Google Rewind 2018: Here’s what all happened in the past ye…


2018 is almost over. There’s been a lot that’s happened in the past year. Google announced many new products, made some major changes to existing products, and shut down some products. To end 2018, let’s “rewind” by taking a look back at what all Google has been up to in the past year.

January to April

1/3: Fuchsia OS is now available for the Pixelbook
Google’s rather mysterious OS, Fuchsia OS, was made available to the Pixelbook. We still don’t even know its exact purpose, and it still remains in its infancy stage.

1/25: Google Play Books now offers audiobooks with Assistant and Cast support
Google updated its Play Books service to bring audiobooks with Google Assistant integration and casting support.

2/5: Google adds Pixel Visual Core support to major social media apps
The custom co-processor by Google, aimed at further enhancing the camera experience, could finally support social media apps, improving the picture quality.

2/20: Android Pay and Google Wallet officially get rebranded as Google Pay
Google merged both its Android Pay and Google Wallet services into a single unified payment service under the name of Google Pay.

3/8: Android P: What’s new?
Google released the first developer preview for Android Pie. It brought native notch support, better notifications management, UI changes, and much more.

3/15: Android Wear is officially now Wear OS by Google
Android Wear was rebranded as Wear OS.

3/27: Google acquires GIF sharing platform Tenor
Google acquired Tenor to improve its GIF capabilities in Google images, Gboard, and more.

3/31: Google is shutting down its URL shortener service goo.gl
After March 30, 2019, all the shortened links will continue to redirect to the intended destination; however, new short links cannot be created goo.gl. Google’s reasoning was a transition to “Firebase Dynamic Links.”

4/12: Google is finally updating the Gmail web design
Google planned to finally update the Gmail web design. It included a new loading screen, a new inbox layout, addition of smart replies, and much more.

4/20: “Chat” RCS protocol by Google could make Android Messages an iMessage competitor
In an attempt to fix Android’s messaging mess, Google shared plans on launching “Chat,” an RCS-based iMessage alternative.

May to August

5/8: Recap: Here’s what was announced at Google I/O 2018
Google wrapped up I/O on May 8th. They announced smart compose in Gmail, Google Duplex, Google News, and Android P.

5/16: What’s really going on with the new YouTube Music, and how will it affect existing users?
Google announced new YouTube subscription services—YouTube Premium and YouTube Music Premium—and a brand new YouTube Music app, confusing many Google Play Music subscribers.

5/17: Google introduces Google One, a new plan for cloud storage
Google introduced Google One—a new, plan for cloud storage replacing the old Google Drive plans. It offers plans all the way from 100GB to 30TB.

6/18: Android Messages for web is going live
Google finally launched a web client for its text-messaging app.

6/30: Google rebrands its advertising suite in favor of more straightforward names
Google Ads, Google Marketing Platform, and Google Ad Manager are the new names.

7/18: Google CEO hits back at EU €4.3 billion fine in scathing blog post
The EU had slapped a €4.3 billion fine on Google, saying they abused their position in the handset market by indulging in unfair practices. Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, refuted the claims made by the EU, detailing why he felt that the ruling was incorrect.

8/6: Android 9 Pie is here
Google released Android Pie to the public. Obviously, the Pixel lineup got it on day one. Essential rolled it out to the PH-1 just 12 minutes after Google.

8/22: Google Fit gets a material refresh and some new features
Google updated Fit with a redesign and two new features: move minutes and heart points.

September to December

9/5: Google Chrome turns 10 years old with v69, redesigned with Material Theme
Google Chrome turned 10 years old, and Google gave it a shiny new revamp head to toe.

9/13: Inbox by Gmail to be discontinued in March 2019
More product shutdowns from Google.

9/15: Google accidentally remotely turned on battery saver for many Android Pie devices
Users running Android Pie found battery saver to have randomly switched on. Google had rolled out an internal experiment to test battery saving features which it mistakenly rolled out to more users than intended.

9/19: Google teams up with Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi to run Android on their future cars
Starting in 2021, Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi will completely replace the vehicle’s normal stock interface with Android Automotive.

9/20: Google Keep app being renamed to ‘Keep Notes’
Google changed the name of its note-taking app “Keep” to “Keep Notes” to clarify that Keep is about notes.

10/8: Google+ for consumers is officially being killed after a privacy breach
Citing a security breach, Google said they would shut down their social media network in 2019.

10/9: Recap: Here’s all the new hardware Google announced today
Google held its ‘Made by Google’ hardware event and announced the Google Home Hub, Pixel Slate, 3rd gen Chromecast, and, after tons of leaks, the Pixel 3 and 3 XL.

10/9: Google Assistant will screen spam calls on the Pixel 3 
Using Google’s Duplex technology, Google announced call screening: the Google Assistant can answer a call and transcribe the response in real time. It rolled out to only the Pixel family.

10/16: Android, Chrome, and Search splitting up in Europe to comply with regulations
Google announced big changes to Android in Europe due to the EU fine, including a license fee for OEMs to bundle certain Google apps.

10/21: Some Pixel 3 and 3 XL users are experiencing widespread software issues
The Pixel 3 and 3 XL had its own share of widespread software issues. Some of them have been fixed, while the others, Google says, are by design.

11/5: Android turns 11 today
Android celebrated its 11th anniversary of when the first Android beta to the public.

11/28: Project Fi is rebranded as Google Fi
Google’s wireless carrier is rebranded and adds support for iPhones and more Android phones.

12/5: Google confirms Allo will be killed, Hangouts Chat and Meet will work for consumers
In another attempt Android’s messaging mess, Google went ahead and published a blog post detailing its future plans in the messaging space, particularly with Messages, Duo, Allo, and Hangouts.

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