We've known since last October that Google Play Music was getting ready to welcome podcasts into its fold of audio entertainment, but yesterday Sportscaster Bill Simmons broke the news that the feature was going live this month. It turns out that the option is already active for a few Android users through the weird magic of server-side A/B testing.
Our own Cody had already gone through a mini teardown of version 6.3 of Google Play Music that was released last week, and found lots of hints that podcast support was being thoroughly implemented. It seems that the feature was almost ready by then and the switch has been flipped for a few users who have started seeing a Podcasts icon in their app's side menu. Read More
When Ryan reviewed the Google OnHub back in September of last year, one of his major complaints about the router's usage was the inability to rename devices, which created a messed up soup of unnamed and/or vaguely named devices in your list of connected hardware. That's about to change with the new update to Google On, the OnHub's companion Android app, which adds the ability to give custom names to all of your devices so you can tell which Samsung phone is which and what that no-name computer is. Read More
Google stopped being the Google we all knew last year when it formed a new umbrella parent company called Alphabet. Now, following the first quarterly earnings call for Alphabet, the company's market capitalization (a measure of value based on the price of outstanding shares) has topped that of Apple. That means by one measure, Alphabet is the most valuable company on the planet. Read More
A rather lengthy report on The Information was published this morning about the state of Google's Nexus program, and if I had to put it in one word, the state of Nexus seems to be "fluctuating." While there's a lot to chew through here, there are a few talking points worth pulling out specifically to digest and analyze, so let's dive in.
- Google will take more control over Nexus device development and branding in the future. Maybe.
What does this actually mean? It really is impossible to know. The Information carefully clads these statements in a lot of "ifs," "mays," and "coulds." Google clearly already does nearly all of the aesthetic design on Nexus devices and likely many major feature or hardware decisions - neither the Nexus 5X nor the 6P look anything like what LG or Huawei currently produce. Read More
Google is keeping up with its promise to roll out monthly patches for Nexus devices, and it's really on the ball this time. The factory images for the February update are already available for download from the Google developer site. There are also some updated binaries for devices that need them. Read More
A few days ago, we saw the price of the new Nexus devices drop by $50 at various retailers as a promo for Valentine's Day. The Google Store had discounts applied on all different variants of the Nexus 5X and 6P, but Amazon, Best Buy, and B&H had only removed the $50 from a few of the color and storage options.
Best Buy was among the sellers discounting the Nexus 6P, but only in gold, and it turns out that the retailer has one more trick to sway your decision its way instead of the Google Store's or Amazon's: an additional gift card. When you add the 32GB ($449) or 64GB ($499) gold Nexus 6P to your cart, you'll see a free Best Buy $25 show up with it. Read More
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