Pixel Watch straps and the Nothing design Phone (1) are among the best stories

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After weeks of teasing a “transparent” design, Nothing offered an official first look at its Phone (1). In the images and videos shown, the Nothing Phone (1) features a primarily white design under its transparent layer, accentuated with light bars. As per the original teaser glyphs, you can see the wireless charging pad or coil with the upper-left dual camera setup. It’s hard to truly call this a “transparent” design when so few of the internal components of the Nothing Phone (1) are actually visible. It appears that many of the internals — including the battery — are kept hidden behind what amounts to a white backplate with what we believe is a glass covering atop.

Sources disclose Google’s intentions for a variety of Pixel Watch bands and straps, the design of the Nothing Phone (1) is revealed, Google Maps develops a live traffic widget for Android, and more in this week’s top news. According to our most recent exclusive report on the Pixel Watch, the wristwatch might come with at least seven distinct band and strap options. These should include anything from soft fabrics and elastic bands to more expensive ones like a silver link bracelet. It’s unclear when or if they’ll all be available, but having as many style options as possible right away is crucial for any wearable. The Pixel Watch, in instance, features a proprietary connection that may limit third-party possibilities.

Highlights

  • Researchers have unveiled a new study being performed to see if the Pixel 4’s IR cameras — used for Face Unlock — can potentially be used to replace the costly medical equipment used to detect Alzheimer’s. With a special app installed, the Pixel 4’s IR camera is used to track and record your pupils during a cognitive test, recreating the conditions of the typical medical check. In a video interview with The Verge, the researchers behind this project explain that our eyes are a metric for detecting Alzheimer’s, and specifically the pupil of your eyes. A recording of your pupil’s response to specific tasks allows researchers and scientists (or in this case, an app) to identify cognitive impairments based on how your pupil functions during those tasks.

  • In a blog post celebrating Android widgets, Google showcased an upcoming widget for Google Maps with local traffic information. The traffic widget will use the usual color indicators of how congested the nearby roads are, and it will even feature a button to quickly zoom in and out on the map. The nearby traffic widget is coming to Google Maps for Android “in the coming weeks.” A similar one launched in the iOS app last year, but “Know before you go” is broader with the ability to “Check latest traffic conditions, see location details, store opening times, restaurant reviews, and more.”

The disappearance that’s going to be slightly more impactful is that of Smart Display games. To adapt to the Nest Hub’s screen, Conversation Actions introduced “Interactive Canvas” so developers could build applications with both touch and voice input. This loss, including trivia puzzles and picture books, will be most felt by those that leveraged Smart Displays as family devices, but Google told us that it’s still very much focused on use cases for children.

This week, Google announced that they would be discontinuing “Conversational Actions” in on Assistant smart speakers and displays — the apps loaded with commands like “Hey Google, talk to Tasty.” Looking ahead, Google is encouraging developers to build those experiences through Assistant-powered “App Actions” on Android.

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