Google takes on Echo Dot with cheaper Home Mini speaker

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Google Home Mini
Google Home Mini launches this month.
Photo: Google

Getting acquainted with the powerful Google Assistant is now more affordable than ever before, thanks to the new Home Mini speaker.

It has all the power of the regular Google Home, but it’s smaller and much more affordable to take on devices like the Echo Dot. You can pre-order yours today ahead of its official launch on October 17.

Watch Google unveil its new iPhone rivals right here

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Pixel 2 XL
Google's new Pixel 2 XL will be made official today.
Photo: Evan Blass

Google’s popular Pixel smartphones turn 1 today. To celebrate the birthday, the company plans to unveil two new models that will compete with iPhone 8 and iPhone X.

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will be confirmed during a special event that kicks off at 9 a.m. Pacific today. You can watch the whole thing live right here.

Apple News publishers allowed to test Google DoubleClick ads

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Apple News
Apple News ads could be changing.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is allowing select publishers to test Google DoubleClick ads on its News platform, according to a new report.

It’s said to be part of a plan to make the News app more lucrative for publishing partners, with many disappointed with its existing monetization opportunities.

After mocking Apple, Google is also ditching headphone jack

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Pixel 2 XL
Google's new Pixel 2 XL will be made official today.
Photo: Evan Blass

Google mocked the iPhone 7’s missing headphone jack in its marketing material for the original Pixel smartphone — but it won’t be doing the same for the Pixel 2.

Just like Apple, the company has decided to remove the aging port from its latest handsets. A new leak reveals that the lineup will rely solely on USB-C for wired connectivity.

FDA fast-tracks Apple health products

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Apple Watch Series 2 will still make you stare at their wrists waiting for it to wake, when you should be watching where you are running
The FDA is easing up on digital health tools like Apple Watch.
Photo: Graham Bower / Cult of Mac

The Food and Drug Administration is making it easier for Apple and other tech companies to get health-related products out to the public faster.

Apple will be part of a new pilot program aimed at rapidly advancing the development of digital health applications. If the program works as intended, it could mean we’ll see new Apple Watch applications and other Apple-made health accessories a lot sooner.

Apple ditches Bing for Google on Siri and Spotlight

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Siri
Siri is switching to Google.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple just gave Microsoft’s search engine Bing a huge blow today by replacing it with Google on iOS and macOS.

The company previously used Bing search results as the default when users made a search query via Siri on iPhones or from Spotlight on Macs. Bing will still be around in some capacity, but it appears that the company has given in and turned back to using Google.

Bose takes on AirPods and Beats by baking in Google

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Bose
Bose's Quietcomfort 35 II wireless headphones are the start of a partnership with Google.
Photo: Bose

Apple’s AirPods and Beats headphones are getting some fresh competition from one of the biggest audio companies in the game. And they’re getting a little help from Apple’s rival, Google.

Bose unveiled two new products today. One is its first ever foray into the world of truly wireless earbuds. The other is a pair of brand new noise-canceling headphones that are also designed to work with Google Assistant.

Today in Apple history: Google comes out of beta

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Google Apple
Google and Apple were friends at first. It didn't last.
Photo: Google/Apple

September 21 Today in Apple history September 21, 1999: A little startup called Google comes out of beta, with the launch of a website that will let the general public easily search the internet for information.

To Apple, which is embracing the internet with its twin iMac G3 and iBook products, Google seems like the perfect ally. Sadly, the relationship doesn’t remain rosy for long.

Here’s how Google plans to fight iPhone 8

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Google Pixel
It's in talks to buy HTC, maker of the Pixel lineup.
Photo: Google

Google plans to step up its fight against the iPhone 8 by taking a leaf out of Apple’s playbook.

A new report claims the company is in talks to buy HTC’s struggling smartphone business, which would give it near complete control over future Pixel devices.