Google Voice is a streamlined VoIP service for personal or business use. Here's everything you should know
Do you need an additional phone number in your life? Google Voice has you covered. This service is easy to sign up for, frequently free, and has few strings attached. Here's everything you need to know.
No more fiddling with the USB cables with these fantastic wireless chargers
The Pixel 7a is Google’s newest entrant in the mid-range smartphone space. It packs almost everything you might want in a solid budget Android phone, including a full-HD+ display with a 90Hz refresh rate, Google’s tried and tested camera prowess, and a powerful chip in the form of Tensor G2. It’s also the first Pixel A-series phone to support wireless charging. So, if you are planning to buy the phone or have already ordered one, here are the best wireless chargers for the Pixel 7a to make the most of your brand-new phone.
Google's earthquake alerts were largely ineffective in the February disaster
The technology for detecting and alerting to earthquakes has been widely praised as a vital method to lessen the impact of such disasters, and mobile phones have become a critical participant in this arena. A strong example of this is Google's Android Earthquake Alert System, a service designed to give users precious seconds to find safety before an earthquake strikes. Despite the commendable intention, the system's implementation has faced challenges, as shown by the tragic February earthquakes in Turkey.
Moving up from the bottom of an endlessly scrolling list
The beta release adds support for third-party password managers
While strong passwords can truly secure your online accounts, they inherently come with a few drawbacks — they are hard to remember and can end up in the hands of bad actors. Google, Apple, and other tech giants want to replace passwords with passkeys, which eliminate most of the drawbacks of traditional passwords. With Credential Manager, Google wants to offer you an easy way to access passkeys on Android, and some of its user-facing changes could be just around the corner.
Save your eyes and cut down on distractions by using Reading mode
The best Android tablets and phones are great for consuming long-form content, reviewing big documents, and reading e-books. But reading content on the internet is not a pleasant experience as before, with ads, menus, and dialog boxes popping up. This makes life even more difficult if you have poor vision, as the design of some websites can put unwanted strain on your eyes.
Use Android's Lockdown mode to quickly deactivate biometrics and hide notifications from the lock screen
Face and fingerprint biometric authentication has become a standard feature on all devices, even on our favorite budget Android phones. They introduce an additional layer of security without adding extra steps when accessing your device. After all, unlocking your phone by looking at it or scanning your fingerprint is more convenient. But there are instances where you want additional security and need to turn off biometric unlock on your phone quickly. Instead of fiddling with the settings menu, take advantage of Lockdown mode in Android to achieve this and bolster your phone's security.
A Texas jury ordered the company to pay more than $300 million in damages while Google wants to appeal the decision
Google got into a lengthy legal dispute with Sonos over its smart speakers and their audio casting capabilities, with the audio company winning a $32.5 million trial against the California behemoth. This isn’t the only trouble Google is in for its casting endeavors, though. A Texas jury has decided that the company violated patents with its Chromecast’s video streaming capabilities, and is supposed to pay $338.7 million in damages.
A far cry from Google's current Android apps
If you've owned an Android phone at some point over the past few years, it's impossible not to have come across Google Photos. It's the default gallery app on Pixel phones and has a wide range of editing tools built-in to make it a complete package for anyone, regardless of their experience level with photography. This handy gallery app is now working on a visual refresh for many of its UI elements, which also involves the removal of the bottom navigation bar.
Don’t let your Pixel Tablet get scratched or cracked
The Google Pixel Tablet is an interesting proposition, a mid-range offering from the search engine giant that boasts the fit, finish, and overall polish expected from Google. Cheaper than the latest iPad, it includes handy features like a charging dock to transform it into an audio device and a smart hub, both powered by the Tensor G2 chip. While it's not as pricey as some premium tablets, it's certainly not cheap either. So if you decide to invest in one, you'll want to ensure it's snug and protected with one of the best Google Pixel Tablet cases.
'E2EE everywhere' could be another RCS-like pie in the sky
Security is critical wherever sensitive data is involved, like cloud storage, password management, and communication. The best encrypted messaging apps today don’t shy away from their responsibility towards the consumer’s privacy, but breaches and loopholes like WhatsApp’s flawed account deactivation system serve as constant reminders we can make more headway. Google believes the answer lies in an industry-wide interoperable standard for messaging that’s platform and app-agnostic. However, recent examples suggest this is but another pipe dream.
