It's already time for another update to the Google app, and this version bump carries a little bit of the post-CES glow with it. Of course, there are some new details related to the smart displays we've been expecting. Also joining the round of topics are clues that suggest we'll be able to use Google to identify TV shows by sound and that Google Assistant is going to become bilingual. There's even a sign of a new feature called summer time mode, though it's still a mystery for now. We haven't spotted any changes to the UI yet, but you can grab the latest version from the APK Mirror link at the bottom and let us know if you come across anything. Read More
The Google Home works with a massive number of smart home products, but developers looking to tinker with it are usually out of luck. It doesn't have any kind of public API, so custom functionality can really only be added through IFTTT (or by writing your own Assistant app). Now there is a way to obtain some data from a Google Home, as one developer has discovered an undocumented API that the Google Home uses. Read More
Google famously pulled its services out of the Chinese market in 2010 rather than comply with the government's censorship requirements, but it's dipping a toe back in today. Google has re-launched Google Maps for China, but not via the same app we have in the rest of the world. Most people will access it via a web page, but iPhones get an app. Hey, it's a start. Read More
I've officially recovered from CES (and I'm not sick like some people). Despite it being MLK Day, I'm here to provide you with some more app sales! The list today is a bit smaller and fairly so-so, but we press onward regardless. Have fun, and I'll see you all again on Wednesday. Read More
Since late last November, Nexus Player owners have had the frustrating experience of erratic behavior from the remote. After about 5 to 10 minutes, the remote would seemingly go to sleep. Pressing any button causes the remote to blink for a few seconds, then hopefully reconnect. While not precisely broken, the erratic functionality from the remote has been a point of pain for owners of Google's streaming hockey puck. Finally, Google is preparing to roll out a fix. Read More
Two of the big trends at CES 2018 were AI and smart home stuff. The former was actually a major buzzword, and it became so overused that I stopped caring (thanks, Huawei/Honor). However, the smart home ecosystem continues to thrive and we saw a ton of new products that are launching with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. This post will focus on Assistant; you can expect the Alexa wrap-up a little bit later. Read More
30 days ago, Amazon announced that it was in the process of assorting Apple TVs and Chromecasts to start selling them again. Since then, the Apple TV and Apple TV 4K have been available and sold on the site, but the Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra are still showing as "Currently unavailable" from Amazon, with no third-party sellers at all. Even searching for "Chromecast" on Amazon doesn't bring up the product pages linked above, you'd have to know the URL to see them. We've reached out to Amazon several times over the past weeks to ask about this and to inquire about an exact availability date, but were told there were no details to share. Read More
If you live in the United States and walk into a Verizon store, you have essentially four options when it comes to choosing a premium smartphone brand: Apple, Samsung, LG, and Google. Yesterday, we learned that continuing to expect LG will be one of these options probably isn't the best bet.
While there may yet be a premium LG phone that launches on Verizon, the Korean conglomerate looks poised to join Motorola as one of Verizon's when-it's-convenient handset partners, and is quite possibly on its way to the Verizon graveyard with the likes of HTC, Sony, and BlackBerry.
The same can generally be said of AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Read More