Psst... hey readers, we know that a lot of you are keeping a secret. Based on the mobile browser data we have, we know a lot of you own iPhones and other Apple devices. We imagine some of you have iOS devices supplied by your employers and others *gasp* might have even bought (or are planning to buy) an iOS device for yourself because you wanted one. Here's a bigger secret – a lot of us own Apple devices as well (mostly computers and tablets), so we won't hold it against you. Shhh... it's our little secret.
Moving all your data to a new device can be annoying at best, and one of the Pixel's newest features aims to help that. Google's Pixel devices ship with an OTG adapter, referred to as the 'Quick Switch Adapter', that allows you to easily transfer all your data to a Pixel phone. The process works with any iOS device running iOS 8 and up, as well as most Android devices running 5.0 Lollipop or higher.
So how does it work? Simply connect the adapter to your Pixel, and plug your old phone's charging/data cable into it. Once you are signed in with your Google account, you can choose what data to copy.
Apple is, you might say, ever so slightly hesitant to support competing platforms. It took the company years (and the promise of a greater market for the iPod) to support Windows for its massive iTunes program, and some of the more professional tools have never appeared on anything except Apple hardware. Today is a banner day, then, because Apple has released its first ever Android app. It's pretty much exactly what you were expecting.
Apple announced the Move to iOS app way back in June, but it's taken them this long to get it on the Play Store. (Maybe they had to wait for approval.) Like similar apps from a variety of manufacturers, including Microsoft, Samsung, and Motorola, the app is designed to allow you to transfer contacts, SMS history, bookmarks, photos, and account information to the company's hardware, in this case an iPhone or iPad.
At this point in my life, a solid 70% of everything I've ever said resides on Google's servers somewhere. If the company were to ever close its doors, those words would be lost to history. But that's about to change. Google's rolling out the ability to easily download a copy of your Gmail and Calendar data, so you can migrate it to another service when the unthinkable - or the inevitable - happens.
Gmail data will be provided in the MBOX format, while Calendar will shoot out your schedule as an iCalendar file. You can start exporting right away, but for the time being, most people will only have the option to export their calendars.
One more KitKat feature spotlight for the evening. This time, it's Wi-Fi TDLS. Added in Android 4.4, Wi-Fi TDLS, as Google describes it, is "a seamless way to stream media and other data faster between devices already on the same Wi-Fi network." TDLS, for those that don't know, stands for Tunneled Direct Link Setup.
Essentially, Wi-Fi TDLS allows two devices on the same Wi-Fi network to link directly to one another and share data without burdening the network/router/other devices in the process. According to the Wi-Fi Alliance:
Two TDLS devices automatically use their highest common performance and security features, regardless of the feature level supported by the network. TVs, smartphones, cameras, printers, PCs, projectors, and gaming devices, for example, can connect directly to each other to transfer content and share applications quickly and easily.
One strength of iOS is that everything works seamlessly together. If you have iTunes installed on your computer, it doesn't take much effort to get music over to your iPhone. With Play Music, Google has taken a different approach for Android users looking at an out of the box experience, and if you don't have the internet connection to rely on the cloud for music listening, it's less than ideal. doubleTwist takes the iTunes approach, and with the reinvented doubleTwist Sync app that's now available for Windows, it looks more promising than ever.
doubleTwist Sync has a stylish and simple UI that delivers easy access to new and old features alike.
One of PayPal's problems is that it's immensely popular. As the service implements more features and grows to support a larger user base, it inevitably loses some people along the way. If you want an app that makes it easy to send money to friends that isn'tPayPal, Venmo is worth a look. It's simple, doesn't charge to send money from most bank accounts or debit cards, and it just received an update that makes the experience look more at home on Android.
In addition to the new look, Venmo now has a home screen widget that enables faster payments.
Peer-to-peer fund transfers using an online service are nothing new – Paypal's been successfully doing it for years, and that's how AP writers have been getting paid since the site was launched. Needless to say, when Google announced payments through Gmail (which uses Wallet), it seemed like a no-brainer – we all have Google accounts, so this would be an ideal way to get paid.
Wrong. Getting paid through Wallet has been the absolute worst experience I've ever had with a money transfer, and I'm not alone here – this has been an incredibly frustrating experience for at least half of our team.
Google's Wallet-powered peer-to-peer payment service launched to rival Paypal was announced on May 15th and came with an interesting promotion: waived fees for transfers funded by credit cards. This promotion was recently (possibly today) adjusted quite drastically, and now only payments less than $250 aren't charged fees. Additionally, we now know that the promotional period ends on June 29th.
Left: terms before; Right: current terms
Typically, credit card-funded transfers are charged a fee of 2.9% with a minimum of $0.30, but for a previously undefined "limited time," Google decided to foot the bill in hopes of attracting initial users.
One of the cooler new features of both Gmail and Google Wallet that didn't make it into today's three-hour Google I/O keynote is the new ability to send money to any Gmail contact. Just message or reply to someone, write something along the lines of "here's your money, dog," and click the Attachments paperclip icon. You'll see a new option among the expanding icons: a dollar sign. Click the dollar sign, and you can send funds straight from Google Wallet. You can literally attach money to an email. How cool is that?
Of course there are a few restrictions. At the moment you can only send money via Gmail on the desktop, and you need to have either credit in your Wallet account or a linked funding source.