At CES 2019, the CEO behind this life-saving fire detector is willing to sell to Apple, Google or Amazon

At CES 2019, the CEO behind this life-saving fire detector is willing to sell to Apple, Google or Amazon
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At CES 2019, the CEO behind this life-saving fire detector is willing to sell to Apple, Google or Amazon
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You have a smoke detector in your home, and it may even be ‘smart,’ but it doesn’t actually detect fire like the Safer Alarms system we checked out at CES 2019. There’s a big difference between smoke and fire detectors, according to the CEO of the company with the same name.

“For 60 years, detectors have been detecting the derivative of fires: smoke, and it’s the smoke that kills you,” explained Marc Toland, Safer Alarms founder and CEO before going in for the hard sell. “Why risk inhalation when, with our products, you don’t have to?”

Safer Alarms, the product, starts shipping in late January and was buried in the South Hall of CES, in a small unassuming meeting room. Surrounded by booths touting copycat drones, it was a true hidden gem in the Las Vegas Convention Center.

It consists of a heat detector and a companion alarm, and works by having you stick the heat detector in the highest-risk locations in your house: near a washer and dryer, furnace, humidifier, and anywhere in the kitchen or a baby’s bedroom.

Once the temperature hits “the danger zone” aka 150 degrees F (66 C), the sensor wirelessly transmits a signal to the companion alarm located in a safe location. That’s the patent pending technology that makes Safer Alarms an intriguing product.

Inspired by safety of his own kids

“For the first time, our product allows the consumer to place this sensor in harm’s way, right where fires begin,” said Toland, who came prepared with two specific examples in his own life that anyone could relate to.

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Smart Alarms says it can be placed at the source of fires, not just in distant hallways waiting for smoke

Smart Alarms says it can be placed at the source of fires, not just in distant hallways waiting for smoke

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The heat sensor relays a wireless signal to an alarm.

The heat sensor relays a wireless signal to an alarm.

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That remote alarm keeps sounding even if the sensor melts

That remote alarm keeps sounding even if the sensor melts

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Traditional smoke detectors can melt, or have to wait for smoke to come their way. That's dangerous, says the Smarter Alarms CEO at CES 2019.

Traditional smoke detectors can melt, or have to wait for smoke to come their way. That’s dangerous, says the Smarter Alarms CEO at CES 2019.

“I’ve got an 11-year-old kid,” he said. “When she has her friends over and they have a power strip with every charger you can ever imagine plugged into it, it gets hot. So when this reaches the danger zone, and there’s an event – a fire – I’ve got it immediately.” He noted that a signal is wirelessly sent to the remote alarm, which is in a safe traditional location.

“I have a four-year-old,” said Toland, illustrating another example in his personal life. “Around her crib is a baby monitor, infrared, humidifier, dehumidifier, etc. And when I put her down for a nap and I shut the door, that traditional smoke detector is outside. So if there’s a problem is my nursery, she’s risking inhalation before I get the alarm. [With Smart Alarms], I’ve got you right at the source.” 

Why just a smoke alarm doesn’t cut it

Did you know you shouldn’t stick a smoke alarm in a laundry room, even though there are 10,000 dryer fires every year in the US alone?

“As it stands, you’re not supposed to place traditional [smoke] detectors anywhere near the potential source of a fire,” said Toland. “They get really hot really fast, and fires melt the detectors. They won’t be effective. That’s why you often see a smoke detector in the middle of the ceiling in a hallway.”

The Smart Alarms CEO promises that his remotely-located alarm transmits a signal before the sensor melts and, even when it does, he says “we’re still screaming as it goes.” It also solves the problem of humidity created by washers and dryers, which doesn’t affect a heat sensor like it can a smoke alarm.

Maybe the most convincing thing Toland mentioned was this: “Most fires happen in the walls first because of the electrical. So you don’t get that smoke billowing out because it’s in the wall and until you’re ablaze.”

The Smart Alarms CEO believes his idea also tackles false detections that leave many smoke detectors uninstalled in critical areas, like kitchens.

“About 80% of people, when they burn the toast, they take the batteries out and shove them in a drawer. Because we’re a heat sensor, you can blow cigar smoke all day long and we’ll still work. We eliminate those nuisance alarms.”

