If you're the type of person that has to flash developer previews and sign up for every beta program available, being the first to try new apps is probably also pretty high on your list of things to do. Google has you covered. Announced last month during I/O, the Play Store is launching an "Early Access" program to give people like us a place to find apps that are mostly operational, but not quite ready for prime time. A few people found that they had early access to Early Access a few days ago, but now it looks like everybody is welcome to the club. Read More
Hey Alexa, what's the cheapest way to get an Amazon Echo? Oh, it's $179.99 on Amazon and you don't know of any other good deals... You're wrong Alexa, but I'll forgive you because it's not on sale on Amazon but Woot — woot!
This is a refurbished Amazon Echo Bluetooth and WiFi speaker that can play music from different streaming services or your own device. But its real knock-out feature is the voice assistant known as Alexa who lives inside it (I've been told she's a tiny bobble-head who just hides inside the speaker's tower) and can answer your weird questions, execute your queries and commands, and let you control more than just a speaker. Read More
Messaging and communication apps are some of the best targets of Marshmallow's Direct Share API. Instead of first picking up an app to share something to and then selecting a target contact, if an app has implemented the functionality, your most frequently contacted people within it will appear at the top-level of the Share menu, above the different app icons. It's a faster and more streamlined experience that I personally love and use several times a day on WhatsApp.
Now Google's own Inbox app is implementing the same feature. Contacts you email often will, presumably, show up in the Share menu so you can quickly send stuff their way without having to choose Inbox first and then manually enter them as recipients of the email. Read More
I wish I didn't have to sit here and write these kinds of posts. I wish we weren't living in times where companies are compelled to offer free calls to countries following tragedies like these (instead of celebrations or national holidays or happy events), especially when they're conducted by fellow man and not inevitable fits of nature. But here we are, mourning another terrorist attack that has taken the lives of 36 persons and injured over 140 in Turkey's Ataturk Airport in Istanbul. Read More
115 new banks have officially been added to the Android Pay's roster of supported financial institutions. Most of these are regional banks or credit unions, though - I'm not seeing any major national banks on this list (correct me if I missed one, of course). So even if your bank or credit union is a bit obscure, it's quite possible it could appear here - control+F carefully! Without further delay, the list, below. Read More
Last week, the Play Store rolled up some beta testing features in its version 6.7 update, but they quickly disappeared as Google reverted them back in a server-side change. The company later announced these features at I/O as part of a series of improvements to Google Play that also include lots of developer console changes.
Now it seems that the beta testing options have started showing up again for users on version 6.7.12 of the Play Store. Read More
When HTC unveiled its Vive virtual reality headset a little more than a year ago, it seemed like a shot in the dark - the Taiwanese manufacturer had never made any gaming hardware, and it was squaring up to compete with Oculus, a relatively seasoned company with a fresh cash infusion from Facebook. Fast forward to the present, and entering the ready-to-explode consumer VR market (not to mention partnering with PC gaming and distribution giant Valve) seems like the best decision HTC has made in a long time. Read More
It's update Wednesday, but it's been a bit of a slow one so far. Things are picking up with the Google Keep update. It's rolling out now with a revamped search feature, though. With this update, you'll be able to access automatically generated search topics without typing a thing. No update showing on your devices yet? We've got you covered. Read More
Congratulations, Austrian readers, you're the latest ones to get access to paid TV shows on Google Play. And they're sincere congratulations, too - it's still a pretty small club. Right now there are only eight countries that can stream TV via the Play Store (the others being the US, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, and Japan). Compare that to over one hundred countries that have access to Google Play Movies, as listed on the Play Store's help page. Austria itself was given access to movies almost two years ago. Read More