DIRECTV has just pushed a considerable update to its companion apps, bringing them up to version 5. The update is available for both of the practically identical phone and tablet apps and includes the ability to buy movies or TV shows, download purchases to your device for when you're not online, and easily access your collection of content. Read More
Some things really kill your confidence in Google's ability to fix bugs and make sure you can actually use the devices you have bought with your hard-earned cash. Case in point: there's a bug in the pin and pattern security locks on the Pixel C that the Google team has deemed "high priority" but that hasn't been fixed since January 2016. That's almost a year and a half, if you're counting.
The bug can be described like this: users who have set up a pin or pattern keep getting the message that their pin/pattern is wrong when trying to unlock their device. Read More
With Amazon enabling voice calling and messaging on its Echo line-up, the rumor of the Echo also gaining intercom ability that had circulated back in March was bound to come true sooner than later. And it's now here so all of you multi-Echo households can start, erm, echoing each other from room to room.
In the latest Amazon Alexa app (v2.0.1216.2), you can enable the option by turning on Drop In from your household in your Echo's settings and making sure your device has a friendly name so that people in other rooms can easily specify which Echo they want to contact you on. Read More
The Fitbit Alta may not be the coolest trendy kid on the block — that's the Alta HR now — but it's certainly still a good option for all-day activity tracking. It logs your steps, distance, and calories, automatically recognizes your exercise and sleep, and reminds you to move every hour if you've been sitting for a while. It comes with a small screen that shows the time, your daily stats, plus call and text and calendar notifications. And it has a very elegant and slim profile with plenty of designer accessories just in case you want it to look better on your wrist. Read More
When multi-user support launched for the Google Home back in April, the functionality was made available only in the US with the UK said to be "coming soon" in the next months. Now the wait should be over and multi-user support should be live in the UK as well.
A couple of Google Home support pages have been updated from, "This functionality is only available in the US. It will be coming to the UK soon," to, "This functionality is only available in the U.S. and the U.K." (As we've come to discover, for Google this means it's available for those who have set US English or UK English as their default language, so it's reliant on the language and not on where exactly you are and will thus work in other countries too.)
This means that you should technically see the multi-user setup card in your Google Home app and/or you should be able to set your Google Home as a shared device (as shown here) to allow others to connect to it as well. Read More
Quite a few Google apps were given minor version bumps today, but nothing has been all that interesting until it was teardown time for the latest release of the Google Home app. It doesn't seem to have any changes in the live interface quite yet, but there are a couple of things from the resources that deserve a look. To begin with, we have a status update on the subject of Bluetooth pairing. On top of that, it looks like it will be possible to set default TVs and speakers to be used as output devices for Google Home. Read More
Today Chromium Evangelist François Beaufort revealed a new feature in the current Canary channel for ChromeOS. Chromebook users everywhere can now look forward to being able to set the activity their device performs when the lid is closed. In the current Dev, Beta, and Stable channels, the behavior can't be changed, and when the lid is shut the device goes to sleep, but users that migrate to the Canary channel (or who are fine waiting) will be able to set their Chromebook to stay awake. Read More
Back in February, T-Mobile announced that it would begin using unassigned portions of the 5GHz spectrum to offer more bandwidth and coverage to its customers. The company called this 'LTE-U,' and said that it would start rolling out to customers in the spring. Well, it's a bit past spring, but we're now starting to see LTE-U go live in select cities. Read More
Keeping an eye on your humble abode is something many companies are happy to help you with these days, but most of the WiFi security cameras out there require a power source. Not Arlo Pro, which has a rechargeable battery that's good for around six months. These cameras cost a pretty penny, but the two-pack is currently on sale for $336.62 on Amazon. Read More