A bunch of 4K movies are on sale for $5 on Google Play Movies

Google Play Movies Deal

Google regularly holds deals on movies, but this week’s sale is almost too good to pass up. In addition to some hit blockbusters being discounted, Play Movies is selling some 4K films for just $5!

Below are just a handful of the 4K movies available for only $5 for a limited time:

This list of movies is just the tip of the iceberg. The Hobbit trilogy, The Shining, The Matrix, We’re The Millers, Fist Fight, and more can also be had for $5. Crazy Rich Asians is available for $10, Ready Player One is $11, and Deadpool for $15. 

Click on the button below to find the entire list of movies included in this deal from Google Play Movies. 

Google will bring free Wi-Fi to the Philippines

During its ongoing Google for Philippines conference, Google announced it will expand its Google Station program to include the Philippines.

Google Station provides free Wi-Fi hotspots to populated areas in developing countries, such as bus stations and airports. Countries in the Google Station program include India, Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, Thailand, and now, the Philippines.

In the Philippines, Google Station will go live in 50 locations by the end of February. Most of the locations will be in Manila and Quezon City, though there are plans to include under-served and additional high-density areas throughout 2019.

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Folks in the Philippines will get 30-minute sessions of free Wi-Fi. They’ll need to sign back in when the sessions end.

Google partnered with telecommunications companies PLDT and Smart Communications for the infrastructure. Google also partnered with Unilever for ads, because someone needs to foot the large bill. Unilever owns over 400 brands and primarily makes cleaning, beauty, personal care, and food products.

Deal: Verizon offers $300 off the Pixel 3 and BOGO deals for Valentine’s Day

If you were thinking of getting that special someone a smartphone for Valentine’s Day, Verizon offers a few deals on the Google Pixel 3, Samsung Galaxy Note 9, LG V40 ThinQ, and more.

Here are the deals:

The highlight deal is $300 off the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. This is not an instant discount — it’s spread out across 24 months. That said, you don’t need to add a new line or trade in a device to get the discount.

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If Google’s smartphones aren’t up your alley, buying the Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9 Plus, or Galaxy Note 9 nets you either a free second Galaxy S9 or $800 off the other two phones. Again, the discount is spread out across 24 months and you don’t need to trade in a device. You do have to activate the second phone on a new line, however.

Finally, Verizon also offers either a free LG G7 ThinQ or $750 off the LG V40 ThinQ if you buy either phone. The deals work the same as the Samsung deals.

The deals are available for a limited time. Hit up the links attached above to take advantage of these discounts.

Pixel 3 Night Sight compared to iPhone XS: it’s not really close (Update: Video)


Update, February 4, 2019 (5:32 PM ET): Google just published a brief behind-the-scenes video detailing its method for obtaining the low-light photographs discussed in the article below.

The video is reposted above if you want to check it out.

The video shows how Google mounted the Google Pixel 3 next to an iPhone XS so the camera lenses of each device were as close together as possible. It then shows how the photographers took every photo at the exact same time. The video also displays text that promises “no retouching, no filters,” which seems legit when you look at the screenshot below:

Google’s Night Sight — and the Pixel 3’s camera in general — continues to be one of the biggest selling points of the company’s latest smartphone.

Original Article, January 28, 2019 (01:28 AM ET): Night modes are all the rage in the smartphone industry, with Huawei, Google, OnePlus, and Xiaomi offering the option on their devices. Now, Google has compared the Pixel 3’s Night Sight mode to the iPhone XS in a low-light situation (seen above), and there’s a stark difference between the two.

Google’s Night Sight

Google marketing executive Marvin Chow posted the comparison on Twitter, showing “Phone X” on the left, and the Google Pixel 3 with Night Sight on the right. The tiny text on the left tells us that “Phone X” is actually the iPhone XS.

The scene, which shows a model standing in front of a neon-lit scene at night, seems ideal for the Night Sight mode. The Pixel 3 managed to deliver a brighter overall scene, clearly showing the woman’s face, clothing, and other elements. But the buildings in the background were also brighter and more detailed in Google’s photo, save for some blown-out lighting. Heck, you can even see a brighter (but not too noisy) sky in the Pixel 3 snap.

