Google Text-to-Speech Engine Adds Filipino and Greek

Google Text-to-Speech for Android

Google Text-to-speech, the underlying engine for converting on screen text to speech has been updated.  Version 3.13.3 is now rolling out and with it comes support for Filipino and Greek languages.

Chances are that the majority of readers have never leveraged the TTS engine but it is a critical application for those with visual impairments who need the text on their device display’s read aloud to them.  Setting up of the engine is done in Settings>Accessibility and powers Google’s TalkBack feature built into Android.

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Verizon Shows Flat Revenue But An Increase in Mobile Subscribers

Verizon Logo

Verizon has released their 3rd quarter 2017 financial results and they are a mixed bag.  Revenue for the company rose by a mere 2.5% to $31.7 billion in the quarter when compared to the same quarter in 2016.  The company’s consolidated operating income margin for the quarter was 22.7% with a net income of $3.7 billion.  The financial report also reflects the completed acquisition of Yahoo, now under the name of Oath.  That was a $4.48 Billion charge on the company financials but the newly formed division of Yahoo and AOL generated revenue of $2 Billion.

Must of the generated revenue for Verizon came from new postpaid mobile subscribers.  In Q3 they added 603,000 with a churn of .97%.  That means there was a net add of 486,000 subscribers.  The churn figure is critical to any carrier as it reflects how many customers are staying with the company.  The lower the better.

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Google WiFi Availability Expands to 5 More Countries in Europe

Google WiFi

Google has announced that Google WiFi is now available in five new countries in Europe.  That brings the total to 12 countries in which you can buy the easy-to-use mesh WiFi network solution.  When the solution launched, it was available in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, Germany and New Zealand.  Add to that list Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

The Google store in each of these 12 countries now has both the single and well as 3-pack WiFi solution available for purchase.

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Google Calendar Material Design Look Launches

Google Calendar Material Design

After months of testing by Google Top Contributors and Googlers, the new Material Design look of Google Calendar has gone live.  All accounts should be seeing the option to go to the new calendar look over the course of the next 48 hours.

The update brings a much needed refresh of the Google Calendar interface which, let’s be honest, was a bit “engineering looking” for the longest time.  The new look fits well into the overall Material Design look and feel that Google is after in their own apps for Android and other web-based apps.

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Google Play Books Adds Stylus Support for Highlighting

Google Play Books Text Highlighting

Google Play Books, the eReader app from Google, has a new update rolling out today.  The updated version, build 3.15.5 for those keeping score at home, is mostly a maintenance update but does bring stylus support to the app.  Once update, and if you have a device with a stylus, you can now use it to highlight text and select text as you read.

Support for styli is something that shouldn’t entirely be unexpected.  Devices like the Note8 and others have had stylus input for a while new Chromebooks like the Samsung Chromebook Pro, which can run Android apps, also comes with a pen.  Later this month, the new Pixelbook from Google will hit shelves and it has an optional PixelPen for inputs.  It’s only natural for apps to start picking up this input method as the line between Chrome OS and Android continues to blur.

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Download All 31 of The Mate 10 Wallpapers

Mate 10 Stone Wallpaper

Yesterday the Huawei Mate 10 lineup was announced, an update to last year’s popular Mate 9.  Today you can now download all of the wallpapers, 31 in all, from the Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro and Mate 10 Porsche Edition.

Huawei has always produced some stunning wallpapers for their devices and these don’t disappoint.  Covering a wide range from abstract to flowers to mountain scenes, the wallpapers are 2160 x 2160 so you will be able to use them on virtually any device – phone or tablet.

All 31 of the new wallpapers are now up on the Wallpaper page here on the site and I have added a few samples after the break for those that are curious.  As with all new wallpapers, they are at the bottom of the page so if you want to skip right down to them, just scroll down to the bottom.

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What’s New in The Fall Creators Update for Windows 10

My Windows 10 Desktop

What has commonly been referred to as the Fall Creators Update is now rolling out to Windows 10 PCs.  The update brings a lot of new features and refinements that reflects Microsoft’s direction for Windows 10 being the underlying platform for everything going forward on new technologies like Augmented Reality.

As you would expect, the Fall Creators Update has a massive number of improvements under-the-hood that in general, improves the overall performance of the Operating System.  Even if all of the new features don’t get you excited, the overall performance improvements will be welcomed.

But the real win with this update are the app improvements, new features and other general user experience additions.  If you compare Windows 10 when it was first released in July 2015 to this update, they are in many ways vastly different.  The Fall Creators Update adds a huge amount of polish to the platform and Windows 10 with it feels far more complete than any previous iteration.

If I tried to cover ever new facet of this update, this already long article would be even more TL;DR.  Instead, I’m going to highlight over a dozen of the top new features of functions in the update.   You’ll see that the updates cover a wide range of the elements of Windows 10, from Microsoft Edge to Photos to how you interact with Contacts.  It is a comprehensive update to the platform and one that I think the vast majority of users will want to upgrade to as soon as possible.

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