The tech story that made the biggest impact on me yesterday was Sam Byfords Living a Google-free life with a Huawei phone. In the run up to the launch of Huaweis new flagship P40 line, he got himself a Mate 30 Pro and used it to see what Android is like sans Google. This is, of course, something untold millions of people in China do every day, but outside China Huawei falls in a weird zone where it doesnt have its local China services nor Google services.
The result, as Sam writes, is weird. But what struck me the most is how essential Google Mobile Services (GMS) are to the functioning of every modern Android phone outside of China. You might already expect that not having Gmail, Chrome, and the Play Store would be annoying but the fact that so many non-Google apps dont work was a bit of a shock.
GMS and Google Play Services have slowly grown to become essential parts of how an Android phone works. Theyre how the web engine gets updated, theyre increasingly how the operating system itself gets updated (via Project Mainline), and they protect against malware even for apps you dont load from the official Google Play Store.
They also offer lots of services to developers, and thats the part thats easy to forget. Googles services offer push notifications, location, casting, ad support, and much more. Huawei has been building out its own services and store to deal with life away from Google, but the situation right now is that the Mate 30 Pro doesnt even ship with a viable maps app. Android may be open source, but an Android phone doesnt really operate without Google at least outside of China.
None of this is especially shocking or even nefarious, its just something that isnt in your face every day. Other operating systems like Windows and iOS are equally tied up with the company that makes them, which is a point so obvious that pointing it out in the first place seems silly. But with Android, its worth remembering.
Well have lots of coverage of Huaweis new P40 series today, so look forward to that. For what its worth, Huawei has said it would come back to the US if it could, but that seems unlikely in the near future. Also, thanks to everybody who emailed me today with their thoughts on the iPad Ill try to reply personally to everybody but itll take a bit.
Google Podcasts rolls out new design, launches on iOS. Looks like a huge upgrade, and availability on iOS makes it more appealing to people who need to be on multiple platforms. But the cross-platform king of podcast apps remains Pocket Casts, in my opinion. Its also the rare app that is excellent on every platform I use it on, from CarPlay to the web to Android to smart displays. Plus, its not owned and operated by a giant tech company! (Though to be fair NPR aint small.)
Royole claims the FlexPai 2 fixes the problems of its rough first foldable. I love that Royole is just going for it with another foldable phone and promising this one wont be a cringey mess like the first. I do wonder why the display is branded Cicada Wing, though. Apparently theyre good at repelling water and self-cleaning? The wings I mean, not this screen.
Samsungs new Galaxy Tab A offers LTE connectivity. Im not sure Id recommend this over an iPad to anybody, but its inexpensive and gives you an LTE option if you want that.
Samsungs S10 and Note 10 are getting updated with the S20s best camera features.
Dell now lets you control iPhones from its PCs. Its legit amazing that Dell does this and the Mac does not. Im sure people will turn their nose up at it, but using the Your Phone app on Windows 10 has me convinced that its a good idea. There are still going to be bugs and such, but I hope theres continued investment in this kind of software from multiple companies.
Qualcomms latest chips could make noise cancellation standard on new wireless earbuds.
SpaceX is making its own hand sanitizer and building face shields to donate to fight coronavirus.
Apple says customers must wait to pick up repairs locked inside its retail stores. Heres an idea that sounds easy and is easy to recommend because Im not Apple: why not offer loaner devices to these people? I am guessing Apple could afford to! Like I said, probably harder and more expensive than I would guess, but it would suck to be stuck in a lurch without a computer. Maybe I just feel this particularly pointedly because the N key on my MacBook Pro is about to die.
I, like seemingly everybody else I follow, am playing a bunch of Animal Crossing. If you are too, we have a lovely set of stories that are both useful and entertaining. If you want a full-on guide, Polygons is quite comprehensive. Im also playing Shadow of the Tomb Raider and its kind of an overloaded, overwhelming collect-the-map game.
If youre looking for something to play, my advice is to check out our best games of 2020. Our team is keeping this page updated throughout the year. Bookmark it!
How to watch movies with friends online. Aliya Chaudhry goes over all the major options. There are a bunch, and some of them work with multiple video services.
Fox will broadcast NASCARs substitute sim racing season on television. Sean OKane is going to get me into NASCAR, isnt he? I have gone to one NASCAR race and I deeply loved it, but there are only so many things I can afford to keep track of. But this looks joyful and fun.
