Teardown August 3

Back in April of 2016, Google updated Calendar for Android and iOS with a tool to help you find time for personal goals. Amid another upcoming removal, Google Calendar is planning to get rid of “Goals.”

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Teardown July 29

The Pixel Buds Pro launched earlier this week in four delightful colors, but it should come at no surprise that Google considered many more during the development process. Here are some variants that we believe came closer to launching, but ultimately didn’t.

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Teardown July 20

A sleep timer to pause playback after a specified increment is in the works for YouTube Music. This has been a long requested feature, especially since Google Play Music offered one ages ago.

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Teardown July 12

The latest update to Stadia’s Android app, version 4.22, includes preparations for reactions on the Explore tab, a warning about “too many players,” and more.

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Teardown July 7

As of today, At a Glance on Pixel has 14 distinct capabilities and Google is readying three more, with ridesharing status being the most notable.

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Teardown July 5

Last month, we reported how Google Calendar was laying the groundwork to replace Assistant Reminders with Tasks. More details on how the Reminders-to-Google Tasks migration in Calendar should work are now available. 

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Last month, Google updated At a Glance with flashlight reminders and Nest Doorbell alerts. The Pixel At a Glance widget could soon get a “Cross Device Timer” capability that integrates with Google Home.

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Teardown June 28

Google seems to be preparing for car crash detection and other Pixel-exclusive Personal Safety features available on other Android phones.

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As early as 2018, Google had been readying an Assistant-adjacent feature that supercharges saving and reminders on Android. It now appears that Google is no longer working on “Assistant Memory” as the company’s reminders strategy becomes ever more muddled. 

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The latest update to the Google Camera app, version 8.5, includes new details about the photography and videography features of the Pixel 7 and next year’s Pixel tablet.

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Teardown June 20

At the start of this month, it emerged that Google Assistant is losing the ability to set both location-based and assigned reminders. A bigger change looks to be underway as that old Assistant Reminders system in Google Calendar is being replaced by Google Tasks.

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Teardown June 14

Google launched its Android, iOS, and web note-taking app in March of 2013. Now, over nine years later, Google Keep is about to add text formatting that will let you bold, italicize, and underline text. 

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Teardown June 1

Nearly two years after the last settings redesign, Google is taking another stab at making it easier to control and manage the ever-growing list of what Assistant can do.

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Teardown May 27

In March of 2021, Google started using federated learning on Android to improve “Hey Google” hotword accuracy. An upcoming “Personalized speech recognition” feature now looks to help Google Assistant get “better at recognizing your frequent words and names.”

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Teardown May 18

Stadia 4.16 is rolling out now via the Google Play Store and includes preparations for likely 1440p streaming, in-app help improvements, and more.

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Teardown May 10

The latest Digital Wellbeing feature coming soon to Android 13 devices is the ability for Bedtime Mode to dim your wallpaper.

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Teardown May 3

After introducing better widgets, Apple Music for Android is getting an in-app Sleep Timer that offers extensive options. 

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Teardown April 29

The latest update to the Stadia app, version 4.13, points to game-specific touchscreen controls and hints at 1440p streaming on Android.

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With Android 12, the Pixel Launcher introduced a new on-device search experience at the top of the app launcher. While it’s temporarily gone from Android 13 Beta 1, the Pixel Launcher is working on search shortcuts beyond the Google app.

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Teardown April 19

The security industry, as organized by the FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance, has been working to replace passwords given people’s tendency to use weak ones or reuse them. Two-factor authentication (2FA) has helped to remedy that but the future is “passkeys,” with Android and Google readying support.

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Teardown April 12

In October of 2020, one Nest Hub Max user managed to get an early look at “Blue Steel.” This capability lets you just gaze at your compatible Smart Display to trigger Google Assistant, and a launch under the name “Look and Talk” might be coming soon.

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Teardown March 29

While Apple in no way invented Bluetooth trackers, AirTags undoubtedly popularized the category this past year. There are ongoing concerns about these readily available devices being used to track people, and tag makers have taken steps to counter that. Google might soon add a Bluetooth tracker detection capability directly into Android.

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Teardown March 11

Following new widgets for YouTube Music and Google Photos in December, Digital Wellbeing will soon get a screen time widget that shows how much you’ve been on your phone and the top Android apps being used.

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Teardown March 7

The latest update to the Stadia app for Android points to Google’s game streaming service gaining motion controls, a revamped touch gamepad, and more.

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Teardown March 6

Google rolled out a Material You redesign for the Play Store in October, but it really only applied to the homescreen. The Play Store will soon get new Material You buttons throughout the app.

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Teardown February 2

As Google starts rolling out iMessage reaction translations, Messages is readying a navigation drawer that surprisingly bucks the company’s recent design trend. Meanwhile, we have more details on how Google Photos media uploads will work.

