The latest Google Phone update is out, but you're probably not going to spot anything too special right out of the gate. The changes worth noting are to the upcoming dark mode, which appears to be complete as of this version. It still hasn't gone live, but it probably could at any time. There's also text describing a tweak that would allow blocked phone numbers to be shared between apps. Read More
China has a long history of blocking or limiting access to websites, especially social networks and Western-owned sites. Wikipedia, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and many Google services are currently blocked in mainland China. WhatsApp has been partially-blocked in the past (for a while, video chats and some other functionality wasn't working), but now the entire service seems to be non-functional. Read More
If you're taking care of a little one and updates to the YouTube Kids app are actually opportunities for excitement, you've probably been feeling a little let down by the last few version bumps. It's not that anybody really needs it to keep up with the likes of Google Maps or the core YouTube app, but a few big features are surely welcome. This version isn't actually packed with anything notably new for users today, but it brings promises of some things to come. A teardown shows that kids will be able to enjoy videos in VR and parents will be able to block videos and channels right from within the app. Read More
Google's Fi mobile virtual network allows users an impressive amount of fine grain control when it comes to selecting their data allowances. That being the case, it's especially important for users on low tiers to be aware of said usage, and to limit their data consumption when they stray away from the Wi-Fi homestead. A bug in the system created a problem there: it sometimes kept the GSM and/or LTE connection active if a user turned the data toggle off while still on Wi-Fi. Read More
Yesterday Brazil made headlines by once again blocking the function of mega-popular SMS replacement service WhatsApp for 72 hours. The reasons were... complicated. Apparently. We don't actually know the reason - the purpose of the ruling has been sealed by the court in the state of Sergipe which issued it. But fear not, Brazilian WhatsApp users: you now have access to the service once again, thanks to some quick work on the part of WhatsApp and the ruling of an appeals court. Read More
Coupled with the Market update that was announced and subsequently leaked earlier today, Google released a new version of the Videos app, previously available only on certain tablets. Because the new Android Market adds support for movies, among other things, the much needed update to Videos opens up access to devices running Android 2.2 (Froyo) and 2.3 (Gingerbread).
Now to some bad news: as suspected, if you are using a rooted device, you will be able to run the Videos app but won't be able to play any content through it. Paranoid Google is paranoid, some meme lovers would say.
It's interesting to point out that if you don't install the Videos app, the new Market will simply redirect you to YouTube in your browser when you press My Movies. Read More
It's a sad, sad day when we can't use the data that we pay for in a manner that we choose - but that day has arrived. It seems that somebody (perhaps carriers?) is blocking the ability to install Wireless Tether in the Android Market. This is what you get if you try to install it:
You can see that while it's still in the Market, it's not available for installation on any carrier-connected device. Most of the well known tethering apps have made the carrier blacklist, such as Wireless Tether and PDAnet, but there are some lesser known ones that are still available. Read More
Looks like Google is hitting roadblocks at every turn with their eponymous TV hardware - which is really a shame, given just how much potential it seems to have. A few weeks ago, the major networks decided to start blocking Google TVs from accessing their content, whether it was via their proprietary feeds (i.e. ABC.com) or directly through Hulu. Just about the only method of streaming left was Fancast (which actually backdoors content from Hulu). But no more: the door has been shut, with few options left for users.
While Google TV's capabilities extend far beyond simply streaming content, that's doubtless its biggest selling point - especially in an age where most content is available on demand online, with fewer ads and minimal delay. Read More
Google TV hasn't been in the wild for long, but major content providers like ABC, CBS, and NBC are already blocking their content from Google's awesome little TV companion. This, as you might have guessed, sucks.
With the advent of TV on the Internet, broadcasters have shown us time and time again that they just aren't ready to embrace the fact that we can get their content from sources other than our TVs. Luckily, says Reuters, Google is reported to be in active negotiations with the networks to get this content back on. As I'm sure you've guessed already, that essentially means that Google is figuring out how much money the networks are going to demand. Read More