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

Getting the Stadia Controller Claw has been a bit of a saga. Earlier this week, it went on sale at Power Support before the manufacturer stopped taking new orders. It’s now available on the Canadian Google Store.

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For the past several years, Google has had a presence at the Game Developers Conference focused on mobile and cloud services. The company today detailed their “Google for Games Developer Summit” at GDC 2020 this March.

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Google App Maker is a low-code way for businesses and other enterprise customers to create internal tools. Citing low usage, the service will be “turned down gradually” in 2020 ahead of a full shutdown in 2021.

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YouTube Premium today is comprised of ad-free and background playback of videos and music, as well as offline downloads. An upcoming perk could give subscribers paying $11.99 one free channel membership every month.

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Yesterday

During the 2020 Grammy Awards, Google will air an ad called “The Most Searched” as a “Celebration of Black History Makers.” It’s a look at “Black icons, events and movements that were the most searched.”

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January 25

YouTube TV prompting frequent watchers to install Progressive Web App

Progressive Web Apps have a promising future rivaling native applications as the web become more feature-rich and powerful. Google has been fast to adopt, with YouTube TV prompting “every day” watchers to install the PWA.

Stadia app briefly lists, but doesn’t allow play on Android TV

In its roadmap for the first three months of 2020, Google revealed how Stadia will come to more Android phones. Testing for that is already underway, and the latest development sees the Stadia app list an Android TV device.

January 24

Google Camera 7.3 is rolling out this evening with some minor tweaks to the app. More notable is how this latest version hints at 24FPS video recording and the upcoming “mid-range” Pixel 4a.

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Chrome ‘Tap to Search’ on Android picks up Material Theme tweaks

One underrated Chrome feature on Android performs a subtle Google lookup when you highlight anything on the web. Chrome’s Tap to Search has now gained some Material Theme tweaks.

Back in 2017, Twitter killed 6-second looping video service Vine. Two years later, co-founder Dom Hofmann teased a return, and last April introduced a closed beta. Byte today is officially launching for Android and iOS.

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Google today announced a multi-year strategic relationship with a big game developer that spans various parts of the company. Google Cloud will become Activision Blizzard’s preferred provider for game hosting as YouTube becomes the exclusive live eSports streaming partner.

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At the start of last week, Google introduced a new design for desktop Search that adds site favicons to every result. Some users reacted very vocally, and Google is now experimenting with new Search designs in response to the favicon backlash.

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Assistant Smart Displays provide an easy way to control all the connected devices in your home. Google is today improving the entertainment experience with a new Media View for Nest Hubs.

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January 23

Even before Google’s Fitbit acquisition, Alphabet already has a health wearable with the Verily Study Watch. That clinical device has just received FDA clearance to detect irregular heart rhythms.

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Play Books for Android drops navigation drawer for Material Theme switcher

The last big update to Play Books saw the web client in August add beta features like “Custom shelves.” The Android app now has a Material Theme account switcher that replaces the navigation drawer.

This morning’s “Collaboration of the Cosmos” puzzle was just solved by the required threshold to reveal that Google I/O 2020 will take place from May 12-14. The developer conference will again be held in Mountain View, California right next to the Googleplex. expand full story

An update to Stadia for Android and iOS rolled out today with a number of small tweaks. Most notable is “Pro” badging for free subscription games, as well as Google providing an estimate for how much data Stadia’s Balanced 1080p tier uses.

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Over the past several years, Google has moved to provide people with a direct answer when they search. These “Featured Snippets” power Google Assistant queries, and the company is now making a tweak to not repeat them in web results.

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Google has a useful tool for scientists and other researchers that surfaces online datasets with a simple keyword query. Dataset Search is now coming out of beta with a handful of new features.

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At the start of every year, Google teases its I/O developer conference — specifically the dates — with an elaborate alternate reality game (ARG). Google I/O 2020’s puzzle is a mission called “Collaboration of the Cosmos.”

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