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Teardown November 30, 2021

The latest update to Stadia for Android, version 3.44, is rolling out now via the Play Store and includes early work on a revamped search feature, livestream spectating, and more.

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Teardown November 22, 2021

With the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, Now Playing gained a manual lookup capability that appears as a search button on the homescreen. The next Pixel update to Now Playing will introduce the ability to favorite songs and a bottom bar redesign.

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Teardown November 21, 2021

With the Pixel 6, Google announced a big upgrade for At a Glance that it’s been teasing since the Material You reel shared at I/O in May. At a Glance is now set to get even more features that justify the new design that spans the entire width of the Pixel Launcher.

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Teardown November 9, 2021

In July of last year, we spotted development of an “Assistant Chat Head” that never ended up launching. Google is now working on a more useful “Search bubble” chat head that provides quick access to text and voice lookup.

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Teardown November 5, 2021

Google is all-in on Rich Communication Services (RCS) as its main consumer messaging strategy. That said, Google Messages is working on the ability to have video usually sent over MMS be sent using Google Photos instead.

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Teardown October 6, 2021

Last month, we detailed Google’s work on a feature that lets you skip Assistant’s hotword for select commands. On phones, Assistant “Quick phrases” work differently and in a somewhat more limited manner.

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Teardown September 28, 2021

New Pixel phones released in the fall usually launch with exclusive software features that later become available on older Google phones. The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will be the first to feature Material You weather widgets powered by the Google app. 

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Teardown September 24, 2021

The latest version of Stadia for Android includes continued work toward adding voice chat, “Instant Trials” for Stadia store games, and more.

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Teardown September 21, 2021

After redesigning the Weather app, Google’s next step is introducing Android 12 homescreen widgets. We enabled the first one last week, and the second Google widget coming is straight from the Pixel 6’s Material You advertising

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Teardown September 13, 2021

The ability to “Test device speed” was one of the last remaining features of the old Google Wifi app that had yet to be migrated to Google Home with June’s Wi-Fi redesign. An update today introduces that check, and reveals work on ISP access to your Google/Nest Wifi router.

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Teardown September 12, 2021

For the past few years, Google has been working on a “Better Together” initiative to make the experience of owning an Android phone and Chromebook more seamless. Integrations today include a prominent Phone Hub, Instant Tethering, and Smart (Un)Lock. As we reported in February, the latest feature in this family is codenamed “Eche,” and we now know a lot more about the Android side of things. Google Pixel phones look to be the first devices that can “Push” and mirror apps to Chromebooks.

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Teardown September 10, 2021

Android 12 brings a renewed focus on widgets with Google Photos and Clock — just this week — serving as key examples. YouTube Music is working on a Material You widget, and we’ve enabled a preview of it.

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Teardown September 1, 2021

Back in April, we told you about an in-development “Guacamole” feature that will let you use Assistant without hotwords. This Google Assistant capability will launch as “Quick phrases,” and we now know more about how it works.

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Teardown August 25, 2021

The latest update to the Stadia app, version 3.31, includes continued work toward a touch gamepad for Android TV, a new “magic linking” method for controllers, and more.

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Teardown August 22, 2021

Earlier this week, Gboard widely rolled out its Material You redesign and Dynamic Color theme on Android 12. The Google keyboard is also set to get more MY elements and a redesign of settings.

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Teardown August 12, 2021

Google is preparing to upgrade its “Find My Device” system to use other Androids to anonymously find your lost phone, as well as gain the ability to protect data on a lost vehicle.

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Teardown August 10, 2021

With the launch of the Nest Cam line and Doorbell, Google is requiring the Home app and bringing over a slew of legacy features from the old companion client. Google Home 2.42 adds support for the new security cameras, and reveals works on two other efforts.

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Teardown August 5, 2021

The latest update to Stadia for Android, version 3.28, works toward taking screenshots and accessing Assistant with third-party controllers, joining parties from your phone, and more.

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Teardown July 20, 2021

One of the most exciting promises of Stadia on Android TV is that you can get great video games directly on your smart TV, all you may need to buy is a controller. The latest update to Stadia for Android continues working toward playing games on your TV using your phone as a controller.

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Teardown July 12, 2021

After an update last month focused on Wi-Fi management, the latest version of the Google Home app greatly improves the Nest Hello experience with more controls.

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Teardown July 1, 2021

Android 12 brings with it a renewed focus on widgets as part of letting users better customize their devices to reflect them. As we first reported last night, Google Photos is working on a “Your memories” widget for Android. 

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Teardown June 28, 2021

The latest update to Stadia for Android points to a promo for YouTube Premium members and includes more work toward using your phone as a controller for Stadia on your TV.

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