Walmart Coming to Google Express in September

Google Express

Google has announced that US retailing giant Walmart will be coming to Google Express in late September.  The addition of Walmart to the shopping app means that you will be able to buy thousands of products from the retailer via the app or by adding it to your list via Google Home.

We’re entering an exciting partnership with Walmart to bring you hundreds of thousands of products at Walmart’s Every Day Low Prices—everything from laundry detergent to Legos—that you can buy through voice with your Assistant on Google Home or on the Google Express website or app.

The addition of Walmart to Google’s shopping app & service will greatly expand the products available to users.   If you already have a Walmart account, in the Express app you will be able to link your accounts which will allow for a quick and smooth shopping experience.

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Android Nougat 7.1.1 Updates Resume for The Nexus 6

Google Nexus 6

After months of delays sorting out bugs and upgrade issues, the Android Nougat 7.1.1 update has finally been released by Google for the Nexus 6.  The original update for the November 2014 flagship phone almost immediately caused issues for those who upgraded from Nougat 7.0.  Issues with the original update back in March dealt with Android Pay, as in, it completely broke.  Nexus 6 owners were not able to use the tap-to-pay service if they upgraded to Nougat 7.1.1.

To address the issue, Google actually reverted the devices back to Android Nougat 7.0 which sorted out the Android Pay problem but left “Shamu” owners out of luck on the latest & greatest features of Nougat 7.1.1.

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Google App Now Displaying Pollen Forecast on Your Phone

Google Pollen Forecast

The Google app for Android has a server-side update rolling out today that brings detailed Pollen forecasts at a glance thanks to the Weather Channel.  The update, much like the weather forecast feature of the app, will give you detailed information about how much pollen is in the air for your location as well as the different types of pollen.  The good news is, you don’t have to do anything to get the update.  Since it is a server-side update, so long as you have the latest Google app on your phone, it will come to your phone automagically.

To get to the new forecast, use the Google app to search for pollen forecast.  Using the location services on your phone, you will see the level of pollen in your area as well as the main type of allergen.  For those of us who suffer from seasonal allergies (Clinton raises his hand), it will mighty helpful in deciding how much time you spend outdoors or if you open up the windows at home.  Or maybe make double sure you take your allergy medication for the day.

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August Android Security Updates Released

Android Nougat

With today being the first Monday in the first full week of August, it was expected that Google would be releasing the August Android Security Updates today.  Like clockwork, at 10:00 a.m. Pacific this morning, the updates were launched on the Android developer website and now OTA updates for compatible Nexus and Pixel devices are available.

As has become the standard practice on the Android Security Updates each month, the August update consists of two patches.  The first one, August 1st, is for general issues and fixes for Android.  There are 29 different patches or fixes in this update with ten of those updates being marked as critical updates.  Most of the fixes are to patch potential exploits for remote code execution and elevation of privileges within different parts of the Android platform.

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Recent Tab Now Showing Up in Your Google Feed

Recent Tab in Google Feed

Google has been working on the the Google app for Android a lot in recent weeks, with the most notable change coming last week with the introduction of Google Feed.  If you aren’t up on it, basically the Feed is similar to the features are found in the Google Now Launcher and Pixel Launcher, but it gives you more relevant information based on your searches and location.  It is more dependent on Artificial Intelligence to give you information that is more important to you.

There is now a new feature in the Google Feed feature:  Recents.  Now you have a third tab that shows you your recent search history on your device.  You can simply swipe left and right to see the history and tap on a result to go back to that site to continue reading it.

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Alphabet Q2 Earnings Up 21% to $26.01 Billion

Google's New Logo

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has released their Q2 2017 financial report and it is, in a word, impressive.  The company had earning of $26.01 billion US for the quarter, up some 21% over the same quarter in 2016.  This beat analyst expectations which had pegged earnings at just over $25 billion.

Operating income was down to $4.132 billion with an overall operating income margin of 16%.  Both of these were down from the same quarter in 2016.  Net Income was down to $3.54 billion for the quarter.

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Google Engineer Confirms That Google Duo Consumes 8MB per Minute of Usage

Google Duo for Android

When it comes to video calls on any app, the question for many is just how much data is this app consuming?  In the case of Google Duo, it isn’t much for what you are getting.  Google’s Justin Uberti, a principle engineer with the company and the technical lead on Duo, Tweeted that in the case of the video calling app, it consumes about 8MB per minute.

That means that a 5 minute call is going to consume roughly 40MB of your data plan while an hour long call would be roughly 480MB.  So is that a lot?  Well, not really for the quality of the calls that Duo produces.

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