In this week’s top stories: Google pushed out a minor update to the Pixel Launcher which tweaks the appearance of the Google Search pill, Andy Rubin’s startup Essential announced its first smartphone by the same name, and Android Pay finally launches in Canada but leaves out some of the biggest banks… We kick things off this week with a super-minor update to the Google Search pill button within the Pixel Launcher. The update changes the button’s shading on its left side from a solid gray color to a slightly transparent background.

Also, Andy Rubin and co. announced their first smartphone, the Essential Phone. The device starts at $700, and brings a nearly-bezel-less design, a build of high-quality ceramic and titanium, and a unique system for modular accessories.

Finally, Android Pay finally came to Canada this week with an initial launch with several banks.

These and the rest of this week’s top stories below:

Android | 

Chrome/OS |

Apps |

This week’s top videos |

Subscribe to get all 9to5Google’s stories delivered to your inbox daily. And to 9to5Toys for the best deals from around the web.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:

You’re reading 9to5Google — experts who break news about Google and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Google on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Stephen Hall

Stephen is Growth Director at 9to5. If you want to get in touch, follow me on Twitter. Or, email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.