Google's Chrome development team regularly implements new APIs to extend the possibilities for web apps to behave more like their native counterparts. The most recent addition to the Chrome dev channel allows web developers to use Bluetooth to communicate with nearby hardware. This could be used for things like an online fitness tracker that gets data from a heart rate monitor or for a controller to drive a Sphero, all without installing a native app.
These things are possible with the new Web Bluetooth API. Still in the early stages of development, this allows a web application to query for Bluetooth devices based on their capabilities, then pass messages back and forth with little or no friction. Read More
When big companies buy small companies, there's always a chance that the smaller company will more or less disappear, along with its products. Some good examples in the mobile space would be HP's acquisition of Palm or Microsoft's similar purchase of Nokia. Not all tech companies do this - Amazon and Facebook seem to be pretty hands-off with their acquisitions - but Intel certainly does. Less than a year after Intel acquired the company that makes popular password manager PasswordBox, the company announced via its blog that the product will be abandoned sometime in 2016.
The PasswordBox team is already working on Intel's similar service, True Key, and they'll be transitioning both team members and software features over to the Intel side. Read More
Changing your Google Account's country is, by the looks of it, an easy procedure. Google has a small tutorial online, but judging by the number of people complaining online about not being able to get that simple process to trigger the switch, it isn't the foolproof and guaranteed method that you'd think it is. Odds are it will work for you, but there's no knowing when or if Google's algorithms will deem you unlucky and stick to your original country.
However, that process isn't just a coin toss for those who have a Merchant Account, it's an unequivocal "NO." Apparently, if you used your Google account to open a Payments Merchant account, there's no way to change your country. Read More
Google's Handwriting Input got its independent Play Store listing back in April and has since received very few updates. That's why the latest version bump to 1.5 (and the subsequent 1.5.1 release) seemed to be significant and in fact, it added 5 new languages to the list of existing 82 languages. These are Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Hebrew, and Burmese.
You will have to download language packages if you choose any of these input methods inside the app, but once that's done and enabled, you will be able to scribble on your screen in your language of choice and Handwriting Input will convert that into text in any app. Read More
The reaction to Pushbullet's pro plan earlier this week was not what the developers had hoped for. Many users cited the $5 monthly price and removal of some free features as justification to declare Pushbullet literally satan. Pushbullet's developers have always been active in the community, so Ryan from Pushbullet (guzba on Reddit) is doing an AMA to explain. Read More
Microsoft is getting ready for a big Windows 10 Mobile push after more than five years of toiling in vain on Windows Phone. In hopes of encouraging Android users to jump ship, Microsoft has released AppCompare, an app that tells you if the apps you have installed on your Android device are available on Windows Phone. If this sounds familiar, that's because Microsoft already tried this, and it didn't go well. Read More
MicroSD cards come in a variety of sizes, but the largest ones give us something to aim for. They're aspirational. No, I'm not going to spend $400 on one when it first comes out, but I know that someday, eventually, I too will be able to afford nice things. And sure enough, the price comes down. Then it drops again. And again. And again. Read More
Or in other words, HBO Now support for Android TV has actually arrived. Sure, you could sideload the app that was updated with compatibility back in October, but that software was aimed at Sony and Sharp smart TVs. Now you can install the app directly from the Play Store from your set-top box of choice. Alternatively, you can head to the website and download the app remotely. Read More
Christmas is coming. But before that, we have Black Friday. Either way, the time is ripe to give consumers the best shopping experience you can muster and bring in that extra dough. For its part, Google is making improvements to Google Shopping. You may know it as that tab that you forgot you could click when you perform a Google search, somewhere to the right of images and maps. Read More