A smart home hub, like the Google Home, is only useful if it can actually control your smart home stuff. The Google Home only shipped with a handful of supported devices and services, but over the past few months, that has expanded a great deal. In addition to the Wink devices we covered earlier, Google Assistant (and thus, the Google Home) now works with LIFX, TP-Link, Vivint, and Best Buy Insignia smart home products. Read More
A few days ago, we reported one unofficial feature in Google Maps 9.49 beta that allowed you to manually save your parking location for future reference. Unlike Google's automatic parking saving that guesses the location based on where you approximately stopped driving and surfaces the info in your Feed, this one was a more manual and more accurate way of pinning down your parking spot. It also let you add notes, set a time limit for metered parkings, and attach photos for your reference. That was saved as a notification you could tap when you had to go back to your car. Read More
Google Keep can already autocomplete items in a grocery list saving you lots of time from typing things repeatedly, but it turns out that it can also autocomplete movie and TV show titles. We're not sure when exactly the option became available, it may have been there for months or it might be recent. Either way, it's there now, so consider this post a PSA for those of you who hadn't seen it before.
In order for Keep to start suggesting movies or TV shows for you, your list has to have something like "movies" in the title for the former, or "TV shows" for the latter. Read More
Here we are again with some more banks/credit unions added to Android Pay's list of friendlies. We've hit the point where most of the major banks and cards are supported, and now there's a huge list of 51 new institutions that can take advantage of contactless payments. Read More
Between this job and school, I write a lot, so any tool that makes that task easier is great in my book. On that note, the G Suite team has rolled out a small, but great, change to Docs: you can now change the capitalization of a specific portion of text, and you get to choose between lowercase, all caps, and title case. Read More
Google started rolling out the new location sharing feature in Google Maps today, which is vastly more streamlined than the old method. You can share your location with a contact, of course, but there's more to it. You can also create links that share your location, and they come with all the same controls as contact sharing. Read More
Google pulled the location sharing features from Google+ recently, which was annoying because the corresponding feature in Maps was not actually available yet. Well, it turns out Google was only a little behind schedule. Location sharing in Maps appears to be rolling out wide right now. Read More
The Pixel Launcher's reach has been spreading in the past few weeks. Yes, it could always be sideloaded, but it was only initially available for the Pixel and Pixel XL. The 7.1.2 beta 2 update, however, brought it to the Pixel C as well. Now, it seems that Android One smartphones are getting a lookalike of Google's latest launcher, beginning with Y!mobile's Android One S2. Read More
Android has allowed blocking notifications from selected apps for a while now, but it was all-or-nothing. Android O aims to give users more control over what notifications they want to see, through the new Notification Channels API. Read More
When Google renamed Brillo to "Android Things" at the end of the last year, it also announced new partners for Google Home. Beside Hue and SmartThings, there would be Belkin WeMo, Honeywell, Wink, LiFX, and TP-Link. The first two are already live in the Home Control section of Google Home's Assistant settings, and the third should be available starting today.
Wink makes a home hub that works as a central control place and bridge between all of your connected gadgets. The Hub 2, which I reviewed a few months ago, has WiFi, Bluetooth, Z-Wave, Zigbee, and plenty of other protocols to communicate with many smart home products. As I discovered, it's also very easy to set up and one of the simplest ways to start building your connected smart home without feeling overwhelmed. As long as the product you choose is supported by Wink, there will be clear requirements, tutorials, and graphics for you. Read More