It's important to take advantage of WiFi in this era of capped data plans, but what if you forget to turn your WiFi on? That might happen much less often in Android O. There's a feature (not currently active) that can turn WiFi on for you when you get near a saved network.
We're coming at you today with a deal alert on a nifty little bundle from Amazon. This is a two-node Netgear Orbi WiFi system (router and satellite) that comes with a black second-gen Echo Dot. While you'd normally shell out $420.98 for this, the deal knocks off $90.99, bringing the amount you pay to $329.99.
Some people want to deal with as few devices as possible - especially when it comes to their home network. If you happen to need a router, and also use anything in the SmartThings ecosystem, Samsung has just the product for you.
Android O will include big, obvious changes like picture-in-picture and new icons, but some of the low-level stuff could be just as impactful down the road. For instance, the addition of Neighborhood Aware Networking (NAN) support for WiFi. It could allow devices to find each other and communicate over WiFi without an access point.
Something strange has begun happening to many of Google's OnHub and Wifi routers. The units are refusing to broadcast WiFi signal, and are requiring factory resets to function properly again. Many people refuse to use OnHubs or Wifis because Google has too much control over them, and it seems like they'll have a little more ammunition to use in arguments against these cloud-connected devices now.
German audio firm Raumfeld is known for making some nice (and expensive) speakers with support for streaming services like Spotify and Tidal. Starting today, those speakers also support Chromecast. The update is rolling out to all of Raumfeld's WiFi speakers this very day.
Google told us at its event in October that the company's new router, the Wifi, would be available to order some time in November and would then ship in December. Right on cue, an unlisted video has appeared showing how to set up your brand new router.
Setup is reasonably straightforward, from the looks of things: plug in the USB-C cable for power and ethernet to your existing modem, then wait for it to flash blue, at which point the app can be used to configure it. To do this, scan the QR code on the bottom of the router, then wait for the app to do its thing.
Android Auto v2.0 began rolling out earlier this week with a pretty significant redesign that made the driving mode part of the app's primary UI. There were quite a few changes to support the on-phone Auto simulator, including a fair number of new options like the ability to auto-launch with certain Bluetooth connections (and prevent that if it's still in a pocket).
While most of the new features are easy to discover when poking around in either the driving mode interface or in the couple of config screens, there's a new feature in the audio player that deserves to be called out on its own.
The update is so small that the changelogs for both the Pixel and Pixel XL only have five words: "This update improves Wi-Fi connectivity." It's almost definitely just a fix for a small bug that Google caught before the public release of the phones. It's likely that phones from the Google Store will also receive this update, if they don't ship with it already.
As a kinda, sorta well-known technology journalist, I get a lot of pitches for hardware to review. More often than not, I just ignore these emails (sorry PR people) because I simply get too many of them. On occasion, someone pitches an interesting thing, and I'll take a closer look at it. Such was the case with the Grace Digital CastDock X2. I thought at first it was a Cast enabled speaker, and I bet that's what you thought just now too. Well, it's not. This is literally a dock for your Chromecast Audio, and that makes it just weird enough to warrant a quick hands-on here.