Chromecast with Google TV
The new $50 Chromecast with Google TV is Google’s first real rival to Roku and Amazon Fire TV.
It brings a lot of features that never existed on a Chromecast before, such as a full remote and brand-new Google TV software that makes it easier to find movies and TV shows. And it ties into all sorts of services, such as Hulu, HBO Max, Netflix and Disney+.
Previously, the Chromecast let you play content on your computer, but you had to select content on your phone. Now it has a whole new software experience, which makes it feel a lot more like a Roku, an Amazon Fire TV or an Apple TV. It means Google might finally be able to take some market share away from leaders Amazon and Roku.
Here’s what you need to know about it.
What’s good about the Chromecast with Google TV
Chromecast with Google TV
The new Chromecast is super simple to use. You just plug it in to your TV’s HDMI port — every modern TV has one — and turn it on.
The Google TV software has seven menu options at the top of the screen that are really straightforward: Search, For You, Live, Movies, Shows, Apps and Library. I like that the “For You” page pulls in movies and TV shows from subscriptions you pay for, such as Hulu or Netflix, and that you don’t have to open those apps to see what might be popular in any of them.
It also makes recommendations based on shows or movies you’ve watched. Best of all, it doesn’t have any ads, like Roku and Amazon do.
Chromecast with Google TV remote
All of this is easy to navigate with the remote. There’s a button to search by
The amount of effort Google seems to put into its Pixel phones while simultaneously ensuring that they look and feel mundane never ceases to astonish me. The new Pixel 5 is the epitome of this trend, though it’s been present since the beginning.
The Pixel 5 is unassuming. Instead of pushing the state of the art forward, Google has seemingly retreated to simpler, more reliable, and less expensive technology. The Pixel 4 had face unlock, squeezable sides, and a literal radar chip. The Pixel 5 has a simple rear-mounted fingerprint sensor that harkens back to Android phones from 2018, not 2020.
And yet, it’s still a very good phone for $699. It’s not impressive or flashy. By spending just a little (or a lot) more money, you can get better specs, larger camera arrays, prettier screens, and fancier designs. The Pixel 5 is trying to sell something else, sometimes to a fault:
Pixel 5 hardware design
Here are words I’ve used to describe Pixel hardware in past reviews, all of which apply to the Pixel 5: utilitarian, humdrum, unassuming, and premium. That last one seems like it doesn’t fit, but once you hold the Pixel 5, you’ll feel it. There’s so little hardware flash that it can be easy to miss some of the design substance.
The Pixel 5 has a 6-inch OLED screen, rounded on the corners and interrupted only by a (somewhat large) hole punch for the selfie camera. There’s no XL version with a bigger screen, which might annoy some
Google is pushing its Zoom competitor, Google Meet, on as default in Gmail calendar invites November 16th, but notifying users that they can make this feature live now. November 16th the switch is flicked for them. The new setting will be on by default for all organizations from today. The aggressive move is probably why some big Zoom news is coming out later today.
Google is seeing more than 100m users use Google Meet a day and adding about 3m users a day on top of that. A lot less than Zoom’s +500m but with more than 1.5 billion Gmail users that figure can shift fast. Default from November 16th, users are being urged to change the settings in an email sent to Gsuite users, the move will be on 100% by November 16th.
How to set Google Meet as your default videoconferencing tool now:
Go to Apps > GSuite > Calendar > Sharing Settings > Video conferencing and look for ‘“Make Google Meet the default video conferencing provider’
Google says it is introducing this new setting to ‘…provide you with better tools to encourage Google Meet usage within your organization, given that it is included in your Google Workspace license.” The email also contained a subtle sting about costs; “[changing Google Meet to default]…now makes it possible to nudge users to create Google Meet conferences instead of other conferencing solutions that may incur additional IT costs.” Google Meet
At Australian Federal Court on Wednesday, Google was ordered to hand over evidence to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in relation to the watchdog’s allegations that Google mishandled the location data of its users.
The evidence that is to be handed to the ACCC includes over 40 categories of information and data.
Throughout the day, Google’s legal counsel Robert Yezerski told the court he was concerned that handing over the evidence via discovery would postpone the case’s decision as it is a time consuming and costly process.
He also labelled the ACCC’s allegations as “very narrow” and brushed off any references to Google’s interface as being a “labyrinth of screens and processes”, explaining that the allegations were only applicable to certain Google account settings and certain screens.
“The case is very narrow and it’s narrow in three particular respects. First it’s narrow because it’s limited to two Google account settings. These are not device settings and they’re not app settings, being location history and weather activity,” Yezerski said.
“Second, it’s limited only to statements made about the settings on Android mobile devices and, as I say, that’s significant because these settings can be accessed on other platforms in other ways and there’s no general allegation that everything Google ever said about these particular Google accounts was misleading — it’s only in the context of users who accessed these settings in a particular way.
“Finally, it’s limited to the specific allegations that are [misrepresented by the ACCC].”
While Justice Thomas Thawley understood the case had significant public importance, he came to the conclusion that the matter’s decision was not so urgent that it had to be heard this year.
Not all of the ACCC’s requests for evidence were accepted, however. Thawley rejected the ACCC’s request for information that was
Snap, parent company of Snapchat, has hired Alexa Levine as U.S. head of entertainment.
Levine comes to Snap from Facebook, where she worked for three years oversaw the company’s film, TV, streaming and live event ad clients as industry manager for entertainment. Prior to joining Facebook in 2017, she had a variety of roles at Google — including, most recently, senior account executive, media and entertainment — as well as Microsoft and ad agency Omnicom.
At Snap, Levine is responsible for leading the company’s entertainment sales team and working with U.S. entertainment clients advertising on the platform. Based in Los Angeles. Levine reports to Clayton Peters, U.S. head of verticals, who oversees Snapâ€™s enterprise verticals.
Levine holds a bachelor’s degree in business and hotel management from Cornell University and an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.
Snap continues to bulk up its originals slate for Snapchat. Earlier this month, it premiered “Coach Kev” starring Kevin Hart and announced three docuseries coming to the platform in 2021 following Loren Gray, Trippie Redd and Swae Lee. On the ad front, Snap announced that it is rolling out First Commercial, a takeover offering that guarantees advertisers that Snapchat users see their non-skippable 6-second ad before any other spots on the app on a given day, to be widely available in the U.S. and U.K. this month.
As of the end of June 2020, Snapchat reported 238 million daily active users, up 17% year-over-year. The company claims Snapchat reaches over 100 million people in the U.S. alone, including over 90% of 13-24 year-olds and over 75% of 13-34 year-olds.