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Google Find My Device might also crowdsource locating lost devices

Google Find My Device might also crowdsource locating lost devices

As always, Apple was able to take an existing technology or feature and make it sound like the most innovating thing that its rivals will then start copying. Although the ability to locate trackers using other people's devices nearby has long been used by the likes of Tile, Apple's AirTags and upgraded Find My network has unsurprisingly garnered much more attention, both good and bad. Regardless of that context, it seems that Google will also follow in Apple's footsteps and upgrade its Find My Device network to turn every Android device nearby into a homing beacon for your lost phone.

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Wear OS 3.0 upgrade hopes dashed yet again by uncertainty

Wear OS 3.0 upgrade hopes dashed yet again by uncertainty

Google has taken users of its smartwatch platform on an adventure these past few weeks. It dangled the promise of what could be the biggest update to Wear OS yet but then opted to remain mum on any update plans until later this year. Smartwatch makers didn't help matters by being just as ambiguous about updating existing smartwatches to what is now unofficially dubbed Wear OS 3.0. Qualcomm has tried to remove doubts about the capability of its Snapdragon Wear chipsets to run this upgraded experience. Still, Google itself may have doused some cold water on that again by implying it might not be the case.

As Google itself says, the situation isn't exactly clear-cut, even on a technical level. Just as with Android, there are many layers and parties involved in developing the Wear OS platform, and any one of those can be the source of a holdup. In other words, it's too early for either Qualcomm or manufacturers to make promises they might not be able to keep.

Qualcomm unsurprisingly claims that the 2018 Snapdragon Wear 3100 can support whatever features Wear OS 3.0 may have. Reviews of smartwatches using this processor, however, don't put it in a favorable light and there remains some doubt on whether it can handle the heavier load. Google, it seems, thinks likewise.

In response to XDA's report on Qualcomm's statements, Google says that it hasn't confirmed any eligibility or timeline for updating existing Wear OS smartwatches, all but two of which run on that older processor. It also says that user experience is its top priority and wants to ensure that this user experience is optimized.

Google won't throw its partner Qualcomm under the bus, of course. However, reading between the lines suggests that it might be looking at more powerful and more recent chipsets like the Snapdragon 4100 and 4100+. There are only two smartwatches that use these processors so far, the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 and the newer TicWatch E3, and it would be a terrible shame if they don't get upgraded to Wear OS 3.0.

But even if Google and Qualcomm give the green light for Wear OS 3.0 on Snapdragon Wear 3100 devices, the ball will still be left in OEMs' courts. Upgrading these devices is no small task, especially for smartwatch makers not used to such processes. They are, unfortunately, more likely to abandon older devices and just put Wear OS 3.0 on upcoming devices instead.

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Google Meet makes it easier to figure out who has their hands raised

Google Meet makes it easier to figure out who has their hands raised

Google has announced a bunch of new updates for Google Meet's Hand Raise feature, which is the effect that appears when one of the people on the video chat wants someone's attention. Google says the changes are designed to make it easier for participants to see when someone raises their hand. This is achieved by adding an audio notification, visual animation, changes to the video grid, and more.

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Here’s what the first Google Store is like on the inside

Here’s what the first Google Store is like on the inside

The first Google Store is almost open, and if you can't make it to New York City to check out the new brick & mortar shop, a virtual walk-around is the next best thing. Google announced earlier in the year that it would be opening its first physical location for device sales, and now it has opened its doors in Chelsea, NYC.

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Honor 50 series launches with Google good news

Honor 50 series launches with Google good news

Honor has revealed its Honor 50 smartphones and, more importantly, that Google's apps and services will be supported on the new handsets. The announcement today - which confirmed availability and pricing for the Honor 50 and Honor 50 Pro in China - came with the news that the former Huawei subsidiary has achieved its big goal in spinning out.

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Google Fiber TV upgrade brings Google Wifi and Chromecast with Google TV

Google Fiber TV upgrade brings Google Wifi and Chromecast with Google TV

It has been almost a decade since Google launched its Fiber TV service and far longer since it debuted its Google Fiber Internet. Just as it has been shedding old services, features, and devices for the latter, Google is now moving to "upgrade" its Fiber TV experience. That upgrade, however, won't come without some disruption, but, as always, Google is pushing it as something good. In exchange for the old Fiber TV box and expensive fee, you'll get a free Google Wifi, a free Chromecast with Google TV, and the choice to pay for services on your own.

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Pixel 6 case leak reveals a headache for accessory makers

Pixel 6 case leak reveals a headache for accessory makers

Aside from the very first Pixel phone, Google's smartphones haven't really been notable for their designs. People talk about them a lot, that's for sure, but not always in a positive light. Google seems always to play up the shock factor and the Pixel 6 won't be so different. It might actually appeal better to people's aesthetics this time around, but case and accessory makers will have one hell of a time designing around that unorthodox camera bump.

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Google Messages end-to-end encryption is now enabled for everyone

Google Messages end-to-end encryption is now enabled for everyone

Messaging has become so common among smartphone and Internet users that people often take it for granted that their conversations may not always be just between them. Unlike face-to-face or even telephone conversations, the chances of third parties, especially unauthorized actors, snooping in on private dialogue are so much higher in Internet-based messaging services. To fight such privacy intrusions, Google is finally flipping the switch for E2EE, short for end-to-end encryption, on its Messages platform. Provided you meet certain requirements, that is.

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This new Android Auto update is all about speed

This new Android Auto update is all about speed

Android Auto is getting a much-requested update, with the in-car smartphone interface making it far faster and easier to jump between your most commonly-used apps and services while on the road, as well as navigate through the UI and to key destinations. The new features will allow Android Auto users to customize more of the smartphone projection system, which is increasingly supported - either wired or wirelessly - in new cars, trucks, and SUVs.

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Android Summer 2021 updates improve voice control and messaging

Android Summer 2021 updates improve voice control and messaging

Google has revealed a handful of new Android features hitting smartphones this summer, including the ability to star messages in chat, better voice control, and smarter emoji suggestions. The new features will also see Google tackle a potential summer disruption more broadly, with the Android Earthquake Alerts System set to roll out globally.

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Pixel 6 Pixel Stand might come with fans and faster charging

Pixel 6 Pixel Stand might come with fans and faster charging

Wireless charging may seem magical, but it doesn't come without its drawbacks. In addition to near-perfect placement, it also can't compete with wired charging speeds. Faster wireless charging requires greater power output which, in turn, produces more heat than your typical wired charger. Safeguards need to be in place to support faster wireless charging and, if this latest discovery comes to pass soon, the Pixel 6 will be accompanied by a faster Pixel Stand wireless charger that has exactly that.

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Google Workspace and Chat open to all to help manage our hybrid lifestyles

Google Workspace and Chat open to all to help manage our hybrid lifestyles

Google Workspace is opening up to all users, expanding access to what until now has been the company's business and classroom hub. Launched last year, Google Workspace saw G Suite rebrand for a more integrated way to access services like Gmail, Docs, Drive, Chat, and Calendar. Now, as long as you have a Google account - even a free one - you'll be able to access Workspace too.

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