Thursday in CE: Google Assistant Coming to Older Android, Samsung Cans Aggressive Galaxy S9 Update
The Google Pixel 2 has only been out for a few months now and it's already starting to feel like a software release, not a hardware one. Which is probably for the best considering how many people are using Android these days and how desperately they need uniformity across the mobile operating system.
Maybe their crowning achievement, one that is admittedly still a work in progress, is the Google Assistant. The Pixel 2 complemented it with a squeeze feature that brought it up instantly but it was feeling like Google forgot about the other side of the pond that wasn't ready to upgrade to the latest and greatest and even stand alone smart speakers.
That's why Google worked to get the assistant in older versions. Announced today, the voice assistant will make it's way to any Android smartphone running 5.0 Lollipop and up. Looking at Google Play numbers, this adds another 26 percent of Android users to the Assistant's reach.
Unfortunately, that doesn't include tablets but Google will most likely resolve that issue as well. Google also notes that the 5.0-launch will only work by launching the app, but hey, it's better than nothing.
Samsung Galaxy S9 Refresh Dropped For Pedestrian Design
Samsung had a really, really, really fresh idea with the Galaxy S8 and S8+. They were basically most of the guts we saw with previous versions of the phone but the design was something else. The home button was gone, the bezels were small, and the phone had a very premium build.
It was a much needed flagship refresh.
That set the stage for the S9 to also up the ante, especially after Apple put the ball in their court with the iPhone X, a nearly endless display to put distance in their endless one-upping. Surely Samsung would want to pull out some big guns and start teasing new products to compete, right?
The design of the S9 is identical to last years model, not utilizing Apple's nearly full screen-to-body ratio. The reasons currently are unknown as to why they have switched gears but rest assured, the S9 will be more of the same.
Best of the Rest of the Net
- What's your favorite Snapchat filter and why is it the dancing hotdog? Not your favorite? Maybe you should try making your own in Snapchat AR experience with Lens Studio AR, a developer tool for everyone's favorite time killer.
- Meet, the Monoprice Mini Delta. A $160 3D printer has hit the market and it is proving that the market is ready for mainstream acceptance.
- Which Android has the best battery of 2017? Android Authority has the (surprising) answer.