Tag: Google

Google WiFi Update Finally Brings IPv6 Support

Google has released an update to Google WiFi that, along with the latest firmware for your WiFi or OnHub devices, will allow you to enable IPv6 to your ISP.  For those who are not familiar with IPv6, it is a more advanced version of IPv4 (which you are likely using now) that uses 128-bit addressing of devices.  The theory is you can get more devices on the Internet because there is significantly more IP addresses available with v6.  The lack of IPv6 has been a contention point for many who use Google WiFi or OnHub as it is more secure and is somewhat of a checkbox requirement for a contemporary network device.

The update to bring IPv6 is a combination of firmware for the physical device itself, which is build 9460.40, and the updated app which is in the Play Store.

Google Adds Jobs Near Me Search

Finding a job is challenging for most of us at the best of times.  Regardless of if you are looking for part-time or full-time work, the  fact is that jobs that are available in your area are in a variety of locations online.  That makes it easy to miss an opportunity.  Google is trying to address that with a new Jobs Near Me search that is rolling out today.

By typing in “jobs near me” in Google on your phone or on the web, listings of jobs that are available in your area are provided to you and you can filter those down to particular types of job, part-time or full-time and other filters to try to find the right job for you.  Once you find a job listing you are interested in, tapping it will take you directly to that company’s site where you can start the application process.

Android Things Developer Preview 4.1 Released

Google has quietly released Developer Preview 4.1 of Android Things, the Android-based Internet-of-Things (IoT) platform, to developers.  The update primarily focuses on adding new hardware that is supported to the platform as well as addressing bug fixes and performance improvements.

On the new hardware front, the new Pico i.MX6UL revision B board is now supported.  That board supports external peripherals from the likes of Adafruit and Pimoroni which dev’s can use to build their IoT solutions.  The release notes point out that the beta version of this board is not supported.

Opinion – Google Pixel Has Only Sold 1 Million Units… Who Cares?

Yesterday, through some estimates made from the downloading of the Pixel Launcher from the Play Store, several reports surfaced on the number of Google Pixel phones that have been sold.  Based on the listing of the launcher in the Store, it is estimated that 1 million units have been sold since the phone launched in October 2016.

On the surface, given the vast number of Android devices in the market, this seems like a low sales number.  And it is frankly.  Samsung has sold some 5 million Galaxy S8 units in just a handful of months while other phones like the Huawei P10 have also pushed well past 1 million units.

But who cares?  While many will get wrapped around the axle on this low number, it is important to keep in mind Google never intended this device to be for the masses.  It is a flagship device with a premium price and I suspect that Google themselves aren’t too flustered over the low numbers.  Neither should you.

Google Further Clarifies End of Support for Nexus & Pixel Devices

Google has once again updated their support matrix for the Nexus and Pixel lineup of devices.  Previously the company had outlined dates of when major updates and minor security updates would cease for the devices.  There is nothing new here in that regard.  What is new is the dates for the end of online and phone support for the devices.  The good news, or at least the non-confusing news, is that online & phone support ends when security updates end on the devices.

Take the Nexus 6 for example.  There are no guaranteed Android updates to the device since October 2016.  No, Android O is not coming to the Nexus 6.  Sorry, I loved it too.  In October 2017, guaranteed security updates end and that is also when online and phone support ends for the device.  Other devices follow this same timing.

Chrome 59 Update for Android Brings Improved Page Loading Times

Just a few days after Chrome 59 was released for desktops, the latest update to Google’s browser is now starting to roll out for Android.  The update is version Chrome 59 (59.0.3071.92) for those keeping score at home and it has been released to the Play Store.  It should hit your devices over the course of the next several days via an OTA update.

While the release notes were limited, there are two improvements that are in this update.  First, overall loading of pages should be improved with this update.  Unfortunately, the Chromium team within Google didn’t quantify just how much faster the page loading happens.  It’s something that you will have to visually check and estimate yourself.

Hard-to-Track Bug Impacting Pixel Launcher Searches for Some

A hard-to-track and not always an issue bug is impacting many that have the Google Pixel Launcher running on their Pixel phone.  The issue is around searching when you tap the search pill at the top of the launcher.  Some have reported that when they tap it, their search history does not display and suggestions does not load.

