Google app reveals improved controls for Pixel Buds

Thuy Ong, writing for The Verge:

Triple tapping would allow users to manually turn the earbuds on and off, which would be useful, given that there is no way to turn the earbuds off until they’re placed back in the case. According to the code, the in-ear detection mode places the earbuds into sleep mode when the right earbud is removed and wakes them again when you place it back. The code mimics Apple’s AirPods which already have customizable taps and automatic ear detection.

While this addresses some of the early complaints with the Pixel Buds, particularly the ability to auto-sleep when the right Bud has been removed, one issue I have with them that hasn't even been mentioned, best I can tell, is how hard it is to change the settings or see the status of them.

Currently, the settings for them are buried within the menu for the Google Assistant, which is hidden away in the Google app, unless I've missed it elsewhere. So something as simple as checking the current battery level is much more difficult than it should be. Any updates to this menu structure would be a huge help.

📱 Home sweet home (screen) ...again

I've seen a ton of iOS home screens floating around lately and it's been a few months (and one new phone) since I last shared mine, so I figured it was time to show how much things have changed.

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Jim Cheung joins Scott Snyder for Justice League relaunch

Rich Johnston, writing for Bleeding Cool:

Jim Cheung is the man to go to when revealing new line-ups of comics, it seems. Whether Marvel’s Fresh Starts or Nows – or in this case his new run with Scott Snyder on Justice League, to be relaunched with a new issue 1 to follow Snyder’s Metal and No Justice mini-series. Which is another impressive land grab for DC, pulling Cheung from Marvel’s contracts.

It's a weird feeling, as a longtime Marvel fan, to see all the artists and writers that I've grown to love over their time with the Avengers, Spider-Man, and more suddenly start doing work for DC.

I've always followed the rule that you should follow the creators whose work you enjoy rather than the characters themselves and Jim Cheung has been one of my favorite artists for the last ten or so years with his work on Young Avengers and more.

A Justice League book by Snyder and Cheung sounds like a dream, so... I guess I'm a DC fan now?

Android Wear rebranded as Wear OS?

Taylor Kerns, writing for Android Police:

Android Wear may be changing its image, according to a Reddit post by user H3x0n. Per the post, during the setup of an Android Wear watch (the post didn't specify which), H3x0n was greeted with both a new icon and an unfamiliar name for the operating system.

This makes complete sense, especially with the recent conversion from Android Pay to Google Pay. With less and less of a reliance on Android itself and more on the actual Wear app, available on both iOS and Android, the original name just doesn't hold up anymore.

My hope, as I've already mentioned, is that this isn't just a change in name but also a big change in update frequency for the platform, including a nice juicy update at I/O this year. Maybe even a Pixel watch?

We can dream.

DC Black Label confirmed, books and talent announced

Graeme McMillan, writing for THR:

“Many of our perennially best-selling, critically acclaimed books were produced when we unleashed our top talent on standalone, often out-of-continuity projects featuring our most iconic characters, a prime example being Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns,” DC Entertainment co-publisher Jim Lee explains in a statement about the new imprint. “Creating DC Black Label doubles down on our commitment to working with all-star talent and trusting them to tell epic, moving stories that only they can tell with the highest levels of creative freedom.”

This initial lineup looks great and I'm really excited to see more information and some art from these new books.

DC's really turned a corner for me since Rebirth and this new line, along with the others they've announced for younger audiences recently, shows they're really committed to delivering great stories to readers of all ages and tastes.

Black Label: DC launching a new mature readers imprint?

Rich Johnston, writing for Bleeding Cool:

So while DC Zoom and DC Ink offer comics aimed at a child and young adult audience I get the word that something called DC Black Label will feature comics aimed at adults using familiar DC characters.

I have been told to consider them as R-Rated Elseworlds, not impinging on ongoing DC Comics continuity, but reflecting it in whichever way the writers and artists choose.

This sounds amazing. I'm picturing something like Marvel's MAX line from a couple years ago but with the DC a-listers.

Android Wear at I/O 2018


Come to this session to learn about the latest developments for Android Wear, hear about new product features, and learn best practices to create Android Wear apps.

I'm really excited to see what Google has in store for Android Wear this year. Wear 2.0, even with a handful of updates, is a huge disappointment and a big step backwards from the original vision of what Android Wear could be. I'd love to see them bounce back with a strong 3.0.

Nick Spencer's merits shouldn't disappear in the wake of Secret Empire

Joshua Yehl, writing for IGN:

Spencer was the source of much controversy over the past two years as he unfolded a story where Captain America was revealed to be a secret Hydra agent. Ottley is best known for drawing Invincible with writer Robert Kirkman.

How long are we going to hang this over his head?

