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All Google … April 4, 2019

Google begins shutting down its failed Google+ social network

Google has officially started the process of shutting down and deleting all consumer accounts on its Google+ social network platform, bringing an end to the company’s attempt to directly compete with the likes of Facebook and Twitter. “The shutdown is underway as of this morning,” a Google spokesperson confirmed to The Verge by email on Tuesday.

THE VERGE

Google Inbox was the Gmail we desperately needed — but now it’s dead

Google Inbox, the much-loved, experimental email client that launched in 2014, is officially dead. And I am officially heartbroken.

I knew this was going to happen. We all did. It still hurts.

CNET

Spike could be your next Google Inbox substitute

Google’s email app, Inbox, (along with Google+) has gone to that great Google trashcan in the sky, but there are a number of apps out there that are eager to fill the gap, such as Spark, June.ai, and Spike. The Verge’s Chaim Gartenberg is enthusiastic about Spark, which recently added an Android app, so I thought I’d take a look at Spike, once known as Hop. It hopes to distinguish itself by presenting emails as chats. (I look forward to trying out June.ai as well in the near future.)

THE VERGE

Google Assistant launches its first celebrity voice cameo with John Legend

Google Assistant is launching its first celebrity voice cameo today, starting with the silky-smooth voice of John Legend. For a limited time, the Grammy-winning artist will sing “Happy Birthday” to you, tell you the weather, and answer questions like “Who is Chrissy Teigen?” right in your own home.

THE VERGE

Walmart partners with Google on grocery shopping via voice

Walmart will now allow its shoppers to order their groceries by voice through Google’s smart home assistant, its latest attempt to challenge Amazon’s growing dominance.

Starting this month, shoppers can add items directly to their Walmart grocery cart, according to a company blog post on Tuesday. Walmart Inc. says it can quickly identify the items customers are asking for, based on information from prior purchases with Walmart. For example, if a customer tells Google Assistant to add milk to the cart, it can make sure to add the specific milk the customer buys regularly.

CTV

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