Amazon introduced calling and messaging to its Echo speakers back in May then implemented the same feature inside the Alexa app so you could start a call or receive one from your phone, without having to be near your Echo. However, the feature had one main limitation: the person you were calling had to have an Echo or at least Alexa calling set up. Calls to phone numbers weren't possible, but now they are.
Amazon secretly enabled the option a couple of days ago and has now officially added it to the Alexa app changelog. After setting up Alexa calling and messaging in the app's Conversations tab, you can say something like, "Call dad's phone," or, "Call dad's mobile phone number," and it will perform a call to the phone number. Read More
Here's an almost-freebie to start off your week: Google Home's promotions page has added one new offer for you to take advantage of: 3 months of Deezer Premium+ for $0.99. That's one buck for 3 months of unlimited, on-demand streaming, no ads, but with offline saves and high-quality audio. Deezer Premium+ normally costs $6/month or thereabout, depending on where you live, so you'd be saving around $17. Read More
London has a pretty advanced transport system by most metrics, and payments are pretty easy these days, either with a special pay-as-you-go pass called an Oyster Card or with almost any contactless bank card. Most Londoners (like myself) have long been clamoring for a better way to manage our Oysters, as you currently have to queue for a machine or go to the website if you want to check your balance or make a top-up. Thankfully, Transport for London (TfL) has joined forces with a developer called Cubic to finally bring us an official Oyster Card app for Android. Read More
Google's Jamboard looks like an awesome collaborative cloud-based whiteboard for enterprises. I haven't used one, like almost everyone here, but if I worked in a physical company (the virtual AP offices don't count), I'd probably be begging my boss to get us one. Jamboard was launched in May in the US and now it's rolling over the Atlantic to the UK.
If your company uses G Suite (Basic, Business, Enterprise, or Education, though the latter will have to satisfy some requirements), you can now purchase the Jamboard for £3,999 in the UK (about $5,213).
The price includes two styluses, one eraser, and one wall mount. Read More
In a bid to make its Assistant more powerful, Actions on Google was launched in the US late last year. The service allows third-party developers to build their own voice actions for the Assistant, integrating it with their own apps. To encourage development, Google introduced a competition with cash prizes to anyone making compelling actions. Until now the service has only supported US English, but after support for more languages was previously promised, it seems the UK will be next to see Actions rolled out. Read More
It's been a while since we've had any good UK related Android Pay news, the last tidbit being the addition of Metro Bank to the service back in February. You may have seen that American Express got Android Pay support in Canada recently, something I was more than a little bit jealous of as I've been waiting to have my Amex on my phone for ages now. Finally, my calls have been answered, and Amex cards now work with Google's mobile payments app here in the UK.
This makes me happy.
I didn't get a notification about this, which I might have expected given my Amex card is set up in my Google account. 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
The High Court of Justice of England and Wales has ruled against Huawei in its fight to avoid paying patent royalties to data software firm Unwired Planet. In an unprecedented move for a case of this kind brought in the UK, the judgment not only applies to sales of Huawei devices in the UK but also globally, which would prove vastly more costly. Read More
Those of you in the UK will probably pass on the deal alerts we cover, as they're usually US specific and don't apply to you. Well, your time has come. We've spotted a brand new, unlocked Moto Z for just £299. That's a whopping £200 off the retail price, and it's offered by John Lewis, too, so you know it's a deal you can trust. Read More
Samsung Pay's slow advance continues. Last month new markets in Sweden and the UAE were given support for the platform, and today it looks like the UK is up next. We have yet to see a confirmed report or press release from Samsung — as they have done for their other market roll-outs. However, their Google Play listing for the application has been localized for the UK. Read More