Home Mobile Android 15 goes public, Chrome goes paid, and Google’s AI goes free in this week’s news

Android 15 goes public, Chrome goes paid, and Google’s AI goes free in this week’s news

Google kills products so frequently that you can’t help but wonder where they’re all coming from in the first place — the answer is death life by a thousand cuts, because the faucet of new services never really stops dripping. Speaking of, the AI features have been flowing like water lately, and that applies to more than just Google, as Samsung’s Galaxy AI keeps spreading to extra devices and languages. Meanwhile, there’s a new paid version of Chrome and a free version of Magic Editor, so there’s a hearty helping of both yin and yang in this week’s top five Android stories.

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Android 15 goes public

We’ve been tracking Android 15 ever since the first developer preview came out in February, but things are finally starting to get serious for the OS update due out in late summer. On Thursday, Google finally rolled out Android 15 Beta 1, allowing anyone with a supported Pixel device to simply opt into the program to start testing the new version.

While Google didn’t share much about user-facing changes in the new version, we’ve already found plenty. And this week, even more Android 15 features were discovered. For one, you can now easily set a new default wallet app, a huge improvement from the old way of having to drill down deep into an obscure settings menu. The lock screen widgets we saw in development look to be coming in the new version, but they’re apparently for tablets only. One feature both tablet and phone users should enjoy, however, is a new Google Home screensaver mode of sorts that lets you control your smart home while your Android device is charging.

Main Story

Android 15 Beta 1 is here, but many details are still under wraps

Google wants us to stay tuned for more user-facing changes at Google I/O

Google’s killing spree continues

On Thursday, Google started sending out emails to Google One subscribers informing them that the service’s VPN will be discontinued “later this year.” The Google One VPN service will continue to be available to Pixel users — specifically, Pixel 7 and newer — but paying Google One customers will lose the key benefit in the near future.

But the circle of life keeps on spinning, as Google introduced a new product just days before announcing its VPN’s death. Google Vids is an AI-powered tool that can help Workspace users create video presentations, complete with voiceovers — think of it like a souped-up PowerPoint slideshow on auto-advance. Out with the old, in with the new, as Google always says — at least through its actions.

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Google One will kill its VPN service later this year

Pixel users will remain unaffected by this change

Chrome goes paid

Google’s Chrome division pays its bills with telemetry data, ad dollars, and by paving a smooth path to other Google products and services. But a new revenue stream is on the way, as Google has introduced Chrome Enterprise Premium, with plans costing as much as $6 per user per month. As the name suggests, it’s largely targeted at businesses, with additional security tools and monitoring being the main reasons for the monthly subscription fee. But if things like deep malware scanning and data loss recovery are of value to you, Chrome’s new plan might be a good fit.

Main Story

Google is launching a paid version of Chrome

Enterprise Premium users will get extra security against malware and phishing

Google Photos Magic Editor goes free

Perhaps the single biggest news story this week is the fact that Google’s AI Magic Editor is coming to all phones, tablets, and Chromebooks for free. The feature originally debuted as a Pixel 8 exclusive to drive sales of Google’s newest flagships, but the company is lifting this restriction and making the tool available to all Google Photos users on mobile.

The company is even making the tool available to all of its Pixel devices, not just the 8 series. But there’s a catch: while Pixel users get unlimited access to Magic Editor, people on iOS, ChromeOS, and other Android devices only get 10 saves with the generative AI-powered tool each month — anything extra will require a Google One subscription. Meanwhile, other Pixel-exclusive AI photo tools like Magic Eraser, Photo Unblur, and Portrait Light, are coming to all Google Photos users, no strings attached.

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Google’s AI Magic Editor is coming to all devices for free, but there’s a catch

Pixel users get full access, but everyone else only gets 10 saves

Galaxy AI keeps spreading

Some mocked it at the start, but it seems like Samsung’s got a hit on its hands with Galaxy AI, if sales data is any indication. What started as an incentive to upgrade to the Galaxy S24 series has slowly become a Samsung staple, as Galaxy AI is being made available in seven new languages and multiple additional dialects.

We had even seen the features make their way to Samsung’s 2023 Galaxy flagships courtesy of the One UI 6.1 update last month, and now, Galaxy AI is headed to phones and foldables from 2022 as well. There’s no telling where the Korean manufacturer will draw the line, but with any luck, we might even see it on the Galaxy S20 series at some point, considering Samsung has extended software support past its promised timeline for those models.

Main Story

The Galaxy S24’s AI features are coming to Samsung’s 2022 flagships

The One UI 6.1 update will arrive for Samsung’s 2022 flagships in early May



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