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Google’s latest smart speaker is the $100 Nest Audio

Google’s Nest Audio was all but revealed already when it appeared in a Walmart a week ago, but now it’s official. The company just announced its latest Google-powered speaker at its annual Pixel event. As you can tell from the pictures, the Nest Audio is a fabric-clad speaker similar to the Nest Mini.

According to Google, the new Nest Audio has a 19mm tweeter, a 75mm mid-woofer, all of which will result in “fuller, clearer, more natural sound.” It also apparently has 50 percent more bass and 75 percent more volume than its predecessor. You can pair two Nest Audio speakers together for stereo sound. Though not new to the Nest Audio (existing Google speakers can do the same), it also works for multi-room audio; you can say “Hey Google, move music to the kitchen speaker” to do just that.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/google-nest-audio-181310732.html

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Google’s $499 Pixel 4a 5G is almost as powerful as the Pixel 5

The phone will come with all of Google’s usual camera-related software tricks, including a couple of new ones. For instance, there’s a new portrait light feature that allows you to add lighting on your subject. There’s also a panning tool to help you with filming steady footage in video mode. Interestingly, some of those features won’t come to the Pixel 4a, at least not at launch.

The two phones start to differ when it comes to their displays. The Pixel 4a 5G has a slightly larger 6.2-inch screen that doesn’t have the same 90Hz refresh rate as the Pixel 5’s display. The phone also doesn’t come with nice-to-have features like wireless charging and water-resistant casing, but on the bright side, you do get access to a 3.5mm headphone jack. Google cut corners in other places as well. The Pixel 4a 5G comes with less 2GB of RAM than Google’s new top-tier model, and a smaller 3,885 mAh capacity battery. Thankfully, both the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 will come with the same amount of storage: 128GB.

For $499, most people probably won’t complain about what they’re getting with the Pixel 4a 5G. When you buy the phone, you’ll also get three months free of Stadia Pro and YouTube Premium, 100GB of Google One storage for three months and Google Play Pass access. Google and other retailers like Best Buy will sell the Pixel 4a 5G in black and white, with Verizon getting first dibs on the latter model. The phone will make its way to the US sometime in November.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/google-pixel-4a-5g-announcement-182159067.html

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Google’s Pixel 5 includes 5G and an ultrawide camera for $699

Like last year’s Pixel, the 5 has a dual camera on the back. But instead of going with the standard and telephoto arrangement, Google swapped out the telephoto lens for an ultra wide angle shooter. Given how popular cameras like this have been on phones from Apple and Samsung (among others), it’s not a big surprise to see Google fall in line here. The same 12-megapixel sensor that Google has used for its last few phones is here, but this time it’s paired with a 16-megapixel sensor for the wide-angle shooter.

Google is also bringing back the fingerprint sensor that went missing from last year’s Pixel 4. Gone is the face unlock feature that didn’t quite set the world on fire as are the odd touch-less controls (that were powered by an ultra-wideband radar sensor above the screen) are nowhere to be found this year. Not a huge loss, as Google’s Motion Sense feature never turned out to be more than a gimmick.

As for the internals, Google isn’t putting the latest and greatest processor inside the Pixel 5. As suspected, the company is cutting a corner here, likely in the name of affordability. The processor is a Snapdragon 765G, and the Pixel 5 has 8GB of RAM. Those specs are more modest than you’ll find on the latest Samsung flagship, but given how well the Pixel 4a runs on even more modest hardware, we’re hoping the 5 should be similarly speedy.

One of the big knocks on most Pixel phones has been battery life. We can’t vouch for how the Pixel 5 will stack up, but the good news is that it at least includes a 4,000mAh battery, which is much larger than the batteries in previous Pixel phones. The Pixel 5 includes Qi wireless charging, and you can share the battery to wirelessly charge up a set of Pixel Buds. It’s also water-resistant; like wireless charging, this is another feature to differentiate it from the cheaper Pixel 4a.

