Welcome back to another week of the Android Police Podcast. To catch us live on Hangouts On Air every Thursday at 5:30PM PST (subject to change as per the calendar widget below), just head over to androidpolice.com/podcast. For the unedited video show, click here (warning: this video is uncut). As always, we'll take your questions at 530-HELLO-AP and also at our email address: podcast at androidpolice dot com.
On this week's episode: A look at early Pixel C reviews, Google Play Music's new family plan, expanded Chromecast and Chromecast Audio features, our Blu Life One X review, and your questions!
In the tech press, it's easy for us to regurgitate the advertising material that all of the major carriers and companies want potential customers to hear. It's more challenging to hear the voices of the people who find themselves taken advantage of by corporate practices. This work generally falls to unions and advocacy groups that do the research and speak out on their behalf.
A new version of YouTube's Gaming offspring has been rolling out on the Play Store with a long list of interface improvements and new features that's sure to make any gamer happy.
For new users, YouTube Gaming now has an on-boarding setup that first recommends six games to follow, probably based on your previous YouTube watching history, and then automatically imports the gaming channels you have subscribed to on YouTube.
The Google Photos app had some cool sharing features when it was released back in May, but now it's getting even better at sharing. Google has announced the addition of shared albums to Photos (announced a few months ago), and it's available today on Android, iOS, and web.
Unlike some of my colleagues in the tech media, I don't have any particular beef with Walmart. Yes, they sell cheap imported crap, and yes, they under-pay their employees, stiffing both the people who make stuff and the people who sell stuff. But if you object to that strongly enough to actually change your buying habits, you'll soon run out of places to buy things. I do, however, object to the idea of a mobile payment system that works at exactly one store. That's taking the biggest problem with mobile payments as a whole, the lack of inter-operability, and turning it into a selling point.
Like the original Chromebook Pixel, the Pixel C (which became available on the Google Store for a starting price of $499.99 yesterday) leaves many people scratching their heads. The usual criticism is that the device is too expensive for what it is, a high-end tablet hybrid meant for productivity—only one that lacks the requisite software. You could say this dichotomy is part of the Pixel brand.
Today the Pixel C team held an hour-long Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) from 11 to 12 PM PT.
Are you bored of the endless parade of touchscreen slabs that smartphones have become? Do you want a new idea, a strike of genius, something to foam at the mouth for? Then look no further than the Japanese market. The companies there are just scrubbing every assumption we have and building weird products to appeal to their awesome and quirky market, like this Kyocera DIGNO rafre. Let's pretend that we all know how this name is pronounced and move on to the highlight feature of the phone: it's hot water and soap washable.
A couple months ago some Google Opinion Rewards survey-filler-outters received questions about the OnHub that suggested Google had new shells in the works. At least one of the three options provided looked like a paper towel holder, and the others could easily pass for trash cans. Google wanted to know which one people would be most willing to buy. Well, all three variants have appeared in the Google Store, where they're listed as coming soon.