Google dropped the news last week that Nearby was about to get a whole lot more interesting. With the use of Bluetooth and a special blend of tricks collectively known as Location Services, Google will enable Android devices to learn about all manner of things in close proximity, whether they be Eddystone beacons, Chromecasts, or even Android Wear watches waiting to be set up. In the announcement, it was mentioned that an update to Google Play services would be rolling out shortly that adds support for all of these new features, and this is the one. While most of the features have already been disclosed, there's one in the teardown that wasn't mentioned.
Pushbullet added two small, but useful, new features this morning. First, replying to group SMS from a computer or tablet is now (finally) supported. In a small gesture of holiday goodwill, Pushbullet won't count group SMS messages against the 100 message limit for non-paying users for the rest of the month.
Group texting is now available through Pushbullet's Chrome extension, Windows desktop app, and Pushbullet's website. Support for Safari, Opera, and Firefox is coming soon. Replying to group texts also requires a phone running Android 5.0 and above.
The second change Pushbullet added this morning pertains to the new remote files feature that was added earlier this month.
AirDroid offers one of the more Android-themed ways to get files from your computer to your smartphone or tablet. It's green, there's a bugdroid in the logo, and, well—this isn't the point. Besides, file sharing is just scratching the surface. AirDroid lets you control your device remotely, accessing texts and turning on the camera. Now the developers have rolled out a number of intriguing features in the latest updates to its Windows and Mac desktop clients.
On the Windows side of things, there's a new desktop widget. It lets you access much of the functionality the main client offers without having to load up the full window.
Everything stored on computers takes up data (this is going somewhere, I promise). We humans, being the social creatures that we are, feel compelled to share things with others. This biological inclination didn't go away with our relatively new obsession with digital things, so we now find ourselves regularly wrestling with the issue of getting data that's stored on one of our devices onto someone else's. WeTransfer and its new Android app can help with that. It's far from the only one that can, but its forgiving file limit makes it a compelling option.
WeTransfer does one thing, and that's all it cares to do.
If you've never heard of Leef Bridge, it's an upcoming flash drive that doesn't discriminate between PCs and smartphones by having a USB port on one end and a MicroUSB port on the other. The company pushes the device as the quickest way to move files between a computer and a phone - and now it just got even faster. Leef Bridge has made the leap from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0, which means zippier file transfers for anyone who picks up the flash drive once it goes on sale in January.
To be more specific, Leef Bridge is coming to store shelves on January 19th and will be exclusively available through RadioShack for 60 days.
When Bump showed up on the smartphone scene, it was something of a novelty, but at the time it delivered file sync and transfer faster and easier than anything else. But with the proliferation of Dropbox, Google Drive and innumerable others, the game has changed. Bump plays a bit of catch-up today with an updated Android and web app, which allows users to send files between PCs (web) and mobile devices with ease.
They call the new capability "Bump Your Computer". Far from an invitation to laptop catastrophe, it's every bit as simple as the app itself: go to the Bu.mp website, select a file, picture, contact, etc.
Before NFC and Android Beam (or as Samsung like to call it, S Beam), there was Bump - an application that users share images, contacts, and apps by touching their phones together. However, Bump was pretty limited in the types of files it could transfer. If you wanted to send a document, zip file, or something similar, you were just out of luck (or forced to use email).
The Bump team heard your cries, and has been hard a work on a version of the app that supports file transfers. The feature - dubbed Bump Files - supports basically all file types, including videos, documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more.
While it's become commonplace in more civilized parts of the internet for your data to just appear on whatever device you're using (I haven't had to manually move contacts since 2008, for example), sometimes things get left behind. If you've ever felt the sting of realizing that one important file is stranded on your desktop, TeamViewer is here with a healing balm for you: file transfer.
TeamViewer for Remote Control just recently updated to allow users to transfer files both from your desktop to your mobile device, or vice versa. More importantly, the app doesn't require users to go through a full-fledged desktop interface to get to your files.