- Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Bang & Olufsen embraces Google Cast, you can now Cast music to your B&O systems
Over the years, high-end audio brand Bang & Olufsen has been making strides to standardise its systems, with many of them now able to stream music through Apple Airplay, DLNA, Bluetooth and its own Beolink Multiroom technology.
Now you can add Google Cast to the list. The Danish company has partnered with Google to add support for its wireless streaming technology to the BeoSound 35 soundbar and BeoSound Essence one-touch music controller.
Google Cast offers the ability to stream tracks through allied music services, such as Spotify, Deezer and TuneIn, by just tapping the dedicated icon from within their mobile apps. It works on Android, naturally, but also iPhone and iPad.
READ: Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 35 preview: Pentagonal powerhouse
Google Cast is different from many other streaming features because it streams the audio (or video, for supported devices and TVs) directly, rather than through your phone or tablet. That way you can continue to use your mobile device independently while music still plays.
While the BeoSound 35 has built-in wireless connectivity, the BeoSound Essence turns all audio devices into Wi-Fi music players. It comprises a wall-mounted controller and separate hub that you can use to feed non-wireless audio kit.
READ: Bang & Olufsen BeoSound Essence: Hands-on with the one-touch, wall-mounted control music system
It means that you can stream music tracks through Google Cast and the other streaming technologies available to any speaker system, no matter how old.
Google Cast will arrive as part of a software upgrade for your systems later this month.
What is Google Allo, how does it work, and why would you use it?
Whether you like to admit it or not, communication apps are important.
You might use your default SMS app to text your husband or wife about whether you should pick up more milk at the store after work. You might use Facebook Messenger chat with your daughter who is away at university. You might start a group chat in WhatsApp to keep in touch with your team at a work event. There are several communication apps available and many reasons why we use them.
But that in itself creates a problem. We’re using so many apps to talk to so many people in a single day, and in between all that talk, we’re opening up other apps to maybe search the web, find interesting GIFs to share, order stuff online, and book reservations. It can get a bit messy and stressful. Wouldn’t it be great if one communications app could do it all?
Well, that’s what Google had in mind when it created its new communications app called Allo. Here’s everything you need to know about it, including how it works and why you would use it over anything else.
What is Google Allo?
Google actually described Allo as a messaging up for Android and iPhone users. But it does a lot more than just allow you to send messages to other people. It’s a smart messaging app in that it has the power of Google built-in and can apparently learn over time.
How does Google Allo work?
Similar to WhatsApp, Allo is based on your phone number, so you can use it to send text messages to anyone in your phonebook – not just other Allo users. Apart from that, Google highlighted three aspects of Allo that make it unique: Expression, Google Assistant, and Security.
During a demo at Google I/O, Google showed how you can use Allo to keep in touch with people. It looked like any other messaging app; chats appeared as bubbles, with one person’s chat bubbles appearing on one side in a certain colour, and another person’s chat bubbles appearing on the opposite side, and you could scroll up and down to see the entire threaded conversation.
We also saw that – like Facebook Messenger – you could send stickers, which Google said were sourced from artists around the world. You could also send emoji. But one of the hottest features is something called Whisper or shout. This will let you slide up or down on the send button to change the size of your reply, meaning there’s no need to write in caps all the time when you’re angry.
Continuing with this theme of giving you more ways to express yourself, Allo offers a feature called Ink that lets you get creative with photos. You can doodle on them, for instance. Allo also took the Smart Reply feature from Google’s Inbox app, so now you can quickly respond while on the go. If someone asks if you want to grab dinner, Allo might serve up responses like “I’m in” or “I’m busy”.
Allo uses machine-learning and natural language processing in order to suggest replies on the fly, meaning it can anticipate what you want to say next and how you might say it. The more you use Allo, the better your suggestions become. And they will always be unique to you. However, because messaging isn’t just about texts, replies also contain stickers and emoji.
You’ll even see smart reply options when someone send you a photo. Allo can understand the content and context of photos, thanks to Google’s computer vision capabilities. If someone sends you a photo of pasta, you will see smart replies that include mentions of pasta, yummy, or whatever. The idea here is that assistive technology can help you communicate with little to no effort.
Speaking of assistive technology, Google Allo has Assistant.
Google Assistant is Google’s latest iteration of a virtual assistant. It’s considered an upgrade or an extension of Google Now. During the main keynote at Google I/O 2016, Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, demoed Google Assistant and said he wanted people to experience “an ongoing two-way dialog” with the virtual assistant. Keep in mind this virtual assistant trend kicked off in 2011, when Apple introduced Siri.
You can read all about how Google Assistant works from here, but we’ll still discuss for a bit how it lives inside Google Allo to help you keep your conversations going without interruption. For instance, let’s say you are chatting with a friend who wants to eat French food for dinner. Google Assistant will then proactively suggest French restaurants nearby at the bottom of the app’s messaging window.
