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Google forced to confirm new smart device, and more tech news today
Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Friday, July 10.
1. Google forced to confirm a new Nest smart speaker
Yesterday’s brief news was that a Japanese regulator filing had revealed a new Google Nest (aka the old Google Home) smart speaker, with, oops, product images available in a PDF.
- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) uploaded a listing related to an unannounced Google device at the same time, called a GXCA6, an “interactive media streaming device.”
- But the Japanese filing gave us much.
- Given whoever’s in Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications wasn’t exactly worried about product photography, what looked like a new smart speaker looked, well, not exactly new and cool, but more like something still in the lab:
Google, as it has done previously with the Pixel 4a, managed to get on the front foot, with Google PR emailing through a new official photo and video within hours, confirming a big new Nest smart speaker (aka the old Google Home brand).
- So, it’s real, and it’s been confirmed in an interesting way.
- But not much more has been confirmed other than what you can see, with Google not offering comment, but you can spot a pink-ish color variant in the video.
- What it looks like is close to somewhere between a Google Home and a Google Home Max. It can stand vertically or go horizontal, and features that same Google fabric/mesh design.
- It’s not sporting a battery to make it portable, like the battery-powered Bluetooth speakers a lot of homes have one of, so it’s more of the same but better, probably.
- The Google Home Max was first released in late 2017 and I came perilously close to buying one earlier this year, but found it was the same price as when it came out where I am, so I decided a second edition might be worth waiting for, despite the good reviews.
- Google Home Max measurements (taken with it horizontally) show an overall width of 13.2” (33.66 cm), height of 7.5” (19 cm), depth of 6” (15.44 cm), weighing in at a hefty of 11.7 lb (5.3 kg).
- Comparatively, this guy is quite a bit shorter. While the photos show it standing tall, it’s about 8.5” (21.5cm) by roughly 5.5” (14cm), which is more svelte than the Google Home Max.
- All in all, it’s official, but we don’t know much more.
- Pricing and reasons to upgrade from your old Mini or Home will be interesting.
2. Sony Xperia 1 II review: “Sony has made one of my favorite phones of the year in the Xperia 1 II. And that’s saying something” (Android Authority).
3. Check out Samsung’s incoming bean-shaped Galaxy Buds in these ultra-clear renders (Android Authority).
4. Android updates are getting to users faster. Android 10 uptake has been faster than all previous Android releases: “Android 10 was running on 100 million devices 5 months post launch – 28% faster than Android Pie.” (android-developers.googleblog.com).
5. Worldwide PC shipments grew again due to work-from-home arrangements (Engadget).
6. Apple makes iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 available for public beta testing. Back up your data if you’re testing it out, or just want your goodies from Apple early. Loads of new features, with big changes in privacy (CNET).
7. Nearly 70% of iOS and Android users will deny tracking permissions if they are requested in-app to opt-in (Pollfish).
8. Sony has poured in $250M to invest in Epic Games, for a ~1.4% stake. The maker of Fortnite is now valued at over $17B (VentureBeat).
9. NASA is updating its guidelines on how to prevent contamination of the Solar System, slightly relaxing policies that aren’t feasible if we go to Mars (The Verge).
10. This Lunar Rover footage upscaled and given a faster frame-rate is as close as we’ll get to the experience of driving on the moon (Gizmodo).
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