In this week’s top stories: sources reveal Google’s plans for numerous Pixel Watch bands and bands, the design of the Nothing Phone (1) is revealed, Google Maps creates a live traffic widget on Android, and more.
Our latest exclusive report on the Pixel Watch this fall indicates that the smartwatch could have at least seven different strap and strap options available. These should range from comfort-oriented fabric and stretch bands to premium options like a metal link bracelet.
It’s unclear if they’ll all launch or when, but having as many style options as possible is key for any wearable. The Pixel Watch, in particular, has a custom connector that could affect the availability of third-party options.
After teasing a “transparent” design for weeks, Nothing offered an official first look at its phone (1). In the images and videos shown, the Nothing Phone (1) has a predominantly white design under its transparent layer, accentuated with light bars.
According to the original teaser glyphs, you can see the wireless charging pad or coil with the dual camera setup at the top left. It’s hard to really call this a “transparent” design when so few internal components of the Nothing Phone (1) are actually visible. It appears that many of the internals – including the battery – are hidden behind what amounts to a white back plate with what we believe to be a glass cover.
In a blog post celebrating Android widgets, Google showcased an upcoming widget for Google Maps with local traffic information. The traffic widget will use the usual color indicators showing how busy the nearby roads are, and it will even include a button to quickly zoom in and out of the map.
The nearby traffic widget is coming to Google Maps for Android “in the coming weeks.” A similar one launched in the iOS app last year, but ‘Know Before You Go’ is broader with the ability to ‘check the latest traffic conditions, view location details, store opening hours, restaurant reviews and more’.
Researchers have unveiled a new study being conducted to see if the Pixel 4’s IR cameras — used for Face Unlock — could potentially be used to replace the expensive medical equipment used to detect Alzheimer’s disease. With a dedicated app installed, the Pixel 4’s IR camera is used to track and record your pupils during a cognitive test, mimicking the conditions of the typical medical checkup.
In a video interview with The edge, the researchers behind this project explain that our eyes are a benchmark for detecting Alzheimer’s disease, especially the pupil of your eyes. By recording your student’s response to specific tasks, researchers and scientists (or in this case an app) can identify cognitive impairment based on how your student functions during those tasks.
This week, Google announced they would be discontinuing “Conversational Actions” on smart assistant speakers and displays — the apps loaded with commands like “Hey Google, talk to Tasty.” Looking ahead, Google is encouraging developers to build those experiences through Assistant-powered “App Actions” on Android.
The disappearance that will have a little more impact is that of Smart Display games. To adapt to the Nest Hub’s screen, Conversation Actions introduced “Interactive Canvas,” so developers could build applications using both touch and voice input. This loss, including trivia puzzles and picture books, will be felt most by those who have used Smart Displays as family devices, but Google told us it’s still very much focused on use cases for kids.
The rest of this week’s top stories follow:
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