As Google seems to be a never-ending flow of news and information these days, today we’re going to take a look at some of the more interesting bits to come out of the Googleplex this week.
It seems that that one of my favorite phones in recent years, up until the recent release of its successor, is no longer for sale on the Play Store. The Nexus 5’s run as Google’s “flagship” device is over as the Google Play Store made the smartphone unavailable for purchase through website. This doesn’t mean that you can’t continue to use your own Nexus 5 if you have one or buy one second-hand. This just means that Google is clearing house for the far superior Nexus 6 to officially rule the roost. So to the Nexus 5, I bid thee farewell!
If you haven’t read about USB3.1 Type C (and here’s hoping they change the name) then you’re a bit behind. This is one of my favorite innovations to connector technology and likely the most significant since USB showed up forever ago. Basically, the USB3.1 Type C is the new version of USB that the latest and greatest computers are all going to feature. Fully reversible, smaller than the standard USB size, and meant to replace all the oddball sizes of USB floating about right now (micro, mini, type B, etc.) with just a single design, we are basically looking at how nearly all aspects of future computers will plug into just about anything. Google announced only a few days after the unveiling of the new MacBook, the Chromebook Pixel, which will feature this new port. This port will do nearly everything for the Pixel, from charging it, hooking up extra displays, and transferring data.
What is even more exciting and a sign of where Google is determined to have everything as easily accessible as possible is that they are hinting that the next series of Nexus phones will feature the USB3.1 Type C connector. Given the extreme versatility of this new version of USB, I am more than excited to see that happen.
In a quiet update to Google Messenger, apparently we are going to be able to use Animated GIF with the latest 1.2 upgrade, along with a small number Settings changes which seem to mostly be aesthetic in nature. GIF support in Messenger is a great move for the app. Messenger is a sleek and great looking app, but has been in the past too limited in its capabilities.
Finally, following suit with Apple’s long-running Apple Store, Google has opened the Google Shop on Tottenham Court Road in London, UK. In addition to its range of products, Google will offer events featuring tutorials on how to use their devices and other features and host events for kids who want to learn the basics of coding, along with a growing number of other offerings. And always lighthearted, Google will feature their powerful Maps app on a large screen that allows customers to fly around the world itself (at least virtually.)