The Pixel 2’s dormant Visual Core chip gets activated in the latest Android developer preview

 Sadly, not all of the Pixel 2’s surprises have been the good sort since Google’s latest flagship launched. Visual Core is one of the more pleasant ones, though — a custom system-on-a-chip (SoC) that’s just been hanging out in the phone not really doing much of anything. It seemed that the component simply wasn’t ready […]

Microsoft Office arrives on Chromebooks via Google Play Store

 Microsoft Office is now available for Google Chromebook users through the Google Play Store – a notable addition, given the two companies offer competing products in terms of office productivity software. Neither Google nor Microsoft are making a formal announcement about the Office applications’ arrival on Chromebooks. But we understand the Office Android apps will […]

Google promises a software fix for the Pixel 2’s buzzing phone call problem in ‘the coming weeks’

 Google’s hardware team can’t catch a break this year. In spite of solid reviews (us included), the company’s new Pixel 2 handsets have been plagued by glitches, including a buzzing sound heard in the ear piece during phone calls. A company rep issued a short response to a lengthy thread about the problem on Google’s Pixel […]

Facebook teen-in-residence defects to Google and launches “Lies”

 At age 17, Michael Sayman was Facebook’s youngest employee ever. Having already launched 5 apps, he wowed Mark Zuckerberg, earned a demo spot on stage at Facebook F8 conference, and scored a full-time engineering gig as the social network’s go-to teen. Over the past three years, he helped Facebook try to crack the middle school […]

Essential offers up an Android Oreo beta for the Essential Phone

 Android smartphone maker Essential promised that it would be releasing an update to Android 8.0 Oreo for its devices soon, and now there’s a beta version of the update available through its developer portal. This is just a beta, as mentioned, but it’s broadly available for anyone interested enough in the Oreo update to try […]

YouTube Kids update gives kids their own profiles, expands controls

 YouTube Kids, the kid-friendly, more filtered version of YouTube first introduced in 2015, is getting a notable upgrade. The updated app is adding several new features designed to reflect the app’s now aging user base, including profiles that are customized based on the kid’s date of birth, as well as additional security controls for parents […]

A critical metric for Alphabet’s success is suddenly showing signs of life

 Alphabet delivered a knockout quarter today, handily beating the estimates from Wall Street — but, perhaps more importantly, showing actual growth in a critical metric that has seen a consistent decline for quite some time. Google’s cost-per-click — a metric that helps define how valuable its ads are — grew 1% quarter-over-quarter this year. While still […]