In this week’s top stories: we exclusively report some exciting new specs for the Pixel Watch, Google creates ‘no-cost Legacy G Suite’ tier for existing customers, Chromecasts and Smart Displays ditch bandwidth conservation, and more.
Leading the news this week, 9to5Google was able to exclusively report about the ways that Google appears to have boosted the specs of the Pixel Watch, despite running on a chip from 2018. The Pixel Watch will have a specialized co-processor and feature the most RAM on a smartwatch today, beating the Galaxy Watch 4’s 1.5GB.
Elsewhere, we can confirm some of the Pixel Watch’s health and fitness specs, which we first pointed out are visibly identical to the sensors found on the Fitbit Luxe and Charge 5. As you’d expect, there is a heart rate sensor and hardware that supports SpO2 (blood oxygen) and ECG (electrocardiogram) readings.
Google previously announced that G Suite/Workspace would be sunsetting the many free accounts and transitioning them to normal Gmail accounts. This week, things reversed course with those existing customers now able to keep their “no-cost Legacy G Suite” account including custom email domain, but only for personal use.
At the end of the day, Google just wanted businesses to pay for Workspace. There would have been considerably less confusion if the company realized how much personal usage there was and exempted those legacy users from the beginning.
This week, Google reintroduced some faster slideshow speeds for Chromecasts and smart displays that use Assistant Ambient mode or Google Photos’ “Photo Frame.” These faster options use more bandwidth and were disabled in early 2020 to combat the strain on internet networks with millions suddenly working from home.
Two years ago, Google [also] reduced the quality of Nest Cam video streams, YouTube resolution defaults, and Hangouts quality. This was an industry-wide measure.
Sony announced the LinkBuds S this week as a successor to their previous effort which focused on making ambient sound accessible. The LinkBuds S manage to offer a strikingly similar feature set to this summer’s Pixel Buds Pro, with active noise cancellation, full Google Assistant integration, smart ambient features, and a $199 price tag.
The standout feature Sony is pitching on LinkBuds S is the super lightweight design. Each earbud weighs in at just 4.8 grams By comparison, Pixel Buds A-Series weighs in at just over 5 grams for each earbud without ANC, and Pixel Buds Pro will weigh 6.2 grams. This lines up with Sony’s idea that these earbuds can use their smart features to be a part of a user’s entire day. The earbuds also carry an IPX4 water resistance rating.
A new update is rolling out to the first-generation Nest Hub smart display, bringing the app drawer and handy Bluetooth controls. Additionally, the Nest Hub’s settings now reveal your device’s current “Fuchsia Version,” with the latest update moving from version 4.x to 6.x.
Meanwhile, swiping up from the bottom of the screen reveals the app launcher that first rolled out to the Nest Hub Max (September 2021) and then the 2nd-generation Hub (October). Appearing above the setting strip, six recent icons are shown with a “See all” button next to it. In total, there are 19 apps/actions in the drawer.
The rest of this week’s top stories follow:
Apps & Updates |
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