This year, the Pixel 5 comes in just two colors — black and sage green — and starts at $699 with 128GB of storage.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/google-pixel-5-5g-182238671.html

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Google Chromecast (2020) hands-on: A helpful new remote and Assistant

The new Chromecast has a beefed-up processor that helps it run the new interface and support 4K HDR at up to 60 frames per second. It’ll also work with Dolby Vision content for better colors, contrast and brightness, as well as offer surround sound for more immersive experiences. While Roku’s new $100 streaming box only just added support for Dolby Vision, Amazon’s $50 Fire TV Stick 4K and the Apple TV 4K have both had the codec for years. 

New remote control

A highlight this year is the new remote control, which Google said was “our most requested feature.” It’s slightly longer than my palm with a curved shape that makes it comfortable to hold. There’s a little dent on the bottom to help it sit level on a table instead of rocking side to side. The remote feels smooth and light, and Google was kinda enough to include the two triple A batteries required to power it. 

The controls here feature a circular four-way navigation pad near the top and eight buttons below that, as well as volume controls along the right edge. The eight buttons are: Back, Assistant, Home, Mute, Power, Input, as well as dedicated options for YouTube and Netflix. Google said it picked these two streaming services because they’re the most popular among users. 

To talk to the Assistant, you’ll have to press and hold down the dedicated button and speak into the remote control. You won’t have to say “Hey Google” when you do this, and you can let go of the key when you’re done. 

The power, input and volume controls are programmable to your TV via an infrared sensor, which gives you more control than using your phone with an older Chromecast. I could control my TV’s native volume with this, which is a nice expansion from the limited options via my phone before. I still can’t switch my TV off completely with this remote though. 

Hello again, Google TV

The new Chromecast also launches with the new Google TV interface and it’s a mix of the existing Android TV system and Play Movies and TV app. If the name “Google TV” sounds familiar, it’s because the company already used that name for an ill-fated smart TV platform 10 years ago. Android TV took over that system, and the new Google TV runs as a layer on top of Android TV. It’s a bit confusing, but this is basically a new look for the operating system, and you’ll still use the same apps already available for Android TV. 

For those who already have a smart TV or set-top box, the addition of the Google TV interface doesn’t mean much. If you’ve been relying on a Chromecast to stream your shows, though, you’ll appreciate the new OS. Instead of having to whip out your phone to find something you want to watch and then cast it to your TV, you’ll be able to just look for it on the bigger screen. Or just ask the Assistant with the new remote control’s dedicated button. You’ll still be able to cast things like Chrome tabs or your pictures to the TV, too.

On the home screen, you’ll see a carousel that takes up almost the whole screen featuring highlighted shows from services like HBO Max, Hulu and Prime Video. Then, you’re presented with rows of tiles, starting with Google’s top picks for you. You’ll also see rows for “Your apps,” “Continue watching,” “Trending on Google,” “From your watchlist” and a series of genres like Action, Comedies and Horror movies, for example. These pull from all your integrated services, and even from those you’re not subscribed to -- much like the existing Play Movies and TV app already does on Android. 

I liked that Play Movies and TV made it easy to find free shows from things like Crackle, Tubi TV or the TBS app, even though I didn’t have them installed. If I decided I wanted to watch something from these apps, I just had to install them. On Google TV, the process is similar -- I looked at the row of “Free ad-supported movies” and selected Guardians, which was on Tubi TV. Tapping it brought me to a page with more details about the show and options to add it to my watchlist or install the app.

Since this is a Google product after all, there are also dedicated spaces for YouTube content. In addition to a row specifically for recommended videos from the video network, you’ll also find a tab at the top of the home page for Live content. That tab currently only draws from YouTube Live, though Google said in future that it will be bringing in other partners for this section. The other sections available, by the way, are Movies, Shows, Apps, Library and For You, which is the default home page. You can also find a search option up top to look for a show you want, as well as a Google TV logo on the top left in case you ever forgot you were using the new interface and not Android TV.

The new Chromecast also features Assistant integration, so you can tell the digital helper to play your favorite songs on Spotify, show your Nest camera stream, change up the color of your lighting or play specific shows. I held down the button and said “Play Utopia on Amazon Prime Video” and the Chromecast launched the right streaming service and took me directly to the page for the show. Later, when I asked Assistant again simply to “Play Utopia,” it replied “Alright, taking you to Prime Video” and said if I wanted to use a different app I could ask again and specify which service I preferred. 