One reason it was possible for the motorsports world to quickly flip this switch to sim racing is that theres been a thriving community competing on these platforms for years. Sim racing has grown so prevalent that many pro drivers are already deeply familiar with the likes of iRacing. Most have sim racing rigs a seat, steering wheel, pedals, and giant, often wraparound monitors set up in their homes, or at the very least, at their teams headquarters.
CBS All Access is offering a free one-month trial, just in time to binge Star Trek: Picard.
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- Google is on a mission to stop you from reusing passwords - The Verge - June 24th, 2020
- Apple, Google and chorus of tech business leaders slam Trump's new visa restrictions - ABC News - June 24th, 2020
- Google stokes GOP allegations of tech bias - Politico - June 24th, 2020
- Google Doodle celebrates the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth - The Verge - June 24th, 2020
- Former Google executive, Sridhar Ramaswamy, takes aim at his old company with startup Neeva - ETtech.com - June 24th, 2020
- Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt says there's 'no question' Huawei routed data to Beijing - CNBC - June 24th, 2020
- Google Loses Share Of Ad Market As Travel Brands Pull Back On Search - AdExchanger - June 22nd, 2020
- Google Chrome Just Gave Millions Of Users A Reason To Quit Windows 10 - Forbes - June 22nd, 2020
- How Google Boosts Internal Diversification Efforts - Dice Insights - June 22nd, 2020
- Google ends trial of photo service that picked and printed photos for users - The Verge - June 22nd, 2020
- Google and Apple working to help track coronavirus spread with voluntary contact tracing apps - KENS5.com - June 22nd, 2020
- Google commits $175 million to racial equity with focus on black-owned businesses - The Verge - June 22nd, 2020
- Google is updating Chrome to be less greedy with your RAM - Stuff Magazines - June 22nd, 2020
- Google Pixel 4a vs OnePlus Z: Which budget Android phone will win? - Tom's Guide - June 22nd, 2020
- Google Grant Helps Times of San Diego Cover Regions Reopening from Pandemic - Times of San Diego - June 22nd, 2020
- How Google.Org Fellows Are Helping Use The Power Of Data For Criminal Justice Reform - Forbes - June 22nd, 2020
- Have Apple And Google Suddenly Uploaded A COVID-19 Tracking App To Your Phone? The Facts Behind The Furore - Forbes - June 20th, 2020
- A Former Google Executive Takes Aim at His Old Company With a Start-Up - The New York Times - June 20th, 2020
- Google Home Routines can get annoying. Here's how to avoid that - CNET - June 20th, 2020
- Google and Nest routers now work much better with slow home internet connections - The Verge - June 20th, 2020
- Google kicked ZeroHedge off its ad platform, put The Federalist on notice for racist protest content - TechCrunch - June 20th, 2020
- Google leases office in Buffalo Heights development - The Leader - June 20th, 2020
- Google is bringing Microsoft Office and other Windows apps to Chromebooks - The Verge - June 20th, 2020
- Google has a new Stadia starter kit, and its $30 cheaper - The Verge - June 20th, 2020
- YouTube hit with discrimination suit by black artists - Livemint - June 20th, 2020
- Govt clarifies it hasnt ordered Google, Apple to ban TikTok, other Chinese apps in India - The Financial Express - June 20th, 2020
- Google faces $5 billion lawsuit over tracking users in incognito mode - The Next Web - June 20th, 2020
- An asterisk on Liverpool's title? I had to Google the word, says Klopp - iNews - June 20th, 2020
- Heres how Apple and Googles Exposure Notification API works while securing privacy - 9to5Mac - June 20th, 2020
- Google removes app that claimed to detect Chinese apps on Indian phones - CNN - June 6th, 2020
- Google will give every employee $1,000 to WFH. Its head of wellness explains why - FOX5 Las Vegas - June 6th, 2020
- After a spate of device hacks, Google beefs up Nest security protections - TechCrunch - June 6th, 2020
- Google says foreign hackers targeted emails of Trump and Biden campaign staffers - The Verge - June 6th, 2020
- Optus ordered to reveal identity of user who left negative Google review of Melbourne dentist - The Guardian - June 6th, 2020
- This Is What The DOJ Is Thinking As It Preps Its Antitrust Case Against Google - AdExchanger - June 6th, 2020
- Why Facebook Joined Google and Tencent in Gojek Investment - Market Realist - June 6th, 2020
- The security issues with the Apple/Google virus tracking project - Politico - April 13th, 2020
