In this week’s top stories: Inbox by Gmail gets an official date for its shutdown, we get exclusive details on the Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL, Google unwraps its Stadia game streaming service, and more.
Six months ago, Google gave Inbox by Gmail a tentative shutdown date of “Spring 2019,” despite the redesigned Gmail not yet having all the same Inbox features. As we’ve now officially entered Spring 2019, Google has informed Inbox by Gmail’s ever-loyal users of the app’s official shutdown date of April 2nd, 2019.
Along with the brief, heartbreaking message, Google offers a shortcut that opens up the Gmail app. Slowly but surely, Google is moving features from Inbox into the standard Gmail app, but many are still missing. Fortunately, Google says that it is “working hard” to bring the rest of those features over.
RIP Inbox. You’ll be missed along with all of the other stuff Google is killing this month.
We got reliable information about Google’s upcoming mid-range Pixel phones from our sources, and were able to confirm that they will indeed be marketed as the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL. We also were told that the devices may be available in a third color, beyond the Clearly White and Just Black seen on the Pixel 3.
We can now confirm more specs about the Pixel 3a via a reliable source. The device’s 5.6-inch display is OLED (not LCD, as many have assumed), and has a resolution of 2220×1080 at 440dpi. There’s a Snapdragon 670 on board, there’s 4GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel wide-angle front shooter, and a 12-megapixel rear shooter. The battery on the smaller Pixel 3a is 3,000mAh.
Google’s presence at GDC made waves in the gaming industry this week, as the company unveiled the Stadia game streaming service. Stadia is capable of streaming games at up to 4K resolution at 60 FPS to both your Chrome browser and directly to YouTube simultaneously. Stadia is the next iteration on last year’s Project Stream which let you stream Assassin’s Creed Odyssey in the Chrome browser.
In the build up to the event, we learned that Google would simultaneously be unveiling a hardware product. This turned out to be a dedicated Stadia controller, which connects directly to Stadia via WiFi.
- Google recaps Stadia announcement in under 4 minutes [Video]
- Google Stadia controller brings the ‘full Stadia experience’ [Gallery]
- Google Stadia announcement tidbits: 15mbps connection, Chromecast details, pricing timeline, more
- Google Stadia controller tidbits: WiFi connection, USB compatibility, hands-on experiences, more
- Google Stadia is launching in 2019, first in US, Canada, UK, Europe
The gaming news didn’t stop there, as Activision and Tencent showed off Call of Duty Mobile, which brings the dominant FPS franchise to both Android and iOS. The game returns players to classic Call of Duty maps with familiar characters in tense PvP action, running at 60 frames-per-second.
As a multiplayer only title, it’s clear that Activision sees Call of Duty Mobile as a way to tackle the emergence of games like Fortnite and PUBG, but with a potential challenger coming in the form of Apex Legends — should we see a mobile title — does the Call of Duty brand hold enough of public attention to still be relevant?
It seems even a week later, Android Q Beta 1 still has its secrets to spill. By using a special ADB command, Android Q’s notifications move to Facebook Messenger-like chat head bubbles. Google considers the feature to be experimental, which is good given the community’s fairly negative reaction.
Our APK Insight team uncovered evidence of Google Keep Notes’ upcoming dark mode, including an early, work-in-progress version. The screenshots show that we still have some time to wait before this app becomes easier on the eyes.
Meanwhile, note cards and the rest of the interface is still bright, with Google presumably finishing and polishing the look in upcoming releases. This is a good sign for Google’s apps, with many G Suite services following suit in recent weeks. However, the Googler on Reddit did tell users to “stay tuned” for a dark mode nearly five months ago.
The rest of this week’s top stories follow:
- Hidden setting in Android Q lets you remap Active Edge on Pixel 2, Pixel 3
- Pixel 3 Starter Kit: Some of the best clear case options [Video]
- Huawei P30 Pro press renders leak, Samsung reportedly providing OLED display
- Emporio Armani Connected review: Small, stylish and refined but a pricey Wear OS option [Video]
- Huawei P30 Pro Amazon pricing, release date, and further press renders leak ahead of launch
- Comment: Using the Galaxy S10 reminds me where Google needs to improve with the Pixel 4
- Huawei P30 Pro and Watch GT Active outed on official website, reveals ‘dual-view’ video
Apps & Updates |
- Google Tasks rolling out time-based notifications & import from Inbox, Gmail, Assistant
- Google Photos officially rolls out ‘Express backup’ & Data Caps, coming to more countries
- More Android TV devices add full voice control via Google Assistant, Home following Nvidia Shield
- Google Store spring sale takes $100 off Google Home Max, $200 off Pixelbook, more
- Google Podcasts is available on desktop web with playback and syncing
- Report: DeepMind will control any artificial general intelligence it creates, not Alphabet/Google
- YouTube says one copy of NZ shooting video uploaded every second, describes its response