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The name Google is synonymous with online searches, but over the years the company has grown beyond search and now builds multiple consumer products, including software like Gmail, Chrome, Maps, Android, and hardware like the Pixel smartphones, Google Home, and Chromebooks. Its name can also be found on internet services such as Google Fi, Flights, Checkout, and Google Fiber. Here is all of the latest news about one of the most influential tech companies in the world.

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Nvidia lets Google’s Gemma AI model loose on its GPUs.

The open-source Gemma models are optimized for “the installed base of over 100 million Nvidia RTX GPUs,” installed in PCs around the world, in addition to Nvidia’s ubiquitous AI chips like the H100.

The models will also be part of Nvidia’s Chat with RTX demo, which lets AI models run locally and access users’ files to generate answers to prompts.

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Gemini is now officially part of Google Workspace, too.

The best thing about Google’s Gemini model is the way it works with your Google stuff. So this is no surprise: Gemini is being built right into Workspace. The Gemini Enterprise plan costs $30 a month, and Gemini Business, with slightly fewer generative features, is $20 a month. (You can always pony up $20 a month for the Google One package with Gemini, too.) Bye-bye Duet AI, it’s just Gemini all the way down.

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Who reviews the reviewers?

House Fresh, a blog focused on air quality, is just the kind of source you might want when you’re shopping for an air purifier — but it’s getting harder and harder to find them.

In a post titled, “How Google is killing independent sites like ours,” managing editor Gisele Navarro explains how bigger publishers like BuzzFeed, Better Homes & Gardens, and Rolling Stone outrank the independent site in Google Search:

These Digital Goliaths shouldn’t be able to use product recommendations as their personal piggy bank, simply flying through Google updates off the back of ‘the right signals,’ an old domain, or the echo of a reputable brand that is no longer.

As a team that has dedicated the last few years to testing and reviewing air purifiers, it’s disheartening to see our independent site be outranked by big-name publications that haven’t even bothered to check if a company is bankrupt before telling millions of readers to buy their products.

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Google Maps might soon show Plug and Charge EV stations — where you pay with your car.

Android Authority spotted three strings of related code when it pulled apart the Android APK, including this description:

Charging stations with plug and charge let you charge more conveniently, without using your phone or charging card. You can set up plug and charge in your vehicle’s settings and payment app.

Some cars already support Plug and Charge, and there was even talk of standardizing on it in North America.

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All Tensor, all the time.

Android 15 is official and as Android Police points out, it serves as a milestone for the Pixel line: the start of the all-Tensor era. The developer preview released today is compatible with the Pixel 6, 7, and 8 series — leaving the Snapdragon-powered Pixel 5 series in the history books. Gone but not forgotten.

Here’s what editing texts in Google Messages might look like.

After tinkering with the beta version of Google Messages, TheSpAndroid found that the upcoming edit option could surface as a pencil icon that appears when you tap and hold a message. You’ll get the option to edit your text from there, but it seems it will only work if you’ve sent the message within the past 30 minutes.

It’s still early though, so we don’t know when Google will actually start rolling the feature out, or if it’ll make any other tweaks in the meantime.

Image: TheSpAndroid


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The OnePlus 12R is a $500 phone with flagship tendencies

Time for Samsung and Google to make some room in the midrange.

Is OpenAI the next challenger trying to take on Google Search?

A source for The Information says OpenAI is working on web search (partially powered by Bing) that would more directly compete with Google. It’s unclear if it would be standalone, or a part of ChatGPT.

This comes one year after Microsoft CEO (and OpenAI backer) Satya Nadella targeted Google by adding Copilot AI tools to Bing, saying on Decoder, “I want people to know that we made them dance.”

Between Google’s Bard / Gemini, Copilot, and newcomers like Perplexity, the dance floor is filling up quickly.

Google’s latest doodle roasted me on Valentine’s Day.

The doodle is a combination dating app and high school chemistry lesson. Answer a few questions and find out what element you are, then swipe left and right to bond or deny other elements.

It’s an annoyingly good time. I love the chemistry jokes, but did it really have to do me like that?

An image of quiz results. It says “CHLORINE: Swipe right if you have a passion for cleanliness. I have a very reactive personality, so chances are we’ll definitely find something to bond over, but be warned: you can have too much of a good thing (I’m best enjoyed in low doses).
I’m great, but also I’ll turn your hair green and can be combined with other elements to make acid.
Screenshot by Alex Cranz/The Verge
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Samsung’s older TVs lose option to view a Ring doorbell’s camera feed.

As of this week, Samsung TVs released between 2018 and 2021 can’t show a video feed from the Ring Doorbell Pro, according to a support page. The news comes after Samsung also announced it would be dropping its TV’s built-in Google Assistant support as of March 1st, 2024.