- Google Told Its Workers That They Cant Use Zoom On Their Laptops Anymore - BuzzFeed News - April 13th, 2020
- Alphabet in the age of COVID-19: Google braved one recession, and now its more diversified - MarketWatch - April 13th, 2020
- Google Launches a Series of Blog Posts Highlighting the Value of SEO - Search Engine Journal - April 13th, 2020
- Google starts testing redesigned Assistant settings on Android - 9to5Google - April 13th, 2020
- Google Cloud makes it cheaper to run smaller workloads on Bigtable - TechCrunch - April 13th, 2020
- How youll use Apple and Googles coronavirus tracking tool - The Verge - April 11th, 2020
- Google will show virtual care options more prominently in search results - The Verge - April 11th, 2020
- Google is rebranding Hangouts Chat as just Google Chat - The Verge - April 11th, 2020
- Billions Of Google Chrome Users Now Have Another Surprising Option - Forbes - April 11th, 2020
- Coronavirus Live Updates: Apple and Google are Building a Tool to Track the Contagion - The New York Times - April 11th, 2020
- Googles midrange Pixel 4A could launch soon, and there may not be an XL version - The Verge - April 11th, 2020
- Google bans its employees from using Zoom over security concerns - The Verge - April 11th, 2020
- How Facebook and Google are helping the CDC forecast coronavirus - MIT Technology Review - April 11th, 2020
- Google outage hits Gmail, Snapchat and Nest - The Guardian - April 11th, 2020
- Former Google CEO: This is the first time as a species we have had to face the same problem as a planet - MarketWatch - April 11th, 2020
- Google removes Android VPN with critical vulnerability from Play Store - Naked Security - April 11th, 2020
- In This City, Toilet Paper Comes From The Sky Thanks To Googles Drones - Forbes - April 11th, 2020
- Google's UK staff earned average of 234,000 in 2019 - The Guardian - April 11th, 2020
- 'Google never forgets:' Bucknell professor on effects of social media on privacy - NorthcentralPa.com - April 11th, 2020
- Google May Be Forced to Reveal its Search Algorithm to an SEO - Search Engine Journal - April 11th, 2020
- Which 3D animals are missing from Googles AR objects feature? [Poll] - 9to5Google - April 11th, 2020
- Need to file for unemployment? NY partners with Google to fix labor department website - syracuse.com - April 11th, 2020
- Advertising Is Getting Crushed by Covid-19. Why Facebook, Google Cant Save the Industry. - Barron's - April 11th, 2020
- Test and trace with Apple and Google - TechCrunch - March 30th, 2020
- Facebook, Google and Twitter Struggle to Handle Novembers Election - The New York Times - March 30th, 2020
- Google Unveiled a Massive Stimulus Program of Its Own - Inc. - March 30th, 2020
- My top 3 Google Home pet peeves and how to fix them - CNET - March 30th, 2020
- Google has banned the Infowars Android app over false coronavirus claims - The Verge - March 30th, 2020
- Google ups Duo group calling limit from eight to twelve - The Verge - March 30th, 2020
- Cruising Through South Central Los Angeles With Google Street View : The Picture Show - NPR - March 30th, 2020
- Google Removes Infowars Android App From Online Store Over Coronavirus Misinformation - Variety - March 30th, 2020
- Googles new Pixel Buds could hit spring release date, as they may have just hit the FCC - The Verge - March 30th, 2020
- Google cancels its infamous April Fools jokes this year - The Verge - March 30th, 2020
- Google Tests Audience Buying In ADH, A Big Step From Analytics To Activation - AdExchanger - March 30th, 2020
- Why Zoom is winning so much hype over Microsoft and Google - Business Insider - March 30th, 2020
- Logged On From the Laundry Room: How the C.E.O.s of Google, Pfizer and Slack Work From Home - The New York Times - March 30th, 2020
- Google Has No Plans To Postpone Killing Third-Party Cookies In Chrome - AdExchanger - March 30th, 2020
- Apple, Google and others partner with Ad Council and US govt to expand coronavirus messaging - The Drum - March 30th, 2020
- Google location data turned a random biker into a burglary suspect - The Verge - March 8th, 2020
- Google now giving away three months of Stadia access to Chromecast owners - The Verge - March 8th, 2020
- Facebook, Google among those kicking some cash over to Silicon Valley communities affected by coronavirus cancellations - CNBC - March 8th, 2020
- Microsoft, Google, and Twitter Are Telling Employees to Work From Home Because of Coronavirus. Should You? - Inc. - March 8th, 2020
- Google Announces A Coronavirus Incentive For G SuiteAnd Other Small Business Tech News - Forbes - March 8th, 2020