You can tap that suggestion to bring up restaurant cards that everyone in the chat can see. If you choose a place, you’ll see options to contact the restaurant, see Yelp reviews, find it on a map, etc. You can even make an OpenTable reservation in Allo. Google Assistant will prompt in at this point to confirm number of diners, what time you want to eat, and book the table.
That means you no longer have to leave your messaging app to do a Google search for restaurants, copy and paste results, switch back again to share the options, go out again to call the restaurant and book a table, and so on. In Allo, and with Google Assistant’s help, you can get everything done in one app. OpenTable is just one partner, too (more are signed up and coming).
Google Assistant also has access to Google’s Knowledge Graph, so it can help you with all sorts of situations. You can call on Google Assistant at any time just by typing “@google” in Allo. You can chat directly with it and ask anything your heart desires, including “funny cat pics”, to which Google Assistant will respond with a lineup of cat pics pulled from Google Image Search.
Google Assistant can remember things too, including your name, address, and favourite sports team. Remember — it uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to determine stuff, such as the context of your questions. For instance, when you ask “What’s playing tonight?”, Google Assistant can show films at your local cinema. If you then follow up with “We’re planning on bringing the kids”, Google Assistant will know to serve up showtimes for kid-friendly films. You can even say “Let’s seeJungle Book” to purchase tickets.
You could also ask “Is Jungle Book any good”, and then the assistant will display reviews, ratings, and even trailer on YouTube. Notice Google Assistant is able to string your questions together to determine context and serve up the right information. It can also do basic stuff like retrieve your travel itinerary, commute time to work, package delivery information, and more.
You can therefore now use Google in your chats with friends, or you can use it to get things done, and it’s all made possible with just one app.
All messages in Allo are encrypted. Also, Allo offers an Incognito Mode, just like Chrome browser does, meaning you get access to not only end-to-end encrypted messages but features like expiring chats and private notifications. You can therefore keep message safe from prying eyes, control how long they stick around, and permanently delete them from your device.
You basically have additional controls over the privacy of your chats.
When will Google Allo be available?
Although Google introduced Allo in May at its annual Google I/O developer conference, the free app won’t officially launch for Android and iPhone users until this summer. An exact release date is not yet known.
Why would you use Google Allo?
You might want to use Allo as your main messaging app for all the reasons we described above. Allo is tied to your phone number so you can text anyone in your phonebook. You can doodle on photos, book reservations, ask Google Assistant questions, search for information, and enter an Incognito Mode, etc. And the best part is… all of that can get done within this one, free app.
Allo also works with Google Duo.
What is Google Duo?
Alongside Allo, Google introduced a a simple video calling app for iOS and Android. It’s called Duo and is designed to take on Apple’s FaceTime and Microsoft’s Skype by making the system as easy as possible.
As well as featuring end-to-end encryption, Duo will work on even slow, low bandwidth internet connections. It also sports an innovative new feature Google is calling Knock Knock. This enables Duo to show live previews before a call has even been answered. That way users can see what the caller is up to before they pick up. Google has ensured that the technology is super quick.
Like Allo, Google Duo will be available on Android and iOS “this summer”.
Duplicate Files Fixer review: automatically detect and remove duplicate items to save space.
Does your device run out of storage, forcing you to painstakingly go through your phone and delete your contents ? Too busy or just too tired to go through your contents? Worry no more! Duplicate Files Fixer(free), available and rated 4.5 stars on the Google Play Store, does all this for you.
Entailing a simplistic and easy to use interface, this is a user-friendly application that can be operated by anyone. Within the program, you are met by several options including Scan Audio, Scan Videos, Scan Pictures, Scan Documents and Full Scan.
Upon inspecting the miscellaneous categories, your device will scan each for the respective content and display a screen with all the duplicates. It then has all the duplicates selected and gives you the ability to unmark the duplicates you intend on keeping. After pressing the delete button, you are asked to confirm your decision in the event of you making an error.
Although the purpose of this application is to optimize your tech by cleaning duplicate files, it does not include the option to delete the original file. Sometimes when choosing what to clean, you may come across files you have no intention of keeping and want to delete it as well as the duplicate, but alas, you can only remove the duplicate and have to locate the original afterwards. Perhaps developers would take a look into that matter.
I used this application for a mere few hours and found that it is an absolute blessing. I was able to delete approximately 800 megabytes of duplicate files alone, including pictures, voice notes, music tracks and documents. It’s a really simple program and has only one screen excluding the help menu which includes a basic tutorial of pictures. Despite the few flaws and improvements which could be made, Duplicate Files Fixer was definitely well thought out and has a smooth and polished UI.
In conclusion, this simple program is definitely worth downloading, and it will most definitely help you clean up your device and free some space for your more important information, but more so, it will help save your time.
