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Weekly Update - September 12, 2020: Android 11, Fundo, Meet

This has been a terrible week here on the West Coast of the US, with record heat, raging wildfires and heavy smoke blanketing the region. Fellow West Coasters, I hope you are safe!

This week Android 11 is finally available. This would have been version “R” under the old naming system - maybe in another universe it’s Rainbow Sherbet, Rock Candy or Red Velvet Cake.

Also new this week: the new Fundo creator event platform, collaborative playlists in YouTube Music, a new look for the Meet mobile app and more


YouTube and Video

  • Fundo is a virtual platform that lets creators easily run paid workshops, meet-and-greets, and Q&A sessions with their fans developed by Google’s Area 120. It’s designed with YouTubers in mind, and it’s now available to all creators in the US and Canada with a Google account. The platform is free to use, but Fundo takes a 20% cut from each ticket sold. Check out the upcoming featured events.
  • YouTube Music is getting social. You can create collaborative playlists with your friends and browse other listeners’ public music playlists and uploaded music videos from their profile page on YouTube Music. That’s in addition to automatically created personalized playlists, and playlists by mood and genre.

Photos in the Cloud

  • The US Library of Congress and Flickr are working together to collect photos documenting the Covid 19 experience in the US.
  • Engineer Marc Levoy, who formerly led the team that developed computational photography technologies for the Pixel phone, was interviewed by Nilay Patel at the Verge. The discussed the Pixel smartphone photography and his current work at Adobe developing a universal camera app. An interesting tidbit: the look of Pixel photos was inspired, in part, by the paintings of Caravaggio (with “dark shadows”). And that is part of the larger discussion of creative choices in the typical “look” of photos taken with different phone models..

Blogger & Webmasters

  • There are changes to the new Blogger interface: You can now use Shift+Enter to insert “<br>” line breaks in the HTML post editor. And now post labels are visible in the post editor even when the label side panel is closed. Coming soon: drag and drop images and videos into the Compose editor, and resize images by dragging the edges or corners.
  • Danny Sullivan, Google’s Public Liaison for Search has a new article explaining the steps Google takes to deliver reliable information in the search results. They work with experts and authoritative organizations to make sure correct information appears about health conditions, elections and other government functions and other important topics. And they also display fact checks in News, Search and Google Images.
  • Google is also working on improving their systems to handle breaking news and crises, both by quickly detecting such events (which I suspect is rivals intelligence agencies), and by setting up systems to make sure they aren’t showing incorrect information in the Knowledge Panels in the search results. That includes providing tools for Wikipedia editors to detect vandalism and review content (which, in turn, makes it more likely the Google Search Knowledge Panel details have correct information). There’s more information for businesses that would like to implement this feature.
  • Bing Webmaster Tools has a new URL inspection tool. The tool will show crawling issues, index status, SEO errors and MarkUp info, plus any issues preventing the link from shoing in the Bing search results.




That’s all the updates for this week. Subscribe to get the Weekly Update in your email inbox or favorite feed reader every week. Miss last week’s update? Get it here.

Image by stokpic from Pixabay. Free for commercial use.


  1. So many interesting updates this week. Thanks Peggy. I'm enjoying Android 11 on my Pixel 3XL. Question about Verified Calls and SMS: is there a submission process for businesses to get their own numbers verified?


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