Plus a cool new trick to try in Chrome
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Android Intelligence
 
 
IN THIS ISSUE:
 
  The Latest Android Intelligence: Assistant additions worth watching and Android 10's privacy-reclaiming powers
  3 Things to Know This Week: Pixel 4 clues, new Chrome tricks, and fresh Photos features
  Tips o’ the Week: Gmail's newest hidden feature and a worthwhile way to optimize your phone
  Test Your Knowledge: A Pixel dessert puzzler
  Plus the easiest upgrade you'll ever perform — "more RAMs, please!"
 
 
 A Word of Welcome

Boy, I sure know how to plan 'em, eh?

 

In case you didn't notice, I was oh-so-conveniently offline and on vacation last week when Google had the audacity (HOW DARE IT!) to drop Android 10 into the world. I'd planned the week off a while back, thinking that'd be a fine time to squeeze in a quick family trip. After all, Android 10 looked to be on track to launch in August. And the week of Labor Day in the U.S. seemed like a reasonable bet for relative quiet.

 

Yeah. So much for that.

 

My main saving grace? The fact that Android 10's debut didn't hold any huge surprises. With the months-long public beta program, we pretty much know all there is to know about an Android version well before its official launch these days. And so by the time the software actually drops, there's really not much left to say about the basics.

 

We'll still have plenty to think through in the weeks and months ahead, but it's less now about what Android 10 is and more about how we can make the most of it. And, of course, we'll have no shortage of other Googley subjects to mull over at the same time.

 

And maybe, just maybe, I'll manage to avoid scheduling my next week off at the same time as a major mobile-tech announcement. No promises.

 
JR
[email protected]
 
 
INSIGHT
 The Latest Android Intelligence
 
4 Google Assistant Additions Worth Watching

 The Short Version: A series of upcoming Assistant improvements could make Google's virtual helper infinitely more helpful.

 

 Know More: Assistant gets new abilities all the time, but these four expansions — including a Google-Now-reminiscent Ambient Mode and a crazy-sounding call-holding feature — really jump out at me as having the potential to collectively catapult the service's utility to some impressive new heights.

 

 Read more: The full column is here.

 
 
How to Take Full Advantage of Android 10's Privacy-Reclaiming Powers

 The Short Version: Aside from the prominent front-facing features, Android 10 has some pretty important under-the-hood improvements — and one of them requires a touch of your attention to reach its full potential.

 

 Know More: Google's latest Android version introduces a more nuanced way to control how and when apps are able to access your physical location, but it's up to you to revisit the permission for any apps that were on your phone prior to the upgrade's arrival. Whether you have Android 10 already or are looking forward to seeing it in the future, these steps are worth remembering.

 

 Read more: The full column is here.

PERSPECTIVE
 3 Things to Know This Week
 
1. The Pixel 4 is slowly coming into focus

 The Short Version: A series of new leaks shows off the next Google flagship phone in all its glory — and gives us a pretty good idea of when it might arrive.

 

 Know more: For whatever reason, YouTubers in Vietnam seem to be having an incredibly easy time getting their hands on the next-gen Pixel right now — and they're not being shy about showing off their short-lived claim to fame. Videos showing what very much appear to be the Pixel 4 illustrate the phone's expected face unlock feature and at least some of what the device's radar chip system will let you do in terms of gesture control, while a separate leak from a typically reliable source shows a render of the phone with "October 15" featured as the date on its lock screen. While nothing is ever certain until its official, that sure seems like a strong indication October 15th could be the day Google's hardware event takes place — and the day the new Pixel and its fellow devices finally make their way into the world.

 

 Read more: You can find a rundown of the various videos here and info about the October 15th tidbit here.

 
 
2. Chrome's getting a couple nifty new tricks

 The Short Version: A new feature rolling out to Chrome right now makes it super-simple to send links between your devices, while a feature currently under development will soon let you share text from one device to another in a similar manner.

 

 Know more: The link-sharing option should be showing up on all your devices any moment now, if it isn't there already; just right-click to find it on the desktop or use the "Share" command in the main menu on Android. The text-sharing option is what I'm really excited about, though. I've long used third-party tools to let me copy text on my Android phone and then paste it onto my desktop computer a second later — and vice-versa. But Android 10's privacy changes prevent such tools from functioning properly. Well, here's the fix: While it isn't exactly the same thing, Chrome's new text-sharing feature will essentially allow you to maintain a shared clipboard across multiple devices. And lemme tell ya: If you move back and forth between a phone and desktop as often as I do, that sort of added connection can be incredibly handy. The feature's currently slated to roll out at the end of October.

