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  2. Photo by Fabian Sommer/picture alliance via Getty Images The Google Home app is getting a fresh design that should make it a lot more intuitive, according to a report from 9to5Google. The upcoming 2.49 update will let you interact with your devices from a single screen, resembling the device control panel on phones with Android 11 and up. Sideloaded Google Home 2.49 and enabled the new UI. I quite like it - makes controlling your smart home devices much easier, similar to the device controls interface. https://t.co/jBePftcOta pic.twitter.com/5uToZKCuHg — Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) March 15, 2022 Judging by the update’s release notes on the App Store, it seems Google is hoping to make the app a lot more user-friendly than what it is right now, saying it should help you “quickly find... Continue reading… View the full article
  3. Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge The latest Android Auto update adds a diagnostic feature that checks if your USB cable or port isn’t working as expected, as shown by former XDA Developers editor-in-chief Mishaal Rahman on Twitter. If your phone isn’t connecting to your car, the diagnostic tool might be able to help pinpoint if the USB connection is where the issue lies. In images shown by Rahman, the tool, seemingly called “USB Startup Diagnostics,” will check if a USB cable connects and checks the cable quality. On a support page, Google recommends using connecting to your car with the cable that came with your phone or one that’s less than three feet long and doesn’t “use USB hubs or cable extensions.” The tool checks if Android is able to send data through USB,... Continue reading… View the full article
  4. Illustration: Alex Castro / The Verge Google’s big annual developer conference, Google I/O, will take place May 11th and 12th, the company announced Wednesday. The event will once again be fully online, though it sounds like at least some of the conference will be streamed live from the Shoreline Amphitheatre, a frequent Google I/O venue. “This year’s event will be broadcast in front of a limited live audience, and is completely free and open to everyone virtually,” Google spokesperson Alex Garcia-Kummert said in a statement to The Verge. That limited audience will be comprised primarily of Google employees and some partners, according to a Google statement shared with Axios’ Ina Fried. Registration will be free and will begin sometime this month, according to an FAQ. There... Continue reading… View the full article
  5. Steam was briefly mentioned during a developer keynote. | Image: Google Google announced that some ChromeOS users would finally be able to start testing Steam during its Google for Games Developer Summit but later revised that message to say that the alpha would be “coming soon.” During the keynote, Google’s product director for games, Greg Hartell, announced that “the Steam alpha just launched” for select Chromebooks and pointed viewers to the Chromebook Community Forum for more information. At the time, the promised post didn’t seem to be there yet, but it was later added with a slightly revised message: Hello Chromebook Community, As you may have already heard, our team is working with Valve to bring Steam to Chrome OS. We are very excited to share that we’ll be landing an early, alpha-quality version... Continue reading… View the full article
  6. Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge On Wednesday, Facebook’s parent company, Meta, removed a deepfake video of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy issuing a statement that he never made, asking Ukrainians to “lay down arms.” The deepfake appears to have been first broadcasted on a Ukrainian news website for TV24 after an alleged hack, as first reported by Sky News on Wednesday. The video shows an edited Zelenskyy speaking behind a podium declaring that Ukraine has “decided to return Donbas” to Russia and that his nation’s war efforts had failed. In the video, Zelenskyy’s head is comically larger than in real life and is more pixelated than his surrounding body. The fake voice is much deeper than his real voice as well. As a matter of principle, I never post or link... Continue reading… View the full article
  7. Around 60 workers banded together to demand a $3 raise. | Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Early Wednesday morning, Amazon workers staged a walkout in two states, quitting work and even shutting off a machine to demand a $3 raise. The workers also demanded that Amazon bring back 20-minute breaks — a “perk” introduced during COVID that the company has since replaced with 15-minute breaks, according to Vice. The actions are part of a wave of labor activism at Amazon as more employees band together to demand better working conditions, compensation, and representation. The roughly 60 workers were employees at three different warehouses in New York and Maryland, working the night shifts. The walkout was organized by Amazonians United, a group that includes workers from at least nine warehouses nationwide, according to Vice. In... Continue reading… View the full article