I could also still cast Netflix to my TV from my Pixel, and instead of showing a slideshow of available shows like before, the new Chromecast pulled up the Google TV interface of Netflix that I could navigate with the remote control. I was also able to ask Assistant on my Google Home to play The Good Place on my TV and the system brought up the show on Netflix. 

It was easy to use Assistant to find shows I already knew, and the system responded quickly in the day or so I’ve had the new Chromecast. There was some delay in loading the main page when I hit the Home button on the remote midway through a show, though. I also wish voice control offered more functions, -- I couldn’t restart an episode by telling the Assistant “start this episode over” in apps like Netflix and HBO Max. 

Google said it updated its search knowledge graph to better understand what you’re looking for.  In addition to still being able to cast things like your Chrome browser tab to your TV, you’ll also still have Ambient mode, which displays your selected art and images on your screen when the system is idle. Stadia support will also be available in the first half of 2021 and a small selection of games are already in Google TV’s app store.

Speaking of, it appears that part of the reason Google is keeping the Android TV OS around is because of the 6,500 apps available for the system. Not only can Google TV serve up your streaming apps, but it also has a vast library of options across categories like education, fitness, business, communication, productivity and sports. I downloaded a Karaoke app from the entertainment category and was impressed by the song catalog and overall functionality, and may have spent a few too many hours singing to myself. Sure, this isn’t necessarily a Google TV feature, but the plethora of apps on Android TV OS makes the platform potentially more fun.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/new-chromecast-2020-google-tv-hands-on-assistant-remote-control-183038500.html

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The Pixel 5 vs. the competition: Ultrawide cameras all around

It’s time for the fall phone launch season to begin and, unlike previous years, the first flagship out of the gate is the Pixel 5. At $599, it certainly undercuts its major competition on price. But how much power does Google’s new handset actually offer? The standout features include 5G and an ultrawide camera but, for a deeper look, we’ve laid everything out in the handy table below. Check out how the new Pixel compares to this year’s Galaxy S20 and the current iPhone 11 Pro — we’ll have to wait to see how Google’s new handset compares to this year’s Apple flagship when it’s actually announced.

Pixel 5

Galaxy S20

iPhone 11 Pro



Starts at $999

$999 / $1149 / $1349


144.7 x 70.4 x 8 mm (5.7 x 2.8 x 0.3 inches)

151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9 mm (5.97 x 2.72 x 0.31 inches)

144 x 71.4 x 8.1 mm (5.67 x 2.81 x 0.32 inches)


151g (5.33 ounces)

163g (5.75 ounces)

188g (6.63 ounces)

Screen size

6 inches (152.4 mm)

6.2 inches (157.58 mm)

5.8 inches (147.32 mm)

Screen resolution

2,340 x 1,080 (432 ppi)

3,040 x 1,440 (563 ppi)

2,436 x 1,125 (458 ppi)

Screen type

FHD+ Flexible OLED

Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X

Super Retina XDR OLED


4,080 mAh

4,000 mAh

Up to 18 hours of video playback

Internal storage

128 GB

128 GB

64 / 256 / 512 GB

External storage


micro SD


Rear camera(s)

Two cameras:
Ultrawide, 16MP, f/2.2
Dual-pixel, 12.2MP, f/1.7

Three cameras:
Ultrawide, 12MP, f/2.2
Wide, 12MP, f/1.8
Telephoto, 64MP, f/2.0

Three cameras:
Ultrawide, 12MP, f/2.4
Wide, 12MP, f/1.8
Telephoto, 12MP, f/2.0

Front camera(s)

