Android 8.0 Oreo introduced one cool feature for app notifications: channels. Since not all notifications are created equal, even if they come from the same app, this would allow you to choose how different types of notifications appear, sound, and vibrate, or not, on your phone. However, that created one big issue: Google didn't have a fallback in place for apps that don't get updated to support the channels, which means that you couldn't assign importance to any notification coming from the app. That, as you can imagine, was very annoying with apps like WhatsApp where you couldn't disable the permanent WhatsApp Web running notification without disabling all of the app's notifications, for example. Read More
Like many Google products, the Home Max isn't easy to find at a discount, especially given its very recent entry to the market. However, Verizon Business is offering a Home Max and Home Mini bundle for just $337.48, or $112.50 off the combined MSRPs of both Home devices. That's pretty nuts. Unfortunately, you will need access to a Verizon Business (B2B) account to take advantage of this deal. And no, your run-of-the-mill Verizon account won't do. Read More
Android has a native way to see a log of the notifications you receive, but it's quite hidden from most eyes. To access it, you need to add a widget, choose Settings among the list of widgets, and then Notification log. It helps you see a notification you may have dismissed by mistake and, more recently, I've used it to figure out which notification channel something was coming from after dismissing it and thinking that I don't need that particular type of notification or I want to lower its priority.
But if you don't want to mess with the notification log, there's an app you can install to bring back the last dismissed notification, kind of like an undo button, and it's simply called Unnotification. Read More
Google Express is kind of a central aggregate site you go to to make purchases from various stores. Instead of heading to different sites and adding your details to each, you have one central hub, and it's been adding more and more partners. Walmart is still one of the most important ones, but right now there are a little over 50 supported and Overstock has joined them.
I don't live in the US so I've heard very little about the store, but from my quick research it does seem to have a bit of everything with focus on home furniture/decoration and household products. Read More
Thanks to a government-backed platform called UPI (Unified Payment Interface), developers are able to more easily integrate digital payments for India into their apps. Google's Tez uses UPI for bill payments, and social app Truecaller added the functionality in a recent update. The country's most used messaging app shouldn't be too far behind as Facebook-owned WhatsApp could be ready to offer a payment solution based on UPI as early as next month. Read More
Alexa, Alexa everywhere! Amazon is continuing to push its voice assistant and devices everywhere it can and the newest countries after the US, UK, Germany, Japan, India, Ireland, and Canada, to join in on the fun are Australia and New Zealand.
Yesterday (sorry we're late on this), Amazon announced that its Alexa Skills Kit (to create voice commands for your service) and Alexa Voice Service (to integrate Alexa itself into your product) are coming to Australia and New Zealand. They're bringing along the three current Echo devices from Amazon's line-up, which are now up for pre-order at introductory prices, with even cheaper special 2-pack discounts. And I can only hope Amazon set up Alexa to answer with "Oi Oi Oi" everytime it hears you scream "Aussie Aussie Aussie!" otherwise it'd be a wasted opportunity. Read More
Fuchsia OS, Google's operating system that's neither Android nor Chrome OS, is gradually becoming more and more functional. The open-source OS which Google really doesn't want to talk about has recently added support for the Pixelbook as a test device, and now AP alumnus and Ars Technica editor Ron Amadeo has managed to get it working on one.
Work on Fuchsia first began in the first half of 2016 and has progressed at a steady pace. We had had a first glimpse of the OS in action a few months back, and while it was still very rough around the edges, it was enough to get a general feel of the new 'Armadillo' UI. Read More
The legal system hasn't really kept pace with the development of technology in recent years, and one example of that is the inconvenience of notarizing documents. At best it's a hassle, and no one gets excited at having to wait for a signature to be witnessed or a statement certified. But now one more contemporary inconvenience has been "appified," as there's a new service named Notarize in the Google Play Store that does pretty much what you'd expect, given the name. Read More
While CES brought a stack of announcements for Android TV-powered televisions, streaming boxes have been in conspicuously short supply. The CCC Air Stick 4K is breaking up that monotony, cramming in support for 4K HDR10 as well as aptX and aptX HD—apparently a first for Android TV-powered boxes. It has a relatively minimal 2GB RAM and 16GB storage, though this is double what the Nexus Player provides. Unfortunately, it is Japan only, though you could import it if you feel the urge. Read More
According to a report from The Information, Snap (of Snapchat fame) has recently laid off about two dozen people, most of which were in the content team. These firings seem to fit in line with the company's financial difficulties and overall attempts at consolidation, as well as the recent setbacks for the platform's original content. Read More