Google’s 2nd-generation Assistant headphones went on sale in nine countries today as part of the international launch. Next month will see more colors become available, as well as a Feature Drop-level update for Pixel Buds that adds new features and fixes audio cutouts.
Not counting a day one, out-of-the-box upgrade, there have been two firmware releases since launch for the Pixel Buds. The first did not introduce any noticeable changes, while the latest one addressed audio hissing. Besides patches, Google plans on introducing “new helpful features over time” for its Assistant headphones that are analogous to Pixel phone Feature Drops.
That first major update is set for “late August,” though Google wearable head Sandeep Waraich did not specify what functionality is coming in an interview with Forbes:
Our next release will have a combination of new featuresand then we’ll also have performance improvements in terms of more stability coming into the product.”
We previously spotted work on “attention alerts” that could detect smoke alarms, barking and crying, while Google previously said that headphones will appear in the Find My Device app.
Meanwhile, the company last month committed to implementing the following Pixel Buds fixes:
- Decrease instances of phone call cut outs
- Improve autorecovery when one or both earbuds lose connection
- Improve media playback stability for phones that have software audio encoding
Waraich pins the primary issue of audio cutouts to the nature of Bluetooth and the physical design of truly wireless earbuds (TWEs) constraining antenna size. That said, he does acknowledge “corner cases” and that Google is planning to address them:
It could be corner cases where it’s just a certain things would trigger the buds to crash.
Microsoft’s Surface Duo arrives on September 10th for $1,399 – The Verge
Microsoft is launching its Surface Duo Android phone for $1,399 on September 10th. Preoders start on August 12th, and the dual-screen device will be available in the US only at launch.
Microsoft is launching its Surface Duo dual-screen Android phone on September 10th, priced from $1,399. After months of Microsoft executives teasing the device on Twitter, the company is now allowing anyone to preorder the Surface Duo today in the US. Preorders will be available at AT&T, Microsofts online store, and Best Buy.
While Microsoft had revealed the design of the Surface Duo back in October, the company has kept the specs relatively secret. The device includes two separate 5.6-inch…
High Score review: Netflix’s story of gaming’s “golden age” is honestly solid – Ars Technica
The good outweighs the bad, though weird interview choices add unfortunate bloat.
Enlarge/ The series’ title is silly, but it’s actually such a good series that we found ourselves nitpicking its faults instead of feeling entirely embarrassed by it. In the gaming-media world, we’ll call that progress.
15 with 13 posters participating
We at Ars Technica’s gaming section are flattered by High Score, the newest docu-series launching August 19 on Netflix. The easiest way to describe this gaming-centric interview series, split into six 40-minute episodes, is to give a shoutout ou…
Halo Infinite Delayed — How The Internet Reacted To The Big Xbox Series X News – GameSpot
Halo Infinite has been delayed to 2021–here’s what people had to say about it.
Microsoft’s marquee Xbox Series X launch title, Halo Infinite, has been delayed to 2021. Developer 343 Industries said the shift to a work-from-home environment was one part of the reason behind the delay, and that it will give the team the time to “deliver a Halo game experience that meets our vision.”
Needless to say, the internet had a lot to say about the delay, and we’re rounding up some of the hot takes people have put out on social media.
Halo Infinite is now scheduled for release in 20…
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