How did the iPhone fare?

Meanwhile, Apple’s phone was much darker overall, as the model seems silhouetted against the neon environment. The woman’s face is almost completely dark, and her clothing doesn’t retain the same rich color as Google’s effort.  The iPhone XS photo managed to tame the lighting in the background though, while Google prioritized the model instead. But based on the fact that we have an obvious subject in the viewfinder, I’d say Google’s phone certainly made the right decision.

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Still, I wonder whether the iPhone XS truly is that bad, almost as if the photographer adjusted exposure on the background instead (or simply didn’t tap on the subject’s face). But if there’s no foul play here, then it’s clearly a big win for Google.

Night mode is becoming one of the most important weapons in a smartphone camera’s arsenal these days, combining multiple exposures with smart algorithms. Apple’s iPhones lack this feature right now, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a future version of iOS offers this functionality. This could be a boon for older iPhones too, giving Apple’s legacy devices a welcome boost in low-light situations. But until then, the Pixel 3 seems to reign supreme when the sun goes down.

NEXT: Why Google bans ad-blockers, but is actually fine with ad-blocking browsers

Google revenue for Q4 2018 soars, but there’s a dark cloud on the horizon

A Google logo.

Alphabet just published its financial report for the fourth quarter of 2018. Google revenue soared even higher than Wall Street estimates, bringing in over $39.2 billion, representing a 22 percent increase as compared to the same quarter in 2017.

That totals $136.8 billion in revenue for 2018, up 23 percent over the whole of 2017.

Google’s revenue within each of its main segments grew in the previous quarter, including ad revenue, properties revenue, and even its “other” revenues, which includes things like Pixel devices and services like Google Cloud.

However, despite revenue beating expectations, Google stock still went down after the release of the financial report.

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The likely reasons for this are two-fold. The first reason is the fact that Google’s costs of doing business are going up. For example, traffic acquisition costs were higher this previous quarter than the same time last year. TAC refers to money Google spends to keep its top-dog status, such as the fees Google pays Apple to be the default search engine on iPhones.

The second reason — and likely the one causing the most concern — is that Google’s costs-per-click for its ad sales is going down. In fact, CPC went down 29 percent as compared to 2017 and nine percent compared to Q4 2017.

In other words, Google’s costs of running its business are going up while its competitors in the ad space are driving its margins down. That’s a bad combo.

A third, smaller reason for Wall Street to be a little nervous about Google’s report is the fact that Alphabet’s “Other Bets” category — which houses experimental projects like those stemming from Google’s X division — pulled in less money than Wall Street hoped.

There’s no question that Google’s revenue is very healthy. However, rising competition and costs-of-doing-business are making investors nervous.

NEXT: We ranked 50 failed Google products from best to worst

End of Google+ is close: No new profiles starting next week, full schedule here

If you were thinking about joining the hot new social media platform Google+ next week, we have some bad news for you: starting February 4, this coming Monday, the creation of new consumer-level Google+ profiles won’t be possible.

Google revealed the profile creation termination date in a new support article. The post also describes other notable dates coming up for the previously announced planned demise of the beleaguered consumer version of the social network.

Check out the notable dates below:

  • February 4, 2019 — You will no longer be able to create new Google+ profiles, pages, communities, or events.
  • February 4 to March 7, 2019 — The Google+ feature for website comments will be removed by Blogger on February 4 and other sites by March 7.
  • Mid-February or early March 2019 — Google+ sign-in buttons will stop working, but in some cases will be replaced by a Google sign-in button.
  • Early March 2019 — Google+ Community owners and moderators who are downloading data from their Community will gain additional access to data such as author, body, and photos for every community post in a public community.
  • April 2, 2019 — All Google+ comments on all sites will be deleted. Additionally, all Google+ accounts and pages will be shut down and Google will begin deleting content from consumer Google+ accounts. Photos and videos from Google+ in users’ Album Archive and Google+ pages will also be deleted. Photos and videos backed up in Google Photos will not be deleted.
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Google is providing plenty of ways for you to prepare for the shutdown of Google+. You can use the company’s Takeout program to back up some of your data, but Google is also providing a Google+ backup tool that will do a more thorough job. The Google+ Exporter app will export your data and keep everything nicely organized. It’s free for the most recent 3,000 posts in your Google+ profile.

