All posts in “Google”

Google Fi gets an unlimited plan

For the longest time, Google Fi didn’t play the unlimited calls, text and data game and instead focused on offering pretty affordable and flexible plans with a price cap of $80 (before taxes and government fees). Today, however, Google is introducing Fi Unlimited, which, as you’ve probably figured out from the name, is more akin to a traditional “unlimited” plan from other carriers.

Fi Unlimited plans start at $70 for the first line. For families, you also can opt to pay $60 per line for two lines, $50 per line for three lines or $45 per line for four to six lines (excluding taxes and fees). That’s pretty much in line with the unlimited plans from other carriers, though they all come with their own limitations and special services and may feature different (and often more substantial) family discounts.

“Since Fi’s launch in 2015, we’ve had one plan, the Fi Flexible plan, that gives you the flexibility to pay for just the data you use,” writes Fi product manager Dhwani Shah. “As we’ve grown, we’ve heard that many of you want the simplicity and predictability that comes with paying the same price each month. So today, for the first time ever, Fi is adding a second plan: our Google Fi Unlimited plan.”

If you’re also a happy Fi user and like the old plan, don’t panic. A Google spokesperson has told us that Google will continue to offer the existing flexible plan, too.

blog unlimited pricing

Unlimited, of course, is never quite unlimited, so Google will cap your speed after you use 22 GB of data in a given month (only 1% of Fi users currently do so, the company says) and it “may” cap video quality at 480p. Like with the company’s other Fi plans, there are no contracts or activation fees.

There are some positives, too, though. You’ll get free international calls from the U.S. to 50 countries and territories and you’ll still get Fi’s unlimited data and text in 200 countries. Every unlimited plan also includes a Google One membership with 100 GB of cloud storage and live support for all Google products, as well as Google’s new phone backup service. There are also no limits on hotspot usage.

As always, you’ll need a compatible phone to make Fi work for you.

The maximum you’ll pay for Fi’s flexible price is $80 per month after you’ve used more than 6 GB of data. So there’s a trade-off here. You’ll pay a fixed price for every unlimited line, even if you only use 1 GB of data, but you’ll pay a predictable price and you’ll get a discount for activating multiple lines, as well as a few other goodies.

Google is bringing data saver feature to Android TVs

Google said on Tuesday it is bringing a set of new features to Android TVs to improve the experience of users who rely on mobile hotspots to connect their giant devices to the internet. The features, developed by Google’s Next Billion Users team, will be first rolled out to users in India and then in other countries, the company said.

Ahead of its yearly event in New Delhi on Thursday, where the company is expected to make a number of announcements, Google said it has identified and addressed a problem faced by millions of users: Their TVs are not connected to the internet through Wi-Fi or wired/ethernet line.

Instead these users rely on hotspots (local network) created through their smartphones or tablets. “But that presents problems,” wrote Joris van Mens, Product Manager at Google’s Next Billion Users team, in a blog post. “Watching HD TV on a mobile data connection can quickly drain your daily data plan.”

To address this, Google says it is introducing a feature called ‘data saver’ to Android TVs that would reduce the data usage on mobile connections by up to three times, thereby allowing users to consume more content on their TVs. It is also introducing a ‘data alerts’ feature to help users better monitor how much data they have consumed watching TV.

Google data saver

The data saver feature will be optional to users

Another feature dubbed ‘hotspot guide’ will allow users to set up their TV with their mobile hotspot. And last, Google is introducing the ability in its Files app to allow users to cast video files locally stored on their phones to the TV without using internet data.

These four features will roll-out to Android TV devices starting with those manufactured by Xiaomi, TCL, and Marq by Flipkart, Google said. The company expects to rollout the features globally soon.

At an event in Bangalore on Tuesday, Xiaomi unveiled a new lineup of TVs that will support Netflix and Prime Video. The Chinese electronics giant, which is the top smartphone vendor in India, confirmed that its new TV models will support Google’s ‘data saver’ feature.

Later this week, Google is expected to make a number of announcements around its payments app and other services in its yearly Google for India event. Indian newspaper Economic Times reported this week that one of those announcements could be the launch of Kormo, a job discovery app that is currently available in select developing markets, in India.

Google will unveil the Pixel 4 and other new hardware on October 15

Google will reveal the next Pixel in greater detail at an event happening October 15 in New York, the company confirmed via invites sent to media today. We already know the Pixel 4 will be revealed at this event, because Google has already dropped some official images and feature details for the new Android smartphone, but we’ll probably see more besides given that the invite promises “a few new things Made by Google.”

Here’s what we know so far about the Pixel 4: Everything. Well okay, not everything, but most things. Like it’ll use Google’s cool Soli radar-based gesture recognition technology, for both its updated face unlock and some motion controls. Infinite leaks have show that it’ll have a body design that includes a single color/texuture back, what looks like a three-camera rear cluster (wide angle, standard and zoom lens lily), a 6.23-inch OLED display can the XL with image resolution of 3040×1440, with a 90Hz mode that will make animations and scrolling smoother.

