Your tech news digest, by way of theÂ DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Friday, July 10.
1. Google forced to confirm a new Nest smart speaker
Yesterdayâ€™s brief news was that a Japanese regulator filing had revealed a new Google Nest (aka the old Google Home) smart speaker, with, oops, product images available in a PDF.
- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) uploaded a listing related to an unannounced Google device at the same time, called a GXCA6, an â€œinteractive media streaming device.â€�
- But the Japanese filing gave us much.
- Given whoeverâ€™s in Japanâ€™s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications wasnâ€™t exactly worried about product photography, what looked like a new smart speaker looked, well, not exactly new and cool, but more like something still in the lab:
Google, as it has done previously with the Pixel 4a, managed to get on the front foot, with Google PR emailing through a new official photo and video within hours, confirming a big new Nest smart speaker (aka the old Google Home brand).
- So, itâ€™s real, and itâ€™s been confirmed in an interesting way.
- But not much more has been confirmed other than what you can see, with Google not offering comment, but you can spot a pink-ish color variant in the video.
- What it looks like is close to somewhere between a Google Home and a Google Home Max. It can stand vertically or go horizontal, and features that same Google fabric/mesh design.
- Itâ€™s not sporting a battery to make it portable, like the battery-powered Bluetooth speakers a lot of homes have one of, so itâ€™s more of the same but better, probably.
- The Google Home Max was first released in late 2017 and I came perilously close to buying one earlier this year, but found it was the same price as when it came out where I am, so I decided a second edition might be worth waiting for, despite the good reviews.
- Google Home Max measurements (taken with it horizontally) show an overall width of 13.2â€� (33.66 cm), height of 7.5â€� (19 cm), depth of 6â€� (15.44 cm), weighing in at a hefty of 11.7 lb (5.3 kg).
- Comparatively, this guy is quite a bit shorter. While the photos show it standing tall, itâ€™s about 8.5â€� (21.5cm) by roughly 5.5â€� (14cm), which is more svelte than the Google Home Max.
- All in all, itâ€™s official, but we donâ€™t know much more.
- Pricing and reasons to upgrade from your old Mini or Home will be interesting.
2. Sony Xperia 1 II review: â€œSony has made one of my favorite phones of the year in the Xperia 1 II. And thatâ€™s saying somethingâ€�Â (Android Authority).
3. Check out Samsungâ€™s incoming bean-shaped Galaxy Buds in these ultra-clear rendersÂ (Android Authority).
4. Android updates are getting to users faster. Android 10 uptake has been faster than all previous Android releases: â€œAndroid 10 was running on 100 million devices 5 months post launch â€“ 28% faster than Android Pie.â€� (android-developers.googleblog.com).
5. Worldwide PC shipments grew again due to work-from-home arrangements (Engadget).
6. Apple makes iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 available for public beta testing. Back up your data if youâ€™re testing it out, or just want your goodies from Apple early. Loads of new features, with big changes in privacy (CNET).
7. Nearly 70% of iOS and Android users will deny tracking permissions if they are requested in-app to opt-in (Pollfish).
8. Sony has poured in $250M to invest in Epic Games, for a ~1.4% stake. The maker of Fortnite is now valued at over $17B (VentureBeat).
9. NASA is updating its guidelines on how to prevent contamination of the Solar System, slightly relaxing policies that arenâ€™t feasible if we go to Mars (The Verge).
10. This Lunar Rover footage upscaled and given a faster frame-rate is as close as weâ€™ll get to the experience of driving on the moon (Gizmodo).
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