Product roadmap

Smart Alarms has three products shipping in late January, and showed us all three. The 1:1 heat detector and a companion alarm costs $69.99, while the 4:1 package with four heat detectors and a companion alarm costs $149.99. Toland, who has a Wall Street background, called this “the deal of the century.” No international pricing or release date has been announced, as Safer Alarms is just getting started in the US.

You’re three times more likely to have fire during Christmas, so Safer Alarms also has a clever Christmas tree heat sensor shaped like a Christmas ball. It’s meant to blend into your tree and ornaments with its evergreen green color, and gave Toland the chance to say, “Christmas trees tend to go up, well, like Christmas trees.” This sensor is priced at $69.99 and comes with its own companion alarm.

At CES, the Smart Alarms CEO was pitching to nationwide retailers, though he didn’t want to publicly share which at this point. You’ll recognize the names, though. He did also talk up a next-generation product when we asked if it could communicate with a smartphone one day.

“This generation does not. But we will. We’ve engineered that into this,” he said. “We will be able to do that with next-generation products in the third-quarter [of 2019].”

Fire sale: ripe for Apple, Google, Amazon and others

It’s not a question of will Smart Alarms sell. If it works as advertised, it may be: will Toland sell? The idea is already catching the attention of insurance companies.

“Insurance companies’ ears go up,” said Toland when his conversation with them went from getting people out of a house to also salvaging insured belongings. “Now we’re talking loss of property. Their ears perked right up and they said ‘We’ll mandate this.'”

The big story at CES 2019 has been the expansion of smart home gadgets, with Apple, Google, and Amazon leading the way. When we asked if he’d be interested in selling to one of these companies, it seemed to be a yes – with a caveat.

“Right now, there’s a major consolidation,” he said, citing, “Google bought Nest, Amazon bought Ring, Newell bought First Alert, and UTC purchased Kidde.”

Toland said he’d still be interested because it’s about more than money, it’s about market penetration for his life-saving product. “So yeah, I’m going to take the check, and yeah, I’m going to go away. Because what they can do is better than what I can do because they have billions of billions of dollars.

“My goal is, if you can’t beat them, join them,” he said, with some hesitation toward a worst case scenario. He doesn’t want to become “the Netscape of Microsoft. ‘Here’s a billion dollars,’ and they bury my technology. I don’t want that. This saves lives.”

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Google Assistant is Migrating to Many More Services Like Google Maps

Google Assistant is Migrating to Many More Services Like Google Maps
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Google Assistant is Migrating to Many More Services Like Google Maps
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Google Assistant is taking a big step forward at CES 2019. Google is not only partnering up with manufacturers to make more products with Google Assistant baked in, it’s also expanding Google Assistant’s reach to cover some of its own services, the first of which is Google Maps.

Previously, Google offered voice support for Google Maps, but it wasn’t nearly as sophisticated as Google Assistant. Google Assistant in Google Maps will do so much more.

Google Assistant will now let you to share your ETA with friends and family, reply to text messages, play music and podcasts, and search for places along your route. The messaging part will only work for Android with SMS, WhatsApp, Messenger, Hangouts, Viber, Telegram, Android Messages and more.

Assistant is also making its way onto a bunch of new TVs, speakers and receivers. Android TV devices with Google Assistant will have a big presence at CES with manufacturers including Sony, TCL, Philips and more.

DISH’s Hopper family of receivers will also have Google Assistant built-in as will the Sonos One and Sonos, Beam making it way easier to play your music and podcasts. Some of the older models of Sonos’ speakers will be updated to work with Assistant.

Google isn’t forgetting about the home either. Assistant now works with over 1,600 home automation brands and more than 10,000 devices, and that is only growing at CES.

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This Little Gadget Adds Google Assistant to Your Car for Cheap

This Little Gadget Adds Google Assistant to Your Car for Cheap
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This Little Gadget Adds Google Assistant to Your Car for Cheap
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You don’t need Android Auto or Apple CarPlay for a hands-free experience in your car. Anker on Tuesday introduced a tiny device that features Google Assistant integration, making your hellish commute a little less painful.

Anker’s Roav Bolt plugs into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter, making it compatible with an array of old and new vehicles. When connected, users will be able to take advantage of hands-free voice control for a variety of uses.

According to Anker, the Roav Bolt features advanced hotword support, so users can summon Google Assistant even among the noise of loud music or conversations. In addition to controlling music playback, the Roav Bolt supports hands-free calling, messaging, and navigation.

