Category Archives: Google

Assistant’s music recognition feature rolling out to non-Google devices as well

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Google has confirmed that the Assistant’s ability to recognize music/songs being played around users has started rolling out to non-Google devices as well. The feature – which works like Shazam or SoundHound – was only available on Pixel 2 phones until now.

Reports confirm the functionality now works on devices by other manufacturers like OnePlus and Nextbit. Following screenshots – taken from a OnePlus 5 unit – confirms this:

In case the Assistant app on your device isn’t recognizing music yet, it’s likely because the update hasn’t reached your device. Google says the rollout began this past weekend, so you’ll have to keep patience for a few more days.

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Google’s smart storage app – Files Go – accidentally leaks

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Google has been working quietly on an in-house file manager. Development of such an app has not been known to the public, until today, that is.

A new app called “Files Go” has accidentally been posted to the Google Play Store long enough for someone to re-upload it to a file-sharing website. As of right now, the direct Play Store link doesn’t lead anywhere, only offering a “Not found” page.

We installed the app from the mirror link and poked around. There are a few useful features that appear to be aimed at giving you more information and control over what is taking up precious space on your smartphone.

Aside from seeing how much space you have left on your device, the main “Storage” tab offers a card based interface. These cards suggest where you might want to clear some data to make more space. The ones we saw were “App cache”, “Large files”, “Downloaded files”, “Duplicate files”, and “Junk media”.

Storage Tab Storage Tab Storage Tab
Storage Tab

Under the “Files tab” is a list of file categories like Downloads, Images, Videos, and Documents. Tap on a category to look at a particular type of file and where they reside in your storage. Also in the Files tab is a Transfer tool, one that would make sharing large amounts of files easy. If you wanted to send a file or batch of files, you’d hit “Send files” and the app will turn on Bluetooth and fire up the phone’s hotspot for your friend to connect by tapping “Receive” in the same app.

Files tab Files tab
Files tab

A few other worthy features are alerts when storage is low, and alerts when apps haven’t been used for longer than 30 days.

Settings
Settings

In its current state, the app is not ready. It briefly freezes when pulling down to refresh, and there doesn’t appear to be any proper file management actions like unzipping, or copy/pasting. The idea of such an app that does all basic file managing in addition to smart suggestions and file transferring would be an excellent addition to Google’s repertoire of in-house applications.

It’s worth mentioning that just because we saw this app leak, doesn’t necessarily mean that Google will release such an app, though it definitely does raise the chance considerably, doesn’t it?

Thanks for the tip!

Play Store link (broken) | Via (translated) | link to mirrored APK

November security update fixes Pixel 2 clicking noise issue, brings new Saturated color mode

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While we already know the November security update for Nexuses and Pixels has started rolling out, Google has now confirmed that the update brings a couple of major Pixel 2/2 XL-related changes.

In a post on official Google forums, company employee Orrin has revealed that the update not only fixes the clicking noise issue with the device, it also brings a new Saturated mode.

The option can be accessed by heading to Settings->Display->Advanced->Colors.

In addition, the update also includes some UI-related changes that the company says will extend the life of the OLED display. These include the ability for the navigation buttons at the bottom to fade out, and an update to maximum brightness.

Following is the complete post from Orrin:

Source | Via

Google makes Android’s November security update available for Nexuses and Pixels

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As a new month begins, Google releases a new bunch of security fixes for Android, and makes them available to its Nexus and Pixel devices. Things are a little bit different today, however, since the company now lists a separate section in its security bulletin page that details “functional updates” for Pixels. These are the fixes that aren’t related to security, and for the November release 6 out of 12 such patches are related to Bluetooth. There are a couple of camera improvements baked in too, an audio fix, two mobile data-related enhancements, and a vague “improved application stability” note as well.

Another thing the November security release does differently is that it has three patch levels – November 1, November 5, and November 6. Usually we only see the first two of those. Obviously Google’s Pixels and Nexuses will be on the November 6 security patch level after applying this update, but it’s unclear how other manufacturers will handle the situation.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

There are 11 security issues fixed by the November 1 patch, an additional 11 in the November 5 level, and 9 more in November 6. These last ones might be the required fixes for the KRACK Wi-Fi vulnerability. On top of all that, there are 53 additional fixes that are specific to Pixels and Nexuses.