Google Play Store – Duplicate File Fixer
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StreetView VR brings Google Street View with Wikipedia overlays to the Gear VR
By far one of the coolest and most useful features of the modern age is Google Street View. It has taken mapping to the next level and nothing else comes close. However, StreetView VR plans to take things to an even higher level of amazing.
Google Street View can already be viewed in VR using the Google Cardboard, which is really cool, but not super useful. StreetView VR for the Samsung Gear VR and PC takes the normal Google Street View experience, but overlaps it with Wikipedia integration.
All of this is in VR remember, which makes it much more realistic than just seeing a flat image on a screen. However, since it is using the basic Google Street View as its source, the images technically aren’t in 3D, but still give a 360-degree view.
What makes it really cool is you can stay in the Gear VR and browse anywhere in the world while seeing it all in 360-degrees. Plus, the added bonus of actual information about landmarks around the world. You do all this by activating voice commands to say the location you want to travel to next. If a location is too difficult to pronounce or voice control just isn’t working right, you can always use the on-screen keyboard too.
What I find really cool is you can “travel with others” by sharing things with your friends or leading a group. You can even speak to other people with voice chat and more. This is definitely something you are going to want to try out for yourself if you own a Gear VR.
Come comment on this article: StreetView VR brings Google Street View with Wikipedia overlays to the Gear VR
14 sweet tech gifts for Valentine’s Day
Did you know Valentine’s day is just around the corner? You better make your dinner reservations now if you haven’t already. The traditional gifts to show your love are cards, chocolates and roses. There’s nothing wrong with those traditional gifts, but sometimes your significant other may want something different. Many of you can get away with not getting gifts, but why risk it? Isn’t it better to make someone happy and show your appreciation and love for them rather than to complain and call Valentine’s Day a Hallmark Holiday?
We’re a tech site and as such we have 14 Valentine’s gift suggestions for you. But you better order your gift soon if you haven’t already. The 14th is less than two weeks away.
Google Nexus 6P and Huawei Smart Watch – Save $50 on both from Google.com
- 5.7 inches
- WQHD (2560 x 1440) AMOLED display at 518 ppi
- 12.3 MP¹
- 1.55 µm pixels
- f/2.0 aperture
- IR laser-assisted autofocus
- 4K (30 fps) video capture
- 8MP camera
- 1.4 µm pixels
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 v2.1
- 2.0 GHz Octa-core 64-bit
- Adreno 430 GPU
- RAM: 3 GB LPDDR4
- Internal storage: 32 GB, 64 GB, or 128 GB
Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker – $129.99 LINK
- Clear, full-range sound you might not expect from a compact speaker
- Voice prompts make pairing your devices easier than ever
- Up to 8 hours of music from rechargeable lithium-ion battery
- Wireless connection to your smartphone, tablet or other Bluetooth-enabled device
Sphero BB-8 App-Enabled Droid – $135.99 LINK
- Authentic Movement: Guide your BB-8 with a smartphone or tablet
- Listens & Responds: BB-8 recognizes and reacts to your voice
- Holographic Messaging: Record and view virtual holographic videos with BB-8
- Autonomous Behavior: BB-8 has a mind of its own – explore the Star Wars galaxy together
- Adaptive Personality: Your BB-8’s unique attitude and actions evolve as you interact
- Authentic Movement: Guide your BB-8 with a smartphone or tablet
- Listens & Responds: BB-8 recognizes and reacts to your voice
Samsung Gear S2 Smartwatch – LINK
- Function meets style with elegant curves and premium finishes
- Intuitive circular interface and rotating bezel for easy navigation
- Access to important notifications, texts, and updates at a glance
- Compatible with Android 4.4 and later with 1.5GB RAM. Some features may not be available. For best compatibility, connect with Samsung Galaxy devices.
- Wireless charging dock included
- 1.2-Inch Display Size
- 4GB Internal Memory / RAM 512MB
Amazon Echo – $179.99 – LINK
- Plays all your music from Prime Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and more using just your voice
- Fills the room with immersive, 360º omni-directional audio
- Allows hands-free convenience with voice-control
- Hears you from across the room with far-field voice recognition, even while music is playing
- Answers questions, reads audiobooks and the news, reports traffic and weather, gives info on local businesses, provides sports scores and schedules, and more with Alexa, a cloud-based voice service
- Controls lights and switches with compatible WeMo, Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, Wink, Insteon, and other smart home devices
- Always getting smarter and adding new features and skills–over 95 added since launch
Kindle Fire 7″ – $49.99 LINK
- Beautiful 7″ IPS display (171 ppi / 1024 x 600) and fast 1.3 GHz quad-core processor. Rear and front-facing cameras.