The features are especially exciting if you don’t have a modern infotainment system in your car. By adding the Roav Bolt, navigating is made that much easier, and means you no longer have to fiddle around with your phone during commutes.

The Roav Bolt also features two USB Type A ports, Bluetooth 5.0, and an auxiliary port. Anker said the Roav Bolt will be available in February for $49.

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We tried Google Assistant Interpreter Mode at CES 2019, and it’s a world-changing real-time translator

We tried Google Assistant Interpreter Mode at CES 2019, and it’s a world-changing real-time translator
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We tried Google Assistant Interpreter Mode at CES 2019, and it’s a world-changing real-time translator
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For the first time today since graduating high school, I don’t feel guilty about forgetting the years’ worth of Spanish I learned. Better, I don’t expect to feel guilty about it ever again thanks to Google Assistant.

That’s because Google Assistant is being upgraded to tackle one of the most intimidating things about traveling to a foreign country: it’s adding real-time translation to Google’s increasingly smart AI voice assistant.

I got to demo Interpreter Mode, as it’s officially called, by commanding a Google Home Hub smart speaker with a single phrase: “Okay, Google, become my Italian Interpreter.” I then had a full conversation with someone who spoke Italian, even though I don’t know uno from due – until Assistant helped me out by reciting the words in English seconds later.

Google Assistant Interpreter Mode is potentially world-changing for the future of travel: I won’t need to be bilingual in order to properly visit places and converse with locals in China, France, Italy, and so on. And there’s no need to boot up a translation app, sort through language selection dropdown menus, or spend time typing in words. It all happens automatically.

The Earth grew three times smaller

Google Assistant Interpreter Mode is like having a foreign language dictionary come to life. It was the most promising innovation I’ve seen at CES 2019. The back-and-forth conversation between myself and my fluent Italian friend felt fairly natural, even if the software did require us to repeat some sentences. For the most part it worked.

Like Google Maps has helped us navigate the world when visiting big, unfamiliar cities, Google’s new Interpreter Mode has the potential to close the gap on bilingual conversations. It’s built for travelers visiting foreign countries, and works better than the Google Pixels Buds translator.

In fact, Google demoed its real-time translation mode to me at the Caesars Palace concierge desk in Las Vegas during CES. It’s strongly hinting that a future check-in process at hotels could use Interpreter Mode to aide world travelers.

The power of Babel needs to come to your pocket

Assistant can translate between 27 different languages in real-time so far. That list will grow, but the real expansion that is needed is in device support. That’s coming, too, says Google.

Right now, Interpreter Mode works with Google Home speakers, like the Google Home Mini and Home Hub, but it’ll eventually come to more third-party speakers and even smartphones down the line, according to Google.

This is the single phrase of Spanish I remember. Sadly, Google didn't like my clearly-fake 'Spanish' accent. But others were able to get it to work just fine.

This is the single phrase of Spanish I remember. Sadly, Google didn’t like my clearly-fake ‘Spanish’ accent. But others were able to get it to work just fine.

Its eventual launch on smartphones is when this real-time-translating Interpreter Mode goes from AI with world-changing potential to a world-changing reality. You need the power of Babel in your pocket, not just when a Google Home speaker is installed at a hotel concierge desk.

My CES demo was mostly a success, though Assistant didn’t particularly care for my not-so-authentic Spanish accent when I said “Okay, Google, become my Spanish Interpreter” and asked “¿Dónde está el baño?,” or “Where is the bathroom?.” It kept translating my ‘Spanish’ to Spanish, and it proved my ability to speak Spanish is absolutely terrible. It’s now AI-verified.

Google said Interpreter Mode will work with authentic language speakers, and really, that’s the point. When I spoke English and the Google employee spoke Italian, it worked nine times out of ten – we only had to repeat phrases twice. That’s about the rate in which my Google Home Hub properly hears me when issuing normal English commands.

By the time it comes to smartphones, Google may be able to refine Interpreter Mode’s precision even further. That’s when the world may become three times smaller for the monolingual among us.

  • Check out all of TechRadar’s CES 2019 coverage. We’re live in Las Vegas to bring you all the breaking tech news and launches, plus hands-on reviews of everything from 8K TVs and foldable displays to new phones, laptops and smart home gadgets. 