Factory images and full OTA zip files are already available to grab for the PixelPixel XLPixel 2Pixel 2 XLPixel CNexus 6PNexus 5X, and Nexus Player. The over-the-air rollout of the update should commence shortly, if it hasn’t already.

Source 1 | Source 2

New Google Search feature lets you compare device specifications

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A new Google Search feature has been spotted in the wild. As per those who are seeing it, the feature lets you compare specifications of two devices, displaying a neat comparison chart in output.

As clear from the screenshots above, you just need to put in a query like ‘Pixel 2 vs Pixel 2XL,’ and Google will display a quick comparison chart. You can expand the chart by hitting the blue button, and there’s even an option to highlight differences.

The Mountain View, California-based company is yet to officially announce this feature (which reportedly works for only two devices at the moment), so more details are awaited. In case it’s live for you, let us know your experience in comments below.

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Google Pixel 2 XL charging reportedly capped at 10.5W

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Add one more to the list of complaints regarding the LG-made Google Pixel 2 XL. According to some in-depth analysis the Google Pixel 2 XL charging speed is capped at 10.5W and does not actually utilize the full 18W that the supplied charger is capable of providing.

According to user Nathan K., the power draw tops out at 10.5W and because the charging is usually non-linear, the power draw drops even further than 10.5W after 65%. This results in a total charge time of around two and a half hours.

The general understanding here is that Google and LG may have taken a more conservative route to prevent strain on the battery and thereby increasing its longevity. Yet ma have been complaining about slow charging on the Pixel 2 XL, despite the fast charging claim, which is what prompted this test in the first place.

We are not sure if this is true for the smaller Pixel 2 as well.

Google hasn’t commented on this yet.

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Google Pixel 2 XL charging speed capped at 10.5W

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Okay, so this one isn’t an issue as much as a miscommunication. Despite Google’s newest, premium Pixel smartphone shipping with an 18-watt USB Power Delivery 2.0 wall adapter, the phone’s charging speed is capped at 10.5W.

According to a test performed by Nathan K over on Google Plus, the Google Pixel 2 XL has been proven to be charging “slow”. This confirms reports of many users who feel that the Pixel 2 XL was not charging at its full potential.

The Pixel 2 XL comes with a wall adapter, which is advertised on Google’s site, to charge the phone with up to 18W of current. Nathan K‘s wattage/temperature graph is shown below.

Notice how the wattage starts at about 15W in the very beginning, but quickly switches down to just over 10W in the graph. The phone continues to charge at this rate until about 50 minutes into the cycle, where it begins to gradually slow down until the very end of the cycle, where charging is completed, 2 and a half hours after starting.

Source: Nathan K on Google Plus

In our review, we usually run a test with a depleted battery as to how much capacity the included charger can restore within 30 minutes of starting. The Google Pixel 2 XL charged to 35% in 30 minutes, which was well below other smartphones in the same category, around upper 40s and lower 50s in the percentages.

Several fast-charging methods switch between multiple voltages. In this wall adapter’s case, the phone should charge at 9V (up to 2A) when its battery is depleted below something like 40% or 50% capacity. The Pixel 2 XL is not switching between voltages and is sticking to the single 9V and not going above 1.1A or 1.2A (around 10W). Note that this wattage is only with the included wall adapter, the phone will have to charge at the lower 5V voltage when plugged into a computer’s USB port.

One possible reason, according to Nathan K for the phone’s charging current to be tuned so conservatively is to save the battery from the same degradation issues that the Google Nexus 6P faced. An incorrectly programmed Power Management chip on the Pixel 2 XL is an entirely plausible scenario, considering the other PR nightmares that Google has faced with the Pixel 2 XL already, including one that could face court.

The original Google Pixel also had a similar situation when it charged at a maximum 15W over an advertised 18W. The smaller battery of the Google Pixel justified this difference in wattage. This is a 58% difference.

Google was not immediately available for comment.

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