next to Netflix at 195 million and even new competitor Disney+ already building 90 million subscribers. Warner Media needs that 40-plus million Roku users to have any chance at real growth.Users who already have the HBO app installed will be automatically updated to the new HBO Max version. Those that don’t already have it on their devices can simply search and download starting tomorrow.
Chrome OS’s Phone Hub was first discussed in August, when Google wanted to further the connection between Android and Chrome OS past just sending and receiving texts as part of their “Better Together” initiative.It appeared and disappeared very suddenly from Chrome OS Canary and Dev channels, but now it has reappeared in Chrome OS Canary. Now there is a revamped UI that makes connections more simple. There are also now individual cards to help set up notification sharing and how it will use both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.When you click on the Phone Hub Icon, you will see your phone’s model and battery life. Under that appears toggles to find the phone, silence it, or turn on a shared hotspot. Hopefully these options will expand further in the future.Phone Hub seems like a great response to integration between Windows and other devices(though most notably Samsung) through your phone and integration within Apple’s Ecosystem.