In this week’s top stories: Fuchsia OS begins rolling out to the first-gen Nest Hub, Google Weather gets a redesign on Android, Fitbit prepares snore and noise detection, and more.
After five years of anticipation, Google has begun the process of releasing Fuchsia, a from-scratch operating system that is distinctly “not Linux.” The first device to get Fuchsia OS is the first-generation Google Nest Hub, but if all goes to plan, owners of the smart display should not even notice that anything changed.
The Fuchsia-based update for the Nest Hub will roll out over the coming months, starting with those in the Preview Program, before eventually becoming more broadly available. Considering the interface and experience will be unchanged, it’s likely that Nest Hub owners won’t even notice they’ve been switched over to Fuchsia OS. That said, Google appears to be moving cautiously with this rollout, moving over the course of months, as switching operating systems is not a simple update.
In Android news, the Google Search got a new beta update this week, and with it the Weather experience has gotten a minor redesign. With the update, the older style Material Design has been replaced with the Google Material Theme, adding a rounded search bar and ditching the navigation drawer.
There are no other changes to the core forecasting experience with the company still leveraging weather.com for data. There are currently some bugs when tapping the search bar to switch cities. Your full list of saved locations is not properly loading.
Elsewhere in the Google Search beta, the Discover feed found on the leftmost page of Pixel phones’ homescreen has gotten an Android 12 specific change. On Tuesday, we spotted that the feed was getting recolored to match that day’s Google Doodle in a way reminiscent to the upcoming Material You design language.
Our APK Insight team took a look at the newest Fitbit update, and inside we found that Google’s acquired health app will soon be able to use your fitness tracker to listen for snoring and ambient noise at night. By doing so, Fitbit will use that info to suggest ways to improve the quality of your sleep.
If having your microphone listening constantly overnight sounds like it would be fairly demanding on your fitness tracker, you would be right. As such, Fitbit recommends charging your device above 40% before laying down, and they also explicitly note that using Snore & Noise Detect will cause you to need to charge your Fitbit more often.
Midway through the week, the third-generation Nest Learning Thermostat received an update to version 6.1.1-2. While normally an uneventful occurrence, some had found that their thermostats were flickering their air conditioning on and off far too quickly, at risk of causing damage. Since then, Google has rolled the Nest Thermostats back to the previous 6.1-9 update to prevent the issue.
Google’s thermostat is turning off air conditioning and then displaying a “delay 4 min” message. The AC will start back up only to shut down again after 3-4 minutes, though one report says it’s happening every “few seconds.” This could cause some long-term issues with cooling.
The rest of this week’s top stories follow:
- Android 12 Beta 1: Hands-on with more features and some yet to arrive [Video]
- Here’s how Google is changing emoji design in Android 12 instead of bringing back the blobs
- LG’s exit drives the already-awful resale value of its phones off of a cliff
- Google’s Android 12 Beta survey asks you to rate the biggest visual changes so far
Android / Google TV |
- Shield TV 8.2.3 update pops up w/ April security patch for Android TV, buggy install has been fixed
- Anker teases Nebula Android TV dongle w/ 4K, Google remote, coming later this year
- Walmart’s upcoming Android TV box gets the hands-on treatment ahead of launch [Video]
- Google TV places ‘much greater emphasis’ on app integrations, quality than Android TV
Apps & Updates |
- Are you switching away from Google Photos when free unlimited storage ends? [Poll]
- Google adding four Stadia Pro games for June 2021, including MotoGP20
- [Update: Homescreen] Google testing YouTube ‘app’ for Chromecast with Android TV-like UI
- Google Meet web redesign rolling out now with full availability in June
- Gboard rolling out Android 12-inspired rounded buttons to some users
- [Update: Rolled out] Google Photos adds ‘Manage storage’ page with ‘review and delete’ tool
Chrome / OS |
- Google Chrome set to gain Android 12-style stretchy scrolling
Fuchsia OS |
Made by Google |
- Google Pixel owners will still get these Google Photos storage perks going forward
- Google Pixel 6 may deliver a faster GPU by using similar hardware to Galaxy S21
- Here’s just how many of our readers said they’d buy a Wear OS watch
- Galaxy Watch 3, Watch Active 2 update tweaks icons, improves stability
- Fitbit and Strava facing sync issues, temporary fix available w/ manual data
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