Between this and the subscription price increases, it’s been a frustrating week for Ring owners.

Google’s Gemini AI now available on iOS and Android outside of the US.

Gemini product lead Jack Krawczyk says mobile access to the English version of the AI service formally called Bard has started to roll out to other countries, via a dedicated app for Android users, or a toggle within the Google app on iOS.

The rollout will take a few days so keep checking if it's unavailable. Japanese and Korean support is next, with more languages and countries to follow.

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Google Gemini can hang onto your chats for up to three years.

Google recently updated its privacy policy for Gemini — the chatbot it previously called Bard. It details just how long the company will keep conversations that are “reviewed or annotated” by human reviewers, despite whether you’ve deleted your app activity or not:

Conversations that have been reviewed or annotated by human reviewers (and related data like your language, device type, location info, or feedback) are not deleted when you delete your Gemini Apps activity because they are kept separately and are not connected to your Google Account. Instead, they are retained for up to three years.

To compare, ChatGPT lets you permanently delete conversations every 30 days.

The Verge
Google’s not happy about Apple and Microsoft escaping some DMA rules.

Today the European Commission decided against designating Apple’s iMessage and three Microsoft products as core platform services under the Digital Markets Act. “Excluding these popular services from DMA rules means consumers and businesses won’t be offered the breadth of choice that already exists on other, more open platforms,” Google spokesperson Emily Clarke tells The Verge.

Google, of course, lobbied for iMessage’s designation.

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Google’s Gemini AI could be coming to your headphones.

That’s according to code spotted in the Google app by 9to5Google. As of last week’s rebrand you can replace Google Assistant with Gemini (formerly Bard) on your phone when you say “Hey Google” or hold the home button, but this doesn’t carry across to other devices like headphones.

It could be a challenge making Gemini’s longer responses work in an audio-only format, however.

Google Meet’s companion mode is now available on mobile.

If you’d like to use the same collaboration features as your remote colleagues while in a physical meeting room, Google is now rolling out its companion mode for Android and iOS devices — allowing Google account users to be identified by name, chat with other meeting participants, enable live subtitles, raise their “hand” to speak, and share emojis without disrupting the current speaker. It was previously restricted to laptops/desktops.

Two GIFs showing the different between Google Meet’s companion mode on desktop and the iOS and Android versions.
The iOS and Android companion mode should make it easier to participate in hybrid Google Meet sessions via mobile devices.
Image: Google
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Google’s launching a Pixel Watch 2 mail-in replacement service.

If you’ve got a broken Pixel Watch 2, you can now skip the customer support process to get a discounted replacement. All you have to do scroll down the Google Store site and click Repairs. You should see a form. Fill out the information requested and select the mail-in option when it appears.

This is an improvement over Google’s previous Pixel Watch repair policy, but still has some holes. First-gen Pixel Watches aren’t eligible, and this service is only available in the US and EMEA.

DOJ’s Jonathan Kanter says the antitrust fight against Big Tech is just beginning

The assistant attorney general says ‘the resonance these issues have is something that I’ve never witnessed in my lifetime.’

When a death is clickbait

AI-generated obituaries litter search results, turning the deaths of private individuals into clunky, repetitive content.

Google’s Gemini for Android doesn’t require “Hey Google” to auto-send queries anymore.

Now, the chatbot formerly known as Bard will respond to your queries when you stop talking, regardless of how you summoned it. Before, that only worked when you invoked Google’s chatbot with the phrase “Hey Google.”

The Verge
Here’s Google CEO Sundar Pichai on CNBC addressing my story about the company’s tense all-hands meeting.

From his full interview today with Andrew Ross Sorkin:

“I don’t think most companies engage with employees in the transparent way we do, and I think that creates some of this conversation outside. But I’ve always viewed it as a source of strength for the company and we’ll work through this moment.”

Google’s AI now goes by a new name: Gemini

Bard and Duet are gone, as Gemini becomes both the model and the product for getting all of Google’s AI out into the world.

Is this the Pixel Fold 2?

Android expert Mishaal Rahman has shared what could be Google’s second-generation foldable with Android Authority.

As you can see from the photo, the most noticeable difference is a square-shaped camera module, which appears to replace the camera bar that extends across the back of the first-gen device. Rahman’s source also says the potential Pixel Fold 2 has a slimmer form factor, along with rounder inner and outer displays.

Google showcases AI accessibility in a new ad.

The AI-powered Guided Frame feature that debuted on the Pixel 7 describes what’s in the selfie camera’s frame. In this Google commercial (audio descriptions version here) for Super Bowl 2024, director Adam Morse, who is blind, attempts to show how a person with low vision might experience it.