The issue does not seem to be universal.  Some users have had no problem (I fall into that category) while others have found that a restart of their phone resolves the issue, others haven’t been able to get it resolved with a reboot.  Equally, it is not clear if the issue is related to the recent update to the Pixel Launcher which rolled out earlier this week.

Chrome 59 Released with Settings Now in Material Design

The Chromium team within Google has released Chrome 59, the latest major build of the browser for Windows, MacOS and Linux.  The update is rolling out now and if you have Chrome installed, the update should come to you over the course of the next few days.  If you want to force the issue, just type chrome://help in the browser and it will automatically download the update immediately.

There are two big changes in this update along with the normal raft of bug and security fixes.  The first is the injection of more Material Design.  The Settings page within Chrome is now by default in Material Design.  The ability to turn on this feature manually in Chrome has been there since Chrome 57 but it has required a manual flag change deep within the settings of the browser.  Now it is on by default in Chrome 59.

Opinion – As a Site Owner, I’m all in on Google Chrome Ad-Blocking

In a blog post yesterday, Google clearly and carefully outlined their plan for blocking overly aggressive adverts on the web.  At first blush, it would seem odd that Google, a company who primarily makes their money from adverts, would block ads.  Further, it would seem self serving as the types of adverts they want to block in Chrome, they themselves don’t serve up so only their ads would get through the blocker.  That’s not entirely true.

As a site owner who depends on adverts and as a consumer, I’m quite happy with this announcement and planned implementation in 2018.

The short of it is this:  In Google Chrome, starting in 2018, overly intrusive adverts are going to be blocked by the browser.  As Google described them, “it’s far too common that people encounter annoying, intrusive ads on the web–like the kind that blare music unexpectedly, or force you to wait 10 seconds before you can see the content on the page. These frustrating experiences can lead some people to block all ads–taking a big toll on the content creators, journalists, web developers and videographers who depend on ads to fund their content creation.”

We all know examples of sites that use these types of ads and as a consumer, I hate them.  I never block the ads but I just don’t go to those sites any more.  And that hurts me in getting the information I want or need and ultimately, it hurts the site as they don’t get revenue from their ads.

Jamboard Now Available for Order for G Suite Customers

Back in March, at the Google Cloud Next event, Google announced a new whiteboard-meets-collaboration tool, Jamboard.  The 55″ 4K monitor comes with a stylus for interactions (it’s passive so no pairing required) and can even distinguish between the stylus and your finger.  Think of drawing with the stylus and erasing with a finger.

The idea is to increase productivity.  You have a whiteboard session that multiple users can interact with from different locations.  That includes Drive and the rest of G Suite. You can then collaborate seamlessly and has a built-in camera so it can be the center piece of a conference room.  While Google did not say specifically it was aimed at Surface Hub from Microsoft, it’s pretty clear this is aimed to take it on.

For those of you who are on G Suite, you can now call your Google Cloud partner or rep and order your Jamboard.  It costs $4999 plus an annual maintance fee of $600 ($300 if you order by September 30th).  If you want the rolling stand, that’s $1199 before September 30th, or $1399 afterward.

SMS Support In Google Hangouts Ends – Except for Fi Users

Google Hangouts has officially dropped support of SMS for non Project Fi or Google Voice users.  The support ended yesterday and was something that had been planned since Google announced the change back in March.

The change is part of the overall strategy of Google to move their G Suite customers to the new Google Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat while leveraging Android Messages for SMS on Android devices.  For consumers, the focus is on Google Allo and Duo to meet these communications needs.

How To Fix Failed To Load Error in Google Now

Over the weekend, many people were impacted by what appears to be a server-side experiment with Google Now.  The issue left those who use the Google Now Launcher, the Pixel launcher or the Google app on their phone useless for personalized information.  The cards would not display save one that simply stated “Failed to load cards”.  I was met with this issue on all three of my main devices:  Google Pixel XL, Nexus 9 and Huawei P10.

Fortunately there is what seems to be a rather quick and easy fix to this issue:  Clear the data on the Google app on your devices.  I did this on all three of my devices mentioned above and afterwards, the Google Now cards displayed as expected.  If you know how to clear data in an app, try the trick and let me know if it also works for you.  If you don’t know how to do this, keep reading and I’ll walk you through the steps.