Network administration is one of those annoying realities of using so many connected devices, and while there are plenty of tools that can help streamline things, sometimes it feels like Chromebooks are doing everything they can to make the task more difficult. Right now, it's a hassle to even identify your Chromebook on your local network because Chrome OS doesn't broadcast your device's hostname — a unique label that helps it stand out. As a result, diagnosing even simple wireless issues is more painful than it needs to be, forcing you to deal with cumbersome IP addresses. Thankfully, you won't have to wait much longer before you can assign your Chromebook a convenient, easy-to-recognize hostname of its own. Read More
Personalizing your Chromebook's desktop is key to spicing up your device with a modern, fresh look. With Google's attractive selection of stock backgrounds (that you can download here), it's easy to find a wallpaper that matches your style — as long as you don't mind dealing with its mediocre wallpaper-selection interface. For years, choosing a background has been a bit of a drag thanks to awkward sorting and confusingly poor performance. That may soon be over, as Google is rebuilding its wallpaper picker from the ground up. Read More
The Google Pay app has seen a major overhaul recently, being a more wholistic approach to shopping and money transfers in addition to a basic payment tool. This change hasn't been universally appreciated, but it's there nonetheless. Starting next week, Google Pay users in India will see a new option: targeted advertising based on traffic and spending habits. Google calls it "personalization." Read More
Netflix announced its Q4 2020 earnings today, but amidst the actual figures being presented, the company briefly mentioned a new feature it's been working on. The working title for this is Shuffle Play, and it'll help you decide what to watch by showing content its algorithms think you'll like. Netflix says this feature will fully roll out to all users worldwide by the first half of this year. Read More
In recent years, Google has come under increased scrutiny regarding how it uses your personal data, and this has led to the introduction of new privacy features across various products and the ability to auto-delete location history and web activity. The company's latest effort to put users in control of their own data comes in the form of new settings in Gmail. Read More
June is Pride Month, and as part of a broader initiative in support of LGBTQ+ people, Google has brought a little Pride flavor to its Wallpapers app. Starting today, you can deck out your phone or Chromebook in a collection of vivacious rainbow-colored backdrops — including one featuring an absolutely delightful eel. Read More
Google announced some personalization tweaks to Google Maps at I/O this year, including a new tab called 'For you' that's meant to provide info about places that are relevant to you, personally. That feature is rolling out to some users now. Read More
Taking an Uber is already a much more enticing option than hailing a cab. One of the things that makes it so great is that it's so amazingly convenient. Uber is almost everywhere, and you can get a lift without having cash on you, or even knowing the local language. All you need is a smartphone.
Now it's about to get even better. Uber is allowing other sites and apps to introduce their own branding and functionality into the core Uber experience, provided the user was directed to it through a deep link or ride reminder.
Uber has already quietly signed up a number of big names, with more undoubtedly to follow. Read More
There comes a time in the evolution of every tech company where things just need a refresh. For Foursquare, that time is now. Last month the company branched its core app into two separate offerings, with the friends-hanging-out portion taking the name of Swarm. Now the mainline app's refresh has arrived, and it's all about delivering personalized recommendations. Think more Yelp and less Twitter.
The new Foursquare wants you to find places, food, and things that turn you on. It does this by asking for as many specific keywords as you can come up with, at which point it will take it from there, tossing up suggestions and learning from the ones you like. Read More
An update has rolled out to the Pandora Android app that builds upon what made the Internet radio service popular to begin with - making it easier to discover new music. To this day, Pandora still has an uncanny way of serving out songs that fit a listener's tastes precisely, especially for those who have been tweaking their stations for years. But we are all creatures of habit, and it can be easy to still fall into a rut even with Pandora's helping hand. The newest update addresses this by providing up to six suggested artist stations to add to your lists. Read More