Not too long ago, Google began offering users the chance to test unfinished Chromecast firmware. The first preview firmware, version 1.21.72444, began rolling out to users recently. Google's release notes for the update only state, "General bug fixes and stability improvements." Really helpful, Google.
Thankfully, tipster Rafael sent us the screenshots above and below. They indicate that all references to the word 'Chrome' have been removed. The current public firmware shows the Chrome logo when the device starts up, which is now replaced by a Google logo. Read More
Setting up and using 2-factor authentication on a Google account used to be a fairly miserable affair. The sign-in process lurched from a native interface into a browser where users were expected to quickly enter codes, various apps weren't compatible and required special 1-time use passwords, and the app for generating codes felt completely unfinished. These days, all of those problems have been solved, and now Google's Authenticator app is even taking steps to further improve its look and usefulness. The latest update brings a great looking refresh to the UI, adds a dark mode, and finally adds its own built-in scanner functionality. Read More
Allo was finally released earlier this week, much to my own excitement. Google's latest messaging app seems pretty appealing in some regards and I am always willing to try something new. Thus far, I am enjoying it.
It seems that I am not alone. Allo is listed as number one in the Top Free Apps chart in the Play Store. That means it is beating Facebook/Messenger, Snapchat, and Instagram. It is mirroring its cousin, Duo, which also reached number one in the Top Free chart shortly after its release just over a month ago.
From this vantage, it is pretty easy to draw parallels between the two apps — both were announced together as Google's new messaging solution. Read More
Eight years - that's how long Android has been available to the public for. September 23rd, 2008 marked two huge events in Android's history: T-Mobile's release of the G1, the first Android device available to the masses, and Google's release of the Android 1.0 SDK. Happy birthday, Android! Read More
According to a helpful commenter who provided this photo, a Walmart (location unknown) is currently selling Xiaomi's not-actually-out-yet Mi Box. The price? $69. Not bad at all - great, even. Xiaomi has not indicated when it plans to release the device specifically, but if this is any indication, you can probably guess "pretty soon."
So, it may not be a bad idea to call up your local Walmart and see if they made the same mistake - this could be more widespread than we know. And at $69, that's an easy impulse buy, am I right? Read More
Hangouts v12 came out last month and we took an opportunity to have a couple laughs at its expense over what appeared to be the only actual new feature: a ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ emote, accessible by typing /shruggie into a message box. With this update, that little guy brought all of his friends. Yes, the rest of the emote list is now accessible in Hangouts v13. There is also a new option to open web links with an in-app browser, though it may not be available to everybody just yet. And finally, the teardown shows Hangouts will have its own launcher shortcuts when Android 7.1 comes out. Read More
Speaking to Android Police, two sources claim that Google will announce its Google Home and the 4K 'Chromecast Ultra' devices will be priced at $129 and $69, respectively, at its October 4th event.
Google Home was announced at Google I/O in May. Our sources also confirmed that the personalized base covers Google showed at I/O will be a feature of the final device. The $129 price point for Google Home matches that of the previously-unrumored Google Wifi, a router that will allegedly be able to create a single, large wireless network using multiple access points. $129 also undercuts Amazon's Echo by a full $40, and though it matches the price of the portable Amazon Tap, it's clear Google has Amazon's flagship smart home product in its sights with Home. Read More
OnHub-schmonhub: two sources are now telling us that Google will introduce an own-brand Wi-Fi router called Google Wifi, and that the device will cost $129. A source that has proved reliable in the past has told us that the device will be launched alongside Google's Pixel phones, Google Home, and the 4K 'Chromecast Ultra' on October 4th.
That source additionally claims that Google will advertise the router as having "smart" features - probably similar to OnHub in some respects - and that Google will claim it provides enhanced range over typical Wi-Fi routers (a claim we see basically every router make, to be fair). Read More
I would argue that Duo is a better product than Allo, at least in this early stage. Duo makes video chatting as simple as possible, and the result is a simple but easy to use application. Micromax, an Indian electronics company, has announced that four phones they are releasing in the near future will have Duo pre-installed.
Micromax didn't reveal too much about the phones, besides that they will be LTE-capable and will be under $100 USD. Google Product Manager Amit Fulay has said, "In the first month alone we have seen over 10 million downloads, with US and India being among the top countries." It seems like Google is betting on the growing 4G network in India to help make Duo a success. Read More
￼"The other browser, that one with the red O as its logo, um... Opera!" is the way I've often heard Opera referred to. It's a great browser, but for whatever reason it doesn't seem to have the same public mindshare as Chrome or Firefox does. Today, it's getting a brand new lick of paint in version 37, which might help it in the ongoing quest to overhaul the aforementioned 'big boys' of the browser game.
Opera says in a blog post that the new look is more modern, fresh, and importantly (at least for some), material. The browser's Speed Dial feature has had a complete redesign, while the news feature is to the right of that. Read More