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

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…

September 10, 2020

Last October, Microsoft unveiled the Surface Duo, its latest — but certainly not its first — attempt to build a smartphone that lives up to the company’s productivity reputation on other platforms. Now, after almost a year, the Surface Duo dual screens (and its reviews) have arrived. And as you’ll be able to tell after reading this review roundup, it seems it probably could have used another year to bake before making its official debut…

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September 9, 2020

Last year, Motorola announced an interesting phone that was the epitome of taking advantage of smartphone nostalgia. It was a new Razr, but as you probably already know, it changed things up to match modern trends, notably adding its 6.2-inch foldable display. Just about six months after that phone finally started shipping — and suffered a mass of unfavorable comparisons to Samsung’s entry in its reviews — it now has a successor called the Moto Razr 5G. Here’s what people are saying about it so far…

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September 8, 2020

Remember the Facebook Phone? If you’re a tech blogger, maybe. Anyone else? Probably not. Its real name was the HTC First, and it was an Android smartphone announced as part of a press event held by Facebook in April 2013. Here’s a little more history: One of its headline features, chat heads, has now made its way into the world’s most popular mobile operating system — seven years later.

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July 27, 2020

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, 2020

[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, 2020

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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