 

 Read more: Info about the link-sharing option is here, while an early walkthrough of the under-development text-sharing feature is over here.

 
 
3. Photos has a few (somewhat) noteworthy new features

 The Short Version: Google Photos is gaining a native same-day print-ordering function along with a new Memories feature and an expanded system for in-app sharing.

 

 Know more: Simple photo-printing is something that's long been missing in Photos, and now, that absence is being addressed — in the U.S., at least. Starting this week, Google is adding an option to order same-day 4x6 prints at any CVS or Walmart directly from the Photos app or website. Finally, right?! (And sorry, international pals. With any luck, you'll be next.) The Memories feature, meanwhile, is basically just a retooled version of Photos' existing "Rediscover this day" feature, only moved atop the main gallery tab and made to look suspiciously like Instagram Stories. As for the sharing bit, when you share an image or video with someone within the Photos app, it'll soon become part of an ongoing message thread between you and that person. So, yes: Google has effectively just turned Photos into Yet Another Messaging Platform™. Yippee?

 

 Read more: All the details about the new Photos features are in this official announcement.

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Productivity
 Tips o' the Week
 
Try out Gmail's newest hidden feature

The Android Gmail app quietly gained a hidden feature this week — and if you have multiple Google accounts connected to your phone, it might just become your new favorite shortcut.

 

See that little circle in the upper-right corner of the inbox, with your smiling face inside of it? (Or if you don't have a profile photo on your account, it probably shows the first letter of your name instead.) Swipe down on that.

 

Provided you've got the Gmail app update that rolled out this week, that'll switch you right to the next account on your phone and let you view its inbox without having to futz around with multiple taps and menus like you used to. Pretty handy, no?

 
 
Stop letting your phone waste mobile data

Artificial intelligence can be fantastic, but sometimes, our mobile devices try to do a little too much thinking on their own. To wit: By default, your phone does all sorts of stuff that burns through mobile data — even when you're not actively using it — and that in turn uses up your battery life and often even drives up the cost of your monthly mobile service bill.

 

Some of that stuff is beneficial, but the truth is that much of it has little to no benefit for you. The good news, though: All it takes is a teensy bit of tinkering to turn it all off and turn down your mobile data consumption. There's really no reason not to do it.

 

Follow my newly revised guide to cutting back on needless data use in Android, and get ready for a whole new kind of mobile-tech optimization.

Quiz Time
 Test Your Knowledge
 
What version of Android did the very first Pixel phone ship with?

Right-o! The first-gen Pixel was the first phone to ship with the Android 7.1 version of Nougat, which was just a minor update from the 7.0 version released earlier that same year. D'oh! Wrong answer. Try again.

 Test your friends (and/or ficuses)

This interactive quiz is optimized for Gmail on Android or the web. If you're using another mail client and nothing's happening when you click or tap a choice, don't despair: You can find the right answer at the bottom of this email.

 

If the quiz isn't appearing correctly at all for you (hi, Windows Outlook/Mail users!), open this issue in your browser instead. It'll work A-OK there.

Know someone else who might enjoy this issue?

 

https://androidintel.net/091319

 

FORWARD IT TO A FRIEND

 And Just For Funsies...
 

I'm assuming this website has been around for a while, but I somehow just stumbled onto it for the first time a few days ago — and man, am I delighted that I did.

 

It's called DownloadMoreRAM.com, and its purpose? Why, to download more RAM, of course.

 

All you do is select how many of the RAMs you want, click a button, wait a few seconds, and....presto-change-o: Your life is complete.

 

It's so unbelievably stupid. And so impossibly brilliant.

 

 

It's also the perfect thing to send to your favorite pain-in-the-ass complainer tech support dependent, with or without a winky-face emoji attached.

 

You're welcome.

 
Later, Gator

Hope it's been a peach of a week for you and yours. I'll see ya right back here next week for even more tech-tinged fun — and/or horror, depending on how the week goes.

 

Time now for nachos. Cheerio.

Thoughts
JR

The answer to this week's quiz is: Nougat

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