About the Author

Abner Li


Abner Li has worked at 9to5Google since 2015 and in late 2020 took on the role of editor-in-chief. He is keenly focused on tracking what happens at Google, and is often the first to spot new features in Google’s ever-growing family of applications that are updated on a daily basis, including SearchAssistantMapsWorkspaceAndroid, and Chrome/OS.

To him, what Google does greatly impacts the technology space and modern life. Inside the company, he is particularly interested in the key products mentioned above, as well as up-and-coming services like Google Podcasts and Google Lens. Each are massive platforms that can be unwieldy to grasp, with Abner keenly bent on understanding their philosophy and future direction. He is most excited about Google’s plans for augmented reality glasses.

Abner spearheads the APK Insight program at 9to5Google to chronicle all changes in the company’s Android apps, often finding new features before they are officially announced. This includes redesigns and revampslaunches, and new products.

Another big area of interest is Google’s burgeoning hardware division. He detailed all of the Pixel 3’s camera features before launch and got wind of Stadia’s hardware controller. Most recently, Abner scooped the 2nd-generation Nest Hub’s Soli-powered Sleep Sensing capability and how it would integrate with Google Fit.

Send tips/talk to abner@9to5mac.com or @technacity (open DMs).

September 20

Google’s iOS 15 app updates bring XL YouTube Music & Photos widgets, Focus mode support

With the launch of iOS 15 and iPad OS 15, Google announced a handful of app updates to support the latest platform features today. This includes new XL widgets, Focus mode, and Spotlight support.

August 27

Google likes headphone jacks so much it parodied Jony Ive, but not enough to put one on the Pixel 6

Google ads for Pixel phones have been all over the place as of late, and the latest one about the 5a with 5G’s headphone jack parodies old Jony Ive product videos, but seemingly without realizing its own product history.

August 24

Here’s how to officially turn on YouTube Picture-in-Picture (PiP) for iPhone right now

Back in June, Google started rolling out Picture-in-Picture support in YouTube for iPhone. It’s not widely available yet, but YouTube Premium subscribers can experimentally enable PiP in the mobile app today.

August 19

Google sees Android apps on Mac, Windows as its ‘Games Future,’ according to internal plan

Google is infamously known for starting multiple projects to accomplish what is more or less the same task. That practice extends to gaming, with court documents today revealing an Android and Google Play-focused “Games Future” that’s apparently running parallel to Stadia.

August 17

Google will not include a charger with the Pixel 6, following Apple and Samsung

Google’s next phone will be a stark departure in terms of specs, design, and cameras. We also learned today that the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro will not include a USB-C charger in the box.

August 3

Google Maps dark theme officially coming to iPhone this month

Google officially announced the Maps for Android dark mode in February and widely rolled it out a month later. The Google Maps dark theme is now officially set to arrive on iPhone and iPad in the coming weeks.

July 28

Since last year, Google has been continually updating its iPhone and iPad apps with homescreen widgets. Google Maps is now the latest with version 5.74 seeing a pair of useful iOS widgets.

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July 25

Ex-Googler explains why Chrome abandoned a redesign similar to iOS 15 Safari years ago

Apple’s mobile web browser is the main lightning rod of this year’s iOS 15 beta period and it remains to be seen whether it will actually launch in the fall. Chrome for Android tried a similar Safari on iOS 15 redesign years ago, and a designer on that project provided some interesting insight into why Google abandoned it.

July 22

Apple Music Spatial and Lossless Audio, automatic crossfade now widely rolled out on Android

Alongside WWDC 2021, Apple rolled out a bunch of features for its Music streaming service. The Lossless and Spatial Audio update, as well as other enhancements, are now available for Apple Music on Android.

July 20

Google is rolling out Chrome 92 for iOS today with a number of new user-facing features and tweaks.

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July 12

Google launches new ‘Drive for desktop’ Mac & Windows app; ‘Backup and Sync’ stops working this year

At the start of this year, Google announced that it was revamping its desktop client strategy for Drive. The new “Google Drive for desktop” that replaces “Backup and Sync” by adding automatic Google Photos upload is now appearing for some users. 

June 27

Lenovo Smart Clock 2 adds an optional wireless charging dock that’s ‘MagSafe-compatible’

The smallest-ever Assistant Smart Display was announced by Lenovo in 2019, and it’s now getting a successor with the Smart Clock 2 that adds an optional wireless charging dock. 

June 24

Google Fi brings its built-in VPN to iPhone users [Update: Now available]

For the past few years, Google’s MVNO has long offered a built-in virtual private network as part of its monthly subscription. The Google Fi VPN is now rolling out to iPhone users. 

June 23

Google Authenticator for iOS can now require Face/Touch ID before showing 2FA codes

At the end of last year, Google’s 2FA app got a big iOS update that introduced a redesign and dark theme, as well as bulk account transfers. Google Authenticator can now require Face or Touch ID confirmation before showing your codes.

June 18

YouTube for iPhone and iPad rolling out Picture-in-Picture (PiP) for Premium users worldwide

With iOS 14 last year, Apple introduced Picture-in-Picture to let you watch video in a floating window while using other tasks. The YouTube app is finally adding support for PiP on iPhone and iPad. 

June 4

‘Mythic Quest’ short story from this week’s episode published as Apple TV+ tie-in audiobook

From free pizza to AR experiences, Apple TV+ shows have had clever and thematic promotional tie-ins. The latest from Mythic Quest is for the episode that aired Friday and lets you listen to a Tears of the Anaren audiobook.

June 3

Google Search iOS widgets can now be themed with backgrounds that update daily

With the launch of iOS 14 last year, many Google apps added support for updated homescreen widgets. The Google Search widgets are now adding nice customizable backgrounds for iPhone and iPad. 

May 18

Google Fast Pair coming to BMW, Ford cars, and Beats headphones

With Fast Pair, Google made connecting Bluetooth accessories as simple as tapping a single button on your phone. At I/O 2021, Google provided an update on Fast Pair usage and announced support for new devices, including cars.

May 12

New Gmail with Google Chat rolling out for free accounts, here’s how to turn on [Updated]

Last year, Google announced that the future of Gmail will see Chat messaging and group Rooms join the existing Meet video calling integration. This is already available to enterprise Workspace users, and Google is now letting personal Gmail accounts get this “integrated workspace.”

May 10

Chrome 90 for iPhone and iPad rolling out with trio of search, Dino widgets

Last month, Google released the first Chrome for iOS update since November. However, that version just focused on delivering bug fixes as the company waited for the next major browser milestone to add new features. Chrome 90 for iPhone and iPad is now rolling out with widgets.

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