In this week’s top stories: Gmail and the Google Assistant get a dark mode, we discuss how easily Apple could kill Wear OS, the Pixel 4 gets leaked beyond our expectations, and more.
Now that Android 10 is officially in our hands, especially on Google Pixel devices, the remaining apps that haven’t launched a dark mode are beginning to feel ridiculous. Thankfully, this week saw the initial launch of dark mode for two of the most hotly anticipated Android apps, Google Search (including the Google Assistant) and Gmail.
Unfortunately, as is typical for a Google update launch, the rollout for each of these is occurring very slowly. In the meantime, most should at least have the dark version of the Gmail home screen widget available to them now.
Version 2019.08.18.267044774 of Gmail is required with that release now widely available via the Play Store today. However, the new “Theme” menu at the top of General settings is rolling out via a seperate server-side update.
On the other side of tech news, Apple announced their latest wave of products, including the iPhone 11 and the Apple Watch Series 5. Seeing these devices inspired our Stephen Hall to opine on Apple’s capability to outright kill Google’s Wear OS, but also the strong potential Google has with this year’s Pixel 4.
Perhaps most simply, I think Google can take advantage of the fact that the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro are both modest-at-best upgrades over recent iPhones. I mentioned above that the cameras are really their biggest upgrades for anyone coming from the last two generations of iPhone (iPhone X and iPhone XS), and it just so happens to be the Pixel that has leaped ahead of those over the last two years in the one major way in which they are an improvement.
Amongst the many other Pixel 4 leaks that happened this week — more on that in a moment — one of the most significant leaks came in the form of a prerelease version of the Google Camera app becoming available online. This ready-to-install upgrade includes a complete UI overhaul that makes wiser use of your screen real estate.
The biggest change to the Google Camera interface is frankly its minimalism. Everything is transparent with the shutter button, lens switcher, and gallery preview now just floating without a black background. It helps convey the sense that you’re just holding up — and capturing — a window to the world with your phone.
Finally, the Google Pixel 4 somehow managed to exceed the Pixel 3 in amount of information leaked online. Possibly due to changes in the Made by Google supply chain, a significant number of Thai and Vietnamese tech reviews, bloggers, and YouTubers all got their hands on demo units of the Pixel 4. Thanks to this, we now have high-quality images and videos of the exterior of all three colors of the Pixel 4 and a thorough understanding of its internal hardware and software.
To give you an understanding of how thoroughly the Pixel 4 has now leaked, here’s nine different leaks just from this week.
- Latest Pixel 4 leak shows new Assistant UI, Pixel Themes, more
- Official-looking Pixel 4 promo video confirms gestures, Astrophotography mode, more
- Black and ‘panda’ white Pixel 4 XLs compared in latest leak [Gallery]
- First Pixel 4 camera samples, sensor details leak in another video [Gallery]
- Pixel 4’s ‘Motion Sense’ settings, features shown off in latest leak w/ more pics
- Pixel 4 bears all in 4K hands-on: new Camera app, ‘Screen attention’ feature, more [Video]
- ‘Coral’ Pixel 4 leaks in hands-on video showing us new color up close [Video]
- Pixel 4 leak reveals some Face Unlock details, corroborates 90 Hz display
- Another Pixel 4 XL leak corroborates display size, Snapdragon 855
In the words of our Stephen Hall, “I think the Google Pixel 4 has leaked enough now, thanks.”
The rest of this week’s top stories follow:
- [Update: Beta, not full release] EMUI 10 road map confirms update heading to over 30 models from November
- Huawei Mate X hands-on: The most elegant foldable device so far [Video]
- [Update: Sprint Note 10] September 2019 patch now rolling out to Galaxy S9, S9+
- Oxygen OS 9.5.13 for OnePlus 7 Pro adds Verizon’s Visible MVNO support
- OnePlus 7T Pro tipped to launch w/ Android 10, slightly bigger battery
- Nvidia Shield TV update broke 4K streaming w/ some apps, Vudu disabled for now
Apps & Updates |
- Here are some third-party apps that support Android 10’s dark theme toggle
- YouTube TV rolling out a new autoplay feature and updated guide interface
- Google One now backs up MMS messages on Android
- Here’s what the Google Play Store’s in-app review system will look like [Gallery]
- Google teases ‘Play Pass’ subscription service, launch ‘coming soon’
- Google Photos testing combined menu and info sheet
- Gboard 8.7 adds more keyboard heights, handwriting speed and stroke settings [APK Insight]
- Google removes 24 more malware-filled apps that amassed 500,000 downloads
Google Assistant |
- Hands-on with Assistant Ambient mode for Android devices [Video]
- Google Assistant Routines redesigned with Material Theme [Gallery]
Made by Google |
- Comment: Pixel 4 will bring some major moves for Google software
- [Update: All three colors] Attractive Pixel 4 concepts show off Google’s flagship
- Made by Google kicks off ‘Switch to Pixel’ ad campaign [Video]
- Google Nest Mini hits the FCC w/ familiar design, confirms wall mount