Asking a Google Home to set an alarm or reminder is a rudimentary use for one of those smart speakers. But it seems some users recently found that their Google Home failed to sound alarms and reminders that were set. Now Google is saying that a fix has been rolled out and those functions are working again.
Android's "Do not disturb" setting has an incredible degree of flexibility, but as of the recent Developer Preview, it looks like it may be simplified a bit going forward. In our hands-on time today with Android P, we have discovered that the Do not disturb setting, and its various modes, has been reduced to a single toggle accessible only via quick settings. Gone are the old "Total silence," "Alarms only," and "Priority only" modes.
The default alarm tone for the Google Home may leave a tiny bit to be desired, but thankfully Google has just introduced an alternative: you can now set your next alarm to play music instead. So the next time you need to set an alarm for an impromptu nap or that bird in the oven, you can be jerked back to awareness with something a bit more entertaining.
The last time Google made new alarm, notification, and ringtone sounds for Android was for the original Pixel and Pixel XL. Maybe this will become a yearly tradition, because Google has done the same thing for this year's Pixels. We've also extracted them from a Pixel 2 XL, so you can use them on your own device.
Google Home is still relatively new, so there are still quite a few things on the immediate to-do list. An update to the app began rolling out yesterday and it brings one commonly requested feature: a way to check out the alarms and timers set on Google Home. On top of that, there is evidence that multi-user support is in the works, and probably includes individual voice recognition.
Android's Do Not Disturb feature has a long and complicated relationship with alarms. In Lollipop the tiers of "priority" and "none" did a poor job of explaining how alarms fit in. With Marshmallow, there's that ongoing bug that kills the "until next alarm" option every month. In Android N, there's a new option that might finally make alarms and DND work the way you expect. Alarms can simply override Do Not Disturb.
The Clock app doesn't get a ton of updates, but when it does there's almost always something worth talking about. The latest version does a little bit of everything with a little bit of visual polish and updates for the Android Wear app. As usual, there's a link at the bottom if you'd like to grab this version before it rolls out to your devices in due time.
Development of the popular Timely alarm clock slowed to a crawl when Google acquired the company just over a year ago, but there have been a few small updates since then. Today is a big one, though. Timely v1.3 adds some new features, fixes some bugs, and even adopts a few Lollipop UI elements.
Being woken from a deep sleep by an intrusive sound is never fun, so it's easy to grow resentful of your alarm app. It's a necessary evil, right? AlarmPad is a new beta alarm app that tries to add some context to your alarms to make itself useful beyond just waking you up from a restful sleep. You may not love it, but you might respect it.
If you're paranoid about losing both your smartphone and your tablet... well, you probably shouldn't be carrying both in an area where either is likely to get stolen. But if you do, and feel like you need an extra layer of protection, McAfee is here to indulge your fear. Smart Perimeter Plus (in the Security Innovations app) links your Android phone and tablet, then sets off an alarm if either are separated from the same WiFi network. It's a free download for devices running Android 2.1 or later.
The concept is pretty simple: connect both your phone and your tablet to the same WiFi network, then pair them with the app-specific PIN.