Tech round-up for October 6: Google's new gear, Telus' connected cars, and Apple's updated operating systems

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This week, some of the new features in Apple’s new operating systems, and Telus has come up with a way to get all your cars connected. But first, Google shows off lots of new gadgets.

Okay, Google, tell us about all the new hardware

At a press event in San Francisco earlier this week, Google held a press event to show off the new hardware the company is rolling out in the coming months.

The tech company is really doubling down on its hardware presence as indicated by the recent acquisition of part of HTC’s mobile division.

The new Google product line is anchored by two new smartphones, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.

As Apple did with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, Google has dropped the headphone jack from the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, so you can get the Pixel Buds instead, which feature real-time language translations.

There’s also a new tablet/laptop, the Pixelbook that is more like a Microsoft Surface tablet than any Chromebook before it.

Rounding things out are two new Google Home devices, the Mini and the Max which are designed to work with Google Assistant, and a new virtual (VR) headset in Daydream View, which works with the Pixel 2.

Telus wants you to have a connected car. Or truck

If you are interested in having a connected vehicle, you can retrofit your existing car or truck to get the same kind of functionality as newer automobiles.

Telus Drive+ is a device, service, and smartphone app that modernizes your car.

For now, it’s free to get started. You’ll get a device that plugs into your vehicle’s on-board diagnostic (OBD-II) port. That device will allow you to get diagnostics on your vehicle and it also connects to Telus’ cellular network, so you can track your car’s location and turn it into a Wi-Fi hotspot.

This is all enabled by Vancouver tech company, Mojio.

You’ll need a Telus plan with shareable data to participate. Adding your vehicle to your plan only costs $15 a month.

Apple’s latest operating systems roll out and make your devices faster

This week, Apple released the final versions of the operating systems for its computers (MacOS High Sierra) and mobile devices (iOS 11). Here are some of the best features.

Changes in iOS 11

One of the most significant additions to the mobile operating system is a “do not disturb” function that disables your device while you’re driving. You can even set up a response to let people know that you’re driving so they understand why you didn’t respond to their last text message.

The new Control Center might take a bit of getting used to – it’s packed with information – but it’s also customizable, so you can put the tools you use most in there for quick and easy access.

You can use the Notes app as a document scanner that operates using the camera and saves things as PDF files.

You can take screenshots and mark them up, too.

The iPad becomes much more productive with iOS 11, with the ability to drag-and-drop things like images, links, and files that are open in split view mode.

Changes in MacOS High Sierra

Some of the most significant changes with the new computer operating system are under the hood. This includes a new file system and updates to Metal 2, Apple’s graphics technology.

Other changes include a new video standard to support 4K video playback and support for virtual reality content.

There are also incremental changes to Mail, Photos, and Messages to make them work better for you.

Changes to Safari

You don’t need to upgrade to High Sierra to get Safari 11, which you are going to want on your Mac computer. Built in to the new browser is some ad limiting features. Safari now automatically blocks audio and video on websites unless you either whitelist a website, or interact with the media intentionally (as opposed to mousing over a video).

Safari will also block websites from tracking you as you move through the Internet.

Changes to iTunes

Apps for your iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch are no longer managed in iTunes, which has been refocused on audio and visual entertainment. You’ll now manage your mobile apps on the devices themselves.

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