Roku unveiled a new product line in August of last year, which included the Premiere and Premiere+ as the mid-range and higher-end models, respectively. Both of them were replaced by the Streaming Stick and Stick+ last month, but the Premiere+ is still a great device. Now you can get it from Best Buy for $49.99, a $50 reduction from the original price.
Android Pay is getting a small makeover with it's latest update, rolling out to users now. The new version switches to the always-familiar navigation drawer found in most other Google apps. If you're running Android 8.0 Oreo, you'll also see a change on your launcher as Android Pay also makes the upgrade to an adaptive icon.
Google announced a lot of things at its October 4th event including the new Pixels and the Pixelbook. However, the Pixel Buds sort of stole the show with that rad universal translator demo. These babies don't come cheap, but those who dropped the requisite $159 will be happy to know orders have started going out.
Google's Street View has become ubiquitous. It's one of the pioneering features of Google Maps, and it has become such an integrated part of our modern lives that we might take it for granted. Not long ago, looking around from an arbitrary point on a map would have sounded like science fiction, but today that's just another way to see where something is. Now Google's making that experience even better, by improving how Street View stitches together its elaborate 360-degree panorama images.
Most owners of OG Pixels can attest that Bluetooth on those devices is not the best. We've written a fair few articles about the various issues over the past year, but with the launch of the new Pixels we were hopeful that Google might have improved things somewhat. While Bluetooth performance so far does seem to be more consistent, we've just learned about one particularly annoying bug that Pixel 2 owners have uncovered.
According to the many posters on this Pixel User Community thread, when you connect Bluetooth headphones to a Pixel 2 or 2 XL and activate the Google Assistant, it makes a sound to indicate that it's listening but doesn't detect your voice.
A few months ago, I caved in and graduated from the Wink Hub v2 to a SmartThings Hub v2 when the latter's price went down to $49.99. I've been a happy camper since. I managed to move my GoControl door/window sensors and motion detector to SmartThings, I connected my LiFX bulbs, I've hooked it up to IFTTT and Google Home, and I'm looking forward to tinkering with a few user-generated SmartApps to connect my Netatmo cam and Nuki smart lock. The possibilities are a lot more wide with SmartThings and I'm quite pumped to see a few deals on their products now.
PayPal has launched a new crowdfunding-type service called Money Pools, which enables users to set a fundraising goal, and share a page describing the nature of the fundraiser with friends. PayPal suggests using money pools for group gifts, planning trips, special events like baby showers, or collecting money for someone in need. Chances are it will be used predominately for the latter, as almost half of the $2 billion raised on GoFundMe has been for medical expense fundraisers. Pages can be shared through email, social media, or messaging apps.
The payment processing is handled securely, as is to be expected from PayPal.
Sony has released a lot of over-ear headphones in the past year, but who are we to judge its product management division? Especially when it benefits us greatly in that relatively new products get really nice discounts because a slightly newer version is on the market. That's the case with the XB950B1 and XB950N1 headphones. Only announced in January at CES, these two headphones geared toward the bass-loving crowd can be controlled with the Headphones Connect app to choose different listening modes, have Bluetooth, NFC, and a 3.5mm input in case the battery dies. They also have 40mm drivers and LDAC support.
The Football Manager series (formally Championship Manager) is one of the most enduring video game franchises around. The management sim is entrenched in football culture (soccer, if you're on the other side of the pond). You can't talk about a promising young footballer in the pub without one of your friends claiming "I knew he was going to be good; I bought him on Football Manager a couple of years ago."