If you've ever sampled the BBC's excellent radio output, there's one app you really need in your life: BBC iPlayer Radio. It's a one-stop shop for all BBC radio shows, from sport to comedy to current affairs, and while the app may have its quirks, it's still a mostly good experience on Android.
The latest update to the app includes support for Google's in-car OS Android Auto (as well as Apple CarPlay), so you can more easily and safely listen to your favorite shows while you're behind the wheel. According to the BBC, 22 million people listen to its radio shows when driving, and a good number of those are likely to have Android Auto installed in their cars, so this will be good news for many. Read More
Android Pay may not have had a massive launch, or has been as aggressively rolled out as Samsung Pay, but it is steadily setting up shop in more countries around the globe. If you don't happen to find yourself in one of the dozen countries that have either already seen a launch or at least have an official promise of one coming soon, you might be interested to know that Google has at least set its sights on a few other countries. Text in the latest update of the Android Pay app hints at four previously unannounced markets. There are also obvious signs Google is merging the recently closed Hands Free experiment into Android Pay and expanding it significantly. Read More
Ever since March of last year, Google has been testing a new payment method called Hands Free. The premise was that you could pay for goods with your smartphone without ever having to remove it from your pocket. The pilot was limited to the Bay Area and to only a few businesses. But now, the experiment has hit its end of life for the time being.
As of February 8, Hands Free will shut down. Read More
The music discovery app SoundHound has introduced its own voice control feature, which is triggered by "OK Hound." This means SoundHound can be used hands-free in the car or at a party when a cool song comes on and you want to impress your friends with your music knowledge. However, it only works when the device is awake and SoundHound is open. Read More
Google long ago teased Hands Free, a way to make mobile payments without even having to reach for your phone. Now it's launching a pilot program in the southern San Francisco Bay Area.
Hands Free uses Bluetooth low energy, Wi-Fi, and location services to communicate with cash registers inside participating stores. Right now those partners are McDonald's, Papa John's, and some local restaurants. Read More
Not too long ago, I took a look at the Griffin iTrip AUX Bluetooth dongle. It was a solid product that delivered on its goal of allowing people to connect over Bluetooth in cars that don't have the functionality built-in. But at $49.99, it's a little on the pricey side. For that cost, you can get a Kinivo BTC455 that not only delivers the same capability, it supports two devices at once, hands-free calls, and controlling music playback. Frankly, it's more bang for buck.
That said, after trying out the Kinivo BTC455, I occasionally longed for the Griffin iTrip AUX. Let me tell you why. Read More
Quite a while ago, we wrote about an upcoming hands-free (and eyes-free) interface code-named KITT. The interface - intended for use in the car or in other places where looking at your phone isn't wise - would be stripped down, displaying a black screen and large iconography, and would have the ability to read notifications aloud, among other things. More recently, an icon for an app called Google Hands-Free showed up in a promotional gif posted to Google's Google+ page, hinting that the service was still under development.
Today, it looks like another clue toward Google's Hands-Free interface has surfaced - this time, it's in the actual Google Search app. Read More