About the Author

Stephen Hall


Stephen is Managing Editor at 9to5Google. You can find his current work at 9to5Google, 9to5Mac, 9to5Toys, and Electrek. If you want to get in touch with Stephen, be sure to follow him on Twitter. Or, you can send him an email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.

Stephen 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, TechCrunch, GigaOm, PC World, PC Magazine, as well as newspapers like The Wall Street Journal and USA Today.

Stephen’s first story came in September 2014 when he published exhaustive details on Google’s unreleased Nexus 6 smartphone. He followed that with extensive Google Glass reporting, including scoops on the forthcoming “Enterprise Edition” and Google’s plans for its distribution.

In September 2015, Stephen revealed details on Google’s forthcoming 2nd gen Chromecast and Chromecast Audio, as well as Google’s plan to bring Spotify support to the Chromecast. He also revealed Google’s plan to introduce a gold Nexus 6P in the United States.

In March 2016, Stephen exclusively reported that Tesla had tested Google Glass in its Fremont factory. Later that year, Stephen detailed “Andromeda,” an unannounced software project by Google, which would launch on a new Google laptop and tablet hardware. That project was later cancelled.

2018 was marked by extensive reporting on Google’s first-party hardware and software projects. Stephen detailed Android Pie months before it launched, dug up the cause of extensive Pixel 3 leaks, and contributed to those leaks himself through exclusive leaked Pixel 3 camera details. Stephen also exclusively reported on the shuttering of Google Hangouts and Google Allo.

In 2019, Stephen revealed almost all of Google’s forthcoming hardware launches before they happened. That started with exclusive details about the budget Pixel 3a and 3a XL, and continued later in the year with the earliest reports on the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, Google’s second-generation Nest Mini, a new Nest Wifi, and a new Chromebook called Pixelbook Go.

Stephen Hall's Favorite Gear

July 27

Spotify on Windows/Mac desktop finally lets you initiate a Chromecast session

After many, many years, you can now initiate a Chromecast stream from the Spotify app for desktop. You’ve long been able to control Chromecast streams that were initiated from the iOS and Android apps (via Spotify Connect), but now you can initiate those streams directly from your Windows or Mac desktop.

July 21

[Update: It’s back] Google quickly demoted Twitter results in Search after Bitcoin scam

Yesterday, Twitter suffered a severe compromise which resulted in the accounts of high profile individuals — from Elon Musk and Kanye West to Apple and Joe Biden — sharing a scam request for Bitcoin in exchange for free Bitcoin. It appears Google responded swiftly by demoting Twitter-related results in Search and those results have yet to return as of this writing.

July 13

You might think it’s an unlikely source for Google leaks, but the Google Store has accidentally published many pages over the last few years revealing unannounced products and product details. Here’s a full list of every time Google has accidentally leaked a product on its own retail store…

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An official render of the Google Pixel 4a has appeared on the Google Store ahead of launch. See above… and below for more details.

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July 10

Way back in February, we started tracking a few Pixel codenames (as we do), and it wasn’t until today — in early July — that we had some sense of what these phones actually are. Google put their retail names in the Google app, and for those of us who have followed the Pixel series for several years, they might seem like a bit of a curveball. Google’s definitely switching things up this year — but here’s how you can start to make sense of the Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, and Pixel 5…

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July 9

Google just sent us a picture of the new Nest-branded smart speaker. See above..and much more below.

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July 8

In lieu of Google I/O 2020 (Google opted not to hold a virtual event this year), the various arms of the company that would have otherwise had announcements at the event are trying to hold virtual conferences. That continued this week with the “Hey Google” Smart Home Virtual Summit. The big news was Google bringing Home/Away triggers to Assistant Routines with ‘presence detection’, but another minor tidbit surfaced: a new “Works with Hey Google” brand we hadn’t seen yet. Let’s overanalyze this, shall we?

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June 22

Every year at WWDC, Apple copies Google. But also, every year at Google I/O (or, this year, nothing really), Google copies Apple. Whatever. It’s a cliche at this point; the two major mobile platforms are so mature that it’s rarely a matter of which features one will have and the other will not, but rather which will get them first. But today, Apple showed off what might be the most stereotypically Android release of iOS yet…

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June 15

Google is planning to launch a new Nest-branded smart speaker, sources familiar with the matter tell 9to5Google. The device will look unassuming and familiar, we’re told, and will fit in nicely with the fabric-based design language of the Nest Mini, Nest Hub, and the still-not-renamed Google Home Max.

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May 21

Google Pixel 4a apparently won’t launch until July at the earliest

We exhaustively detailed the Google Pixel 4a in a report in April, and at the time, we thought the phone was perhaps weeks away from seeing an official announcement. Now, a pair of new launch date rumors on Twitter suggest that the phone won’t launch until July, and might not be available until August…

May 18

For a long time, I’ve hoped for the ability to use a custom hotword/phrase on my Googles Home (that’s plural for multiple of them, obviously). But being stuck at home for the last couple months has even further highlighted just how exhausting it is to repeat the name of a mega tech company when trying to set a timer for my dinner.

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May 5

Rumor: Google is planning to rebrand Android TV to… Google TV

According to one little birdie I know, Google is planning to rename Android TV to Google TV.

That’s it. That’s the story.

April 23

Google’s animation for ‘Battery Share’ in Android 11 DP3 tells us nothing new

We first told you about a new Settings pane called “Battery Share” in Android 11 back in mid-February. Today, in the 3rd Developer Preview of Android 11, Google added a nice animation to go along with the feature. It’s a nice animation. But it tells us nothing new of substance about Google’s plans for device-to-device wireless charging…

April 22

It’s Earth Day 2020, so there’s no better time than now to think about how your Google Pixel or other Android device will affect the planet when they reach the end of their life. It might be an original Google Pixel sitting in your desk that you want to recycle, or maybe even a Pixel 3 that you’d like to sell to upgrade to the another phone. Whatever the case, here’s how to ensure your devices get recycled well.

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April 20

Google Photos to add feature for removing audio from videos

Jane Manchun Wong is something of an app teardown extraordinaire, and today she’s back with a little tidbit about Google Photos. According to her findings in the latest version of the Google Photos app, users will soon be able to easily remove audio from videos…

April 15

Hangouts Meet just got its much-needed rebrand to Google Meet amidst the surging popularity of videoconferencing tools in general. Alongside a trademark for that term, there’s another Hangouts product whose fate has yet to be decided. Hangouts Chat, the teams-focused Slack competitor from the Mountain View company, might also be getting a rebrand that does away with the troublesome Hangouts branding.

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April 14

According to Google Trends, searches for ‘good news’ have reached all-time highs on Search. In fact, searches for good news have reached levels that are more than double that of any time since Google began publishing search data in 2004.

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Google has secured a Proggy 2020 (froggy… proggy… progress… get it?) award from PETA for its 3D animals augmented reality feature in Google Search, the non-profit announced today. PETA’s “Proggy” awards typically recognize people and brands that are helping to create a more humane world.

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It’s April 14th, and that means the latest OnePlus event has arrived. 9to5Google’s OnePlus 8 Live Blog + News Hub will be updated regularly throughout the day with the latest announcements. The event kicks off at 11AM ET/8AM PT, so read on for quick links to our roundup coverage over the last few weeks, tweets, and all the latest news as it develops…

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Last week, a sketchy rumor surfaced on the web suggesting that Google had collaborated with Samsung to build its own silicon — presumably for future Pixel devices. Now, a report from Axios corroborates some of those details, adding that the chip, codenamed ‘whitechapel’, could appear in Google’s flagship smartphones as soon as next year and, eventually, Chromebooks.

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