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Nexus 9 should see the Android 5.1 update soon

Posted by wicked May - 2 - 2015 - Saturday Comments Off

Nexus_9_LTEThe Nexus 9 is Google’s only tablet that hasn’t been updated to Android 5.1, which is extremely weird considering how old (and discontinued!) some of the other Nexus tablets are. Nexus devices are typically updated around the same time, so it’s strange to see the latest flagship tab from Google lagging behind.

Fortunately, Google is working on getting 5.1 ready for the Nexus 9, and an update should be available “soon.” Just soon, no specific date. It’s not going to make you feel that much better if you’re holding out for the update on your precious tablet, but it’s better than being left completely in the dark.

There’s also no word on exactly what’s causing the delay on the update, but let’s just hope that it doesn’t create tons of bugs whenever the device does get updated.

source: Sascha Pruter

via: Android Police

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Will the birth of Project Fi bring the death of Google Voice?

Posted by wicked May - 1 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

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The dream mobile carrier plan has finally come. Google’s Project Fi gives everyone (or those with a Nexus 6) an affordable option for their monthly smartphone service. I often dreamed that Google would do this and they finally came through. However, you might not be too excited if you’re a Google Voice user.

Based on Google’s support page, Google Voice and Project Fi don’t seem to work well together. When switching carriers, Google Voice users are used to just asking for whatever number is given to them because it really doesn’t matter since they have a Google Voice number. Once a number is given to them, they simply forward the new carrier number to their Google Voice number. Unfortunately things aren’t going to work that way with Project Fi.

If you decide to have Google assign you a new number, like you’re used to, your Google Voice number will be “released and you won’t be able to get it back.” On the flip side, if you want to use your Google Voice number with Project Fi, you will lose pretty much everything you love about Google Voice. You will no longer be able to “make or receive phone calls or access voicemail using Google Talk, Google Voice apps, or Obihai devices.” You also won’t be able to send or receive text messages on the web, nor will you be able to utilize spam filtering, call recording, call switch, conference calling on the fly, caller ID (incoming), and outgoing caller ID (anonymous Caller ID). Now if there is any good news out of this, it is that your voicemail greeting, voicemails, call history, as well as your SMS history will still be transfered to Project Fi, assuming you have rolled your Google Voice number into Hangouts.

So what if you still want to keep your Google Voice number and use Project Fi? Google’s answer is to transfer it to a different Google Voice account (Gmail address) or another carrier before you sign up for Project Fi. Assuming you transfer your Google Voice number to another Gmail account, can you still use Google Voice and Project Fi together like you normally do with other carrier phones? Google isn’t clear on this. If you have transferred your Google Voice number to another Gmail account, I guess in theory, it’s possible that you could still transfer your new Project Fi number to that Google Voice number, but we aren’t sure if Google will allow that. On top of that, you will now have a brand new Gmail address to fiddle with, which might not be the best option. I should also note that if you transfer your Google Voice number to another Gmail account, you will lose all your SMS and Hangouts history. The other option would be to open a brand new (or use another) Gmail account for Project Fi and continue to keep your Google Voice number with your existing Gmail account. Again, you have to fiddle with another Gmail account, and if Google doesn’t let you transfer the calls, than what good did that do for you?

I guess the bottom line is that Google is allowing users to keep their Google Voice number, but it appears that it’s not going to play nice with Project Fi. You have to wonder if Google will eventually phase out Voice? This very well could happen, but probably not in the near future. Project Fi is only available on the Nexus 6, and probably won’t be available beyond upcoming Nexus phones to be announced later this year. If Google ever does plan on making Project Fi a serious carrier option, it very well could be the end of Voice. If you look at Google’s perspective, there can’t be that many Voice users, so it’s not a big deal to them.

As a Google Voice user, I won’t be jumping on Project Fi anytime soon until I see what the experiences are like for other Google Voice users. If you want to see Google’s support information regarding Google Voice and Project Fi, check out their support page here.

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Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 Android 5.1.1 factory images are live

Posted by wicked May - 1 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

121029043755-google-nexus-monsterGoogle has released factory images for the latest version of Android for both (WiFi only) versions of the Nexus 7 and the Nexus 10. The image brings the tablets up to Android 5.1.1, bringing a few bug fixes and performance enhancements, but no new features, unfortunately. The OTA updates for these tablets should start hitting devices relatively soon.

Funnily enough, Google has updated these older tablets to the latest and greatest of Android, but the newly announced Nexus 9 is still on Android 5.0.1. Android updates have always been a pain point, but the Nexus devices were supposed to be immune to the bogged down update process OEMs and carriers subject their devices to. Hopefully Google (or HTC) does something to get the Nexus 9 up to speed.

Hit the link below for the updates. If you need help flashing a factory image, we’ve got a handy guide to get you started.

source: Factory Images

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Google brings Dev channel version of Chrome to Android

Posted by wicked April - 30 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

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Those of you that like to always have something new before anyone else will be excited to know that Google has released the Dev channel version of Chrome for Android.

The Dev channel has always been available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and ChromeOS, but now Android users can finally get in on the fun.

Now you might be getting the latest and greatest before everyone else, but you also have to be willing to put up with a few bugs. However, with your feedback and updates of at least once per week, new features move much quicker to the stable build. The good news is that if for whatever reason, the Dev app isn’t working to well, you can easily switch to the stable build since it can be installed side-by-side on your device.

You can download the Dev channel Chrome for Android app from the link below.

