In the wake of Prime Day, Amazon is running a set of "Alexa Deals" that can only be accessed by Prime members via voice commands given to Alexa. Most of the offers are pretty pedestrian, things like gum, snacks, and batteries, but there are a few good ones our readers might enjoy. If you are interested in home automation, you can pick up a ton of stuff, like Philips Hue starter kit, smart plugs, a wireless Lutron starter kit, a touchscreen Schlage deadbolt, and more. Read More
Smart lock can be a life saver if you're unlocking your phone constantly, and Trusted Places is one of the most frequently used options. With Trusted Places, you can set locations where your phone will skip the secure lock method, but it hasn't been working so well as of late. Google says that's fixed in the latest version of Play Services, though. Read More
Even if you have a wide array of smart home products from different manufacturers, Google wants to make sure they all work seamlessly on Assistant (and thus, the Google Home). The company has gradually added more supported services since launch, and now Assistant works with Lowes Iris, Lutron Caseta, and Osram Lightify. Read More
Before I got this job, I was a flashaholic. Every week I was trying at least one new ROM, which meant signing back into all of my apps for each new installation. For you Waze users, you have one less app to worry about remembering login credentials for. The latest update brings with it Smart Lock for signing back in, and all of your maps and points will be restored. Read More
Are you there WordPress? It's me, Michael. Look, I've been trudging through your serviceable interface on seven different websites, day in and day out, for half a decade now. And while I think that it's really cool that you're adding the ability to update my Gravatar icon from the mobile app, we need to have a serious discussion about your image tools. Specifically, about the mind-numbing, head-bashing, eye-gouging awfulness of your image tools. No? We're going to talk about passwords instead? Ugh. Fine. Read More
I always felt like one of the big downers to web browsing on mobile was typing in passwords. Of course, the built-in password management for Chrome (and other mobile browsers) can sometimes take care of things for you. But I'm sure if you do a lot of signing in, you know there are some sites whose login system just doesn't work with the browser's password manager. With Chrome v51, now in beta, Google is taking some steps to help smooth things out.
W3C, the web standards group, has created an API to help homogenize the relevant aspects of signing into websites. Read More
Android's Smart Lock is a great way to save a little hassle when users are around familiar locations or connected devices. The default system version of the feature skips the lockscreen when the phone or tablet detects that it's in a safe location, and last year Google did much the same thing for apps, essentially turning Smart Lock into a password manager for supported applications. While Netflix has supported this feature for months on its standard Android app, the latest update to the Android TV version brings it in line.
To see Smart Lock in action, make sure that you already have your Netflix username and password saved in Smart Lock on a phone or tablet - if it's been a while, you may need to log out on your phone, then log back in and enable the Smart Lock feature when it appears. Read More
A fresh update of Google Play Services is headed out to our Android hardware around the world. This brings the framework package up to v8.4 and actually carries a couple of user-facing changes for us to check out. There's nothing too big, which is pretty normal for a Play services update, but there are some nice visual touch-ups for Smart Lock and a new option in the Android Auto developer options. But that's not all, a teardown shows that we're getting much closer to family organization (yes, for family sharing) and app invites will finally become useful as they can finally be sent to the people that need them most – the people right next to us. Read More
The long-awaited Nearby is on the horizon, and it will be launching with Play Services 7.8. The APK is in the midst of its rollout right now. It contains a few elements of Nearby, and surely plenty of bug fixes and tweaks, but there are also plenty of interesting pieces hidden inside, as well. After a quick long examination, we've got the interesting bits and pieces ready for viewing, along with some theories about what it all means. It's time for a teardown!
Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong.
One of the coolest bits of news from Google I/O last week was the expansion of Smart Lock into password management. If your Google account has a saved password for a service, Smart Lock can automatically log you into an app. The newest addition to the list of supported apps is the official New York Times app.