New laws could let developers keep more revenue, changing the digital economy
Even though Google is attempting to fall in line with new regulations, the company is continuing to draw the scrutiny of lawmakers across the globe. The Play Store fee imposed by Google on in-app purchases has become a popular target of global regulators, closely mirroring the heat Apple's App Store has been receiving. This is a deja vu moment, harking back to the 2020 scuffle between Google and Epic Games, where Epic challenged Google's exclusive control over the Play Store and its 30% cut from in-app purchases.
Google wants to provide a 'personal assistant' for journalists
Tech giants spent the first few months of 2023 pumping out AI chatbots, with Google taking its biggest swing in the AI wars with a flurry of new AI-powered capabilities for its Workspace apps. For instance, Gmail has a generative feature that writes email drafts for you by taking older emails in the thread into account. Google Docs' "Help me write" tool has also been a massive help in quickly composing generic text for things like job descriptions, which would otherwise take a while to finish. The search giant has now found yet another place it can cram in generative AI: the newsroom.
Saying goodbye to Google? Delete Google forever without losing any data
Deleting your Google account might seem impossible, especially if you're entrenched in its ecosystem. However, if you decide to leave Google behind, the process is simple and easy to follow. Kudos to Google for allowing users to remove themselves from its services. You can either delete your entire Google account in one go or delete specific Google services like Gmail and Google Drive and then move away from its other services. Whether you use an Android, iPhone, Windows, Mac, or a top Chromebook, vanishing from Google servers doesn't take more than a few minutes.
One change, while seemingly small, enhances the app's visual appeal and functionality
For the first time in what seems like forever, Google is focusing its attention on improving the user experience of its Weather app. As part of its pending Material You redesign that has already soft-launched on the Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet, Google Weather is introducing a completely transparent system navigation bar. This update follows design trends visible in other Google apps, such as Chrome, which integrated a similar transparent nav bar back in May. Although this particular element of the update may seem minor, it's clearly an essential component of the eagerly anticipated redesign.
Enable this feature if you don't mind letting Google access more information about your browsing habits
Data breaches have unfortunately become commonplace these days, and consumers navigating the dodgy internet landscape are the usual targets. Affected users are often advised to change their passwords. Thanks to Google Chrome's Enhanced Safe Browsing, online threats can now be predicted before they happen, and users are able to receive a warning when their credentials are exposed in a data breach. However, the feature is buried deep in Chrome's Settings menu, which makes enabling this web protection tool quite a chore. Google is now promoting it in an app with billions of users: Gmail.
The Pixel 6a is my handy companion for taking photos, but it cannot be my daily driver
Google Pixel phones are special, and even without the kind of access they get to the latest Android software, there's a lot to be impressed about what they're capable of doing. Still, they're not for everyone, and a serious shopper will want to go in eyes-open about some of their bigger limitations.
Feature updates include a redesigned interface, curated podcast feeds, and offline playback for all users
In the dynamic world of music streaming services, other platforms are often judged against the long-established standard set by Spotify. Spotify had a 30% market share in 2022, leaving rivals Apple Music and YouTube Music in the dust with 15% and 9%, respectively. The battle is still far from finished, though, as YouTube Music keeps working to close the gap and provide users with a more complete media platform.
After the Pixel 7 impressed us, what's next for our favorite Android phones?
The Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are likely to be two of the best Android phones of 2023, but we've yet to hear any official news directly from the company on their existence. Leaks and rumors suggest we'll be seeing both phones appear in the second half of 2023. While we did expect to see a teaser of them at Google I/O 2023 alongside the reveal of the Pixel 7a, Pixel Fold, and Pixel Tablet, that didn't happen. The Google Pixel 7 and Google Pixel 7 Pro were first teased at I/O 2022, but unfortunately, these phones remain a mystery — unless you follow the rumormill, that is.
Advance your tech job qualifications without a degree
Tech is an ever-evolving sector, and there continues to be more and more jobs available. You could get a college degree in a relevant field or obtain a Google Career Certificate. These certificates provide you with the skills you need to earn a job in several high-demand areas, such as data analytics, IT support, and project management. These certificates are accessible online on any device, such as the best Chromebooks, and don't have any prerequisites to enroll, such as a college degree or relevant experience. This article takes a closer look at the Google Career Certificate program, associated costs, and common questions prospective students may have.