About the Author

Stephen Hall

@hallstephenj

Stephen is Managing Editor at 9to5Google. You can find more of his current work on the flip side at 9to5Mac, as well as at 9to5Toys and Electrek. If you want to get in touch with Stephen, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Google+. Or, you can send him an email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephen j (at) protonmail (dot) com.

Stephen has been covering Apple and Google for four years. He can be often found on the leaderboard of technology news curation website Techmeme, and has been cited by many major publications across the web including Wired, Re/code, Business Insider, CNET, BuzzFeed News, Computerworld, TechCrunchGigaOmPC World, PC Magazine, as well as newspapers like The Wall Street Journal and USA Today.

Stephen’s first big story came in September 2014 when he exclusively published all of the details of Google’s unreleased Motorola-made Nexus 6 smartphone weeks before it was announced.

For several years he closely followed Google Glass and published extensive coverage of the product’s roadmap in early 2015 followed by several scoops revealing details about the forthcoming “Enterprise Edition” hardware in July, as well as Google’s plans for its distribution. These reports were confirmed when Stephen reported in late 2015 that the device had finally surfaced on the FCC website. He was also the first to report that one unit of the new device surfaced on eBay.

In September of 2015, Stephen published details of Google’s forthcoming 2nd generation Chromecast and Chromecast Audio products, as well as details on their companion application. He also exclusively reported on Google’s plan to finally bring Spotify support to the Chromecast.

In December of 2015, Stephen reported that Huawei planned to introduce women’s versions of its forthcoming Huawei Watch at CES 2016, as well as that Google was planning to introduce the gold variant of the Nexus 6P in the United States and begin selling the phone through Best Buy and other online retailers. The women’s Huawei Watch launched at CES 2016, and the Huawei Watch 2 with LTE capabilities launched at MWC 2017 after being delayed.

In March of 2016, Stephen exclusively reported that Tesla had at one point tested Google Glass in its Fremont, California factory, but had since moved to Vuzix hardware. He then published videos proving conclusively that Tesla had tested Glass.

Later in April of 2016, when Google’s Regina Dugan left the company to start an experimental hardware division at Facebook, Stephen detailed the story of her polarizing first meeting at Google. He also reported in 2016 that “Andromeda” an as-of-yet unannounced software project by Google, would launch on a Chromebook “Pixel”-like laptop and a Huawei-made tablet. He published more rumored details about this project in November of 2016.

In February 2017, Stephen shared the very first photos on the web of an LG G6 with its screen powered on, as well as detailed the device’s specs, more than a week before its announcement.

Stephen Hall's Favorite Gear

Yesterday

GOOG: 988.20

3.75

Let’s just say things have only gotten worse and worse over the last couple of weeks for the Google Pixel 2 XL and its display. In our initial review, we gave the display perhaps not the most flattering description (“honestly pretty mediocre”), but it seems it might actually be worse than we thought.

After just a week or two of most press reviewers using the phone, there’s apparently a problem with screen burn-in from the software nav buttons. Reports of early buyers of the 2 XL having this problem are flooding in on social media, and yes, our units have the issue too.

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In this week’s top stories: Google Play Store rolls out a new nested tab design, the Google Pixel 2 has a brand new power menu, and Samsung adopts Google’s ARCore platform for it’s phones. expand full story

Everyone can use an Echo Dot: Just $50!

October 20

GOOG: 988.20

3.75

October 19

GOOG: 984.45

-8.36

Google Daydream (2nd gen.) is now available to purchase on the Google Store

Announced on October 4th at the Made by Google event in San Francisco, the new Daydream View is now available for purchase on the Google Store. Visiting the Google Daydream page between then and now presented you with an option to join a waitlist, but now you can give Google your $99 if you want.

PSA: Google Pixel 2 and 2 XL are now available on the Australian Google Store

Google has just updated its Google Store availability page to indicate that the Google Pixel 2 and 2 XL are now available to purchase in Australia. Australia was included as a launch market for the Pixel 2 and 2 XL at its announcement, but residents of that country were stuck on a waitlist until today.

October 18

GOOG: 992.81

0.63

October 17

GOOG: 992.18

0.18

PSA: Google will actually sell products in its pop-up shops opening this week

Google will be selling products at its brick-and-mortar pop-up shops starting this year, Google has confirmed to The Verge. We’ve known about these pop-up shops set to open this week since earlier this month (and Google’s site said “Shop”, so we assumed you’d be able to shop), but now we know for sure that you’ll be able to walk in and purchase some of Google’s new products.

Google Wifi is now available in 5 new countries

Google Wifi is now available in 5 new countries: Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. This brings the total number of countries in which you can buy the Google Wifi on the Google Store up to 12.

At Google’s October 4th event earlier this month, there was one question about the Pixel Buds I overheard at least a few times. Does the cord on the Google Pixel Buds actually carry audio and power, or was it just a cosmetic or functional design decision?

The answer seemed pretty obvious to me. Clearly the Mountain View company would have preferred the buds to be entirely wireless if not only to seem with-the-times. But if things weren’t clear enough for you, Google has our answer. Yes, the Buds need that cord.

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October 16

GOOG: 992.00

2.32

October 14

GOOG: 989.68

1.85

In this week’s top stories: The battery app for Pixel and Nexus phones gets an update, we mark up the best Android smartwatches currently on the market, and the Pixel 2’s “Now Playing” feature can be replicated using Shazam. expand full story

October 13

GOOG: 989.68

1.85

October 12

GOOG: 987.83

-1.42

Samsung’s Gear Sport smartwatch, IconX buds will be available from October 27th

Samsung has today announced availability for two of its upcoming products, the Samsung Gear Sport and the new Gear IconX earbuds. The former will run you a steep $300, while the latter is still on the premium end of the earbuds market at $200.

October 11

GOOG: 989.25

16.65

October 10

GOOG: 972.60

-4.40

Relay Media, which offered AMP conversion for web pages, has been acquired by Google

Relay Media, a company founded by an ex-Googler that helps publishers convert their sites to Google’s AMP format, has been acquired by Google (via TechCrunch) as was announced on the company’s website today. The company also sent an email notifying customers of the deal.

Last year I said that the first Google Home was a great start, but not yet functionally up to par with the comparable offerings from Amazon. Google has all but caught up since then. The feature set of the original Google Home is fleshed out — it works with just about as many third-party services as you could want — and now Google has introduced a smaller, cheaper Home to take on the Echo Dot.

The short version is this: The new Google Home Mini joins the Chromecast as another impulse buy in Google’s hardware lineup.

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