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Google

The name Google is synonymous with online searches, but over the years the company has grown beyond search and now builds multiple consumer products, including software like Gmail, Chrome, Maps, Android, and hardware like the Pixel smartphones, Google Home, and Chromebooks. Its name can also be found on internet services such as Google Fi, Flights, Checkout, and Google Fiber. Here is all of the latest news about one of the most influential tech companies in the world.

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David PierceSep 26
Thousands and thousands of reasons people love Android.

“Android fans, what are the primary reasons why you will never ever switch to an iPhone?” That question led to almost 30,000 comments so far, and was for a while the most popular thing on Reddit. It’s a totally fascinating peek into the platform wars, and I’ve spent way too much time reading through it. I also laughed hard at “I can turn my text bubbles to any color I like.”


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Thomas RickerSep 26
The Simpsons pays tribute to Chrome’s dino game.

Season 34 of The Simpsons kicked off on Sunday night with an opening credits “couch gag” based on the offline dino game from Google’s Chrome browser. Cactus, cactus, couch, d’oh! Perfect.


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Jay PetersSep 23
Doing more with less (extravagant holiday parties).

Sundar Pichai addressed employees’ questions about Google’s spending changes at an all-hands this week, according to CNBC.

“Maybe you were planning on hiring six more people but maybe you are going to have to do with four and how are you going to make that happen?” Pichai sent a memo to workers in July about a hiring slowdown.

In the all-hands, Google’s head of finance also asked staff to try not to go “over the top” for holiday parties.


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Richard LawlerSep 23
The sincerest form of flattery.

I had little interest in Apple’s Dynamic Island, but once a developer built their spin on the idea for Android, I had to give it a try.

Surprisingly, I’ve found I actually like it, and while dynamicSpot isn’t as well-integrated as Apple’s version, it makes up for it with customization. Nilay’s iPhone 14 Pro review asked Apple to reverse the long-press to expand vs. tap to enter an app setup. In dynamicSpot, you can do that with a toggle (if you pay $5).


DynamicSpot app on Android shown expanding music player, in the style of Apple’s Dynamic Island in iOS 16.
DynamicSpot in action on a Google Pixel 6
Image: Richard Lawler
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Youtube
Dan SeifertSep 22
Here’s a look at a few Pixel Watch watchfaces.

Google is ramping up the marketing machine ahead of next month’s Pixel 7 and Pixel Watch event and has released a short video (via 9to5Google) highlighting the design and showcasing some of the watchfaces it will have. Most of them are quite simple, with just the time being displayed.

These videos always look great from a marketing perspective, but I think they poorly reflect how I actually use a smartwatch. I want the computer on my wrist to show me useful information like weather, calendar appointments, timers, etc, which means it’s never as sparse or simple looking as it is in these ads.


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Jay PetersSep 21
Meta and Google’s definitely-not-layoffs prod employees to compete for new jobs.

Meta isn’t saying it’s laying off employees, but the WSJ reports department reorganizations are sending “a significant number of staffers” into a purgatory internally referred to as “the 30 day list” as they seek other jobs internally.

When Google cut half of the incubating projects within Area 120 last week, it gave people until January to find new jobs, a longer than usual window. 1,400 staffers petitioned for more time for internal job searches in the spring.


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Dan SeifertSep 21
Here come the Dynamic Island clones.

It’s no secret that once Apple does something, the industry tends to follow, so it’s not much of a surprise that we’re already seeing Dynamic Island clones materialize. Last week we saw MIUI (the Android-based software on Xiaomi phones) themers incorporate Dynamic Island-like ideas into their software, and today 9to5Google reports that Redmi is asking its fans to come up with ideas for what a “Redmi Island” could look like. Apparently Redmi wants to use to display alerts like incoming calls, notifications, and more.
Sure sounds familiar.


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Thomas RickerSep 20
Pixel Watch to start at $349.99?

9to5Google reports that the Bluetooth/Wi-Fi model of the Pixel Watch will start at $349.99, after having previously reported the cellular model will cost $399.99. That puts them above Samsung’s $279.99 Galaxy Watch 5 and closer to what Apple charges (starting at $399 for the Series 8). We’ll know for sure come October 6th.


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Richard LawlerSep 16
Watch Tim Cook express his honest opinion about iMessage, Android, and green bubbles.

It’s not hard to figure out why Tim Cook won’t fix the green bubbles and SMS fallback that comes with texting Android users from your iPhone using iMessage.

But you’ve got to see this response for yourself, as Cook (while laughing) suggests Vox Media’s LiQuan Hunt should “buy your mom an iPhone” to fix the issue.


Apple CEO Tim Cook on a blue background with green message bubbles appearing near his mouth.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
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The Verge
Dan SeifertSep 16
The Pixelbook served its purpose.

Earlier this week, Alex Heath and David Pierce reported that Google has canceled its next Pixelbook and moved the team elsewhere in Google, indicating we won’t see another one.

Monica Chin says that’s fine, and while she’s right, I can’t say I’m not sad about it — the 2017 Pixelbook remains a marvel of engineering to this day and I’d love to have seen an updated version (ideally with thinner bezels).