Google Pixel 4a 5G unboxing and hands on: The Goldilocks Pixel?

Google Pixel 4a 5G in hand front of phone 2

Now that the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 are official, we’ve got three different Pixels to choose from this year. There’s the Pixel 4a, which costs a cool $349, the 4a 5G, which adds some faster networking, a faster processor, and an extra camera for $499, and the Pixel 5, which adds a premium build, wireless charging, a 90Hz display, water resistance, and a bigger battery, for $699.

Between those three, the 4a 5G seems like the middle ground a lot of people are looking for. It has the biggest display of the three at 6.2-inches, the wide-angle camera everyone wanted last year, and a chip that’s perfectly future-proof with 5G connectivity. While it still lacks the extras like wireless charging and a 90Hz display sported on the Pixel 5, a lot of people won’t care about those things, and just want something that works for a good price.

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Google Pixel 4a launches in India, takes on the OnePlus Nord

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  • The Pixel 4a was first announced in August 2020.
  • Powered by a Snapdragon 730G, the phone has the same main camera as the flagship Pixel 5.
  • The phone goes on sale for Rs 29,999 starting October 16.

Google’s mid-range Pixel 4a was first announced back in August, and the company had promised that the phone will launch in India later in the year. True to its claims, the Pixel 4a is finally making its debut on Indian shores, two months after its global launch.

The Pixel 4a is powered by a Snapdragon 730G chipset paired up with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Users get a 5.81-inch OLED display with Gorilla Glass 3 as well as a 3,140mAh battery that can be fast charged at 18W.

The real upsell, of course, is the superlative imaging experience offered by the sole 12.2MP camera as we talk about in our Pixel

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Google might release a $129 Nest thermostat with built-in radar soon

Google is getting ready to release a new $129 Nest thermostat that will apparently switch out some of the touch-based controls found on other Nest thermostats for hand gestures, according to a new Bloomberg report. Bloomberg gave the example of a user swiping their hand up and down near the thermostat to adjust the temperature.





© Photo by Jake Kastrenakes / The Verge


That tech sounds a lot like the motion controls you could activate with the Project Soli radar sensor in the now discontinued Pixel 4 and 4 XL. And while the newly announced Pixel 5 doesn’t have the Soli technology, Google hardware boss Rick Osterloh did say that the sensor and gestures would be used at some point in the future. He also suggested the tech was too expensive for the Pixel 5, which seems curious in light of Bloomberg’s report that a new low-end Nest thermostat

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Google Is About To Give Your Chromebook A Major Screenshot Boost

It looks increasingly likely that Google will soon roll out a built-in screen recorder and improved screenshot feature for millions of Chromebooks. 

Last month Chrome Story spotted a reference to a built-in screen recorder feature for Chrome OS that popped up in the Chromium Gerrit. Today, Chrome Unboxed found a partially functional version of the feature in the Canary channel of Chrome OS, which is a development channel where new, not widely tested (and possibly buggy or unfinished), Chrome OS features can be trailed.

The new capture mode adds an icon to the Chrome OS taskbar, which gives users options to screen record or screen capture. In a video, Chrome Unboxed showed off how exactly the new features work, including options to take movable screenshots and resize them. Users can also capture a specific window. 

Screen

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Google Assistant voice commands work with Android apps now

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Juan Garzon/CNET

Google is bringing Google Assistant voice controls to select third-party Android apps, the company announced in a blog post Thursday.

Examples of new, app-specific voice commands Android users can take advantage of.


Google

“Opening and searching within Android apps using ‘Hey Google’ is now available to all Assistant-enabled Android phones,” wrote Google product manager Adam Coimbra. “For example, you can now say, ‘Hey Google, search cozy blankets on Etsy’ and get right to what you’re looking for. Or if you’re looking for something (or someone) specific within an app, just say, ‘Hey Google, open Selena Gomez on Snapchat.'”

Beyond just opening and searching within apps, Google adds, users can also ask the assistant for help with specific app-based tasks, like playing music, starting a run, paying a friend or ordering food for delivery. 

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Google Shared Search Data With Feds Investigating R. Kelly Victim Intimidation Case

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Google disclosed the IP addresses of anyone who searched for an arson victim’s address to the federal agents, which investigators used to pinpoint the device used by the alleged perpetrator, according to court documents unsealed earlier in the week, highlighting another instance of Google submitting to a so-called “keyword warrant.”

Key Facts

Federal investigators used the data shared by Google to link Michael Williams— an associate of musician and accused sex offender R. Kelly —  who allegedly set fire to the car belonging to a witness in the Kelly case, according to snippets of the court filings shared by Detroit News reporter Robert Snell.

“Keyword warrants” are a type of reverse search warrant in which law enforcement seeks data regarding all individuals

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Google Introduces Sound Notifications For Android, New Live Transcribe Timeline View

Google on Thursday announced a new Android accessibility feature called Sound Notifications. In a blog post co-written by artificial intelligence product manager Sagar Savla and accessibility product manager Sharlene Yuan, the company said Sound Notifications is designed to alert users with hearing loss when various sounds occur, such as when a kitchen appliance beeps or water runs. Google cited a World Health Organization statistic that some 466 million people worldwide, 34 million of which are children, have “disabling hearing loss.”

Sound Notifications are meant to “make important and critical household sounds more accessible with push notifications, a flash from your camera light, or vibrations” on Android and Wear OS devices, according to Google. They also note the feature has relevance beyond hearing loss; it can be beneficial to those who are temporarily disabled due to injury, or even simply wearing earplugs or headphones.

Google says Sound Notifications was

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Google is sharing user data tied to search keywords with law enforcement

The filing had been submitted in July, but wasn’t made public until October 6th.

Williams’ lawyer, Todd Spodek, intends to challenge the warrant for allegedly violating his client’s rights. Search warrants are normally targeted at a narrow group of likely suspects — this was aimed at anyone looking for certain terms. It could be “misconstrued or used improperly,” Spodek said.

Experts are concerned that “reverse” warrants, including geofence warrants that target everyone in a given area, violate Fourth Amendment rights protecting against overly broad searches. A federal judge in Illinois has already ruled that the approach violates the Fourth

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Microsoft takes a jab at Apple, Google with new app store principles

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Angela Lang/CNET

Microsoft announced 10 new app store principles in a blog post Thursday, needling Apple and Google’s policies in the process. The new principles are intended to promote choice, fairness and innovation for software developers on Windows 10.

“Developers will have the freedom to choose whether to distribute their apps for Windows through our app store. We will not block competing app stores on Windows.” the first principle reads.

“Windows 10 is an open platform. Unlike some other popular digital platforms, developers are free to choose how they distribute their apps,” the tech giant wrote, alluding to Apple and Google.

Those companies are embroiled in a legal battle with Fortnite developer Epic over fees they charge in their respective app stores.

Earlier this month, lawmakers from the

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French court adds pressure on Google to pay for news

A Paris appeals court on Thursday upheld an order for Google to negotiate with media groups in a long-running dispute about revenues from online news.

The ruling came as the US internet giant announced it was close to a deal on compensating French media groups for news shown in Google search results.

Such a deal would represent a climbdown by Google, which has so far refused to comply with new EU rules giving more copyright protection to media firms for news displayed on search engines and social media.

France was the first European country to ratify the law, which could act as a lifeline to newspaper groups grappling with shrinking print sales.

In April, the French competition authority ordered Google to negotiate with the press in good faith — a ruling it appealed, accusing the authority of overstepping its jurisdiction.

The appeals court sided with the competition authority.

Google argues

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