Since the Nvidia SHIELD TV added Google Assistant support last year, it's been slowly catching up with other Assistant-enabled devices by adding new functionality. It looks like a couple more capabilities are now available. At least we think so, as Assistant features across different devices are so inconsistent that it's sometimes hard to tell what's new and what's not.
According to Nvidia, broadcasting messages and the ability to summon your security camera stream on your TV via the Assistant are both new additions. Apparently, if you tell the Assistant on the SHIELD TV to "broadcast that it’s time to watch TV," it will relay the messages to Google Home devices around the house. Read More
BlackBerry launched into the Android world in 2015 with the Priv, a phone to satisfy those who need to be super-secure. At that time, the company promised that it would update the phone for two years, though it was pretty confident in its ability to lock down insecure parts of the operating system. That 24-month period has come and gone, and sure enough, BlackBerry is officially cutting off support for the phone. Read More
Gboard—the virtual keyboard app from Google—has received an update adding support for 40 additional languages, including Japanese. Although Google has long offered a separate input method for Japanese and other languages which do not have a writing system based on Latin script, support for additional languages has been added in gradually since Gboard launched on Android in December 2016. With this update, Gboard now covers over 120 languages.
This update also adds support for stickers by default. Previously, Gboard included stickers only if Allo was already installed, and you made or downloaded stickers for use with that app. Now, four default sticker packs are included in Gboard, even if Allo is not installed. Read More
There are a number of good reasons people haven't been that enamored by Allo since Google released it, not least that the company simply has too many messaging apps. One of the biggest issues at launch was the lack of a desktop or web client. How else could we get away with chatting to each other while at work without our boss finding out? That was rectified last month with the introduction of Allo for web, but it still lacked a few features from the app. A couple more of those have just made their way on to the web version. Read More
You can't spend much time on the internet without filling out a Google Form for something or another. Maybe you've even made some. Today, Google is rolling out a new version of Forms with new features that make everyone's lives easier whether you're making forms or just filling them out. Read More
Ah, Niantic. The Google spin-off had a hit on its hands last summer with Pokémon GO burst onto the scene. Slow updates and a poor reliability in the early days probably hobbled the game, but it's still chugging along. Niantic's next update will add some neat features, but it also requires all gyms to be disabled during the rollout. Something tells me people won't like that. Read More
The software update giveth and the software update taketh away - it’s a tale as old as updateable tech. On the one hand, updates come bearing gifts: exciting new features intended to breathe new life into our devices, as well as the essential security patches necessary to ensure they are protected from exploitation. On the other, every new software build is also an opportunity for the update deliveryman to enter your home unannounced, pick up a metaphorical hammer, smash your device to a practically useless pulp, and leave - with little to no recourse available once the warranty period has expired. Read More
A pretty nifty new feature was talked about at last night's Android Fireside Chat. In addition to the other O features and the rest of the announcements at I/O, it was revealed that we'll soon be able to update our graphics drivers through the Play Store. This is a feature that is presumably only going to be present in O. There's no word yet on the specifics as to how that might work, or which OEMs or chipset manufacturers might be interested in taking advantage of it, but as of yesterday we know it's coming. Read More
One of the bummers about buying electronic devices is that you know there will be a point after which the manufacturer will no longer keep the software updated. We usually hope for at least two years when talking about smartphones, though some OEMs barely even reach half that time. One of the benefits to buying Google's phones nowadays is that the company now maintains a page where you can see the end-of-life for those devices. Read More
After Google improved the Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps a few weeks ago, Microsoft is responding with updates to the Android apps for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The update adds small, incremental improvements which won't matter to the vast majority, but for a little subset of users, might be the thing that gets them to use one or all of the apps.
The major thing that's new in PowerPoint is the ability to share only one slide. It can get really annoying when to send one slide in a presentation of many slides, you have to send the entire thing and say 'look at slide 22,' or whatever. Read More