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The animation Google sent out with the invites for its 2019 hardware event.

It also has rather large top and bottom bezels, a rarity for smartphones these days, but something that Google apparently felt was better than going with a notch again. Plus, it has that Soli tech and dot projectors for doing the new face unlock which might require more space up top.

In terms of other hardware, there’s less in terms of solid info to go on, but there are rumours of a new ChromeOS-based Pixelbook plus new Google Home smart speakers, and we could also see more of Stadia, Google’s cloud gaming service which launches in November. Google could also show off additional surprises, including maybe Chromecast updates, or an update to Google Wifi to take advantage of the newly certified Wifi 6 standard.

Basically, there could be a lot of surprises on hand even if the Pixel 4 is more or less a known quantity, and we’ll be there to bring you all the news October 15 as it happens.

How to get people to open your emails

We’ve aggregated the world’s best growth marketers into one community. Twice a month, we ask them to share their most effective growth tactics, and we compile them into this Growth Report.

This is how you’re going stay up-to-date on growth marketing tactics — with advice you can’t get elsewhere.

Our community consists of 600 startup founders paired with VP’s of growth from later-stage companies. We have 300 YC founders plus senior marketers from companies including Medium, Docker, Invision, Intuit, Pinterest, Discord, Webflow, Lambda School, Perfect Keto, Typeform, Modern Fertility, Segment, Udemy, Puma, Cameo, and Ritual .

You can participate in our community by joining Demand Curve’s marketing webinars, Slack group, or marketing training program. See past growth reports here and here.

Without further ado, onto the advice.


How can you send email campaigns that get opened by 100% of your mailing list?

Based on insights from Nick Selman, Fletcher Richman of Halp, and Wes Wagner.

  • First, a few obvious pieces of advice for avoiding low open rates:
    • Avoid spam filters by avoiding keywords commonly used in spam emails.
    • Consider using email subjects (1) that are clearly descriptive and (2) look like they were written by a friend. Then A/B your top choices.
    • Include the recipient’s name in your email body. This signals to spam filters that you do in fact know the recipient.
  • Now, for the real advice: Let’s say 60% of your audience opens your mailing, how can you get the remaining 40% to open and read it too?
    • First, wait 2 weeks to give everyone a chance to open the initial email.
    • Next, export a list of those who haven’t opened. Mailchimp lets you do this.
    • Important note: The reason many recipients don’t open your email is because it was sent to Spam, it was buried in Promotions, or it was insta-deleted because it looked like spam (but wasn’t). The goal here is to resuscitate these people. You have two options for doing so:
    • (1) Duplicate the initial email then selectively re-send it to non-openers. This time, use a new subject (try a new hook) and downgrade the email to plain text: remove images and link tracking. De-enriching the email in this way can help bypass spam filters and the Promotions tab.
    • (2) Alternatively, export your list of non-openers to a third-party email tool like Mailshake (or Mixmax).
      • First, connect Mailshake to a new Gmail account on your company domain.
      • Next, configure Mailshake to automatically dole out small batches of emails on a daily schedule. Let it churn through non-openers slowly so that Gmail doesn’t flag your account as a spammer.
      • Emails sent through Mailshake are more likely to get opened than emails sent through Mailchimp. Why? Mailshake sends emails through your Gmail account, and Gmail-to-Gmail emails have a greater chance of bypassing Spam and Promotions folders, particularly if the sender doesn’t have a history of its emails being marked as spam.

Google is pulling the plug on YouTube’s TV-friendly browser interface

Enjoy YouTube’s “leanback” interface while you can. A pop-up message on the streaming video site’s TV-friendly landing page says it’ll be gone soon.

There’s no indication of when it will be going away or why, but Mashable reached out to Google for comment. The pop-up message makes it clear that TV watchers will have to turn to supported devices like game consoles or streaming boxes as a user-friendly alternative for watching YouTube in the living room.

“This version of YouTube will be going away soon,” the pop-up message reads. “You’ll still be able to view youtube.com, but you can get an optimized experience on a supported device.” Users are then pointed to a YouTube help page that runs through exactly what qualifies as a supported device. (You probably own one.)

Google is pulling the plug on YouTube's TV-friendly browser interface

Image: screenshot by mashable

YouTube launched the “leanback” interface way back in 2010 as a way to bring streaming video into the living room. It was a time when smart TVs were still in their infancy, Roku was only two years old, and game consoles weren’t the multipurpose streaming boxes they’ve become.

Chances are high that Google is shutting down the web portal simply because, with so many other options, usage has tailed off. Did you even know this TV-friendly YouTube portal still existed? The news that it’s being shut down is probably the most people have talked about it in a number of years.

We’ll update this story if/when Google responds, but if you’ve been relying primarily on the leanback interface for YouTube on your TV, now’s a good time to look into alternatives. Also: you might want to think twice before you rely on your smart TV exclusively for streaming video.

[h/t Android Police]