  8. Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge In 2018, Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) was alarmed when Facebook notified the commission, between June and December, of 12 separate data breaches that affected up to 30 million users, TechCrunch reports. The DPC began to investigate and now Meta, Facebook’s parent company, has been fined 17 million euros ($18.6 million USD). The DPC concluded from its investigation into the breaches that Meta violated Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). According to its press release, the DPC identified 12 data breach notifications that occurred between June and December 2018. “As a result of its inquiry, the DPC found that Meta Platforms failed to have in place appropriate technical and organisational measures which would... Continue reading… View the full article
  9. Image: Getty Russian oligarchs have been looking for ways to park their money outside Vladimir Putin’s control for a long time, and the tackiest method available to them is the megayacht — so obviously, there are a lot of them. It is remarkably satisfying to see the yachts get seized. An expensive toy for worthless people, the megayacht is the epitome of conspicuous consumption. For instance, the Amore Vero, linked to Rosneft CEO Igor “Darth Vader” Sechin, has a swimming pool that converts to a helicopter platform. This boat exists only to please Sechin and impress his guests; it has a similar relationship to regular boats as handmade silk toilet paper does to Charmin. Here is a short and delightful list of megayacht action: Sechin attempted to... Continue reading… View the full article
  10. Season five of Formula 1: Drive to Survive could potentially include scenes of McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown smashing a Chromebook or Android tablet, Tom Brady-style, thanks to a new arrangement between the team and Google. In 2020, McLaren exited its deal with OnePlus that produced several powerfully-specced black and orange Android phones, but there’s no indication of a similar branding exercise coming to the Pixel series anytime soon. Instead, the new “multi-year” agreement between Google and McLaren is putting branding on the MCL36 (spot the Android logo peeking along the engine cover, while the familiar colors of Google Chrome will be on the wheel covers) driven by Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, their race suits and helmets, and... Continue reading… View the full article
  11. The New York Times said the Wordle Archive’s use was “unauthorized.” | Photo by Mike Kemp / In Pictures via Getty Images The Wordle Archive, which let you play Wordles of days past, has been forced offline at the request of The New York Times, according to a report from Ars Technica. Navigating to the Wordle Archive yields a disappointing message: “Sadly, the New York Times has requested that the Wordle Archive be taken down.” It’s still unclear what went down legally between the NYT and the Wordle Archive, but a spokesperson for the news outlet vaguely told Ars Technica that the archive’s “usage was unauthorized, and we were in touch with them.” The Wordle Archive previously displayed a list of old playable puzzles that were great for when you finished your daily Wordle just a little too fast and were left wanting more. Luckily, our old friend the Web... Continue reading… View the full article
  12. Here’s a resource a student might pull up. | Image: Google Imagine if your old trig worksheets stepped in to help you out when you were stumped on a question. That’s Practice Sets, the newest Google Classroom tool, in a nutshell. Google Classroom, for folks who went to school before the internet was everything, is a widely used gaggle of web tools that allows teachers to post assignments, students to submit them, and teachers to return them online. With Practice Sets, not only will teachers be able to send out problem sets, but they’ll be able to make those problem sets interactive. An algorithm will provide hints to students who seem stumped. It will automatically grade the sets as well. Shantanu Sinha, head of product efforts for Google Education, says the algorithm will recognize when... Continue reading… View the full article
  13. Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Weeks ago, Ukraine-based influencer Kristina Korban’s TikTok was a steady stream of gym motivation and personal finance tips punctuated by trending audio. In bold title text, she told her followers to “STAY CONSISTENT” and “DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY!” Aside from one lighthearted reference to the escalating situation with Russia, Korban’s page stayed on message: “YOU CAN BE AN INVESTOR.” Then, on February 23rd, the facade of normalcy fell apart. In a video that’s been viewed more than 9 million times, the Kyiv-based influencer recorded herself from bed, describing explosions in the distance that rattled her home. “This might be the beginning of something serious,” she says. For weeks, TikTok users have watched Russian troops and military... Continue reading… View the full article
