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Google’s January 2022 Pixel security update is now live

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Google is in the process of releasing a much-anticipated update for Pixel 6 phones. Earlier today, Android expert Mishaal Rahman noted that Google posted OTA and factory images to its developer site for the January 2022 patch. That means anyone can sideload the update to their Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro now, and the official over-the-air update has already arrived on some devices (including some owned by Verge staff).

In an email, Google confirmed the rollout has begun, and that the software will automatically roll out over the next week, depending on your device and wireless carrier.

Using the phones’ built-in checker may start the process now, and if it doesn’t, sideloading is still an option. However, waiting for the regular rollout instead of doing a manual install may be the best way to go, given the trouble caused by December’s update.

This patch includes numerous bug fixes and a few new features that Pixel 6 owners have been anxiously awaiting. It’s supposed to tweak the fingerprint sensor, camera, and support 23W wireless charging with the second-generation Pixel Stand. On the Pixel 6 Pro, you can use its ultra-wideband chip for digital car key access to compatible BMWs. This update also adds the “Quick Tap to Snap” integration that Google and Snapchat touted during the devices’ launch event and new bass controls for the Pixel Buds A-Series.

Google originally intended to ship those features in the December update but halted and ultimately removed the files from its site when users complained of connectivity troubles after installing the patch. Google says that the January update has fixes for those bugs, and includes the December update’s fixes to address bugs that have driven at least one well-known Pixel 6 user to ditch the phone entirely.

With the images public and one Canadian telecom company citing Monday, January 17th for the release, we thought the patch would arrive next week, but it’s already here. That’s none too soon for people who bought the Pixel 6 or 6 Pro expecting to get a premium device. While the hardware is truly flagship-level, the software experience hasn’t always been smooth.

Update January 14th, 4:30PM ET: Updated to reflect that the update is rolling out now.

Update January 14th, 4:55PM ET: Updated to note Google’s confirmation of the update, and that it includes both the December and January changes.





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YouTube considers jumping on the NFT bandwagon

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YouTube is the latest platform eyeing a move into NFTs. In a new letter to creators about YouTube’s 2022 priorities, CEO Susan Wojicki said the company is exploring how its creators could benefit from the digital collectibles.

In the letter, Wojicki said that Web3 — a term used by crypto enthusiasts to refer to the collection of blockchain based technologies they believe will usher in a new era of the internet — has been a “source of inspiration” for the company. She didn’t say exactly how YouTube may integrate NFTs into its platform, but suggested the technology could be a new source of revenue for creators.

“The past year in the world of crypto, nonfungible tokens (NFTs), and even decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) has highlighted a previously unimaginable opportunity to grow the connection between creators and their fans,” she wrote. “We’re always focused on expanding the YouTube ecosystem to help creators capitalize on emerging technologies, including things like NFTs, while continuing to strengthen and enhance the experiences creators and fans have on YouTube.”

If YouTube allowed creators to sell NFTs directly to their fans, it would be a major boon for the technology, which in popularity over the last year, but hasn’t been widely adopted by major social platforms. But there are already signs that could change in 2022.

Twitter just introduced its first experiment with NFTs, with Instagram’s top executive has also expressed an interest in the technology, and The Financial Times last week that Facebook and Instagram are working on an NFT marketplace and other features,

NFT aren’t the only new monetization opportunities YouTube is looking at in the coming year, though. Wojicki also said the company is “excited” about podcasts and that “we expect it to be an integral part of the creator economy.” She also confirmed that YouTube would expand its shopping features to more creators, and test “how shopping can be integrated into Shorts.”

The CEO also touched on the controversy surrounding YouTube’s decision to remove public from its platform. She noted that the dislikes was often used to target smaller creators for harassment, and that the feature could still be used to inform individuals’ recommendations. “Every way we looked at it, we did not see a meaningful difference in viewership, regardless of whether or not there was a public dislike count,” she said. “And importantly, it reduced dislike attacks.”

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.



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Plaid’s new privacy controls let you manage your financial data from a single hub

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Plaid, a go-between for financial apps like Robinhood, Venmo, and Betterment and bank accounts, has created a privacy hub where you can manage all of your financial connections. The hub is a requirement of a lawsuit Plaid settled about its handling of user data.

The hub, called Plaid Portal, shows users exactly which apps they’re connected to by Plaid. It can be found by accessing my.plaid.com, where the service will prompt users to set up an account. Then, it’s possible to browse connections and disconnect unused apps from bank accounts. The portal details the kinds of data users sharing through Plaid, as well as which bank accounts are connected. It’s also possible to wipe all of a user’s linked data through the portal.

Plaid, which is used by more than 5,500 apps to connect to bank accounts, has been accused of taking too much financial data from users and using that information to access and sell their transaction history. A class-action suit alleged that Plaid collected users’ bank account login information through web pages that mimicked “the look and feel of the user’s own bank account login screen.” The company settled the suit for $58 million without admitting wrongdoing, and claimed it was adequately transparent with the user.

As part of the settlement, Plaid is required to delete some of its stored data, minimize the data it collects going forward, as well as “improve and maintain” the changes it has already made to Plaid Link, the tool Plaid uses to connect users’ bank accounts to apps. It was also required to create a privacy dashboard, which we now know as the Plaid Portal.

If you’re a US resident and connected your bank account through Plaid from January 1st, 2013 and November 19th, 2021, remember to file a claim through the class-action settlement’s site by April 28th, 2022.



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Amazon is taking up to 40 percent off WD and Sandisk storage for today only

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All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If you’re looking to buy new microSD cards, external hard drives or flash drives, you may want to take a look at Amazon’s deal of the day sale. You’ll be able to get SanDisk and WD storage products for up to 40 percent off their usual prices, including the SanDisk 256GB Extreme microSDXC card for its all-time low price of $32. That’s $6 off its original retail price of $38 and is the lowest we’ve seen it sell for on the website. The microSDXC card has read speeds of up to 160MB/s for fast file transfers of large images and videos, and it also has 90MB/s write speeds for fast shooting. It’s a UHS speed class 3 card with a video speed class of 30 (V30), making it capable of handling 4K UHD and Full HD files. 

Buy SanDisk and WD storage products at Amazon

SanDisk’s 512GB Ultra microSDXC is also currently on sale for its lowest price yet — you can get it for $50.49, which is almost 50 percent off its original retail price of $100. Advised for use with smartphones, tablets and mirrorless cameras, this microSDXC card has read and transfer speeds of up to 120MB/s. 

But if what you really need is an SD card for your camera, you can get the SanDisk 256GB Extreme PRO SDXC card instead. It’s currently on sale for $46, which is 54 percent off its original price of $100 and is the lowest we’ve seen it sell for on Amazon. That’s $2 less than the previous all-time low for the card with shoot speeds of up to 90MB/s and transfer speeds of up to 170MB/s. It’s V30 card with a UHS speed class of 3, and SanDisk says it’s perfect for shooting 4K UHD video and sequential burst mode photography.

In case you need an external drive to store all those videos, images and other files, you can also get the SanDisk 1TB Extreme PRO Portable SSD for 45 percent off. It’s back to its all-time low price of $170 that we last saw in November. That’s a whopping $140 off its full price of $310. The portable SSD can reach read and write speeds of up to 2000MB/s and is enclosed in a forged aluminum chassis that acts as a heatsink to be able to sustain those speeds. It’s also water-and-dust resistant and can withstand drops of up to 6.5 feet. There are a lot more drives and other products included in the sale if none of the above catches your eye — you just have to grab them before the sale ends within the day before they go back to the full price.

Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.





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