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Play Store discounts, Google Phone gets RTT, Hangouts changes

Play Store discounts, Google Phone gets RTT, Hangouts changes

AS EVER on a Friday, we’ve rounded up some of the best stories about Google, it’s parent company Alphabet, and of course Android and Chrome. The big stories of the week that have had the full treatment can be found here. Now for the rest. Play Store first, and if you’ve not already had your

AS EVER on a Friday, we’ve rounded up some of the best stories about Google, it’s parent company Alphabet, and of course Android and Chrome. The big stories of the week that have had the full treatment can be found here. Now for the rest.

Play Store first, and if you’ve not already had your £1 ($1) discount from the Play Store, then get involved. You just need to type VALENTINE2019UK (VALENTINE2019 in the US) to get a cheap app of over £3 ($3) for a little bit less, because Google loves you. You’ve got till the end of the month to redeem the code, and another week after that to choose your app.

Hangouts next, and as the company begins the long and winding down of Hangouts Classic, the next version will lose the option to pick notification sounds within the app for Oreo and Pie users. Instead, you’ll be defaulted to the default ones. Hurry up Hangouts Chat.

The latest version of Google Phone, the stock dialer for Android, is adding RTT, a feature that turns your SMS messages into instant chats, with the recipient seeing your words as you type, not as you send. It’s a slightly weird idea, meaning that there’s no hiding from mistakes or things you thought better of saying – it’s all there for all to see.

And that’s not the only stock app getting the treatment. There’s also a new version of Google Messages, with some new options, including Group Chat naming and a slight tweak to the UI to bring a more consistent look alongside Contacts and Phone. Cheers to Android Police for that one. We don’t do teardowns round these parts.

Finally in a week that isn’t so much quiet as low on stories that don’t need a more detailed coverage (so do check that link above!) Chrome OS 72 has arrived bringing with it a tablet mode for the Pixel Slate, Google Assistant expanded to more Chromebook models (but when will it come to the browser?) and Android 9.0 Pie infrastructure under the hood for others.

Next week’s news looks far more exciting as we start to see exactly what the MWC season does for our favourite Mountain View brands. We’ll be back then. μ



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Susan E. Lopez
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