Google Photos has offered the ability to create and order photo books for years, but earlier this year, a new subscription option for photo prints was added. For $8 a month, ten of your best pictures from the previous month would be automatically selected, printed on cardstock, and mailed to you. However, after only four months, Google is ending the service.
After starting life as a social podcast platform from the founders of HipChat, Swoot is not only being renamed Podhero but its main mission is also changing. Getting recommendations from your friends is still part of the experience (if you want it to be), but the app is now a subscription service that divides what you pay among all the podcasts you listen to. According to the developers, 97% of podcasts don't make money, so this is their attempt to solve the problem and help podcast producers get paid.
Google has an interesting history of giving away copious numbers of its Assistant-powered smart speakers. For example, you've probably received one or more Home Minis if you're a subscriber to YouTube Premium (and again), Google One, Spotify, or Google Fi, just to name a few. Now they're raising the stakes by offering a free Nest Hub to some Nest Aware subscribers.
WarnerMedia has finally launched its new streaming platform HBO Max today, joining the other online entertainment services under the AT&T umbrella. The service comes with a number of original series on top of the content already available through the other HBO channels, like Game of Thrones, Westworld, Loony Toons, and DC Universe content. The US-exclusive service is free for HBO subscribers and will cost $14.99 a month for everyone else, with an option for a free seven-day trial.
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Earlier this May, Wink announced out of the blue that it would charge customers $4.99 a month to continue using its services, or else their hardware would stop working. Following understandable customer backlash, the company first extended the cut-off deadline by a week, and has now indefinitely back-paddled, saying that it'll look for a new start date of the subscription.
Ecobee is mostly known for its smart thermostat, but the company has decided to foray into an adjacent business field: home security. It has announced its new Haven subscription that takes advantage of existing SmartThermostats and SmartSensors and introduced its first security camera and sensors for doors and windows.
Holding onto a grandfathered Google Play Music subscription has become a badge of honor for many, but a hiccup in billing may require that you double-check that it's still active. There have been a growing number of reports that accounts with the original $7.99 Play Music subscription haven't auto-renewed this month. Some people are able to restore the subscription easily enough, and others may have to reach out to support to get things corrected.
For digital publishers like Android Police, online ads provide a vital stream of revenue that helps us keep the lights on, despite taking up extra bandwidth for our readers and forcing content to load at a slower pace. Luckily, companies like Scroll have been working to disrupt the online ad industry, and they've reached an exciting new chapter in their journey. Mozilla is rolling out a very special extension for the Firefox browser — Firefox Better Web Beta — with Scroll baked in, and you can try it out today.
If you haven't heard of Scroll by now (where have you been?), it's this nifty service that removes ads from 300 of your favorite news sites, including Android Police. Although the service is quite young, its developers have been quick to implement changes that readers have been begging for. In the latest update, the unsightly Scroll bar along the bottom edge of the app is no longer activated by default while reading content.