Following the announcement that it'd be reducing Nest's video quality to help lower network strain around the world, Google has also revealed that it'll do the same for the Chromecast and smart displays. The move is temporary and comes from a mindset that every bit helps, even if it's just saving everyone a little bit of bandwidth. Read More
YouTube and many other streaming services have lowered their bandwidth utilization to prevent possible network congestion problems due to everyone staying home and using the internet more than usual in these trying times. For many, YouTube videos start playing at 480p or 720p automatically, but it's still possible to manually select a higher resolution. According to XDA Developers, Google has taken a more drastic approach for some regions in India and has started capping streaming quality at 480p for those using the Android or iOS app, with no option to go higher manually. Read More
Republic Wireless, the mobile virtual network operator that was doing hybrid Wi-Fi service before it was cool, is now an independent republic. The company received a $30 million capital investment from its parent corporation Bandwidth, according to The Verge, which allowed it to become its own separate entity. The Republic Wireless blog says that aside from a necessary change in names on customers' Terms of Service agreements, no significant changes to the service or business model are planned. Read More
Chrome introduced its data saving feature many versions of the app ago, but if you've kept it enabled on your device(s), you must have noticed that it's not exactly that efficient. It saves somewhere between 10 and 20% of your data, but that's not going to make a big difference if you're on a very slow network or a very limited plan. If you're suffering from the former, you'll be happy to know that Data Saver is going to get better.
The updated data saver mode can save up to 70% of your bandwidth by not loading a webpage's images when you're on a slow connection. Read More
A brand new version of Google+ began rolling out to Android users yesterday, but it didn't initially appear to do much more than tweak a few layouts and change the colors to something more theme-appropriate. During the initial teardown, we also stumbled onto the newly expanded Pinning feature, but Google beat us to the punch. Of course, since the feature is on a staged rollout to users, plenty of people won't see that quite yet. Fortunately, there were still some more things hidden beneath that digital surface.
: Teardowns are speculative and based on incomplete evidence. There is always a chance that details may change, or entire features may be cancelled.
Two new features are coming to Chrome for Android today, but they'll be old news if you have been running the beta of Chrome on your device. Bandwidth management and homescreen web shortcuts are both graduating from beta status, and will be showing up in the new version of stable Chrome.
Following the release of beta features to Chrome stable yesterday, the beta channel of Chrome for Android was promoted to version 28 today.
The update brings a number of desired additions and improvements, all of which I will break down for you below. Here's the relatively incomplete list the Chrome team posted on its blog:
The Chrome team is excited to announce the promotion of Chrome 28 to the Beta channel. Chrome for Android 28.0.1500.21 contains a number of new improvements including:
- Google Translate: When you come across a page written in a language that isn't in the same language as your phone or tablet, look for the translation bar
- Fullscreen on tablets: Simply scroll the page to dismiss the toolbar
- Support for fullscreen API
- New graph showing your estimated bandwidth savings when you use the experimental data compression feature
- Mobile friendly error pages
Here's what Chrome's new mobile-friendly Translate bar looks like if you visit a site with a language different from your device's (for example, newsru.com):
I find built-in translation support to be one of Chrome's most useful features, so I applaud Google for finally bringing it to Android. Read More
There are many reasons why you may need to keep an eye on what's going with your bandwidth at any given moment, especially while on a cell network. Perhaps you need to monitor a download that's going on in the background, or maybe you just need to make sure that no apps are hogging data without permission. Whatever the reason, if you've been searching for an easy to way to address this issue, we've found the solution: Network Monitor Mini.
Network Monitor Mini is one of the simplest, yet most useful apps we've ever used - it displays both upload and download speeds on the screen at all times. Read More
Let's face it -- no one likes tiered data plans. Still, it is something that most of us have to deal with, and I've never met anyone who wants to suffer the result of going over their allotted bandwidth. Fortunately, Google is offering a nice, proactive solution (not to be confused with the face cream that gets rid of acne, that's something else entirely) to help users avoid connection speed slowdowns or, even worse, surprise overage fees.
The band-aid for this menacing problem is a built-in data monitor, which is designed to provide crucial information about which apps are using your bandwidth and how much you have left, as well as warn you or disable all mobile data when you hit a user-definable limit. Read More