Well, it was nice while it lasted. A few months ago prolific Android developer Chainfire introduced a method of rooting Android devices without modifying the /System partition. It had the added and extremely welcome benefit of getting around SafetyNet detection for applications that were intentionally disabled on rooted phones, like Android Pay. But it looks like Google has caught on: starting this weekend (as reported on the /r/Android subreddit ), Android Pay and other SafetyNet apps no longer work with the roundabout root method. Bummer.
Google's system uses a server-side update, so at the moment there's no way to get around the check even with older versions of Android Pay, Google Play Services, et cetera. Read More
Most of us rely on our Calendars to tell us where we need to be and what we need to do. Few calendars, however, take into account public and religious holidays, so we often end up scheduling meetings on these off days or putting deadlines right after them. Google Calendar has long been able to show public holidays from many countries around the world, but it's now adding 54 more for a total of 143. Lebanon, for example, is among the new additions. Yay! These holiday calendars can be enabled from Settings > Holidays and then choosing one or several countries to display. Read More
If you're an American and you've heard the tongue-twisting country music ballad "I've Been Everywhere," odds are that you've heard the most popular version from Johnny Cash, or perhaps the earlier version by the unequaled Hank Snow. There have been dozens of adaptations of the song, for everywhere from Texas to Singapore. But the original was written by Geoff Mack way back in 1959 and popularized by Lucky Starr, and the first set of lyrics was exclusively tailored to cities, towns, and regions in Australia. The song featured such multi-syllabic municipalities as Megalong, Tamborine, Woodenbong, and Grong Grong. Read More
Remember when everyone was up in arms because the Nexus 6P and 5X were so expensive outside North America? It turns out that Google has decided to quietly fix that, at least in some parts of the world. On the Google Store, the Nexus 5X, which initially launched for €479 and then came down to €429 in the Eurozone, is now starting at just €349, while the Nexus 6P, priced at €649 back in September, now begins at €549. The prices in Italy are still €50 more expensive for every model than the rest of the Eurozone, and the price increments for each storage tier are the same as before. Read More
Hangouts updates are usually an opportunity to be let down, but not this time. Get ready to feel a mix of excitement, annoyance, and concern; a feeling that, as far as I'm aware, does not have a name. So let's just say we're all about to feel a little "Hangouts." The v7.0 update is starting to hit devices, and it finally adds quick reply. However, it also nags you to install Google Messenger. Perhaps the rumor about SMS being removed is going to come true soon? Read More
When Google thinks it knows something you might be interested in, like a middle schooler at lunch time, it has to get this information off its chest. Usually this comes in the form of a Google Now notification.
These are marked by blue icons containing a symbol that indicate what type of information you're about to read, such as a cloud for weather or a soccer ball for sports. Now these images have badges with Google's logo. Read More
Google has been pushing the Nexus 5X and 6P with frequent sales since they came out, and it looks like there's another promo coming into effect for Valentine's Day. The Nexus 5X on eBay yesterday was only the beginning. You can get $50 off a gold Nexus 6P or a Nexus 5X, but you might not see both discounts at all retailers. It's actually a bit of a mess. Read More
Gmail is still Google's flagship email product, but Inbox is growing and evolving in interesting ways. Today, Google is announcing two improvements to search functionality in Inbox. Searches can now bring up quick answer cards, and your search results will be grouped by relevance. Read More