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Play Store Download Link

source: Google Chromium Blog

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Google Now card now drops you a notification when an item you looked for goes on sale

Posted by wicked April - 29 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

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Google Now has received several updates over the past few months, bringing along some much needed changes. The most recent addition allowed integration of a myriad of third party apps, letting you get tailored cards from them in the Google Now page

This new addition however takes it a step further as Android’s default personal assistant/notifications hub can now tell you when an item that you previously searched for is going on sale. This is a useful feature for people who do almost all of their shopping online.

We frequently find ourselves in a situation where an item is out of stock and we forget about its existence a few days later. This new Google Now feature will ensure that you’re in the loop about the product’s availability at all times. Google Now cards will also appear when there are price drops for an item, which again is a very handy feature.

This feature should be spotted by the users over the coming days. Make sure you let us know if you’re seeing it on Google Now already.

Via: Android Police

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Google’s Digital News Initiative aims to improve digital journalism in Europe

Posted by wicked April - 29 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

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The European Union and Google are not exactly getting along at the moment. In an unofficial effort to improve their relationship, Google has launched the Digital News Initiative with an investment of $150 million. The partnership puts the company with eight publishers in Europe to improve digital journalism. The Digital News Initiative has programs covering product development, innovation support, and training and research to make digital journalism sustainable.

Founding partners include the following newspapers and journalism/publishing organizations:

  • Les Echos (France)
  • FAZ (Germany)
  • The Financial Times (UK)
  • The Guardian (UK)
  • NRC Group (Netherlands)
  • El Pais (Spain)
  • La Stampa (Italy)
  • Die Zeit (Germany)
  • The European Journalism Centre (EJC)
  • The Global Editors Network (GEN)
  • The International News Media Association (INMA)

Google should just remember that the European Union has nothing personal against them.

Source: Digital News Initiative

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Google might offer a new Nexus 5 that supports Project Fi

Posted by wicked April - 29 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

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Google announced Project Fi last week, which will bring down your cell phone costs considerably. The only catch is that it only works with one phone, the Nexus 6. A decent phone, but it’s too big for a lot of people.

We can only assume that future Nexus phones will also support it too. It has already been rumored that Google will offer not one, but two Nexus phones this year. Huawei and LG seem to be the likely suspects. It’s also likely that Google will end up calling these devices the Nexus 5 and Nexus 6 since there is nowhere to go with the current naming scheme. The Nexus 5 refers to a 5-inch display, while the Nexus 6 refers to a 6-inch display. And they can’t call either device a Nexus 7 for obvious reasons.

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In a recent video that Google released about Project Fi, there is a phone that is clearly not the Nexus 6. Many sites have considered it a place holder, which could very well be the case. It looks an awful lot like an updated Nexus 5 though. Now the new Nexus 5 might not look exactly like it, but it’s more than likely this phone represents what is coming later this year.

You can see it in the video below….

Click here to view the embedded video.

source: Tech Times

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Google bumps up account security with Password Alert

Posted by wicked April - 29 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

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Google has released a new, open source Chrome extension to help keep users a little safer from phishing attacks. The new Password Alert extension, which works with both regular Google accounts as well as Google Apps accounts, will notify a user if they have entered their Google password into any site other than an authentic Google sign-in page located at accounts.google.com.

Once the extension is installed, if a user tries to use their Google password at a non-Google site, the extension will trigger an email to them notifying them to change their password. As you may have figured out, this also encourages users to use a different password for sites they visit than the password they have set for their Google account. Using different, unique passwords for each site a user visits is considered a security best practice.

The extension includes features for Google Apps admins to setup auditing and notifications so that they will be notified when employees use their passwords on non-Google sites and can even force them to change their Google password.

If you want to install the Chrome extension, hit the link below to grab it from the Chrome Web Store.

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Password Alert Chrome Extension

source: Google

 

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Google has been updating all Android devices to Google Play Services 7.3, and they just announced the roll out has been completed. What does it bring to the table?

As we learned last week, Android Wear has a pretty big update and Google Play Services 7.3 plays a big role in that. It allows you to connect more than one Android Watch to your device. The Capability API is new, which allows apps to communicate different things to devices with different features. The Channel API is also new, which creates a bidirectional data connection between nodes for the transfer of larger binary files.

Users will of course need the latest Android Wear companion app and the newest Android Wear update, which should be rolling over the next few weeks.

Google Fit now has the ability to track granular nutritional information such as protein, fat, cholesterol, and more. Third party apps can start implementing these data types now. It’s also now easier for apps to retrieve data totals for the day, making it great for watch faces.

Lastly, you may not realize it, but a lot of apps are asking for your location these days, which can be a battery drain. Google has updated the LocationRequest with a maximum wait time for location updates via setMaxWaitTime(). This way the system will batch location updates together, which will not only consume battery, but it could improve location accuracy on some devices.

Here’s a video with more info….

Click here to view the embedded video.

And for even more info, hit the source link.

source: Android Developers

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Google adds More Now Cards

Posted by wicked April - 29 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

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Google Now is a fantastic way to stay updated on things like stocks, sports scores, or travel times using Google Now Cards. The cards display up-to-date information every time you open the Google app, however, up until now the cards have been a bit lacking in compatible apps.

That will all change soon with 70 more apps being added to Google Now. Some examples of the additions are ZipCar ride reservations, Spotify playlists, news updates from ABC News, Eat24 food updates, Runkeeper fitness reminders, and OpenTable bill paying.

In order to get the new cards, be sure to keep your app updated frequently, and you should start seeing more cards added within the next few weeks.

Source: Inside Search Blogspot

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