The burning question on everyone's mind when Allo was released - "can you send SMS?" The answer, as seemingly common with Google products, is "it's complicated." Allo-w me to explain the answer, and more of Allo's quirky behavior, below.
What happens when I send a text to someone without Allo?
When you tap a contact that has not yet registered for Google Allo, you are presented with the above message warning that you are sending messages through SMS. When you send a message, the recipient receives the following text from a random five-digit number (at least in my tests):
[Your full name] ([Your phone number]) added you on Google Allo to chat.
... and a lot like Telegram. And Facebook Messenger. And plenty of other messaging apps too. But enumerating those would make for a very long title so I had to restrict it to the most popular messenger out there.
Google Allo, unlike its sister app, Duo, has its work cut out for it. While Duo doesn't have a clear competitor in the simple one-on-one mobile messaging field, especially on Android, Allo faces a roadblock of established opponents that have had years to develop their featureset, userbase, and public image. On the one hand, this gives Allo the opportunity to start fresh without any unnecessary remnants that other apps and services carry because of their older origins and the room to learn from what has and hasn't worked for them, but on the other hand, it also puts Allo at the very bottom of a very steep hill. Read More
Google said Allo would be available at some point during the summer, and it's getting in right under the wire. The new chat application is now official, and it's starting to pop up in the Play Store for download. Don't fret if it's not showing up for you quite yet; we have the APK ready for download. Read More
If you don't subscribe to a cable or satellite provider, your options for all of these new streaming apps seem to shrink fairly quickly. There are more and more channel apps coming in for Android TV, but most of them assume that you already pay for premium TV somewhere else. CNN is offering an alternative, and if it's not ideal, then at least it's there. CNNgo doesn't want any of your money, it just wants to show you the news. And also some ads. But mostly news. Read More
Although the Galaxy Note7's tendency to explode has been a disaster for Samsung, it's hard to deny that they're doing a good job with damage control. A few days ago, the Korean company promised that replacement devices would be available no later than September 21st. Tomorrow's the 21st, so Samsung's evidently kept their word. Read More
I know what you're thinking. "Haha, it finally got a Marshmallow update when Nougat is out, Samsung sucks." But before you go into the comments and trumpet about how your Nexus 9 already has Nougat, keep in mind that this is a Samsung tablet, from 2014, on Verizon, that is being updated. If any of those alone were true, this would be newsworthy.
The latest update for Verizon's Galaxy Tab S, identified as MMB29M.T807VVRU1CPG6, brings the device up to Android 6.0 Marshmallow. This includes all the features that normally come along with Marshmallow, such as Now on Tap (now under a different name), Doze, permissions control, and more. Read More
Lenovo turned a lot of heads when it announced its latest Yoga design, the Yoga Book. It's essentially a convertible laptop with a fold-back screen, complete with the Yoga line's well-regarded watch band hinge. But the Yoga Book has an ace up its sleeve: instead of a conventional keyboard, it uses a gigantic touch-sensitive panel that includes a dedicated keyboard mode, with virtual backlit "keys" that can be activated at a touch. Windows and Android versions are being made, and the latter is now up for pre-order. Read More
Firefox may have been overshadowed by Chrome in terms of worldwide users, but it is still an excellent browser, even on Android. The latest update, version 49, has the usual dose of new features and bug fixes.
The biggest new feature is offline page viewing, which coincidentally enough, was recently added to the Chrome Dev builds. However, Chrome allows you to manually choose what pages you want stored for offline reading, whereas Firefox tries to store recent pages offline automatically. I imagine it wouldn't be too difficult to implement Chrome's offline functionality, now that the framework is in place. Read More
There is no shortage of WiFi-capable wireless security cameras on the market today. The Canary Flex is another entry, but with a few tricks that help it stand out from the crowd. First off, the design marks a strong resemblance to GlaDOS, and is available in white or black colors.
Inside the main unit is a 720p camera (actually 1080p, but downgraded for smoother streaming), a high-quality microphone, a 116° wide-angle lens, and dual-band WiFi and Bluetooth Low Energy support. There is also a speaker for two-way communication, but that feature will come in a future software update. Read More