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
For a while now, the Android app for Amazon's Prime Video streaming service was unavailable to download in the United States. At least from the Play Store, that is - the only official means of downloading it was through the Amazon Underground app. But now it seems the app has returned to the Play Store. Read More
Earlier this year, HMD Global started production of Android phones with the Nokia brand. The Nokia 6 was revealed in January, and the Nokia 6 and 3 were announced the next month. The phones have been well-received, and HMD seems dedicated to quick updates. Unfortunately, none of them have been (officially) available in the United States. Read More
If you've been disappointed seeing all the international and dual-sim deals for the Galaxy S8/+ while the US unlocked models remain ignored, the day of reckoning has finally come. Now you can pick up the Galaxy S8 SM-G950U and S8+ SM-G955U on eBay for a pretty decent discount, at $599.99 and $699.99 respectively. If the S7 is any indicator, updates on the US unlocked models might be a bit late to arrive, but this is a good deal for Samsung's recent pair of flagships.
The BlackBerry KEYone is a strange phone. Not just because it has a physical keyboard in 2017, long after that feature has gone out of style, but because it commands a rather high price point for that feature. But if you have been waiting to get a KEYone of your own, you will be able to do so on May 31 (which just arrived on the East Coast). Read More
When the US unlocked models of the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge were released, many were overjoyed to have a variant that wouldn't be tied to a carrier, yet would be fully compatible with all four major carriers here in the states. Despite these unlocked versions' higher price tags, many picked them up in hopes of less bloat and quicker updates.
Unfortunately, while the unlocked models did come with fewer pre-installed apps, buyers were extremely let down in terms of updates. Not only did they not arrive more quickly, but they were actually being sent out more infrequently and much later than carrier models'. Read More
Android Pay now supports a ton of banks and credit unions, but most of them are small, local ones. That's not changing with these latest additions; I don't recognize a single name here. Hopefully, those of you who use smaller banks will have better luck. Read More
Sony Mobile, despite its lackluster presence here for the past few years, is gradually re-entering the US market. The Japanese company's latest flagship, the Xperia XZ, went up for pre-order a little over a week ago, and it's now available for purchase. Unfortunately, at $700, I don't see the XZ helping Sony's dwindling smartphone business much. Read More
As it turns out, people don't want to hang onto exploding phones. Samsung initially started the Note7 Exchange Program earlier this month in the United States, offering owners of affected Note7 devices the choice of a fixed Note7 or a S7/S7 edge. Over a week later, the CPSC officially began working with Samsung to handle the recall.
The program appears to be somewhat of a success, with the company reporting "about half" of the recalled devices have been exchanged. Samsung also revealed that 90% of customers exchanging their Note7 opted to receive a new Note7, instead of another Galaxy device.
Samsung didn't reveal any other details about the program, or exchange numbers in the United Kingdom & Ireland program. Read More