If you've considered signing up for a music streaming subscription then here's an offer that you might like. Google is currently gifting new subscribers to Google Play Music a free four-month membership. Also included is a subscription for YouTube Red, with all its great benefits, including offline playback and ad-free videos.
The only catch, if you can even call it that, is that after four months you will have to pay $9.99 a month for the service. If you are just interested in the freebies, you can cancel your subscription any time after signing up and still enjoy the entire four-month trial. Read More
Google Cast or Chromecast? That, my friends, is the question. Seems like today Google is providing an answer, with reports that the Google Cast name is being gradually phased out in favor of Chromecast.
Speakers and TVs with Cast seem to be the main victims (if you can call them that) here - rather than, say, a Vizio TV being 'Google Cast enabled,' it now has 'Chromecast built-in.' It's the same for TVs by Toshiba, or speakers by Sony - they now have Chromecast built-in instead of Google Cast. I suppose that Google has found that the Chromecast brand has more relevance and strength than the Google Cast brand, and that's what has been the driving force behind this change. Read More
Amazon's Echo success took me a little by surprise. It seemed like we went overnight from questioning the idea of a voice assistant in a speaker to almost everyone owning an Echo and companies rushing to add Alexa support for their services and products. Part of what seemed like a quick success is due to the Echo Dot, the smaller cheaper version that you can sprinkle around the house in places where you don't care about excellent sound quality.
The second generation Echo Dot builds on that. Unlike the first one, you can order it directly from Amazon without having to use another Echo. Read More
Niantic has been taking flack ever since it removed the tracking feature in Pokémon GO a few days after launch. Then the developer started to roll out a new feature, named 'Nearby,' which showed Pokémon if they were near to Pokéstops. After feedback from users, that has now been tweaked a little, and it's on a slightly larger roll out.
The new, improved "Nearby" feature will only appear if you are close to a Pokéstop. This supposedly means that someone cannot look for a Pokéstop, find the Pokémon close to it, then go and catch them. Read More
Version 7.0 of the phone app for Nexus and Pixel devices has arrived, with... you guessed it, no major changes at all. There are some minor updates and re-workings, but this one most likely will not blow your socks off.
Firstly, a 'block/report spam' option has been added to the long press dialog in the call log - in previous versions, only 'Copy number' and 'Edit number before call' were present. Read More
Google's Daydream is what I would call the most travel-friendly VR solution yet. Its simple but elegant pointer-style Bluetooth controller means you aren't reaching all over the place to work the VR interface, its comfortable fabric design is tolerable for long periods of wear, and sliding the phone into the viewer is a simple no buttons, no switches affair.
So, I decided to put these qualities to test on a five-hour flight from Los Angeles to New York last week. I had a variety of games (I didn't play any), interactive experiences (many require an active internet connection), and a few movies I'd downloaded from Play Movies to watch. Read More
Telegram updates are always fun. Not only do the developers tend to release substantial new features, but the changelogs and blog posts are amusing. Such is the case with v3.14, which is rolling out now in the Play Store. The Android version is getting some wide-ranging updates to bring it closer in functionality to the iOS app, and there are some all new features like Instant View links. It's like viewing links, but you know... instant. Read More
In what appears to be an accidental rollout of a preview build, according to 9to5Google, Google is updating Pixel and Pixel XL devices in Canada to a new version of Android 7.1, build number NPF26J. Read More
The "P" after the N generally would denote a preview, as Google uses the second letter in its build system to indicate the branch the update is sourced from (e.g., "R" for "release"). (Update: Upon further investigation, it's unclear if this is true, or if it's merely a coincidence. The build may be an official rollout, though it would be odd considering Google hasn't updated its factory image or OTA file pages yet.)
Remote control cars are great fun, so game developer WeGo Interactive has brought a form of that to Android, with the release of Re-Volt3, a sequel to the popular Re-Volt2. The 'official launch' of the game is today, with different items on offer every day until November 27. Previously, the game has been a in geo-restricted, limited launch, but now it is available worldwide on the Play Store.
The premise is pretty simple - work your way up through the ranks of RC racing until you're the best. It's a good game, although because the main viewpoint is from behind the car, it feels just like any other, 'normal' racing game, except the cars are more sensitive than they would be normally. Read More
T-Mobile was not content with a single round of Black Friday deals. That's what regular carriers do, and as we are constantly reminded, T-Mobile is an un-carrier. Tmo is giving away free in-flight WiFi, $200 for switched lines, and more (sort of) free phones. Read More