The new Chromecast is here! Well, sort of new. I mean, it is new, but it doesn't really do anything new apart from one oft-requested feature: 5GHz Wi-Fi (also, Wi-Fi ac support, if that matters to you [read: it probably doesn't]). Google has not only added higher-frequency wireless support to the new Chromecast, it's also doubled down on it with a new Wi-Fi antenna array that should increase signal strength and, potentially, speed for streaming. Also, the Chromecast is now a magnetic hockey puck thing.
Other than that, there are actually no significant reasons from a consumer standpoint to buy the new Chromecast if you already have the old one. Read More
After signing up for Google's Project Fi I had only to wait a couple of days before a SIM card and "Welcome Kit" showed up at my door. I noted that the accessories - a battery pack, earbuds, and white case for the Nexus 6 - seemed to be carefully and thoughtfully designed, even if the hard plastic boxes for each seemed a little extravagant. The welcome kit was foreshadowing for the rest of the Fi experience - thoughtfully put together and pleasing.
I've been using Fi (switching over from T-Mobile) for over a month now, so I thought it might be helpful to rewind through my experience and answer some questions would-be Fi users might be asking. Read More
OnHub is Google's attempt at a router that's easy to set up and, unlike most others, pretty enough to leave out in the open. But it could be prettier. Rather than roll out new hardware this early in the game, Google seems to be interested in producing new cases—or shells—to replace the blue one that comes with the device.
At least one person has completed a Google Opinion Rewards survey (Google's way of acquiring user feedback in exchange for Play Store credit) asking questions about the OnHub. Particularly, would you be interested in purchasing one of three potential shells, and what price would you consider reasonable? Read More
You've been able to tell Android to place calls by voice since time immemorial, but it has gotten a lot smarter over the years. Now, with OK Google commands, you can place a call without even touching the phone. It only makes sense you could activate the speakerphone in that situation, and indeed you can. At some point, Google added the ability to begin a call on speakerphone with only a voice command. Read More
Are you excited to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens? Have you taken out a second mortgage to pay for all the new action figures, LEGO sets, Millennium Falcon quadcopters, and a tiny army of BB-8 Sphero droids? And do you still have about twenty-five bucks left over? Then you might want to check out the latest licensed phone decals from Slickwraps, starring none other than Darth Vader and Stormtrooper #5. According to the official Empire Strikes Back Annotated Companion, his name was Martoona Chumscrubly and he once served Obi-Wan a Coke in the Mos Eisley Cantina before being press-ganged onto a Star Destroyer, getting a mild burn from a stray laser blast delivered by Han Solo, and retiring with disability pay to another galaxy with less obsessive lore. Read More
Chromecast Audio is a very simple product, and that’s probably the best thing about it from a consumer’s standpoint. You plug it in to power and then into an audio output source like an A/V receiver or a powered speaker. The Chromecast Audio supports either standard stereo audio cables or optical via a mini-digital connector. From there, just open the Chromecast app and get the device set up on your Wi-Fi network. That’s it - you’re done.
Now, any cast-enabled device within a reasonable proximity of the Chromecast Audio can tell it to play audio, regardless of whether it is on your Wi-Fi network, just like Chromecast. Read More
Google announced Nexus Protect on Tuesday as a way to get a little more peace of mind with your new phone. Nexus Protect is a warranty program that offers two years of coverage for hardware failures and accidental damage. The claims website was just a placeholder before, but now it's alive. Not that you can do much with it. Read More
If you have a Chromecast or Android TV, you've probably noticed the one big glaring hole in content on those devices: Amazon Instant Video. Now, it seems more unlikely than ever that these devices will be getting AIV support, because Amazon is apparently preventing sellers on the US site from listing them altogether, and will remove all existing listings for the devices on October 29th. An email appeared on reddit late last night purporting to be from Amazon is below:
Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of Prime.