Best Buy’s 3-Day Sale has Apple’s HomePod mini, smart TVs and more on sale

Check out the latest deals available at Best Buy, where you will find several smart speaker options, laptops, and more devices on sale

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Google Pixel 5, Pixel 4XL, OnePlus devices and more are on sale today

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We keep on getting some great savings, and today we have also found the Google Pixel 5, the OnePlus 8 Pro, and more devices on sale

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The Google Pixel 4 XL, 2020 iPad Pros and more devices are on sale

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We keep getting some amazing discounts from Amazon.com, where we find the Google Pixel 4 and last year’s iPad Pro models on sale

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Google Assistant is getting better at natural conversations and pronouncing names

Google has announced a host of improvements that are coming to its eponymous AI assistant. Starting with recognizing names and pronouncing them correctly, Google Assistant will let you teach it how the names saved in your contacts are pronounced so that it doesn’t falter the next time you tell it to call or text that person. This feature will definitely be a very convenient upgrade for the AI assistant’s abilities, as it often fails to pick up the names, especially if they’re not from an English-speaking culture.

However, Google says that whatever you teach the AI assistant about pronouncing names correctly and learning to recognize them when you utter those names, it will not be stored in a recorded form. In the early phases, this Google Assistant capability to learn the pronunciation from you will initially be limited to English, but will soon be expanded to more languages as well.

Additionally, Google is also employing a technology called Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) that will boost its natural language skills and ability to more accurately understand nuanced voice commands with proper context.

For example, when you say a slightly corrected voice command such as “Hey Google, set a timer for 5 minutes, no wait 9 minutes,” Google Assistant will no longer pick the first part of the sentence to name the timer. In this case, the alarm won’t be called ‘5 minutes, no wait’ that will ring after 9 minutes. Instead. Google Assistant will now recognize that you made a mistake while saying the voice command, and it will process it accordingly.

Additionally, it will now be able to add some element of chronology if you’ve created multiple tasks without naming them. For example, if you set two timers one after another without naming the task, Google Assistant will queue them accordingly. Now, when you say ‘Hey Google, cancel the second timer,’ the digital assistant will automatically kill the second timer without asking for its name or simply failing to comprehend and execute.

Another upgrade coming to Google’s AI assistant is called Relative Time Reference. So, if you ask the digital assistant to set an alarm for 4pm, and then follow it up with a request to move it an hour ahead, the assistant will change the alarm timing to 5pm. Earlier, the follow-up request would result in the assistant setting up a new alarm an hour later.

google assistant context

Lastly, Google Assistant will now take into account your previous question and what is being displayed on the screen to more accurately answer your query. For example, if you ask about the temperature in New York, and then follow it up with a voice command such as ‘Hey Google, show me the ten tallest buildings’ without specifying which city or country, the Assistant will automatically deduce that you were talking about New York, based on the conversation history.

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Android 12 code hints that Pixel 5a 5G will use the same chip as its predecessor

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Just a few weeks ago, amidst a barrage of confusing leaks and speculations, Google confirmed that the Pixel 5a 5G is very much real and that it will be released later this year. Leaks have already given us a good like at the phone’s design, which is almost identical to what we’ve seen on its predecessor – the Pixel 4a 5G. However, the similarities between the two phones are not just limited to their copycat aesthetics, as the upcoming Pixel 5a 5G will likely use the same Qualcomm processor as the Pixel 4a 5G.

Same chip, identical design, and familiar camera setup.

Digging into the code of Android 12 Developer Preview 3, the folks over at 9to5Google spotted the mention of a device codenamed ‘Barbet’ and a processor identified by the number ‘sm7250’ in the files. Now, the name ‘Barbet’ has popped up in multiple leaks recently and is allegedly the internal name for Google Pixel 5a 5G. As for the ‘sm7250’ code, a quick Google search reveals that it is part number for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G SoC.

Google Pixel 5a 5G
Image: OnLeaks / Voice

Now, this is the same Qualcomm SoC that keeps things running inside the Pixel 4a 5G, and the Pixel 5 too. What this means is the Pixel 5a 5G won’t be much of an upgrade in the processing department, and will adorn the same design as its predecessor too. While that might sound a bit disappointing if you were waiting for an upgrade in the SoC department, it is actually somewhat of good news in the hindsight, as the Pixel 5a 5G will definitely be significantly cheaper than the Pixel 5 but will offer the same amount of raw firepower.

And just like the Pixel 5, the upcoming Google mid-ranger will also feature a dual-camera setup at the back, most likely in a familiar wide + ultrawide configuration. There is not much else that we know about the Pixel 5a 5G’s innards at the moment, but we doubt that Google is going to make any drastic changes.

View Google Pixel 4a 5G at Best Buy

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Android 12 could use a new trick to free up space on your phone

Android is hailed to be a ‘mature’ OS when compared to its iOS counterpart. However, even the most mature have space to grow and improve. And, it looks like Google will enable a new trick to free up space on your smartphone. There is rumored to be a new feature ‘app hibernation’ that will free up storage space by deleting temporary files from unused apps. However, the feature hasn’t made an appearance in either of the two publicly available Developer Previews.

According to the folks over at XDA-Developers app hibernation feature is present in a leaked build that they obtained. It will free up storage space on your phone by deleting temporary files from unused apps. Notably, an APK teardown can predict upcoming features but it does not confirm their existence. These features are currently unimplemented in the live build and may be pulled at any time by the developers in a future build.

Google introduced “auto revoke permissions” with the release of Android 11 Developer Preview 3 that revokes an app’s permission if the app hasn’t been used for a couple of months. App hibernation is said to be building on that feature. The company seems to be expanding the “unused apps” concept with the new feature. It will not only be revoking permissions for unused apps but will also clear up temporary files to free up storage space.

The publication says it activated a new “Unused apps” section on the “App info” page for every application, and it contains a new “remove permissions and free up space” toggle. After hibernating a few apps, the “unused apps” page appeared under Settings > Apps. This page will show apps that haven’t been opened in a few months with a description that will say permissions are revoked, notifications are stopped, and temporary files are removed if an app hasn’t been used for a few months.

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