About the Author

Abner Li


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

The above is truly Abner’s philosophy and why in his 5 years of writing about tech Google and Android has mostly been the main subject.

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.

Abner Li's Favorite Gear


GOOG: 922.22


With Chrome 60 rolled out to Mac, Windows, and Linux, as well as Android, version 61 is now rolling out to the beta channel. This release features several major new APIs that bring more native app functionality to the web.

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While this year’s Pixel XL successor widely rumored to be manufactured by LG, the smaller Pixel is expected to be again made by HTC. Recent leaks points to the device looking near identical to the current phone, with the same thick bezels remaining. There is now more proof of the HTC made nature of the device, as well as its features, thanks to a new FCC filing.

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Everyone can use an Echo Dot: Just $50!

Today smartphones are packed with various sensors that can perform a number of various tasks. One Seattle startup called Senosis Health is leveraging that technology to turn phones into devices that can track various health vitals that would otherwise require specialized equipment. Google has reportedly acquired that firm to create a new digital health effort.

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August 14

GOOG: 922.67


‘Hamilton’ app built with Flutter, the new Google mobile SDK also used for Fuchsia OS

As the hit musical Hamilton continues its cross-country tour, Lin-Manuel Miranda and company saw fit to create an app for fans. It features stickers, the opportunity to enter a raffle for cheap tickers, and more. Under-the-hood, “Hamilton — The Official App” also happens to be one of the first applications built with Flutter, which is also used as the UI layer for Google’s in-progress Fuchsia OS.

Earlier this year, the creator of the Swift language and head of Xcode developer tools left Apple to join Tesla. However, by June, Chris Lattner departed as lead of the car maker’s self-driving Autopilot software. The longtime Apple employee today revealed that he is now joining the Google Brain research division to work on AI.

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For Google, being the default search engine on iOS is highly lucrative, with Apple’s mobile devices predicted to contribute approximately 50% of Google’s mobile search revenue. So much so that one financial firm estimates that Google will pay Apple $3 billion this year to remain the default.

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August 11

GOOG: 914.39


Essential hosting a ‘First Look Event’ later this month for its upcoming Phone

As we near the actual release of the Essential Phone, Andy Rubin and company are beginning to show off their first device. Earlier this afternoon, Essential began mailing out an invite to what it calls a “First Look Event” in Los Angeles.

The latest fallout over the Googler-written anti-diversity document took place yesterday as a company-wide meeting was canceled over online harassment and doxxing fears. While Sundar Pichai did not get to express his thoughts at that event, later on in the evening he addressed a coding event for girls hosted at the Googleplex and reached out to reaffirm their place at Google.

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August 10

GOOG: 907.24


Coinciding with Monday’s firing of the Googler behind the anti-diversity document, Sundar Pichai announced an all-hands meeting set for today. The Town Hall on gender, expression, and other issues was abruptly canceled this afternoon over fears of online harassment.

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As part of Android O Developer Preview 3 from June, the Google Camera app was updated with a handful of new features. That version is now finally rolling out to all through the Play Store for current Pixel, Nexus, and Android One devices.

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As Android O nears its official launch for phones and tablets, other Android-based platforms are beginning to transition over. For Android Things, the jump to 8.0 will introduce new features and begins with Developer Preview 5.

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Rumors for the Moto X4 have picked up in recent months with the latest offering the first non-render images of the device. These photos from Brazilian telecommunication agency Anatel thoroughly showcase all angles of the phone, while Motorola has announced a possible August 24th event for the launch.

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August 9

GOOG: 922.90


Essential Phone in ‘full mass production” as Rubin confirms next week’s release date reveal

Earlier today, Essential president Niccolo De Masi confirmed more details about the company’s first phone, including retail availability and that the release date will be revealed next week. Andy Rubin has now announced that the Essential Phone is currently in mass production.

Google has long possessed a number of cooking-related tools, including a recipe-optimized Search functionality. Back in April, the Assistant on Google Home added the ability to verbally walk users through creating a dish. The Google Feed is now gaining more food-related smarts as its built-in ‘Cooking’ feature sees a wider rollout.

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August 8

GOOG: 926.79


With O’s official summer release imminent, Nougat is about to lose its title as the latest version of Android. Till then, Nougat and Marshmallow continue to rise in the latest August distribution numbers.

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The latest beta of the Google app rolled out last night and brings along with it a number of new strings. Announced at I/O, there are more references to making calls through Google Home. There are also mentions to the proactive notifications that are coming to the device later this year.

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The shutdown of the Explorer Program in 2015 ended the public’s opportunity to purchase Google Glass and coincided with the end of the Explorer Edition’s production. It would be more than two years before consumers could again buy any form of the ambitious smart glasses.

Parts and tools purportedly used to make the original version of Glass have now made their way onto eBay and offer an interesting looking at both the manufacturing and early R&D process.

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August 7

GOOG: 929.36


The author of the viral anti-diversity document has been fired from Google and comes after Sundar Pichai’s first address on the issue. Following statements over the weekend from the VP of Diversity and others at the company, Google CEO Sundar Pichai penned a memo to employees that surfaced today. It notes that portions of the anti-diversity document violate Google’s Code of Conduct, with the CEO returning from vacation to hold a town hall later this week.

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Announced at the annual Baselworld watch show in March, Fossil’s third-generation Android Wear devices are now available for pre-order. Notably dropping the flat-tire display, the Q Venture and Q Explorist come in a variety of styles and are slimmer than their predecessor.

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Google Photos is rolling out a minor update to its Android app that clarifies the workflow for deleting images. This new process adds an explicit delete confirmation screen that might cut down on errant and accidental button presses.

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