RIP, Dual Selfie Camera Pixel Phones


Pixel 3 XL Cameras

Google is changing a lot about its Pixel program with the release of this year’s Pixel 4. For the first time, they are introducing a rear camera setup that has more than one camera. We also believe that they may ditch fingerprint readers altogether to instead focus on the Pixel 4’s advanced face unlock technology. That focus appears to have led to another change that drops the front camera setup down to a single selfie camera, after introducing a dual selfie camera last year.

With the Pixel 3 and 3 XL, we had dual 8MP selfie cameras, one with a standard field of view next to another that shot at a wide-angle. The wide-angle camera was a big selling feature for Google, as they promoted it to those who may take group selfies and want capture the entire scene. I can tell you that I certainly used it … Read the rest

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Question: You Cool With No Fingerprint Sensor on the Pixel 4?


Pixel 4 Face Unlock

Now that Google has confirmed an Apple-esque face unlock system for its next phone, we need to seriously consider the idea that the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL may not have a fingerprint reader. If that’s the case, are you cool with that?

I bring it up because Google has now given us a view of the backside of the Pixel 4, along with today’s full write-up on face unlock and the various sensors used to make that magic happen. What Google hasn’t showed one bit of in either teaser is a fingerprint reader on the backside, frontside, or sides of the phone. While I’m sure they wanted to spend time today hyping the face unlock capabilities and the Soli chip, it would have been fitting to say, “Oh and since we’re talking front of the phone, we put this sweet in-display fingerprint reader in too.” They … Read the rest

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Google Shows Off Pixel 4 Soli-Powered Face Unlock, Gesture Controls


Google Pixel 4

Google is continuing to hype the upcoming Pixel 4 via social media, this time showcasing the phone’s new face unlock feature, as well as Motion Sense gesture controls via the new Soli radar chip array.

In a brief video and a blog post, Google states that, “As you reach for Pixel 4, Soli proactively turns on the face unlock sensors, recognizing that you may want to unlock your phone. If the face unlock sensors and algorithms recognize you, the phone will open as you pick it up, all in one motion. Better yet, face unlock works in almost any orientation—even if you’re holding it upside down.”

The face unlock feature can be used for secure payments and app authentication, too.

Soli, as you may be aware, is the result of work that was first showcased at Google Read the rest

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Google Would Love to Bring RCS to Your Phone, but US Carriers are Bad


RCS Verizon ATT T-Mobile

If you assumed that your US carrier is the reason you haven’t been given access to RCS, which should be the future of SMS, you are probably right. Google’s Hiroshi Lockheimer said as much in a Tweet this weekend, while sharing news that they have fully rolled out the new messaging technology to the UK and France. So yeah, US carriers suck as much when it comes to this messaging thing as you guessed.

To back up for a second, let’s recap what Lockheimer is referencing. Just over a month ago, The Verge reported that Google was going to bypass carriers in the UK and France and push out RCS (or “Chat” messaging) on their own, through their Android Messages app. Google never acknowledged any of the report publicly, didn’t write up one of their typical blog posts on what is a pretty major move, and … Read the rest

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Pixel 3a Arrival Sure Helped Google Sell Some Pixel Phones


Pixel 3a

During Google’s Q1 2019 earnings call in April, Google had to admit that they didn’t sell as many Pixel 3 phones as they had hoped. Instead of growth in their third year of Pixel phone releases, Q1 showed lower year-on-year sales, which is a wrong-direction type of trend.

For Q2, Google has a much more positive message to share around Pixel sales and it’s likely all thanks to the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL that were introduced in May. Well, the arrival of those combined with wider distribution to more carrier and retail partners certainly helped a lot.

During today’s Q2 earnings call, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that “overall Pixel unit sales in Q2 grew more than 2x year over year.” Again, this is the quarter immediately following a quarter where Google admitted that Pixel sales were lower.

Now, there are a couple of things … Read the rest

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Tip: If You Want to Use Google Keep for Shopping Lists, Add Items With Voice Search


Google Assistant Shopping List

In 2017, Google made a change to how it handles shopping lists through Google Assistant. Instead of allowing you to add items to their dedicated and fully-featured lists/notes app, Google Keep, they killed that integration and moved everyone over to a dedicated shopping list portal through Google Express. I think we all know why they made that move (💰), even if it annoyed the sh*t out of everyone.

After enough complaining or something, Google told us at Google I/O in 2018 that they’d soon let people choose default apps for both lists and notes in Assistant. The option to choose where you save notes to, when asking through Google Assistant, arrived towards the end of last year and remains there.

Around the time it showed up, a Googler popped into a reddit thread about a Google Keep update and suggested that default list choosing would be along shortly … Read the rest

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I Took Two Busted Phones to uBreakiFix and This is How It Works



I’ve accumulated a couple of cracked phones in recent months, thanks to my resistance to cases and having a 5-year old around. Because both phones happen to be phones (Galaxy S10e and Pixel 3a) I like a lot and do not want to pay to replace, I decided I’d go the uBreakiFix route to get them freshened up and back in working condition. And since some of you may be curious how this process works, I figured I’d at least document it for those who have questions.

Before we get into this, just know that this is in no way sponsored. I really do have a couple of broken phones that I want to get fixed, have used uBreakiFix before, and thought sharing the experience was worth it.

OK, this is how uBreakiFix works!

Step 1: Decide if your phone is worth replacing or fixing!

This seems like a … Read the rest

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DEAL: Google’s Excellent Fabric Pixel 3 Cases are $10 Off


Pixel 3 Fabric Case Deal

You’ll always be able to find cheap cases from 3rd party accessory makers at places like Amazon, but if you want what should be the best overall case experience, you often need to turn to the phone’s maker. Google happens to offer one case in particular that I’m a big fan of for its phones and it’s called the Fabric Case. This is one of those rare times where I’d suggest forking out the cash if you have it and need protection.

Right now at the Google Store, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL Fabric Cases are $10 off (in Pink Moon or Indigo), dropping them to $30. Yes, that’s expensive and seems absurd when companies like Spigen are selling cases for $10, but these Fabric Cases are nice.

The cases are the soft to the touch, feature a really cool knit texture and pattern, are very … Read the rest

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Google Just Released a New Gallery App for You to Try


Google Gallery Go

As a follow-up to Google’s surprisingly popular Files Go app, Google just released Gallery Go, a lighter gallery app to make managing your photos super easy.

Gallery Go is a 10MB app (that’s small, FYI) that works offline, automatically organizes your photos by the people and stuff you take photos of, and provides you with a set of editing tools. Those editing tools include auto enhancing, filters, cropping, and rotating.

By no means is this the fanciest, most feature-rich photo or gallery app you will use and that’s by design. It’s meant to work on almost any phone and without using data. It’s pretty slick too and most definitely fast.

Gallery Go is free and available now through that link below.

Google Play Link

// Google


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Google Nest Hub Max Arrives September 9


Nest Hub Max

Google’s new Nest Hub Max arrives on September 9, folks. That date has now been confirmed by the Google Store, which says to expect their biggest Nest Hub in Australia, United Kingdom, and the US on that date.

To recap, the Nest Hub Max costs $229 and features a 10-inch HD display with built-in Nest Cam, 3″ woofer with stereo speakers, and Google Assistant, like other Google Home products. It’ll do video calls, act as a security camera of sorts, play media (has Chromecast built-in too), and recognize your face to show the information that’s relevant to you. It’s a smart display, just with a big display.

If you’ve been waiting to buy a smart display, mark 9/9/19 on your calendar.

Shop Nest Hub Max

// Google Support


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