Google put in place a few restrictions when it comes to apps and games on Android TV. You either download the app through the Play Store on the TV itself or you browse through your computer and install remotely. And even in that case, there are plenty of apps that show themselves as compatible from the web Play Store but when installed are nowhere to be found in Android TV's Leanback Launcher. Usually, that means the app isn't fully optimized for Android TV, but it could still be properly functional (with remote and/or controller compatibility), except for the fact that you can't access it by default. Read More
A few days ago, Valve released the beta version of the Steam Link app for Android. This means that you can play your Steam library right on your phone, and it's pretty great. Though it's by no means a new concept – we've seen it before with Sony and Nvidia devices – it doesn't require either a PlayStation or a GeForce graphics card. All you need is a Steam library and your phone on the same network, plus a controller, and you're good to go. Read More
Google just launched its rumored Tasks revamp alongside a new Gmail experience this morning. The new interface will show up inside Gmail, if you activate the latter's redesign, and also comes with a new Android (APK Mirror) and iOS app. In this post, we'll take a look at what Tasks can - and can't - do and see how well polished its experience is. Read More
Netatmo's approach to security cameras is refreshing. In a market that's filled with companies limiting what you can do with the hardware you bought just in order to get you to sign up for a monthly subscription, Netatmo asks only that you purchase its camera. Video storage is free thanks to MicroSD card support as well as optional Dropbox and FTP uploads. Face recognition is free and gets better with time as it learns. A web app is provided so you can monitor everything from your computer, not just your phone. And privacy is respected because nothing other than a backup screenshot is sent to the Netatmo Cloud. Read More
Microsoft Garage releases plenty of new projects with some being wacky and some more interesting with potential to grow into a real Microsoft app. The latter is the case of the new Photos Companion, an app that does what its name suggests: it's an Android (and iOS) app that lets you quickly transfer photos from your phone to the Photos app on a Windows 10 PC via WiFi. It works very well from my experience and might become my go-to way for sending screenshots to my computer. Read More
It's Go time at Google for the past few weeks and today appears to be an even more special one. We've seen the YouTube Go app get updated with double tap to seek controls and now Gmail Go has made its way onto the Play Store. We were able to get our hands on the APK file so I tested it out on my Pixel 2 XL (it requires Android 8.1 and above, as Go devices are based on Android 8.1). The light version provides nearly the same experience as the regular Gmail app, but the APK size is much smaller: 9.51MB vs 20.66MB. Read More
There definitely isn't a lack of applications for managing tasks and setting reminders. Apps such as Evernote, Google Keep, and Wunderlist all provide plenty of flexibility when it comes to creating, tagging, managing, and sharing reminders, but sometimes all those options can feel unnecessary and may get in the way when all you need to do is set a quick reminder. If you've been looking for something a little more lightweight, Remindee is a free app that might be worth checking out.
The app itself is very straightforward and can create a reminder from within any app using Android's 'Share' button. Read More
With a couple of months of use behind me, my feelings about the Belkin WeMo switches are just as conflicted now as they were when I unpacked these. On paper, the idea of a switch that you can plug anything in to make it smart is fantastic. In reality, I struggled to find many, if any honestly, devices I wanted to use the WeMo with. But that's not even the meat of my issue with WeMo's switches. Their connectivity has been iffy at best, the app is laughably old, and integration with other smart home devices is hit and miss, mostly because of the aforementioned connectivity issues. Read More
As a Mac user, I've felt like a pariah over the past years that I've also been using Android as my go-to mobile platform. Mac works fantastically with iOS, but Android doesn't have any powerful integration with any desktop environment. That's been the status-quo of things for as long as I remember. Android does work well enough with Windows when you're just trying to transfer some files though. But if you're on a Mac, simply plugging in the phone with a USB cable and choosing the MTP mode (File Transfer) wouldn't do the trick, you'd need a separate app called Android File Transfer (ATP) from Google to make it work. Read More
When my husband and I began designing our new apartment about a year ago, one of the first things I wanted to account for was smart lights. I love well-lit environments and the idea of having lights turn on and off automatically in the different rooms was appealing. I thought it'd be easy to find a smart lighting solution for the entire house, but my search eventually hit so many walls I'm surprised I didn't completely give up after the 10th week of frantic Googling and pointless research.
There were so many things to account for: 220V electricity in Lebanon, different size of wall switch and box compared to US, 908.4 MHz Z-Wave on my smart hub (US frequency), compatibility with SmartThings and Google Home, I didn't want an additional hub hanging off my router, and best of all: super frequent electricity cuts and blackouts. Read More