Streaming movies from Google Play is rather nice. I sort of scoffed at the feature at first, wondering why I'd want to spend that much money to rent a movie when I could wait and buy a physical copy later. But hey, $3 to $5 really isn't that much compared to watching a film in theaters, and it lets you see a movie much sooner than waiting for the DVD version to drop in price.
The thing is, Play Movies isn't available all over the world. Read More
OnePlus finally announced the OnePlus 2 the other day, and potential buyers are currently coming to grips with several missing features including NFC and Quick Charging. It appeared at first that some international users were going to have a much more substantial shortcoming to deal with as the device apparently lacked several important LTE bands. OnePlus has quietly updated its specs to confirm support of these bands, so all should be fine. Read More
Google started showing a few ads in the Play Store phone client earlier this year, but the feature has been in testing this whole time. Play Store ads are now available to all interested parties, so get ready to see a lot more of them. Read More
Users are reporting that Google has started slashing and burning old accounts in recent days, seemingly with no warning. The first sign something is wrong comes in the form of an alert sent to the user's backup email informing them their Google account has been deleted because of an unresolved terms of service violation. Whatever is going on, it's probably time to backup any unused accounts you have sitting around.
The Gmail support forums are packed with users reporting their old accounts have been nuked, and several Reddit threads have popped up in the last few days as well. Most affected users say the deleted accounts hadn't been used in a long time, possibly years. Read More
If you have opened a Google document, spreadsheet, or presentation in a web browser on your mobile device in the past week, you may have noticed that Google is rolling out a new look.
The updated interface is simpler, and the changes are consistent across all three services. An action bar stretches across the top that lets you go back or start editing. The title of the document sits in the center. In most cases the bar is gray, but it turns dark when viewing slides.
Google is taking this time to phase out the ability to edit Docs files on the web. Read More
Do you like to frequent places when they're at their busiest or do you prefer to slip in when no one else is around? No matter. Google Search will now help you do both. When you search for certain establishments, Google will show you which times of the day are the most popular.
Just search for a place's name and click on its card in the search results. Underneath the address and phone number you might see a scrollable chart showing when folks tend to stop by.
Results will vary. I had success when trying Blue Bottle Williamsburg, the coffee shop in Google's example. Read More
After having been available to some users as a beta for over half a year, Google Contributor is now available to everyone in the US.
Great, now I can contribute to Google!
Eh, not quite. Google Contributor's purpose is to free you from ads. Not all of them, mind you, but some. Pay $2 - $10 a month to remove anywhere from 5 - 50% of those banners and animated squares you see on the web. This money then provides an alternate way to fund the sites you frequent.
Here's how things work in the background. Contributors become bidders on AdSense, and the ads they outbid are the ones they don't have to see. Read More
Mobile TV seems like a natural and obvious thing. That's why Sony sold a gajillion of those little portable TVs in the eighties, and why streaming of movies and TV shows has exploded on mobile platforms. So why, then, has mobile television streaming only taken off in a few markets? It seems like adding "unlimited free video with no data charges" to your phone's spec sheet would be something that would appeal to everyone.
Anyway. Motorola has a new mobile HDTV app available now, called... Mobile HDTV. It looks really similar to the other Motorola TV app, Mobile TV. Read More
Razer, PC gaming accessory maker and recent Android TV also-ran, bought Ouya. That left a lot of people hanging, and not just Ouya employees or customers. Those Android game developers who had taken the company up on its "Free The Games" funding offer for extra development money in exchange for timed exclusivity to the Ouya platform, and who hadn't yet been paid, got stung by a "bankruptcy or buyout" clause in the contract. Since Ouya was bought by an outside company, the matching funds from the original deal no longer have to be provided. Read More