About the Author

Abner Li

@technacity

“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.

Today

Earlier this year, Google introduced a quieter permissions UI for denying notification requests. Chrome 84 in July will automatically block intrusive notifications and other prompts on abusive sites.

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YouTube today is making it easier to navigate videos — especially long ones — with “Video Chapters.” This new feature goes beyond the timestamps that some creators list in descriptions by placing chapters right in the progress bar.

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Back in February, we spotted Voice appearing in Gmail’s side panel. Google Voice integration in Gmail on the web is now official for G Suite customers, along with call transfer capabilities.

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On June 3, the initial two-month promo for Stadia’s free tier will end and be replaced by a more standard introductory offer. Regardless, all will benefit from June 2020’s six new Stadia Pro games.

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At the start of May, the Chrome team established metrics for building fast websites. Google today announced plans to incorporate “Core Web Vitals,” like page speed, when ranking how sites appear in Search next year.

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In 2014, Google launched the “Open Location Code” project as an alternative to street addresses that’s “easier to use than latitude and longitude.” Google Maps is now introducing a faster way to access and share “Plus Codes” on Android.

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After rolling out last week to Mac, Windows, Linux, and Android, Chrome OS 83 is now available. There are a number of usability improvements, as well as a trio of new Family Link features.

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Google Search adds clinically validated screening questionnaire for anxiety

Google Search already has clinically validated self-assessments for depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In light of COVID-19, Google Search is adding an anxiety questionnaire.

Last month, Google launched a Journalism Emergency Relief Fund to “deliver urgent aid” for news publications in light of COVID-19 job losses, furloughs, and closures. The company today announced some of the 5,300 small and medium local newsrooms that will get funding.

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Yesterday

Over the years, YouTube has handed out free Made by Google speakers to paying customers. Some YouTube Premium subscribers can today claim a free Nest Mini from the Google Store.

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G Suite’s productivity apps are seeing a pair of updates on Android and the web today. On the latter platform, there’s a Google Docs “document status” indicator, while the mobile apps pick up a new search field.

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Google’s enterprise communication tools have seen a flurry of changes in recent weeks. The latest is a Progressive Web App for Google Chat that replaces the existing Electron client.

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Last May, Google officially announced that ads were coming to Discover. As part of that, the company previewed new Google Discovery ads for the Android and iOS feed, as well as Gmail and YouTube. They are now generally available around the world.

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In lieu of a physical I/O conference, the Android 11: Beta Launch Show will serve to showcase what’s new in the operating system this year. Ahead of next week, Google today posted the list of Android 11 Beta talks that will follow the keynote.

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Local businesses are struggling amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic due to decreased foot traffic and sales. Many have turned to selling gift cards as a means for customers to offer additional support, with Google soon allowing affected businesses to link to such donation methods on their public listings.

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Google’s smart speaker lineup is currently comprised of four devices, with the latest being the Nest Mini from October 2019. The original Google Home today is “no longer available” from the US Google Store in a possible end for the nearly four-year-old Assistant device.

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May 26

After several years of evolution, Google Discover has firmly settled into a feed of news and articles that are tailored to your interests. Cards for sports and weather still exists, with the latter on Android seeing a redesign today in the form of a bubble.

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The second-generation Pixel Buds went on sale in late April and tomorrow marks their one-month anniversary. They have been well-received with no real outstanding issues. Google is now rolling out the latest firmware update for the 2020 Pixel Buds.

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Earlier this month, Sundar Pichai laid out how Googlers would slowly return to the office over the course of 2020, but that most employees would continue working from home. A more detailed road map for Google office reopening was provided today, while measures for those working from home were also announced.

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Google Stadia gains new 1440p streaming option on desktops

The Stadia store gained two new titles this morning, while Elder Scrolls Online is officially launching on June 16. Google today also announced a new 1440p streaming option for stadia.com.

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