Google ‘makes it harder to search for rival’, Pixel 8 tablet to ditch the dock?

Google has been accused of taking advantage of its market dominance to make it harder to search for a rival email service. Tuta Mail – which says it has more than ten million users worldwide – alleges that, since March, it hasn’t appeared prominently in Google searches for “encrypted email.” The company has made a complaint to the EU claiming that Google – which has its own hugely popular Gmail service – has damaged a rival business. Google has denied the accusation, insisting Tuta remains “easily accessible” via its search engine. BBC

If you paid full price for a Pixel 8 or Pixel 8 Pro, consider yourself unlucky because Google has slashed the prices of both phones for the fourth month running. The company has repeatedly discounted its flagship phones since they launched last October. But since January, Google has run a near-permanent sale for much of its hardware. The latest sale applies to U.K. shoppers only and runs until May 5th. Deals include £130 ($161.60) off the Pixel 8 and £200 ($248.62) off the Pixel 8 Pro. Forbes 

Google released the 
Pixel Tablet in June of last year, and it has so far come with a Charging Speaker Dock in the box – a unique pairing, aimed to make it usable as a smart speaker when docked. The uniqueness may not have convinced too many people that the combo is a must-have, and so Google is now rumored to give up on bundling the dock with the tablet. It will stop doing so on May 10, according to a tipster over on X (formerly Twitter). But wait, there’s more. You won’t just be able to purchase the tablet sans dock, but Google will also finally release a stylus and a keyboard for the tablet. GSM Arena 

A spaceport that hopes to launch the first rockets vertically into orbit from British soil has been given a crucial safety licence. SaxaVord Spaceport, which is on the northern tip of the Shetland Islands, will be allowed to clear and control a hazard area downrange of the launchpad to reduce the risks to aircraft and shipping. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which has responsibility for regulating space launches, said it was satisfied that the spaceport operator can provide what it called “range-control services.” Sky News 

Shares in Meta plunged on Wednesday after the US tech giant revealed plans to increase spending on artificial intelligence (AI) technology. About $150bn (£120bn) was wiped from the Facebook parent’s market value following the latest results, which covered the first three months of the year. In a sign that investors may be cooling on Meta’s commitment to invest huge sums in AI, shares in the business dropped nearly 17pc during after-hours trading in New York. Telegraph 

TikTok is facing an existential crisis in America. If its Chinese owner fails to sell the app in the next year or so, it could be banned in its biggest market. Not only would that deal another huge blow to China’s tech ambitions, it would further deepen the divide between two digital worlds centered around the rival economic superpowers.  Congress on Tuesday approved legislation that could compel ByteDance to sell TikTok or face a national ban. President Joe Biden is expected to sign the bill into law on Wednesday; TikTok has already said it will challenge the law in court. CNN

Chris Price