8MP, f/2.0

10MP, f/2.2

12MP, f/2.2

Video capture

4K at 60 fps


4K at 60 fps


Qualcomm 765G

Samsung Exynos 9825

Apple A13 Bionic


2.4 GHz octa-core

2.7 GHz octa-core

2.65 GHz hexa-core


Adreno 620

ARM Mali-G76 MP12

unnamed quad-core


8 GB

12 GB

4 GB


Dual band, 802.11ac

Dual band, 802.11ac/ax

Dual band, 802.11ac/ax









Operating system

Android 11

Android 10

iOS 13

Other features

IP68 certified, USB-C, Qi wireless charging

IP68 certified, USB-C, WPC/PMA wireless charging

IP68 certified, Lightning connector, Qi wireless charging

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/pixel-5-vs-galaxy-s20-iphone-11-pro-190132329.html

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Windows 10 for ARM will support 64-bit x64 apps through emulation

There still aren’t too many Windows 10 PCs or laptops on the market with ARM-based processors, but folks who do have those machines will soon be able to run 64-bit x64 apps on them. Microsoft says it will at last roll out 64x emulation to Windows Insider testers in November.

Windows 10 has been able to emulate 32-bit x86 apps on ARM for a while, along with native 32-bit and 64-bit apps. Support for x64 emulation will allow those systems to run a far wider selection of software. As such, ARM-based Windows PCs and laptops will have far improved utility.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/windows-arm-64-bit-apps-emulator-support-191411448.html

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Google Photos for Android has a powerful new editor

Android’s machine learning renaissance is coming to the Photos app, company executives announced during Wednesday’s gloriously brief Pixel 5 live stream event.

To start, Google plans to augment its already useful image auto-enhance feature with machine learning algorithms that can further improve those enhancements based on the specific image you’re working on. Users will be able to apply brightness, contrast and portrait effects with a single tap to start with Enhance and Color Pop filters being rolled out in a few months. And for photographers that prefer to edit their shots manually, Google reorganized the editor layout into a scrollable bar across the bottom of the screen.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/google-photos-for-android-has-a-powerful-new-editor-192832902.html

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Yale’s smart robotic fabric is as flexible as you need it to be

“Our Field’s metal-epoxy composite can become as flexible as latex rubber or as stiff as hard acrylic, over 1,000 times more rigid, just by heating it up or cooling it down,” lead author Trevor Buckner said. “Long fibers of this material can be sewn onto a fabric to give it a supportive skeleton that we can turn on and off.”

In addition, the team developed a liquid-based sensor to detect changes, either with the wearer or in the surrounding environment, that can be literally painted onto the fabric. They also embedded specially-formed shape-memory alloy wires — which bend themselves into preprogrammed shapes when exposed to current — throughout the material, enabling it to take and hold its proper form. Imagine a pair of smart pants that can help the elderly stand or sit with ease from even the deepest of couch cushions.

Well, the material probably won’t be used for smart pants because the research was funded by the Air Force Office of Science Research which hopes to use the stuff in everything from wearable tourniquets and smart cargo netting to self-deploying tents.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/yales-smart-robotic-fabric-is-as-flexible-as-you-need-it-to-be-195435506.html

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How and where to pre-order the Google Pixel 5

You can pre-order the Pixel 5 starting at $699 at Amazon, Best Buy and Google’s own store.

Buy Pixel 5 at Amazon - $699 Buy Pixel 5 at Best Buy - $699 Buy Pixel 5 at Google - $699

Google Pixel 4a 5G — $499

This is the 5G version of the Pixel 4a that many have been waiting for since the original debuted during the summer. The hardware is mostly the same as the Pixel 4, but it has a few key differences: it obviously supports 5G and the Pixel 4a 5G also has a larger, 6.2-inch OLED display, the same 16MP ultrawide camera as the Pixel 5 has and a 3,885mAh battery (which is slightly larger than that in the Pixel 4).

The Pixel 4a 5G is currently on waitlist only — you can sign up to be notified when it becomes available at Best Buy and Google’s online store.

Buy Pixel 4a 5G at Best Buy - $499 Buy Pixel 4a 5G at Google - $499

Nest Audio — $99

The newest fabric-wrapped smart speaker from Google is the $99 Nest Audio, which has a 19mm tweeter and a 75mm mid-woofer. Google claims it will provide 50 percent more bass and 75 percent more volume than previous Nest speakers. It also supports stereo audio if you have multiple in one household and there’s a mic switch on the device for when you want extra privacy.

You can pre-order the Nest Audio smart speaker for $99 today at Best Buy and Google’s store.

Buy Nest Audio at Best Buy - $99 Buy Nest Audio at Google - $99

Chromecast with Google TV — $49

The new Chromecast with Google TV is the biggest update to the little streaming dongle that we’ve seen in a long time. The device streams 4K HDR content and supports Dolby Vision, putting it in line with some of the newest streaming devices from Roku, Amazon and Apple. For the first time, it has a proper on-screen OS that you can control with the included voice remote, so you’re not forced to use your connected smartphone anymore. Google TV is essentially Android TV with a new skin plus new features, and you can control the entire thing using Google Assistant voice commands.

You can buy the Chromecast with Google TV at Best Buy, Walmart and Google’s online store.

Buy new Chromecast at Best Buy - $49 Buy new Chromecast at Walmart - $49 Buy new Chromecast at Google - $49

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/google-pixel-5-pre-order-guide-200542553.html

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Here’s everything Google announced at its Pixel 5 event

The removal of Soli also means the Pixel 5 has a fingerprint sensor and a notch-less design, with a clean pinhole punchout adorning the phone’s 6-inch, 2,340 x 1,080 display. Thankfully, the screen still includes the 90Hz refresh rate of last year’s model. Anyone who has had to put with woeful battery life on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 4 will also be happy to learn the Pixel 5 comes with a larger 4,000mAh capacity battery.  

Some other notable tweaks include a rejigged primary camera system made up of 12-megapixel and 16-megapixel sensors capturing photos from wide and ultra-wide lenses. It wouldn’t be a Pixel launch without new software features for those cameras and Google didn’t disappoint. One new feature is a panning tool that there’s to help you capture smooth video. Rounding out the Pixel 5’s spec list is support for Qi wireless charging, a water-resistant design, 128GB of storage and a price tag that starts at $699.

Pixel 4a 5G

Pixel fans will notice we didn’t mention an XL model above. That’s because there’s isn’t one this year. Instead, Google plans to release a more premium version of the Pixel 4a — or a more affordable take on the Pixel 5, if that’s how you want to look at things. The $499 Pixel 4a 5G surprisingly has many of the same marquee features as its more expensive sibling. Both phones feature Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G processor. They also have the same front and rear camera arrays. What you won’t get with the Pixel 4a 5G is support for Qi wireless charging, waterproofing and a 90Hz display. But it does come with a headphone jack. 


Google’s new Chromecast comes with a remote. Yes, Google has finally listened to its customers, but there’s a lot more to its latest streaming puck than merely a new way to control things. Google has gone with an updated design that borrows from both the Chromecast Ultra and its colorful Nest Mini speakers. Inside, the puck features a new processor that allows it to play 4K HDR content at up to 60 frames per second. Additionally, there’s support for Dolby Vision and surround sound.  

As for that remote, it has a built-in microphone for quick and easy Assistant access. In terms of buttons, there are Back, Home, Mute, Power and Input keys, as well as a dedicated volume rocker. It also comes with shortcuts for YouTube and Netflix. Handy that. 

Where things get somewhat confusing is that the new Chromecast runs Google TV. The platform runs on top of Android TV and adds a new interface to the mix that borrows features from Google’s Play Movies and TV app. 

You can grab the Chromecast starting today for $50. 

Nest Audio

Lastly, Google announced a new smart speaker called Nest Audio. Like the Nest Mini, the Nest Audio is covered in fabric. Google outfitted it with a 19mm tweeter and 75mm mid-woofer. The company says those components allow the Nest Audio to get 75 percent louder than the Google Home. It also produces 50 percent more bass than that speaker. 

On the device, you’ll find LED lights that turn on when you speak to Assistant. But there’s also a mute switch on the back of the speaker if you don’t want the digital helper turning on by accident. It also comes with a Media EQ feature that Google says will automatically tune your Nest Audio depending on what you’re listening to, and there’s support for multi-room audio.

You can also pair two Nest Audios to get stereo imaging, which will be tempting since a single speaker only costs $100.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/google-pixel-5-event-roundup-212658877.html

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