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Google in 2018: a retrospective

Google in 2018: a retrospective
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Google in 2018: a retrospective
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These days, it’s impossible to look anywhere in the tech world without seeing Google’s fingerprints. This was definitely still true throughout 2018 – even Microsoft conceded to Chrome’s web browser dominance

However, with all the news that’s constantly flying around the internet about Google, it can be hard to pinpoint the year’s most pivotal moments. That’s why we’ve decided to dive into Google’s biggest moves throughout 2018 – with a bit of a look at the future, as well.

Google in 2018

Project Fi: all the networks

It was only a matter of time before Google launched its own cellular service – it’s been running Google Fiber, an internet service provider, in select cities for years now. Google Project Fi has technically been running since way back in 2015, but it blew up in a big way this past year. 

The way Project Fi works is that you’ll basically pay a flat $20 (about £15, AU$28) a month for all your regular cellular activities, like talking and texting. Then, you’re charged an extra $10 (about £8, AU$14) a month for each gigabyte of data you use. Heavy data users might notice that this would get expensive very fast, but Google put a cap on users’ bills in January, ensuring that users don’t have to pay more than $80 (about £62, AU$113) in a month.

It’s also reliable, as it essentially borrows signal from traditional carrier’s cell towers, like Sprint, T-Mobile and others. 

One of the things that has been holding Project Fi back over the last couple years has been the lack of compatible smartphones. Which is why it was such great news when, in November 2018, Project Fi opened up compatibility with Samsung and OnePlus smartphones – oh, and iPhones, too

Google in 2018

But, what about Google Fuchsia?

We’ve been on the edge of our seats anticipating Google Fuchsia for years now, and, well, it’s still not out yet. That doesn’t mean we didn’t get closer to a possible release date for the one OS to unite them all. 

Right at the beginning of the year, Google was testing the experimental OS on the Google Pixelbook, with a build that anyone could download and run. It was definitely an early version of the operating system, but it did give users an idea of what Fuchsia would look like, should it ever release. 

But, things kind of got complicated from there. Back in July, we got a report that Google was on track to launch Google Fuchsia within the next five years. But, there was a catch: neither Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Chrome and Android lead Hiroshi Lockheimer had signed off on any road map for Fuchsia’s release. Instead, the Google executives referred to Fuchsia as an “open source experiment” rather than an official project

But, because Fuchsia is an open source experiment, we kept hearing about advances made in the OS throughout the year from security implementations to the search-centric interface. Here’s to hoping all of this leads to something more concrete in 2019. 

Google in 2018

Some assistance, please

Smart speakers are everywhere these days, with Google, Amazon, Apple and more in a race to deliver the smart assistant for you and your home. In 2018, Google Assistant made waves. Google’s digital assistant was already capable of quite a lot, but after an update in October it’s capable of more than ever. 

That’s good news, because the Google Assistant is virtually on everything right now. Beyond every Android phone, it’s on everything from new smart speakers, like Marshall’s Stanmore II and Acton II to Samsung’s next line of smart TVs.

Google is launching plenty of its own devices with its AI software, too, including the Google Home Hub, which goes head to head with Amazon’s Echo Show.

Google obviously has big plans for Google Assistant, and it wants the software running on as many devices as possible. And, if we keep hearing news about plans to bring personalized news feeds to smart speakers, we can’t wait to see what Google Assistant is capable of in 2019.

Google in 2018

Pixel dense

Google doesn’t just make money by harvesting your browsing data and turning it into targeted advertisements, it also launches mobile and computing hardware. This year, we got two fantastic phones and a tablet. 

Back at its Made by Google event in October, the tech giant launched the Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL and the Google Pixel Slate

The Google Pixel 3 and its bigger cousin were the stars of the show, even if it didn’t look like a lot on paper. But, the Google Pixel 3 is more than the sum of its spec sheet, bringing an even better camera – when the Google Pixel 2 was already one of the best cameras in a smartphone. But, that’s not all – Google massively improved the camera software this time around, bringing around OLED displays, even if you’ll have to deal with a notch this time around.

Then there’s the Google Pixel Slate, Google’s answer to the Microsoft Surface Pro – but with much weaker hardware. It’s one of the first Chrome OS tablets on the market, with an optional keyboard cover that’ll set you back a whopping $199 (£189, about AU$280). Starting out with an Intel Celeron Processor, it’s by no means a powerhouse, but is does have its appeal as a media device for Google fans. We would have rather seen the Google Pixelbook 2, but, hey there’s always next year, right?

