About the Author

Stephen Hall

@hallstephenj

Stephen is Growth Director at 9to5. You can find his current work at 9to5Mac, 9to5Google 9to5ToysElectrek, and more. 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.

Stephen Hall's Favorite Gear

June 9

Android 12 Beta 2: ‘At A Glance’ widget and app text on Pixel homescreen is subtly bolder

The date and weather widget on Pixel devices is subtly bolder than it used to be. You can see this extremely minor change in the images below — on the left is Android 12 Beta 1 while the right is Android 12 Beta 2.

(This is only the latest entry in the saga. Be sure to check out the last time Google made this change and the time before that.)

June 7

Apple announced a whole slew of features for FaceTime today, but there was one major announcement for Android users: You’ll soon be able to join FaceTime calls via your phone’s web browser.

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May 18

Well, we missed out on Google I/O 2020, but now it’s finally time for Google I/O 2021. While not in person, the annual developer festival in Mountain View, California has returned. The Google I/O 2021 Keynote kicks off at 10am PT/1pm ET, so read on for quick links to our roundup coverage over the last few weeks, some hot takes, and all the latest news about Assistant, Android 12, and ‘Material NEXT’, among many other things.

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April 29

Mighty is a new browser project that puts Google Chrome in the cloud and streams it to your PC. While I don’t know if Mighty will end up making sense for my personal situation, it does perfectly resemble a product I’ve found myself hoping Google itself would build as a feature in Chrome. How worthwhile is Mighty itself, though? And will (should) Google copy it?

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April 21

Android 12 DP3: ‘At A Glance’ widget on Pixel homescreen is subtly bolder

The date and weather widget on Pixel devices is subtly bolder than it used to be. You can see this extremely minor change in the image above — on the left is Android 11 while the right is DP3.

March 19

[Update: Back up] It’s not just you: Instagram, WhatsApp, and other Facebook apps are down

It’s not just you: Instagram and other Facebook apps are down. We’re seeing messages flowing in on social media and the Instagram web app is currently throwing a server error. Messages and posts are not loading in the app. We’ll keep you updated as we learn more.

January 25

If you haven’t heard of Clubhouse, it’s the latest social media fad taking the world — really, mostly just Silicon Valley — by storm. It’s a really cool experiment in live conversations that brings the best of podcasts and social networks like Twitter together into one rich experience. The downside? Up to now it’s only been available on the iPhone. Thankfully, Clubhouse for Android’s release is on the way.

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January 12

Google Search Console adds Google News performance report

Google today added a new Google News performance report to Google Search Console. Google Search Console allows webmasters to track the performance of their web pages in Google Search, long offering insights into Google Search rich snippets like Top Stories, and other Google products like Discover. Now it offers extensive information about content performance in Google News.

December 23, 2020

Verizon’s sub-6 ‘5G Nationwide’ is now available for prepaid customers

Verizon launched its ‘5G Nationwide’ network coverage for most postpaid customers in October alongside the launch of Apple’s latest flagship smartphones. Now, Verizon has now confirmed to 9to5Mac that its 5G Nationwide network is also available for use with 5G phones, including iPhone 12 and 12 Pro, on the company’s own prepaid service…

October 8, 2020

Google today announced a big push to make it easy for Google Assistant to control your Android apps, and that includes everything from ordering a smoothie with Postmates to sending a snap with Snapchat. It also includes… tying your shoes, apparently? That’s the nifty demo Google sent us in the form of a pair of Nike Adapts, which I can confidently say is equal parts awesome and a bit unnecessary.

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September 30, 2020

Someone in the UK unboxed a Google Pixel 5 retail demo unit [Video]

Google Pixel 5 review units probably aren’t shipping out to tech publications for a week or two and the phone itself isn’t landing in customers hands until the end of October, but someone in the UK managed to get their hands on a Pixel 5 retail demo unit somehow and posted a video of it to YouTube today…

According to a report this morning out of Japanese newspaper Nikkei, Google is reportedly planning to ship a modest number of Pixel smartphones over the course of the rest of this year on the heels of slow Pixel phone sales last year and COVID-19 related setbacks…

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It’s September 30th and while there’s no formal in-person Made by Google event this year, the time for the Launch Night In livestream has finally arrived. 9to5Google’s Google Event Live Blog + News Hub will be updated regularly throughout the day with the latest announcements from Google. The event kicks off at 11 am PT/2 PM ET, so read on for quick links to our roundup coverage over the last few weeks, tweets from the ground (our homes), and all the latest news as it develops…

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Last-minute Pixel 5, 4a 5G leaks show everything we already know

We already know pretty much everything about the Pixel 4a (5G) and the Pixel 5. But just like every year, the Google phones only get leaked more and more as their official announcement nears. Here’s a few more looks at the two new Pixels, some specs, and more before they go official in a few hours…

September 28, 2020

Unlike other popular mobile operating systems, Android has always allowed the installation of third-party app stores. In fact, many Android phones ship with multiple app stores out of the box. After hearing feedback from some third-party developers, Google now says it plans to make installing and using third-party app stores easier with the next major release of Android…

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September 25, 2020

It doesn’t take a genius to see that Google’s latest Pixel ads miss the mark. The production is fine, sure. The narrator? Great. The lighting and art style? No problem at all! But across eight different scenarios, they somehow argue that the Pixel (the phone) is better than Pixel (the dog). This is objectively wrong.

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According to a report this morning from Bloomberg, Google plans to crack down on apps that have long circumvented existing Play Store rules related to in-app purchase billing. The crackdown will come in the form of “updated guidelines” as early as next week, the report says, and developers will be given time to comply.

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September 24, 2020

Google is shutting down Area 120’s popular ‘Rivet’ kids reading app

Google’s Area 120 incubator launched an app called Rivet in beta in 2018 as a “fun and supportive reading app for kids.” It finally exited beta on Android and iOS in May of 2019, and in its time has grown to be one of the most beloved teach-your-kids-to-read apps on the Play Store. Now Google says that it’s shutting the app down.

The last couple days have brought a flood of Pixel leaks, and it’s not stopping yet. Renowned smartphone leaker Evan Blass just dropped the clearest and least-watermarked images of the Google Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a (5G) so far, and this time we’re getting a clear look at the elusive green variant of the former…

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September 14, 2020

Unbox Therapy gets first hands-on w/ LG Wing, goes deep on camera features [Video]

The LG Wing was announced this morning, but as of this writing, only one member of the US media actually has a device for a hands-on (as far as we can tell). That’s Lew from Unbox Therapy, unsurprisingly, and you can check out his full hands-on with the weird new phone — including a deep dive on its camera functions — below…

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