It should be noted that Google+ for G Suite users isn’t going anywhere. In fact, the platform received a promise of new 2019 updates in October 2018.

While the end of Google+ is no doubt sad, especially for the small subset of users who still use it on a day-to-day basis, there’s no way around it, now: Google+ is coming to a close. It’s time to start backing up your data and moving on.

NEXT: Here lies Google+: Why it never scored (a lasting audience)

You can now use YouTube Music with your Sonos speakers

YouTube Music icon

If you’ve been waiting to use YouTube Music with your Sonos speaker, today’s your lucky day — Google announced that the music streaming service is now available to play on all Sonos speakers.

So long as you have either a YouTube Music Premium or YouTube Premium subscription, you can play your entire YouTube Music library through the Sonos Controller app. You also have access to YouTube Music’s “recommended” listening suggestions, new releases, YouTube Charts, and the “Your Mixtape” personalized playlist.

Here are the full instructions to add YouTube Music to the Sonos Controller app:

  1. Open the Sonos Controller app.
  2. Tap More from the menu on the bottom of the screen.
  3. Tap Add Music Services.
  4. Select YouTube Music > Add to Sonos.
  5. Tap I’m already a member.
  6. Tap Authorize and paste the code presented on the previous screen.
  7. Tap Next and sign in to or select your YouTube Music account.
  8. Return to the Sonos app.
  9. Enter an account and then click Done.

You’ll have to go back to the YouTube Music app if you want to search for songs and videos, however. The announcement post doesn’t mention the ability to use the standard YouTube Music app with Sonos speakers, so keep that in mind.

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Also keep in mind that you can use YouTube Music with your Sonos speaker if you have a Google Play Music subscription. YouTube Music is free to use, but you’ll need some sort of premium subscription to use it with your Sonos speaker.

On a related note, Sonos speakers already work with Google Play Music if you don’t like YouTube Music.

Soon, you might be able to use Google Duo on the web

So far, using Google Duo has been limited to smartphones, tablets, and the majority of Chromebooks. In the near future though, the Google Duo video chat service could work on your laptop or desktop computer through your internet browser.

This new rumor comes from an anonymous source speaking with 9to5Google. According to the source, the web version of Duo will work in the Google Chrome browser (naturally) as well as other competing browsers like Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari.

Since the service will be browser-based, we can assume there will be browser notifications for incoming calls and other alerts.

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However, it’s unclear how fully-functional the web version of Duo will be. For example, we don’t know if it will support the “knock knock” feature or the popular video messaging feature.

The anonymous source claims that we should see Google Duo for the web at some point in the coming weeks.

Google recently brought Messages (formerly known as Android Messages) to the web, which is one of its other consumer-focused messaging services. With Google Duo and Messages both available via a browser, it should encourage user adoption. That’s good news for Google, as other messaging services — especially those owned by Facebook, which are joining forces — are way ahead of the game.

What do you think? Will you use Google Duo on the web if and when it arrives? Let us know in the comments!

NEXT: Google Duo reaches one billion downloads

Everyone seems to be making high-end headphones except Google

Microsoft Surface Headphones Microsoft

  • Microsoft released a set of high-end wireless headphones at the end of 2018.
  • Now, both Apple and Sonos are reportedly also making premium over-ear headphones.
  • Why don’t high-end headphones made by Google exist?

In October last year, we found out that Microsoft had secretly developed a set of high-end over-the-ear headphones which eventually hit the market as Microsoft Surface Headphones. The noise-canceling cans are intended to directly compete with the industry-standards of the Bose QC35 and Sony WH-1000XM3.

