Google Pixel SMS Issue To Be Resolved in November

Google Pixel XL

Google as a general rule has done a good job of getting fixes out to their devices in a timely manner.  This time however, they failed.

A small subset of Google Pixel owners have been experiencing not receiving SMS messages after upgrading to Android Oreo on their Pixel or Pixel XL.  The problem seems somewhat isolated to Verizon customers but users on other carriers have been impacted too.  The bug first popped up a couple of weeks ago and there is a long thread about the issue in the Google Product Forums.  It appears that it took a while for Google to pinpoint exactly what the issue was but now are stating they have gotten to the bottom of it.

We want to let you all know that we have been able to identify and implement a fix for this issue. Thank you to those that sent over bug reports and for including detailed information here on this thread.

There was an issue introduced in the release of Android Oreo that affects text message (SMS) delivery for a subset of Pixel (not Pixel 2) users.This issue was only seen on a small number of carriers. Unfortunately this has resulted in devices getting into a state where they do not receive messages.

The problem is that users who are impacted by this issue will have to wait until the November Android Security Update to get the fix.  That’s right, you get to live with it for at least another 2 weeks.

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Made For Google Site Now Live

Google Pixel 2 XL White

Google’s new Made for Google program is kicking off in earnest as the new site for the program has now gone live.  The site lists 22 different vendors who make accessories for various products like the Pixel phone lineup and Pixelbook.  Those accessories have been certified by Google as working with the device for which they are designed for flawlessly.

The site more-or-less is a landing page with links to the 22 different vendor sites.  Those links go to the accessories they make for particular devices like the Pixel, Pixel 2 or Pixelbook.  Not all of the links on the page are functional yet but that will likely change quickly.

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Google Drops In-App Commission to 15% Starting Next Year

Google Play Store

In a move that is similar to the cut Apple made for iOS developers, Google has announced that they will be dropping the percentage they keep on in-app purchases.  Starting January 1, 2018, in-app purchases will have a 15% commission rate to the Mountain View company, a drop of 50% from the previous 30% rate.

For developers, this means that they will be able to keep more money when you make an in-app purchase in their app.  Ultimately it is good for developers who will be able to stay funded to further development.  For Google, that means having top-shelf apps in the Play Store.

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Google Pixel 2 Added to Android Update Support Page

Google Pixel 2 XL White

Google has updated their Update your Android Version support page with dates and information on the new Google Pixel 2 lineup.  When the devices were launched last month, Google made it clear that both of the second generation Pixel devices would be receiving major Android updates for three years.  The update of this support page confirms it.

Both of the devices will get major Android updates, minor security patches and phone support through October 2020.  That means that these devices, which launched with Android Oreo, will also see Android P, Android Q and Android R before they are out of support.

The update is a change of course from the first generation of Pixel devices and previous Nexus devices.  Those devices received 2 years of major updates and 3 years of security updates.  That means that the original Pixel and Pixel XL will see Android P, but that will be the end of major updates from Google.

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Google Removes Touch Activation from Google Home Mini

Google Home Mini

Google has made a quick and significant decision to disable to touch activation of the new Google Home Mini.  The decision comes after reports of phantom touches activating the device with it listening or recording ambient noise or conversations without the users knowledge.  The reports of this happening are few and far between but Google is taking no chances.  An OTA update will be sent to all Home Mini devices to disable the touch activation feature permanently.

We’ve decided to permanently remove all top touch functionality on Google Home Mini. We made this decision to avoid any confusion and give you complete peace of mind while using your Mini. The update will be completely rolled out by end of day October 15, 2017.

This means that in order for you to access Google Assistant on the Home Mini, you will need to use the “OK Google” or “Hey Google” just as you do on Google Home today.

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Google Adds Support for Movies Anywhere

Movies Anywhere for Android

Google has announced support Movies Anywhere, the service that allows you to synchronize your movies across multiple devices along with movies that you have purchased from other digital stores.  The concept behind Movies Anywhere is to give you one repository for all of the movies you have bought from Apple’s iTunes, Amazon Prime, Vudu and now Google Play.

Today, we’re taking it one step further by adding support for Movies Anywhere, allowing you to bring together your movies from Google Play, Amazon, iTunes and Vudu into a single library that you can access on any of your devices, regardless of where the purchase was originally made.

The addition of Google Play is a real win for consumers as you don’t have to go to multiple places on your devices or try to remember where you purchased movies in the past.  They all show up in one app now.

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Chrome OS Stable Channel Update Brings Several Enhancements

Acer Chromebook 15 2017

The Chrome team has released a major update to Chrome OS into the stable channel.  The update is build 61.0.3163.113 (Platform version: 9765.76.0) and it rolling out to devices today.  Normally on Chrome OS releases, there are a few devices that are left off the update for various reasons – device specific features, already on a different train, etc. – but this release has a pretty extensive list and it contains a lot of popular Chromebooks and Chromeboxes.

If you have one of the devices listed below, the update to the Chrome 61 build will not be available for your device:

  • Acer Chromebase 24
  • Acer Chromebook 11
  • Acer Chromebook 14
  • Acer Chromebook 15
  • Acer Chromebook R13
  • AOpen Chromebox Mini
  • ASUS Chromebook C202SA
  • ASUS Chromebook Flip
  • Chromebook 11
  • Chromebook 14 for work
  • Chromebook Pixel
  • Dell Chromebook 13
  • Dell Chromebook 13
  • HP Chromebook 11 G5
  • HP Chromebook x360
  • Lenovo Flex 11
  • Lenovo N23 Chromebook
  • Lenovo Thinkpad 11e
  • Samsung Chromebook Plus
  • Samsung Chromebook Pro
  • Toshiba Chromebook 2

There is no indication on when this list of device will see this new update but generally it is only a week or two after the initial release.  Let’s hope that is the case because this build has a lot going for it.

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