Welcome to Alphabet City, this is the show that covers everything related to Alphabet Inc.
Alphabet just so happens to own lots of companies, including Google.
I'm your guide, Iyaz Akhtar, and you are the spectacular audience.
Today we're talking about Google's problem with the US government, Pixel stuff, some intrigue about Google Home Hub, and your comments, but first let's talk about a new Palm product, really.
Let's head on over to Android Palm is back.
There's a new palm device headed to Verizon and it's meant to be a sidekick to your current phone.
You cannot buy it by itself.
Instead, it pairs up with your existing phone number and requires its own ten dollar per month plan.
Look at this little thing.
It is running Android Oreo.
Has access to the full Google Play store, has a tiny 3.3 inch screen, 12 megapixel camera on the back, with an eight megapixel camera on the front.
Now why would anyone grab one of these palm devices?
It is aimed to be used when you are out at the gym or when you want to disconnect.
By the way the Palm name is being licensed by TCL.
To a start up based in San Francisco.
If you want the teeny tiny palm device it'll cost you around $350.
Do you think devices like this will catch on or is it just gonna be like a footnote?
In the history of cellphones?
Very curious to know what you think.
In an interview with an excellent tech site www.CNET.com, Samsung CEO DJ Ko said that the company's future folding phone will be usable as a tablet.
Once it's folded it can be a phone.
[INAUDIBLE] explained, when we deliver a foldable phone, it has to be really meaningful to our customer.
Samsung's boss also said that the foldable phone won't be a gimmick and would be available worldwide.
Did we talk about the Samsung Galaxy A9 yet?
Well, let's do it.
It's the world's first phone with four rear cameras.
Take a look at it.
128 gigabytes of storage which can be expandable with a micro SD card, six or eight gigabytes of RAM, 6.3-inch AMOLED screen, fingerprint sensor, It is a midrange phone, so it gets a midrange processor.
Let's run down those four cameras, 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera, 10-megapixel telephoto cam with 2X optical zoom, 24-megapixel main camera, and a 5-megapixel depth sensor.
Now, why would you put four cameras on the back of a phone?
Because five would be ridiculous Until it isn't next year.
Time to go to Pixel Park.
All righty, if you watch the Pixel Live stream, you might have seen this very show at the beginning, including our Producer Rich Peterson's Leaky Pixel artwork.
That was neat.
That being said, let's quickly run down what Google announced on Pixel Day, October 9th since we've had time to digest everything that's happened, we've got the two new Pixels, and the leaks were right.
There's the Pixel 2XL Mini and Nachzilla, also known as the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL.
Internally the two are almost identical except for the battery capacity.
Both have the same features So you get to choose whether you want a bigger battery with the notched screen or not.
I tried out both and they were zippy.
Both have OLED screens made by a manufacturer that Google would not tell me about.
I will say that in my limited time with the Pixels, there do not appear to be any obvious screen issues like the Pixel 2 XL.
Let's forget about the hardware, the software was the real star of Google's presentation.
The new pixels get some cool features first like call screen, dibs on duplex and cool camera features like top shot, and night sight.
Top shot essentially makes sure you do not get a missed time photo.
Google says you'll never need to use your flash again with it's night sight low light photo feature.
That's a bold claim.
A lot of those features are headed to oler pixels too.
That's to give people incentive to pick up a pixel knowing that eventually it'll keep getting improvements.
Pricing info ahead.
Pixel three starts at 799 for the 64 gigabyte model.
899 for the 128.
899 will also get you the 64 gigabyte model of the 3XL.
$999 gets you the 128.
I wish it had more storage, but them's the breaks.
Check out the full reviews at CNET.com.
Let us now talk about the Google Home Hub, it's like the Google Home with a screen.
Here's the thing, it's only 20 bucks more than the Home without a screen.
It's a smart display similar to the Lenovo smart display, and the JBL Link View.
Those two devices one a version of Android called Android things meant for internet of things devices.
Ars Technica found out Google Home Hub does not run Android things, instead it is built on Google Cast.
Ars Technica asked why would Google do this?
Google VP of Product Management [UNKNOWN] there's no particular reason.
We just felt we could bring the experience to bear with Cast.
And the experiences are the same.
We would have easily given a third-parties Cast if they wanted it, but I think most developers are comfortable using Android Things, end quote.
Yes, so that makes no sense.
There's something going on here with Google and its Hub.
9to5Google did some further digging and tied the hub to Google's Fuchsia operative system.
Fuchsia has been rumored to replace Android in the future.
That does not mean Hub runs Fuchsia, but a version of it might have at some point.
There's also a new Chromecast and a Pixel Slate Chromo-S tablet.
The Slate is really well built.
It's pricing starts at around $600 and can balloon up All the way to $1,600 before you get any accessories.
It runs Linux apps, by the way.
Next up, the Garden of Google.
So there was a security issue with Google.
It turns out there was a flaw in Google+ They exposed the personal data of up to half a million people, between 2015 and March of 2018.
Google did not disclose the vulnerability when they fix the problem in March.
Now why is that?
According to a Wall Street Journal report, the reason Google did not tell anyone about this issue was to prevent scrutiny by law makers and to avoid harm to its reputation Google said in a blog post that it found no evidence that any developer was aware of this bug, or abusing the API, and found no evidence that any Profile data was misused.
Google is planning to shut down Google Plus.
The social network will head to the great offline by the end of August 2019.
Three senators sent a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai that basically asked When did you find out about this problem, what did you to do fix it, why didn't you tell anyone about it until way later?
Are there other incidents like this that you're not telling us about?
And lastly, give us that internal memo that the journal mentioned.
There's even more government stuff.
Google's CEO Sundar Pichai sent a letter to US Senators talking about Dragonfly, the censored search engine for China.
In the letter Pachai says, We are approaching these issues deliberately, and whether we would or could release a search service in China remains unclear.
He went on to say quote, Accordingly, we are not in a position to be able to answer detailed questions, end quote.
Senator Mark Warner was none to happy with the letter.
Senator Warner said quote, I was really disappointed with Google's response to our letter.
Google owes us some honest answers, or it risks losing the trust of Congress and the public.
That is some heavy stuff.
Time to go to Comment Cove.
This is the part of the show where we shine a spotlight at the most amazing audience in the world, you guys.
2012bigperm says of the Google Home Hub No camera intentionally for privacy concerns.
LMFAO, you don't believe that do you?
It's chaper period.
Or just put a shutter over the lens.
That's a good point, I'm sure Google brought up the privacy part to make the company look good.
As for making the cheaper product, I'm sure that played a big factor two.
Luke says still sticking with my 2XL but I do hope some of these non-hardware updates come down to last years models.
Like Top Shot, Night Sight, and adjustable depth of field.
Yeah, older pixels will get plenty of software updates.
I am curious how well they will work on the older hardware.
Let's talk a little bit about that slate.
The keyboard accessory costs around $200.
Didier asks, how is that keyboard more expensive than the hub?
You know what?
I asked a Google rep the same question.
The response was something like this.
Well, they're different products.
That's all I got from them.
Thanks to everyone for writing in.
If you've enjoyed your stay in Alphabet City please like and subscribe.
Also I know we haven't covered stuff outside of Google for a while.
We will handle that in the next episode.
I'm Iyaz Akhtar, and I'll see you online.