Google celebrates Independence Day with a baseball doodle game and fireworks in search

Google likes to mark occasions with search Easter eggs (like the Thanos gag for the release of Avengers: Endgame a couple months back) and doodles, and for the Fourth of July this year, it’s done both. Searching “fireworks” will fill your screen with a light show, and a baseball-themed Google doodle leads to a fun minigame.

🌟🔷🔷🔷🌟🔷🔷🔷🌟🔷🌟🔷🔷🌟🔷🔷🌟🔷🔷🔷🌟🔷🌟🔷🌟🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🌟🔷🌟🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷 Searching for 🔷🔷🌟🌟🌟🌟🔎🌟🌟🌟🌟🔷 🔷 “fireworks” 🔷 🔷🔷🔷🔷🌟🔷🌟🔷🔷🔷🔷🔷🌟🔷🌟🔷🌟🔷🔷🔷🌟🔷🔷🌟🔷🔷🌟🔷🌟🔷🌟🔷🌟🔷🌟🔷🌟
— Google (@Google) July 3, 2019

As hinted at in a tweet, virtual fireworks splash across your screen when you search for “fireworks” on desktop or mobile (a search for “Fourth of July” will cause the same). Read MoreGoogle celebrates Independence Day with a baseball doodle game and fireworks in search was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Q Beta 5 may have leaked early, showing off new 'Back Sensitivity' setting for gestures

Earlier today, a redditor claimed to have received the Android Q Beta 5 update early. At the time, a few details in the apparent leak gave us pause, but the folks at 9to5Google have seemingly confirmed that the update was legit, and a new “Back Sensitivity” setting related to Android Q’s fully gestural navigation system was discovered. It could have something to do with the gesture-related tweaks that Google revealed yesterday. Read MoreAndroid Q Beta 5 may have leaked early, showing off new ‘Back Sensitivity’ setting for gestures was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Google Pixel 3 XL international model is just $540 ($359 off) at Rakuten with coupon code

Google’s bigger flagship phone, the Pixel 3 XL, can’t be considered new anymore, but it’s still one of the best phones you can buy thanks to its stock Android software and excellent camera. The international model is currently being offered on Rakuten for just $539.95 with a promo code, making it $359 cheaper than the $899 MSRP.

The Pixel 3 XL is equipped with a 6.3″ 1440p OLED display, a Snapdragon 845, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, a 12MP rear camera, dual 8MP front cameras, and a 3,430mAh battery. Read MoreGoogle Pixel 3 XL international model is just $540 ($359 off) at Rakuten with coupon code was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

What to expect for Amazon Prime Day 2019

Amazon has been giving us our Black-Friday-in-July sales on Prime Day since just 2015, though it might feel like it has been longer. You won’t need a manual to spend money come July 15th and 16th — Prime “Day” is two days, you see — but we do have a few words of advice and some details to keep in mind before you spend any of that hard earned cash on a new phone, smart TV, or pair of headphones. Read MoreWhat to expect for Amazon Prime Day 2019 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Get two Google Nest Hubs for just $119 ($41 off) on Rakuten

Google Nest Hubs just keep getting cheaper, and cheaper, and cheaper. If you happen to need two of them, you can now get a two-pack of Nest Hubs from Rakuten for just $118.99. That’s $41 off the current price of buying two on their own from the Google Store, at the current price of $79 each.
The Nest Hub is a Google Assistant smart display, meaning it can do everything an Assistant smart speaker can do, plus a few extra tricks. Read MoreGet two Google Nest Hubs for just $119 ($41 off) on Rakuten was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp all experiencing global media outage

Every few months or so, Facebook’s servers seemingly decide to take a nap. This time around, the core services themselves (Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp) are still up, but people around the world are complaining about images and other media not being able to load.

It seems that any image or video on Facebook from more than four hours ago won’t display. Some do end up showing up after clicking on them, but that doesn’t seem to be true for all. Read MoreFacebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp all experiencing global media outage was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Firefox 68 arrives with Web Authentication support, Android Q fixes, and more

Mozilla is working on a brand new Firefox for Android, but in the meantime, version 68 of the browser is rolling out on the Play Store. This is the final feature update for the current browser, and future updates will only contain bug fixes until the rewritten browser is ready to be released.
The only major addition in this release is support for the Web Authentication API, which arrived in Chrome (and desktop Firefox) a year ago. Read MoreFirefox 68 arrives with Web Authentication support, Android Q fixes, and more was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Gboard 8.4 rolling out with taller emoji keyboard and dictionary import/export for some [APK Download]

Gboard has long become more than a simple keyboard app. It also allows you to send rich media files like GIFs, emoji, ASCII symbols, stickers, and even little Google Search cards for quick reference when chatting. So many different options to choose from threaten to make the keyboard feel overcrowded; to help alleviate that, Google is testing a taller media picker for the new Gboard 8.4 release.

As you can see in the screenshots below, the taller keyboard lets you view many more emoji, stickers, and GIFs at once, although the added space naturally comes at the expense of real estate for the rest of the screen — Google Keep looks outright cramped. Read MoreGboard 8.4 rolling out with taller emoji keyboard and dictionary import/export for some [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

The Lenovo C330, our budget Chromebook pick, is more affordable than ever at $204

Chromebooks come in all price points — from cheaply built, underpowered $100 machines, to the mighty Pixel Book, which retailed for ten times that. In the middle, there a few Chromebooks that toe the line between price and functionality — like the Lenovo C330, a recipient of the AP “Most Wanted” award and our pick for “best cheap Chromebook”, which is currently available for just $204 over at Rakuten.

We last saw the C330 drop to $250 a few months ago, and it went on sale for $220 back in February, so today’s price of $204 is the lowest we’ve seen. Read MoreThe Lenovo C330, our budget Chromebook pick, is more affordable than ever at $204 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Mobvoi teases a new smartwatch for July 10, presumably an LTE-equipped TicWatch Pro

Last month, Mobvoi published a landing page for a new LTE-equipped TicWatch Pro and promptly took it down. Not at all coincidentally, Mobvoi has just posted a 30-second video teaser of an upcoming watch slated to be unveiled July 10th. I wonder what it could be.

The teaser shows the watch with a knurled bezel and a band that appears to be silicone. Unfortunately, it still appears to have numbers on the bezel like the current TicWatch Pro. Read MoreMobvoi teases a new smartwatch for July 10, presumably an LTE-equipped TicWatch Pro was written by the awesome team at Android Police.