  14. Slack’s upgraded iPad interface. | Image: Slack Slack is giving its iPad app a much needed upgrade that will see it inherit many features of its desktop version, the company has announced. The app is getting a new two-column layout that shows a list of available channels and messages on the left, and their contents on the right. The left-hand sidebar is also being updated, and the app is getting better support for accessibility features like Apple’s VoiceOver screen reader. None of these are particularly revolutionary features, but they’re welcome additions to an iPad app that can sometimes feel more like a giant iPhone app. Slack is marketing the update as serving the needs of newly emerging hybrid workplaces, which should hopefully make it easier to keep up with workplace... Continue reading… View the full article
  15. The last-gen iPad Air is down to $500 at Amazon The announcement of the latest iteration of the iPad Air at Apple’s Peek Performance event last week has resulted in price cuts for the last-gen model. Usually, the 2020 model of the iPad Air can only be found for $599.99, but Amazon currently has the 64GB model of this tablet in all colorways for $499.99. While the newer iPad Air comes with Apple’s M1 processor, the A14 Bionic chip in the 2020 model still provides more than enough power for a vast majority of applications. The iPad Air uses a 10.9-inch retina display with a resolution of 2360x1640, but for more details on the specs of the latest version of this tablet, feel free to read our review by Dan Seifert. It’s been a while since we showed off this deal from Amazon that drops... Continue reading… View the full article
  16. Universal Control links multiple Macs and iPads together under a single mouse and keyboard. | Image: Apple It’s been a good month for Mac desktop setup aficionados. Apple just released the Studio Display, its first vaguely affordable (as in not $6,000) new monitor in more than a decade. But there’s another new option that I’ve been testing that flips the entire idea of an external monitor on its head. Universal Control is now available in iOS 15.4 and macOS Monterey 12.3, and if you can make it work in your setup, you really ought to try it. If you haven’t heard of Universal Control, it basically lets you use your Mac’s keyboard and mouse or trackpad to control your iPad (or another Mac, though I haven’t been able to test that). Just nudge your cursor to the side of your Mac’s monitor, and it’ll jump on over to the iPad like it was another... Continue reading… View the full article
  17. The new iPad Air is a blend of familiar features with predictable results Continue reading… View the full article
  18. Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge On Sunday, one of the most trusted sources of Apple rumors revealed that we can expect four new iPhones later this year: two with 6.1-inch screen sizes, likely to be the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro, and two with 6.7-inch screens, likely dubbed the iPhone 14 Max and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Four phones in total. The tweet made me gasp because of what’s missing. There’s nothing even close to the 5.4-inch screen size of my beloved iPhone Mini. I know, I know, many people prefer big screens, and the iPhone Mini wasn’t exactly a success according to supply chain reports. But that didn’t keep me and 11 other Verge staffers from buying one — and when I polled my colleagues this week, seven of us still agree that the rest of the world’s too-big... Continue reading… View the full article
  19. Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge On Sunday, one of the most trusted sources of Apple rumors revealed that we can expect four new iPhones later this year: two with 6.1-inch screen sizes, likely to be the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro, and two with 6.7-inch screens, likely dubbed the iPhone 14 Max and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Four phones in total. The tweet made me gasp because of what’s missing. There’s nothing even close to the 5.4-inch screen size of my beloved iPhone Mini. I know, I know, many people prefer big screens, and the iPhone Mini wasn’t exactly a success according to supply chain reports. But that didn’t keep me and 11 other Verge staffers from buying one — and when I polled my colleagues this week, seven of us still agree that the rest of the world’s too-big phones can shove it. We’ve got small hands or a desire to use our phones one-handed while juggling other responsibilities, and there’s nothing else that comes even close. In the US, the iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 13 Mini are among the only full-fat compact smartphones on the market, and they’re arguably in a class of their own: rivals like the Sony Xperia 5 III are much taller, and while a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 might fold down to fit into a pocket, it’s still notably wider than the iPhone Mini’s blissfully graspable form. (Also, both of those phones start at $1,000 and run Android, though that wouldn’t stop all of us.) I've never held a better-looking, better-feeling phone. The Mini is legit. Didn't keep me from scratching it the very first weekend. pic.twitter.com/MZhxUgYkY8 — Sean Hollister (@StarFire2258) February 15, 2021 As an owner of a Google Pixel 4A and a casual admirer of my wife’s iPhone 13 Pro, I can tell you right now neither of them is a viable alternative to the Mini: their 5.8- and 6.1-inch screens now feel huge by comparison, and the Pro’s hefty steel build always makes me feel like I’m going to drop it, too. Despite the iPhone Mini’s iffy battery life, a significant number of us here at The Verge believe there’s no better option. But if analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s prediction is true — and he’s rarely wrong when it comes to sizes, by the way — it means Apple is done offering a yearly upgrade path for people like us. But there’s another place where small phone lovers at The Verge agree: it doesn’t need to be yearly. We could wait. And that might line up nicely with the other revelation that Kuo tweeted this week. Normally, when you buy the new iPhone, you get the new A-series chip, right? Not in 2022, says Kuo. The iPhone 14 will have the same chip that came with the iPhone 13 in 2021, with newer A16 chips exclusively headed to Apple’s new “Pro” series phones. If true, that means Apple was already planning to change its annual upgrade cycle in 2022 — and that might give it a natural opportunity to bring back the Mini when it might actually count. Only two Pro models would upgrade to the A16 processor, while the 14 & 14 Max will remain the A15. All four new models will likely come with 6GB RAM, with the difference being LPDDR 5 (14 Pro & 14 Pro Max) vs. LPDDR 4X (14 & 14 Max). https://t.co/tHcszIz6gX — 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) March 13, 2022 If Apple offered a Mini in 2023 instead of 2022, perhaps it would be in time for a new, more efficient processor that could theoretically help with its battery life. (Apple’s previous solution was to make the iPhone 13 Mini’s battery nine percent bigger than the iPhone 12 Mini’s pack, which definitely helped some.) please take these ideas you probably already thought of instead of killing our fav phone? Or Apple could bring it back in 2024 as a new iPhone SE — the phone that pioneered the idea of bringing back an ancient Apple form factor every now and then. The first iPhone SE in 2016 was a remake of the 2013 iPhone 5S, with a 4-inch screen. 2020 brought us a remake of the iPhone 8 with its 4.7-inch screen, and Apple just did it again by adding processing power, battery life, and 5G to the phone for those people who still demand a physical home button in 2022. But in our review of the 2022 iPhone SE, Allison concluded that its five-year-old design is probably at the end of its rope, particularly its aging LCD screen with big bezels. That’s where I’m hoping the iPhone Mini can come in: at 5.4 inches, the iPhone Mini offers far more screen in a smaller form factor that I find much more comfortable to hold. It’d be foolish to suggest that Apple should bring back the iPhone Mini this year because the decisions about which shapes to cut out of aluminum and which screens and batteries and boards to procure likely happened long ago. (That’s probably why we still got an iPhone 13 Mini long after reports that the iPhone 12 Mini didn’t sell.) So Apple, we’re not asking you to bring it back in 2022. Our phones will hold out for another year or two or more — some Verge Mini enthusiasts admitted they don’t upgrade all that often — as long as their batteries don’t dwindle down prematurely. We’re just asking you, in the new spirit of giving your customers what they want, not to kill it off for good. View the full article
  20. Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Google is rolling out a new feature in its Docs that’s designed to make it easier to use its word processor to draft emails, the company has announced. It’s part of Google’s “smart canvas” initiative, which aims to seamlessly weave together the search giant’s productivity software like Meet, Docs, and Gmail. Much like Google Docs’s other smart canvas features, the email draft template is accessed with the @ symbol, before selecting “Email draft” from the context menu. You can then draft the email, including defining recipients, a subject line, and its body text. When it’s ready to send, click the Gmail icon on the left to open the email service. Image: Google Draft an email, then send it to Gmail with a click. ... Continue reading… View the full article
  21. Photo by Tayfun CoÅkun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images Part of the Apple Park campus in Cupertino was evacuated after first responders discovered an envelope containing a white powder substance, NBC Bay Area reports. The Santa Clara County Fire Department’s incident report shows there was a fire alarm and hazmat response at Apple’s headquarters just after noon local time. Emergency personnel since have determined that the situation is under control, and employees apparently have been allowed to go back inside, according to the publication. It’s unclear what the substance may have been. Apple told employees at Apple Park that “authorities concluded that there was no presence of hazardous materials,” according to an email obtained later in the day by The Verge. The email says that operations... Continue reading… View the full article
  22. These people seem really thrilled about their websites. | Image: Google Google Domains, the company’s domain registration service, is losing the beta tag after first launching more than seven years ago, Google announced Tuesday. The service is now generally available in 26 countries, and the company says it already has “millions of active registrations.” If you register with Google Domains, you can pick from more than 300 different domain endings, have access to “high performance DNS” (Google says it’s the same infrastructure it uses for itself), “around-the-clock customer support from real people,” and more. The company is also offering a 20 percent discount off “any single domain registration or transfer-in to Google Domains” for new and returning users with the code DOMAINS20. However, if you register a... Continue reading… View the full article
  23. These people seem really thrilled about their websites. | Image: Google Google Domains, the company’s domain registration service, is losing the beta tag after first launching more than seven years ago, Google announced Tuesday. The service is now generally available in 26 countries, and the company says it already has “millions of active registrations.” If you register with Google Domains, you can pick from more than 300 different domain endings, have access to “high performance DNS” (Google says it’s the same infrastructure it uses for itself), “around-the-clock customer support from real people,” and more. The company is also offering a 20 percent discount off “any single domain registration or transfer-in to Google Domains” for new and returning users with the code DOMAINS20. However, if you register a... Continue reading… View the full article
  24. Apple’s latest Apple Watch, the Series 7, currently starts at $349 instead of $399. | Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge Thinking about picking up a new Apple Watch? It might be tempting to order one of the Series 7 models, but new hardware always comes at a premium. And while Apple’s latest wearable offers a slightly larger display and some improvements to durability, it is largely the same Apple Watch we’re familiar with. Thankfully, each Apple Watch model offers ample functionality and has seen its fair share of discounts over the last year. So which ones should you consider if you’re in the market for Apple’s popular smartwatch while trying to shop smarter? There are currently four Apple Watch models to choose from, all of which support watchOS 8. The highest-end is the Apple Watch Series 7, which starts at $399. The last-gen model, the Series 6, has... Continue reading… View the full article
  25. A discount brings the price from $20 a month to $0 a month. | Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Verizon is introducing a new discount to its Fios Forward plans, which should let low-income customers get fiber internet for free when combined with discounts through the federal Affordable Connectivity Program. The free tier, which is normally $40 a month, includes 300Mbps speeds as well as a $10 discount on a Verizon Unlimited Wireless plan. Customers who need more bandwidth (and are able to pay more) can get a gigabit connection for $50 a month with the ACP discount, which also includes more benefits and a larger cell plan discount. Verizon says Fios Forward is available to people who have been approved for the ACP benefit. The 200Mbps tier used to cost $20 a month, according to a Wayback Machine archive from November, so Verizon’s... Continue reading… View the full article
  26. Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge Phones have become so much a part of our daily lives that it can be immediately traumatic if you suddenly can’t find your phone — whether you’ve left it in a cab, accidentally dropped it out of your pocket, or lost it under your bed. If you have an Android phone, you can use the Find My Device feature to (hopefully) locate your phone. Find My Device depends on two things being enabled: the feature itself (of course) and Google’s Location services. In addition, the phone also has to be turned on and signed in to a Google account. The Find My Device feature comes as part of the standard OS on Pixels and several other Android phones and is usually turned on by default. Be aware that some Android models may offer a different app; for... Continue reading… View the full article
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