About the Author

Abner Li


“It’s Google’s Alphabet’s world & we’re all just living in it.”

The above is Abner’s philosophy and why in his 6 years of writing about tech Google and Android has been the main focus.

He resides in Los Angeles.

Send tips to abner@9to5mac.com.

Email or Twitter @technacity if you want to discuss anything remotely Android or Google related with him.


How resilient foldable smartphones can be will ultimately determine whether the form factor survives. The Galaxy Z Flip today was subjected to a durability test that calls into question Samsung’s marketing for Ultra Thin Glass.

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February 15

Before Sonos sued Google in January, the two companies worked closely to bring Assistant to Sonos speakers. Despite that lawsuit, the integration continues to get new features, including the highly desired ability to set Sonos as the default speaker on the Nest Hub, Google Home, and other Assistant devices.

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February 14

Last December, a report from the New York Times detailed how a chat app gaining traction around the world was actually being used as a spying tool by the United Arab Emirates (UAE). While ToTok was initially removed by Apple and Google, the Play Store later restored the messaging service. The Android app today looks to have been pulled again.

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Augmented reality is arguably the next big thing for its potential to replace the smartphone and change how people interact with technology. Across the industry, all efforts are currently phone-based with Google’s approach focused on Lens, Maps, and ARCore. However, a new report today shines further light on the situation — suggesting those efforts are largely the extent of the company’s AR ambitions at the possible expense of hardware glasses.

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February 13

Last April, Google killed Inbox with the promise that popular features would be migrated to Gmail. Nearly a year later, that has yet to occur, but the latest version (2020.02.02) of Gmail for Android today reveals that work is underway.

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This week is all about what Samsung announced at Unpacked 2020. We of course kick off by talking about the Galaxy Z Flip, which one of us experienced in the flesh, and then dive into everything else the company announced.

Alphabet Scoop is available on Google Play, Google PodcastsiTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, and through our dedicated RSS feed for Pocket Casts and other podcast players.

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Google’s Area 120 optimizing games for low-power devices, slow connections with GameSnacks

The Next Billion Users are coming online with low to mid-range devices and slow connections. Google is now working to bring gaming experiences that suit those conditions with Area 120 project GameSnacks.

Microsoft on Tuesday hosted a developer day for its upcoming dual-screen devices. One live Surface Duo demo failed, but the company has since corrected it to show Google Maps taking advantage of the two displays.

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February 12

Google last week celebrated the 15th birthday of Maps with an icon redesign and by previewing several new features. The first of those to become widely available is an Android and iOS redesign.

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Get Packed teases Stadia release date with Premiere Edition giveaway

At the inaugural Stadia Connect last June, Get Packed was announced as one of the platform’s first exclusives. Officially coming early 2020, Moonshine Studios this week launched a Get Packed giveaway that nets three winners a Stadia Premiere Edition bundle and free copy of the game.

Gmail for iOS can now add attachments from native Files app

Some iPhone and iPad users unhappy with changes to the Mail app in iOS 13 have turned to third-party clients. Google announced today that Gmail for iOS will soon support the native Files app for browsing and uploading attachments.

After expanding to Best Buy, Target, and even international airport terminals in the past year, Google Fi SIM cards are now available at Amazon. This continues the MVNO’s push to lower the barrier to switching.

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Essential Products announced today that it’s ceasing operations and shutting down. Founded by the controversial Andy Rubin, the start-up last August showed off a radical ‘GEM’ smartphone.

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Android later this year will introduce 62 new emoji, including a polar bear, bubble tea, and piñata. In the meantime, Gboard is offering customized sticker suggestions as part of its “Emoji Kitchen.”

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February 11

Screen search is one underrated Assistant feature that’s gone by the wayside due to the rise of Google Lens. “What’s on my screen” now looks to be returning on Android after disappearing last May.

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Google recaps Play Store and Android app security in 2019

Google today recapped the last year in Play Store and Android app security. In addition to highlighting major 2019 initiatives like the App Defense Alliance, there are several statistics on countering malicious applications and developers.

One big Microsoft foothold in enterprise productivity remains the Office suite of applications. The company announced yesterday that — by default — users of its premium Office 365 subscription will be forced to install an extension that makes Bing the default search engine in Chrome.

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Earth View is a “collection of the most striking landscapes found in Google Earth” that came about from people taking screenshots of the virtual globe for desktop backdrops. Google today added over 1,000 new high-resolution Earth View wallpapers.

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Google announced on Safer Internet Day that it’s giving out Titan Security Keys to political campaigns during the 2020 US elections. This is through a partnership with Defending Digital Campaigns to encourage two-factor authentication (2FA) and other security measures.

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February 10

Google first previewed augmented reality walking directions at I/O 2018, with the feature launching last August. Despite it being widely available on Android and iOS, the AR “Live View” in Google Maps has been missing on the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL for the past several weeks.

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