Samsung’s Foldable Phone / Tablet Is Real; Google’s Home Hub Reviewed; More in Five for Wednesday

two origami birds


Welcome to Five for Wednesday, our weekly round-up of tech-focused news.

      1. While not yet in production, the existence of Samsung’s rumored foldable phone has been confirmed. What looks like a normally-sized Android phone unfolds to become a (roughly) 7-inch tablet. If this is done and received well, look for all sorts of experimental form features for phones in the coming months.
      2. Here’s a thorough review of Google’s Home Hub, right before the holidays 🙂
      3. If you’re a Google Maps user who’s always envied some of the features of Waze, these developments should make you happy.
      4. If your office has, or wants, to improve its green profile, here’s something to aspire to: the greenest office in the world.
      5. No REALTOR® if ever going to escape email, but here’s an interesting way to tame it.

Fighting Robocalls; New Google Gear; More in Five for Wednesday

two robots talking on the phone


Welcome to Five for Wednesday, our weekly round-up of tech-focused news. Lots of Google information this week!

      1. Time will tell if Google’s new approach to fighting all those annoying robocalls to your cell phone will pay off.
      2. Not wanting Apple to dominate the product announcement headlines, Google just held their most recent product event. Here’s the important stuff you need to know.
      3. Wondering how the new Pixel Slate tablet compares to Surface and iPad tablets? Stop wondering; we’ve got you covered.
      4. This will surely interest busy REALTORS®: the creator of Android is building a phone with serious AI capabilities to (among other things) “mimic the user and automatically respond to messages on their behalf.”
      5. We’ve said it for a while: augmented reality (AR) is here to stay, and here to shake up homebuying and staging. Apple’s acquisition of several companies demonstrates a serious interest on their part.

IKEA Dreams About Autonomous Vehicles; Amazon Makes a Big Investment in Housing; More in Five for Wednesday

illustration of robot driving a truck filled with produce

      1. When is a self-driving car not a self-driving car? When it’s a self-driving meeting space, or a farmers market, or myriad other things. IKEA’s got some ideas.
      2. Amazon has made a big investment in prefab-home builder Plant Prefab, which suggests “a potential new avenue of smart home development, experimentation, and expansion.”
      3. Office 2019 for PC and Mac has been released. It’s been updated, but has fewer features than the cloud-based Office 365.
      4. Using blockchain to ensure the safety and provenance of the food we eat is really gaining traction; learn how Walmart and IBM’s partnership will help curb the spread of E. coli..
      5. The Android OS recently turned 10. Here’s a great timeline of how much it has changed since 2008.

20 Google Search Tips; 18 Outdoor Cameras; More in Five for Wednesday

text that says we're back with a smiley face


After taking a break to work on NAR’s iOi Summit, Five for Wednesday is happy to be back!

      1. Google Search has been around for a long time, but it continues to evolve. Here’s a list of 20 things you can do to make your searching more powerful.
      2. There are so many outdoor security cameras on the market, and choosing what’s right for your home can be an arduous task. CNET’s got you covered with review and commentary on 18 models.
      3. If one of the things holding you back from buying a smart watch is the cost, here’s an alternative that will cost you around $80.
      4. Need a new way to think about and describe autonomous vehicles? A “bedroom on wheels” is a new one to us.
      5. Solar technology isn’t often attractive, but that’s changing.

Google Duplex Is Real and It’s Pretty Amazing; The Best Utilities for PCs and Macs; More in Five for Wednesday

woman asking google duplex to make a dinner reservation

      1. More than a few people thought Google might be up to something sneaky when they demonstrated their human-sounding voice AI Duplex, but it’s real, it’s coming soon, and it’s amazing.
      2. Want to get more out of your computer? Tech site The Verge has great recommendations for PC users as well as for Mac users.
      3. Not sure if we’re surprised by this, but people spend almost as much time on Instagram as they do Facebook, and Snapchat isn’t far behind either. Check out what’s happened with social app traffic over the last 12 months.
      4. Google Earth can now calculate both distance and area; all you have to do is put down some anchor points.
      5. Lastly, letters in different alphabets can look identical, which makes it easier for scammers to get you to visit a phishing site. Learn more here, and be careful out there.