Today, we’ve heard two new rumors regarding high-end headphones from major tech companies. The first is not-so-surprising, which is that premium speaker manufacturer Sonos is planning to release a set of headphones that will also likely compete with Bose’s and Sony’s flagships. Those could launch sometime in 2020.

Second, we heard a more surprising rumor, which is that Apple might be dipping its hat into the premium headphone market by releasing a pair of Apple-branded cans. This is surprising because Apple paid $3 billion for Beats in 2014 and has sold that brand’s products in its own stores and elsewhere ever since. In essence, a set of Apple headphones would place the company in competition with itself.

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Microsoft entered the ring last year, and now Sonos and Apple are likely getting into the premium headphones game, too. Meanwhile, general electronics companies like TCL are branching out into the budget and mid-tier market.

This all begets the question: where’s Google?

Granted, there are already two sets of Google headphones: the Google Pixel Buds and the Google Pixel USB-C earbuds. However, neither of these products would be considered high-end and neither have the premium aura that only over-ear, noise-canceling, totally wireless headphones can give. It also should be said that the Google Pixel Buds, in particular, didn’t get the greatest reviews.

The headphone market is crowded, yes, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping Apple. So why would it stop Google?

Google might not see any reason to get into the already-crowded premium headphone market, but this news from Apple and Sonos might force its hand, so to speak. After all, Apple’s iPhone revenue isn’t where the company would want it to be, so it needs new products to bring in new cash. If Apple makes a big push with a set of headphones that carry the Apple name, Google might have no choice but to respond if only to keep parity with the world’s most successful company.

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When you think about it, though, a set of premium Google headphones would likely do very well, especially if Google baked-in Google Assistant. And I’m not talking about having fast-access to Assistant on your phone through the headphones — I’m talking about Google Assistant working with the headphones even if your phone isn’t connected. Over-ear headphones would likely be big enough that Google could feasibly put enough hardware inside to make them kind of like a smart speaker you wear on your head.

That’s just an idea, but it does show that just because the premium headphone market is crowded doesn’t mean Google couldn’t offer something truly enticing.

What do you think? Would you buy a pair of Google-branded over-ear ‘phones if they were similarly priced to something like the Bose QC35? Let us know in the comments.

NEXT: USB-C audio is dead

Think you can spot a phish? Take Google’s fun new quiz to find out

Phishing scams are a real problem, and the number of phishing emails sent each year has been on the rise recently. To help prevent the success of phishing scammers, Google now has a quick, fun quiz anyone can take to test their skills at detecting when an email is…well…fishy.

If you want to jump right to the quiz, click the blue button below. If you want to learn more (and get some tips on how to pass with flying colors), read on before clicking over!

Phishing scams are when a scammer sends you a message — usually an email — that looks legitimate. However, links within the email take you to a false destination, usually a page that requests you to enter sensitive information like credit card numbers, passwords, etc. The scammers use this page to harvest your inputted data and then use that data to fraudulently pretend to be you.

With that in mind, this Google phishing quiz is very simple: Google presents you with email messages which are either legitimate or a phishing scam. Using the information in the example emails, you choose whether it’s real or fake. After you choose, the quiz will inform you of the correct answer and then tell you why the message is a phishing scam or not.

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As you can see from the header image of this article, I got seven of the questions right, failing on just one. I consider myself to be pretty good at phishing detection, and I must admit that this Google quiz was pretty tough.

The most efficient way to pass the quiz is to use your mouse to hover over any links in the message (long-press with your finger if you’re on mobile). Look to see if the link is secure (if it features “https” it’s secure) and also check to see if the link goes where you think it’s going to go. Pay close attention to URLs that look legit at first but are easy to spot as a fake if you read the whole thing.

Above all, don’t be discouraged if you get a low score: in fact, that’s what Google wants. The whole point of the quiz is to show people how incredibly good scammers are at creating legitimate-looking emails and present you with tools on how to spot them.

Feeling ready to try your luck? Click the button below to start your quiz! Let us know in the comments how you fare: