With enough money, a collection of Z-Wave devices, and a Vera smart home controller, it doesn't take much to turn your home into an intelligent fortress. There's even an Android app by Vera that puts control of everything into the palm of your hand. But if we've learned anything over the years, it's that you're not impressing anyone until there's a Tasker plugin that can automate everything for you. Now there is.
After impending Chromecast support for the service was announced around 2 months ago, TV streaming service of questionable legality Aereo has finally integrated casting into its Android client. The app, which is still officially in beta, was updated with the feature today, and the changelog notes that "this is a beta" and to report any issues with casting functionality to Aereo's feedback email.
Now you can get live over the air television on your television without a TV antenna, yay!
Postmates is an app-based courier service that's grown quite popular recently, and the company is expanding its reach to tech's two hottest hubs: Silicon Valley and Austin, TX. The Silicon Valley area includes Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, and Atherton, if you're interested in the specifics.
Postmates is actually pretty neat, if kind of expensive. The company partners locally with restaurants, stores, and other retailers to build a "menu" of items available for purchase, which you then select in the app, and a Postmate courier then accepts your order and delivers said items to your door.
Good things come to those who wait. Android users didn't get an official Wikipedia app until January 2012, and it was a relatively bare bones release at that. Over two years later, it's really starting to show its age, as those Gingerbread screenshots sitting on its Play Store page aren't impressing anyone. But now we see a new version of the Wikipedia Beta app that finally seems poised to give us the native experience we've been waiting for.
The Pebble's software updates keep it slow and steady. Today's 2.2 firmware release doesn't rock the boat, but it introduces a few features that I'm sure fellow Pebble owners out there have wished for at some point or another. The first of which is the ability to reorder items in the launcher menu. Now if you hold the select button on an item in the menu, you can drop it somewhere else in the column.
The Chrome Remote Desktop app was long overdue when Google finally launched it a few weeks back, and already there's a much requested feature addition. As of the newest update, which started rolling out yesterday, the app supports immersive mode on Android 4.4.
That Hangouts update from yesterday has one more trick up its sleeve, and it's an interesting one. Google has opted to change the behavior when you tap on a contact photo so it no longer tosses you to Google+, but opens a contact card like most other areas of the system.
Kids these days with their fancy smart homes, their smartphone-controlled lights, Bluetooth-connected door locks, and their mind-reading kettles. Back in the day, people manually flipped switches, turned keys, and pressed buttons. Appliances didn't control themselves, and that was a-okay. But sprinklers, yes, those should be automated, and using your smartphone to monitor them just makes plain sense! Tell me more about Rachio's newfangled Iro smart sprinkler controller.
Okay, not all homeowners are grumpy old men (get off my lawn!), so I'll drop the impression and just tell you what Rachio's smart sprinkler controller can do.