Google in 2018


Google isn’t the easiest tech company to sum up at the end of the year, as a lot of its major moves are drawn out over time, rather than the product releases. However, Google kind of got a lot done this year, even if it’s not as tangible as Apple or Microsoft. 

The search engine, long the core of its business, keeps getting better and better, and is more mobile friendly than ever. And, with its expansion into ostensibly being a cellular carrier, Google has a lot to be proud of, and we can’t wait to see where Google is going to expand next. Because, 2018 went to further prove that Google’s movements aren’t as predictable as their peers. 

And, while there wasn’t much in the way of new hardware, the new Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are genuinely some of the best phones to come out in 2018. We just wish the Google Pixel Slate could have been more impressive. There is plenty of potential for a great Chrome OS tablet, we’re just not there yet. 

Maybe in 2019 we’ll see a true follow-up to the Google Pixelbook that redefines what the best Chromebooks are capable of. We’ve been rooting for the Chromebook from the sidelines for a while now, and with the problems Microsoft is having with the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, we think there’s room for Chrome OS to steal some of the spotlight. 

This year seemed to see Google laying out a lot of groundwork for future work, and we think it’s going to cash in on this work throughout the next couple of years. We know we’re on the edge of our seats to see what becomes of Google Fuchsia.

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9 things Google Assistant can do that you may not know about

9 things Google Assistant can do that you may not know about
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9 things Google Assistant can do that you may not know about
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While Apple has Siri and Amazon has Alexa, there’s a third big player in the voice-assistant game: Google’s very own voice-activated effort, Google Assistant. 

It might not have captured the public’s imagination in the same way as its counterparts, and Alexa in particular, but it’s no less useful. In fact, there are some things this handy little tool can do that most users don’t even know it’s capable of.

So to make sure you’re making the most of your trusty voice-activated partner, we’ve gathered together nine handy but not necessarily obvious Google Assistant features that will help to make it genuinely useful in loads of situations you might not have expected.

Find your way home (and check for traffic updates)

Google assistant traffic map

Drawing on the sheer breadth of information at Google’s search engine fingertips, it’s safe to say Google Assistant has a lot of potential uses, including the ability to find the best route to a certain location.

Just say “Get me home” and it will draw information from Google Maps to show you (or tell you) the best route based on your current location. 

You can also use the voice-activated element to check traffic updates, and get the latest information on diversions and closures. This feature is especially useful if you primarily use Google Assistant on the move.

Make a shopping list… with your voice

Google Assistant shopping list

Google Assistant has been designed to assist you, after all, so it makes sense that something as mundane (yet important) as making a shopping list can be done with your voice. 

No more scrabbling for a piece of paper (only to lose it) or typing one out in your drafts – you just need to say “Add [item] to my shopping list.”

Not only does Google Assistant collate all those items into one place, it will even read back what’s on your currently saved list to ensure you haven’t left anything out, enabling you to go about your day with one less thing to worry about.

Listen to the latest news headlines

Google Assistant news

Most of us are so busy these days that even taking the time to browse the latest stories on Twitter or your chosen RSS feed can feel like a drag on your time. 

So why not use Google Assistant to read them out for you? It’s not an obvious feature, but if you say “Play the news” Assistant will start reading out stories from your preferred news sources.

You can ask it to stop, pause and play at any time, and you can even ask it to read stories from a specific source or specialist media site. If you’re running around the house trying to find your keys while grabbing a piece of toast before work, it’s a great way to keep up to date.

Control your smart home

If you’re like us and you’ve started to slowly add more and more smart devices to your home – be they thermostats, lightbulbs or ovens that preheat themselves – then you can use Google Assistant to connect you to them via a single voice-controlled hub.

Open Google Assistant, press the menu icon in the upper-right corner of the screen and select Settings. From there you can add any compatible smart devices (and many devices are compatible) that are currently active in your home. 

From Philips Hue lightbulbs to Honeywell thermostats, plenty of gadgets will respond to your voice-activated commands.

Convert money, measurements and more

Google Assistant translation

Whether you’re looking to check how many dollars you can get to the pound or wondering how many inches there are in a kilometer, you can rely on your voice-activated servant to do the math for you. 

Google Assistant can perform almost any conversion calculation, and it will read out the answer.

