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Material Gmail, telling stories and Chrome 72

Material Gmail, telling stories and Chrome 72

HAPPY FRIDAY! Welcome to our weekly update of all things Google, Alphabet, Chrome and Android that haven’t made it into our usual stories. As ever, the big stuff of the week can be found here, but sometimes the best things come in small packages, so let us begin. First up, Chrome and version 72 is

HAPPY FRIDAY! Welcome to our weekly update of all things Google, Alphabet, Chrome and Android that haven’t made it into our usual stories. As ever, the big stuff of the week can be found here, but sometimes the best things come in small packages, so let us begin.

First up, Chrome and version 72 is now available for Windows, Mac and Linux. The big addition is a feature which blocks code injection from bad actors and poorly written extensions, much as Firefox also announced recently. It should also prevent you going to lookie-likey URLs that are after your hard earned data.

Chrome 72 also removes the option to set up Chromecast devices from desktops. From now on, it’s all mobile, much as other Google hardware.

Speaking of which, the mobile app now lets you choose a different search engine, if you’re so inclined – just visit the website, and then go into your settings.

Away from Chrome, it has been revealed that Alphabet is considering quietly buying back shares in itself, using a $115m war chest it has knocking about. The idea is to massage the share price even higher. It all sounds a bit morally dubious to us.

Something a bit lighter now – if you like reading bedtime stories to your kids (or anyone’s kids for that matter) then Google Home can now add sound effects and music to the story. It’s limited to US stories from Disney right now, and only eleven of them, but that’s bound to expand. It works on all Google Home branded devices, with Google keen to emphasise that it won’t record story time either. LIFX bulbs have a similar feature to adjust the lights for story time, so the combination could change the face of bedtime as we know it.

Last up this week, If you haven’t already noticed, Google has started rolling out a material update for Gmail on Android. It’s mostly aesthetic, and the only big change is that you can now choose the number of emails on the screen at one time, either “Default”, “Compact” or “Comfortable” – much as you can in the web UI.

If you stick to the default view, there’s a nice touch of being able to open an attachment without opening the email – very handy for boarding passes and e-tickets. In fact, for once, there’s very little change to complain about. Which is nice. μ

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Susan E. Lopez
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