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Goodbye, Google Duo

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Google Duo has become one of my most used apps in recent years. The simple interface that allows my wife and I to quickly call each other on any platform is the way we now communicate instead of via traditional phone call. We use it from phones to tablets to computers and smart displays. It’s also how I often call my mom or dad for quick chats between them and their grandson. Google is about to f*ck with that situation in the name of integration or a “single solution” that someone has been asking for.

Google announced today that Google Duo will be renamed to Google Meet later this year. Before that happens, Google is going to add a bunch of Google Meet features into Duo, to give it “power.” In other words, gone is the simplicity of Duo and in is the integrated complexity of Meet. Whew…weee hew.

OK, that’s just my initial take here. I would also understand why someone would want a single experience with more advanced features, rather than this two-app system of Duo and Meet. I just don’t use Meet unless it’s work related and actually like keeping personal and work experiences separate.

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Google Meet Taking Over Google Duo

My complaining aside, here’s the basics of what you need to know. Over the coming weeks (mid-2022), Google Duo is going to get “all the Google Meet features.” Not some, but all. Here is the list of what’s coming:

  • Customize virtual backgrounds in calls and meetings
  • Schedule meetings so everyone can join at a time that’s convenient for them
  • Use in-meeting chat for deeper engagement
  • Live share content to enable interaction with all participants on the call
  • Get real-time closed captions to better support accessibility and boost participation
  • Increase size of video calls from a current limit of 32 to 100 participants
  • Integrate with other tools, including Gmail, Google Calendar, Assistant, Messages and more

Additionally, Google Duo’s existing feature set is here to stay and your conversation histories, contacts, and messages will all continue to be saved in the app. You won’t even have a new app to download when the big name change happens.

At some point “later this year,” Google will rename Google Duo to Google Meet. And again, they are suggesting this won’t be a new download, only an update that will change the name.

If you access Duo via the web, you will still be able to use duo.google.com for now, but that will eventually redirect to meet.google.com/calling.

Make sense?

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Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro Get Major Approval Ahead of Launch

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The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro stopped through the FCC this week, marking a big step towards launch that should happen around October, if previous launches are any indicator. The filings don’t reveal much, other than supported network bands and the presence of UWB again, but they do give us model numbers to pin on each phone going forward.

There are four FCC filings of note to dip into under Google’s FCC ID. Those filings give us model numbers of GVU6C, GQML3, GP4BC, and GE2AE. After looking through several of the documents at the FCC, I’m pretty confident in saying that the first two are the Pixel 7 and the last two are the Pixel 7 Pro. The GVU6C Pixel 7 also has an alternate model number of G03Z5 alongside it, as does the Pixel 7 Pro’s GE2AE, where GFE4J can be added to its list.

To recap, we have Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro model numbers as follows:

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  • PIXEL 7: GVU6C (G03Z5)
  • PIXEL 7: GQML3 – mmW
  • PIXEL 7 PRO: GP4BC – UWB
  • PIXEL 7 PRO: GE2AE (GFE4J) – UWB, mmW

Each phone has all of the proper network bands to work well here in the US, with select models also supporting 5G mmW. The two models supporting mmW are GQML3 (Pixel 7) and GE2AE (Pixel 7 Pro). The others support sub-6 5G, just not the super speedy 5G mmW that you’ll never attach to anyway.

To tell the difference between Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro devices, we really are guessing (assuming) based on the fact that GP4BC and GE2AE have UWB or ultra-wideband support. In the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, only the Pixel 6 Pro had UWB and it looks like that’ll be the case again this year. UWB is used for short-range communications in things like luggage trackers or to help a digital car key talk to a car.

The rest of the big network stuff can be see below, where you’ll find WiFi 6E, NFC, and WPT (wireless power transfer aka wireless charging).

Pixel 7 network bands

GQML3 mmW

Pixel 7 Pro network bands

GE2AE mmW

There isn’t much else to take from this because Google already announced each phone. We’re really just waiting for them to go official, so that we can start playing with their cameras, test Google Tensor 2, and see if Google took are of all of the Pixel 6 line’s modem issues.

If you were hoping this arrival at the FCC would tell us when the Pixel 7 will launch, I’m not sure that it does. The Pixel 6 line hit the FCC in September 2021 and then arrived in October. The Pixel 6a showed up at the FCC in April 2022, was announced in May, and then didn’t ship until July.

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Verizon’s Visible Added a Sweet New Visible+ Plan

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From the day it launched back in 2018, Verizon’s Visible has had a single plan that costs just $40/mo. Visible has continued to update and upgrade the plan over the years, but that price has always stuck and it remained the only plan option for those looking at Verizon’s “all-digital wireless carrier.” Today, Visible is making a big move – we now have 2 plans.

Visible announced today that they offer two plans: Visible and Visible+. Visible is a similar offering to the old Visible plan, only now it costs $30/mo instead of $40. For Visible+, a couple of additional features and upgrades will cost you $45/mo.

So what are the differences between Visible and Visible+? I have the visual breakdown for you below, but the basics are that the regular Visible plan is going to be for those who don’t need a super speedy 5G experience and who don’t travel outside of the US much. The only network access you get is on 5G nationwide and LTE, where your connection could be slowed if in heavy trafficked areas. It still has talk and text to Mexico and Canada.

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The Visible+ plan adds unlimited calling and texting to Canada and Mexico, roaming use when in those two countries, calling from the US to 30+ other countries, texting to 200+ countries, and premium 5G connections. The “Premium Network Experience” from Visible+ means access to 5G Ultra Wideband (both mmW and C-Band) from Verizon’s network in an unlimited capacity. When on the 5G Nationwide of LTE networks, you’ll get 50GB of data to use before possibly being slowed.

Both plans also offer unlimited mobile hotspot with a 5Mbps speed cap and Spam Protection.

Visible vs. Visible+ Plans

Verizon Visible Plans

Taxes and fees are included in both prices on these plans, so you’ll pay $30 or $45 each month. Both plans are also live right away, in case you want to sign-up. Visible supports eSIM now as well, so if you were interested in trying them, you can do so without a physical SIM card.

Sign-up for Visible

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WhatsApp Testing Undo Delete Feature on Android

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WhatsApp is testing a new feature for select Android beta users, allowing folks to undo accidental message deletions.

Similar to Gmail’s feature, which lets you unsend emails within a couple seconds of sending, this function will let you un-delete messages you send tot he trash, so long as you do so within the first few seconds. To use, once you delete a message, you’ll see a floating menu pop up on the bottom of the UI. From here you can click “undo.”

Again, this is only for a few beta testers at the moment, but we can’t imagine WhatsApp won’t make it available across the board soon enough. It’s a sweet feature.

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Now I want this for Telegram.

// WABetaInfo



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