Spencer is also the writer of a rather excellent run of Secret Avengers, and Morning Glories, and Ant-Man, and Infinite Vacation... but, okay, let's focus the headline (and make it much more clickable by readers) on the controversial Secret Empire series he recently wrote. For clarification, the title of the article linked above is "Hydra Cap Writer Takes Over Marvel’s Spider-Man Comic".

It's worth noting that Nick Spencer isn't the only person to "blame" for Secret Empire, not that I feel like there's anything to blame anyone for anyway. As Spencer has said in the past, the concept for the story was created by Rick Remender and adapted by Spencer.

He's a capable, entertaining, celebrated writer. I'm excited to see what his grounded approach to the character will be as it's been sorely lacking lately.

Nick Spencer and Ryan Ottley confirmed for Amazing Spider-Man

Rich Johnston, writing for Bleeding Cool:

And today, Comic Book has what they call the exclusive news that Nick Spencer and Ryan Ottley are the new creative team on Amazing Spider-Man #1 from June, taking over from Dan Slott and Stuart Immonen.

Amazing news indeed. I can't wait for this.

Kirkman and Martinbrough's Thief of Thieves returns in 2018

Rich Johnston, writing for Bleeding Cool:

In a private press conference, Robert Kirkman launched and promoted his new comic book Oblivion Song. And afterwards, running through his projects and those of his Skybound company. Including that Extremity‘s Daniel Warren Johnson has a new project for Skybound. And he ended with one previously unheard revelation that yes, Thief of Thieves would be coming back soon — “that’s probably something I’m not supposed to say.” But thankfully he did.

This is great news. I've really enjoyed Thief of Thieves but, for whatever reason, it hasn't received anywhere near the attention his other titles despite the top-tier talent that's been behind it over the years.

It'll be interesting to see if Andy Diggle returns to write or if someone else picks up where he left off. I'd have to assume (and hope) that artist Shawn Martinbrough, who launched the book with Kirkman in 2012 and has been on it since then, will be returning. It certainly won't be the same if he isn't.

Looking back on the DCEU Zack Snyder era

Sonny Bunch, writing for the Washington Post:

And while “Justice League” was certainly bad — a product that reeked of overbearing corporate meddling; a movie that reportedly cost upward of $300 million to make and yet somehow looked cheap and shoddy — I’m still sad that it (reportedly) marks the end of Zack Snyder’s efforts with the DC Extended Universe. He brought a unity of vision, both ideological and aesthetic, to Warner Bros.’ effort at countering Disney’s MCU.

Unfortunately, I don't think many people, aside from the writer of this article, will miss much from most of the films Snyder has been involved with at DC.

Snyder's "unity of vision" felt rushed, and took heroes with decades of history, that people have grown up with, and placed them into uncomfortable, depressing situations. Their actions on screen didn't connect at all with the characters fans remembered from the comics or cartoons, all for seemingly no reason other than to contrast Marvel's much more bright, fun, and enjoyable films.

I'm excited to see what's next from DC, and I personally won't be sad to see this era come to an end.

Options for macOS Twitter users following official app shutdown

Chaim Gartenberg, writing for The Verge:

The official Twitter app for Mac is as good as dead. Twitter no longer offers the app for download, and it will no longer be supported in March.

So, what’s a Twitter user on a Mac to do?

I have a solid alternative for Twitter users on macOS, or any platform for that matter: consider leaving Twitter forever.

Swamp Thing Winter Special gets a second printing

Rich Johnston, writing for Bleeding Cool:

This week’s Swamp Thing Winter Special #1 has already sold out at DC Comics through Diamond Comic Distributors.

And now, a new, second printing of this Prestige Format Special is on the way, reprinting the stories by the teams of writer Tom King and artist Jason Fabok and the late writer Len Wein and artist Kelley Jones.

Given the higher price ($7.99 USD), I decided to wishlist the Swamp Thing Winter Special until a sale rolled around. However, it's hard not to want to read it now given the great reception the book has gotten.

I guarantee it's only a matter of time before I cave and just buy it at full price. I'd love to say that would be out of character but...

On comparing hardware sales numbers by Google and Apple

Ron Amadeo, writing for Ars Technica:

The IDC says Google shipped only 3.9 million Pixel phones in 2017. That's good, in that it is double the previous year's shipments. On the other hand, the IDC says Apple shipped 215.8 million iPhones in 2017, which works out to 4.15 million a week. So Apple ships more phones in a week than Google does in a year.

It's certainly worth noting that while Apple has been making the iPhone and its various successors for the better part of ten years, Google has really only been serious about moving handsets for roughly a year and a half.

This comparison is ridiculous.

An update on Dialog (#02)

I just wanted to give a brief look at some of the progress made on Dialog, a application currently in development for Android. If you're unfamiliar with the project, please see some of my previous updates.

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