The same goes for translations. If you’re wondering what the word for ‘Hello’ is in Swedish, you just have to say “What’s the Swedish word for ‘hello’?” and Assistant will instantly respond with the correct answer: “Hej!”

Screen your phone calls

Google Pixel 3 XL

Tired of getting dogged with cold calls from automated messages and companies trying to sell you a dodgy service? Well, Google Assistant can help with that, too. 

If you happen to own a Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL, the voice-activated service includes a feature that will answer certain calls on your behalf.

It’s one of the many ways Google is evolving Assistant, with the Call Screen feature enabling you to leave Assistant to answer the call and even record a transcript of the conversation so you can review it later. Telemarketers, beware…

Queue up your favorite shows on Netflix

Google assistant netflix

Netflix has made its way onto most our smart devices, and whether you’re still mourning the cancellation of Daredevil or looking for a belly laugh or two with Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Google Assistant can help connect you to your favorite TV shows and films, all with voice commands.

Simply say, for example, “Play Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle on Netflix” and – as long as Netflix is set up on your Android device, you’re signed into the app and you’ve connected it up – Google Assistant will queue up the show/film and start playing it in a matter of seconds.

This is handier on a TV with Google Assistant built in than on some other devices, but it’s a simple way to call up a movie to watch on your phone too.

Check appointments and emails

Google Assistant

If you’re using Google Assistant there’s a good chance that you use some of Google’s other services, including Gmail and Google Drive, so why not use Assistant to connect to some of these apps? 

If you use Gmail as your work account, you can ask the utility to check through your emails for certain keywords, or bring up an appointment that’s been added to your Calendar app.

You can even use Google Assistant to take notes with Google Keep, should you need to jot down a quick thought or idea while you’re busy with other tasks. This feature is especially useful if you need to catch up any new emails you’ve yet to read or respond to.

Let Assistant entertain you

Google Assistant joke

Struggling to find someone to enjoy a quick game with? Want to test your grey matter while you have a few minutes to spare? Well, Google Assistant can help on both accounts by challenging you to a game of solitaire or naughts and crosses / tic-tac-toe.

It can also tell you some awful jokes or puns, and even read out an inspirational quote or message if you’re need of a little motivation – you can even ask Assistant to find something funny for you to watch by checking currently trending videos on YouTube.

  • Brought to you in association with Nokia and Android One, helping you to make more of your smartphone. You can learn more about the new Nokia 7.1 here, and you’ll find more great advice on getting the most from your phone here. 

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The big three in 2019: Apple, Google and Microsoft’s upcoming hardware year

The big three in 2019: Apple, Google and Microsoft’s upcoming hardware year
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The big three in 2019: Apple, Google and Microsoft’s upcoming hardware year
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While 2018 was a year of iterative updates, Apple, Google and Microsoft all released some of their best products yet, even if they weren’t as innovative as some would like. While many flagships went without any upgrades – we didn’t even see a new MacBook or Surface Book – devices like the MacBook Air and Surface Laptop 2 saw significant upgrades which impacted the user experience.

However, 2019 should see the big three push their hardware further than before – especially as 7nm and 10nm AMD and Intel processors become mainstream. So, what can we expect to see from Apple, Google and Microsoft throughout the next year? 

Apple in 2019

Apple’s release schedule in 2018 was all over the place. After the insanely powerful iMac Pro dropped in December 2017, we got an iPad aimed at students in March, followed by a lot of nothing. 

We were left waiting for WWDC 2018 for new MacBooks, but that show came and went without any new hardware. It wasn’t until the new MacBook Pro launched, totally under the radar in July, that we started seeing new hardware. 

We’re not sure Apple is going to follow the same kind of release schedule in 2019, but now that it became the world’s first trillion-dollar valuation company this past year, we figure Apple can basically do whatever it wants.

New Mac Pro. We’ve been anticipating the new Mac Pro for a while now, but we know its coming, and we know it’s coming in 2019. The only thing we don’t know is when in 2019 we’ll see the new Mac Pro. Apple has come out and said that the computer will be modular and upgradeable, and if the iMac Pro was any indication, we might be seeing an extremely powerful Mac – we just want to know whether it’ll look like a trash can again. 

