Buy Chromecasts, Chromebooks, and more at Google’s first physical outlet in London

google opens first london store
Despite the Internet’s many advantages, nothing yet comes close to the experience of holding and using products in person, or having someone answer all your questions face to face. That’s most likely the reason Google, until now one of the few tech giants bucking the trend towards brick-and-mortar stores, is introducing a real-world location of its own inside a Currys PC World on London’s Tottenham Court Road.

If it wasn’t already clear, physical outlet stores are no longer consigned to big box retailers. In recent years, companies like Microsoft and Samsung have established footholds in physical retail, the former with standalone stores and the latter within larger outlets. Apple, of course, has had its own stores for some time now.

Related: Surprise! Amazon to open pop up stores in San Francisco, Sacramento, and New York City

The new Google shop stocks Chromecast dongles, Android tablets and smartphones, as well as Chromebook laptops. Soon, on-hand staff will give topical presentations and demo device features. The store also plans to hold coding camps for kids and “Open House” events where teachers can learn about Google’s educational tools.

In the vein of Microsoft Stores’ signature video wall, interactive screens in the Google shop let budding pilots “fly” over continents using Google Earth, draw with virtual cans of paint, or cast Google Play movies and YouTube videos to surrounding displays.

Related: Samsung’s new retail store clearly inspired by Apple

The shop is in its early days, but Google is already anticipating success: The company plans to open additional stores within Currys PC Worlds in Fulham, West London, and Thurrock, Essex.

Unfortunately, a stateside expansion doesn’t seem to be in the cards right now, Google gave no indication of a similar arrangement with any U.S. electronics chain. Considering last year’s embarrassing , though, it may take some restoration of goodwill before such a deal is finally struck.

Smart Home

Legrand’s Smart Lighting touts security, interoperability, and simple setup

Near universal connectivity including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, Nest, Ring, and the Internet of Things is the theme of Legrand's Smart Lighting Radiant collection of switches, dimmers, outlets, and plugs.

Cortana wants to be friends with Alexa and Google Assistant

Microsoft no longer wants to compete against Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant in the digital assistant space. Instead, it wants to transform Cortana into a skill that can be integrated into other digital assistants.

Check out the four cool Swatch watches you can use for mobile payments

Swatch has announced its Swatchpay technology is now available in Switzerland, enabling mobile payments from your Swatch watch. It works in a similar way to Apple Pay and Google Pay. Here's everything about it.
Emerging Tech

Want to know which drones are flying near you? There’s an app for that

Want to know what that mysterious drone buzzing over your head is up to? A new system developed by AirMap, Google Wing, and could soon tell you -- via a map on your phone.

The best Apple Watch bands and straps to stylize your timepiece

If you have an Apple Watch, you know how easy it is to take off the strap it came with, so why not buy yourself another one? Here, we've gathered the best Apple Watch bands we've seen so far. There's something for everyone.

How to choose an iPad in 2019: A practical guide to Apple’s tablets

Selecting an iPad from Apple's lineup can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Our comprehensive guide should put the numbers and specs in practical, easy-to-understand terms. Find your ideal iPad with the help of our guide.

The Cat S48c is the phone designed for construction workers (or the clumsy)

The Cat S48c is a rugged smartphone that's available from Sprint. It mixes midrange specs with a huge battery wrapped in an extremely tough and protective body. If you need a phone that can survive the construction site, then this is it.

Apple resurrects the iPhone SE with brand-new units starting at $249

Apple quietly started selling the iPhone SE again, at even lower prices than when it was discontinued four months ago. Brand new units of the 32GB version are on sale for $249, while the 128GB version is going for $299.

Popular Android navigation apps are just Google Maps with ads, researcher says

A malware researcher found that 19 free Android navigation apps on the Google Play Store were nothing more than Google Maps, but with ads. One of the apps asked for a payment to remove the ads, while some of them presented security risks.

Google Maps will now help drivers stay within speed limits, avoid speed traps

Google Maps will now start showing speed limits and speed camera locations, so that drivers will not be flagged for speeding tickets. The new features arrive to the app years after they were introduced in Waze.

Text up a storm with the best messaging apps for iOS and Android

These days, most people tend to favor digital messages over phone calls. We have the best messaging apps that allow you to share photos and documents, send text messages, and more with end-to-end encryption.

If you want Samsung's advanced folding phone, be prepared to pay a lot for it

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy Fold, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.

Do these case images confirm a side-mounted fingerprint scanner on the S10 E?

It won't be long now; With 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.

T-Mobile 5G rollout: Here is everything you need to know

2019 will be a huge year for T-Mobile. Not only is a merger with Sprint likely, but T-Mobile is also in the midst of building out its next-generation mobile service. Here's everything you need to know about the T-Mobile 5G rollout.