New MacBooks. When it comes to Apple’s 2019 lineup of MacBooks, we’re not quite sure what’s going to happen. We’ll see a new MacBook Pro, that’s a given – Apple hasn’t missed an annual upgrade for its flagship professional laptop to date. However, beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess. Apple skipped the 12-inch MacBook for the new MacBook Air this year, though that laptop has more in common with the now-defunct MacBook Pro without Touch Bar. Regardless, expect to see new Intel silicon inside these laptops – Apple’s in-house computer processors are still years away. 

iPhone XI. Another year, another iPhone. Apple releasing a new iPhone is inevitable, and the rumors are already starting to roll out. It might be thinner and lighter than ever before, thanks to a new touch-integrated OLED display, and Apple might even include its own modem, making it an almost all-Apple device. Also, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Apple take another three-pronged strategy with its iPhone models this year, with two high-end models and an entry-level version alongside them. Finally, don’t expect to see a 5G iPhone in 2019: Apple will surely sit on that for a while longer.

New iPads. Apple knocked it out of the park with the iPad Pro – it can outpower many full-blown laptops, on top of the fantastic new design. With the next non-pro iPad, we can see Apple bringing over the same bezel-less design as well as FaceID, like it did with the iPhone XR. We’ve also seen rumors of a new iPad Mini arriving in 2019. We fully expect to see more drastic software improvements than hardware, as iOS needs some serious work to both remain competitive in the phones space and improve productivity for its ‘Pro’ tablets.

Google in 2019

Even if we didn’t get the Pixelbook 2, Google still had an exciting year, with products like the Pixel 3 and the Google Pixel Slate.

Google also doubled down on its Home line of smart speakers and smart-home technology – something we’re sure we’ll see more of in 2019.

However, with an arguably poor outing this year, we wonder whether Google will continue making tablets – or at the very least go back to the drawing board. Also, we’ve seen very little from Google in the home entertainment department in 2018, so perhaps we’ll revisit that in 2019.

Pixelbook 2. We wanted to see the next Pixelbook in 2018 – the original is by far one of the best Chromebooks we’ve ever used. However, Google had other plans, instead releasing the Google Pixel Slate: a sort of half-tablet half-Chromebook hybrid. 

While we’re sure the Google Pixel Slate will have its niche, we hope Google will launch a true Pixelbook 2 with 8th-generation Core processors. The Pixel Slate doesn’t set as strong of a standard for other Chrome devices as Pixelbook did, simply put.

Google Pixel 4. The Google Pixel 3 and Google Pixel 3 XL are awesome – everything from the camera to the hardware makes either two of the best phones you can buy today. Of course, we’re sure that Google is brewing the follow-ups as we speak. What’s to come in that? Rumors are nowhere to be found yet, but we’d anticipate Google doubling down on its incredibly useful camera and machine learning software, because that’s what’s selling the Pixel 3 phones more than anything.

Mid-range Pixel phones. Google has made plenty of flagship phones in its time, but we’ve seen new Pixel devices hinted at in the latest ARCore update. These rumored devices are code-named Bonito and Sargo, and just like all other Pixel phones, are named after fish. We’d love to see new Pixel phones that almost anyone can afford – especially if Google keeps that camera software intact. All in all, this would be an incredibly smart move for Google.

(Image: © Image Credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft in 2019

When it comes to hardware, it’s hard to predict what Microsoft is going to do in 2019, as its release schedule is all over the place.

However, you can bet that you’ll see new Surface devices along with Windows 10 updates. We might even see the next Xbox creep out of the woodwork 

Surface Book 3. The Surface Book 2 is still one of the best laptops on the market, even if it launched way back in October 2017. This year, however, we should see the Surface Book 3 launch, packed with Intel 9th-generation processors and Nvidia Turing graphics. If Microsoft could provide the Surface Book 3 with a 4K display and a black color option, that’d just be gravy.

Surface Pro 7. We’re putting our money on another Surface Pro launching next year, but hopefully with more drastic improvements. Microsoft followed the Surface Pro 2017 with the Surface Pro 6 this year, packing 8th-generation processors and some snazzy new color options … but that’s it, really. We’d love to see a Surface Pro 7 with even smaller bezels and USB-C connectivity for 2019.

Surface Phone. It seems like we’ve been waiting for the Surface Phone for ages, but we feel like 2019 might be the year we finally see it. The latest rumors about the Surface Phone, code-named Andromeda, point to it being a foldable smartphone, which would make it prime competition for Samsung’s similar device, also likely launching in 2019. 

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