- All-new Amazon Underground, a one-of-a-kind app store experience where over $10,000 in apps, games and even in-app items are actually free – including extra lives, unlocked levels, unlimited add-on packs and more
- Enjoy more than 38 million movies, TV shows, songs, books, apps and games
- 8 GB of internal storage. Free unlimited cloud storage for all Amazon content and photos taken with Fire devices. Add a microSD card for up to 128 GB of additional storage.
- Updated user interface – Fire OS 5 designed for quick access to your apps and content plus personalized recommendations that make it easy to discover new favorites
- Up to 7 hours of reading, surfing the web, watching videos, and listening to music
- Stay connected with fast web browsing, email, and calendar support
Magazine Subscription to Texture – LINK
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With Texture, you have an all-access pass to world’s best magazines. So anytime you want to read something great, you can. Choose any issue from a catalog that includes all the top magazines in every category.
It’s magazine reading without limits. Flip through an entire issue that hit newsstands today. Or dig into a single article from a back issue in the vast archive. Audio and video exclusives bring extra dimension to the experience.
Caseco Blu-Toque Dual Layered Bluetooth Knit Hat – $49.99 LINK
- Wear your Blu-Toque while walking the dog, working outside, commuting, or going for a jog.
- Knit from soft synthetic wool, Blu-Toque is lightweight, warm, and water resistant.
- Blu-Toque is universal?it works with any Bluetooth device.
- Take calls and listen to music right from this integrated beanie. No more headphones, no more wire
August Smart Lock – Keyless Home Entry with Your Smartphone, Red – $149.99 LINK
- Secure – Safe, keyless access to your home with iOS and Android smartphones
- Easy DIY Retrofit Install, – Replace the interior of your existing deadbolt; outside is unchanged
- Total Control – You control who has access to your home and manage how long their access lasts
- Always On – Powered by batteries means it’s always on, even if your power, Wi-Fi, or cable go down
Behmor Connected Temperature Control Coffee Maker – $299.99 LINK
- Customizable, temperature control coffee maker with phone app for easy operation
- Free Behmor app works on Apple iOS 7 and higher (available now); Android 4.0+ and higher (available January 2016)
- Create your favorite brewing profile including brewing temperature and pre-soak time or select from app’s library
- Delayed Brew option heats the water waiting to brew
- Double walled thermal carafe holds 8 5oz cups per brew cycle
WeMo Switch, Wi-Fi Enabled, Control your Electronics from anywhere – $39.99 LINK
- Turn appliances and electronics on or off from anywhere. Never worry if you left the iron, coffeemaker or hair straightener on. Turn on the nightlight for your little ones!
- Easy to install and simple to use
- Set schedules and receive customized notifications
- Works with any smartphone or tablet running Android 4.0 and higher or iOS 5 and higher. Electrical Rating120V/15A/60Hz/1800W
- Compatible with Amazon Echo for voice control hands-free convenience
1byone Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 Speaker Dimmable Multicolored LED Light Bulb – $30.99 LINK
- Multicolored & ever-changing – Small smart LED bulb can convert 7 main colors – over 16 million supported colors, plus warm and cool white. You can choose your favourite color for each situation to surround you in your room.
- Music playing via Bluetooth – Connect to your bluetooth devices easily, and the built-in Bluetooth speaker enables you to enjoy music anywhere. Play music from the app or your usual program and have the bulb change colors automatically.
- Smart Functions – This smart light bulb can play your music, match the lights to the music, has a normal white lights mode, can adjust the brightness, can be renamed and can set a timer in the app to switch off / on. Wake up to your favourite music and color or come home with lights already switched on.
Jabra SPORT PACE Wireless Bluetooth Headset – $99.99 LINK
- Premium wireless sound and inline buttons to control music or phone calls
- Secure and comfortable fit with behind the ear wearing style and multiple sized ear gels
- Built toward US Military standards for rain, sweat, shock and dust resistance (IP54 rated)
- Rapid charge feature to provide an hour’s worth of bather life in only 15 minutes of charging. Reflective cable for early morning or nighttime usage
- Integrated training via Sport Life App to provide in-ear readouts during workouts: pace, time, distance, calories burned. Also works with most popular 3rd party sports applications.
Honor 5X Metal Body Unlocked Smartphone – Gold 16GB $199.99 LINK
- Unlocked Dual SIM LTE smartphone with three card slots. Supports nano-sim, micro-SIM, and a microSD card up to 128GB. Works with AT&T and T-Mobile Networks.
- Sleek, robust housing crafted from aircraft-grade aluminum made with four metal finishing processes.
- An accurate fast fingerprint sensor improves with time and unlocks in 0.5 Seconds. Set your fingers as shortcuts to call contacts and take photos.
- Powered by Android 5.1 Lollipop with 16GB Internal memory and 2 GB RAM. A Qualcomm 64-bit Octa-Core Processor renders a smooth, responsive experience.
- A Picture perfect 5.5-Inch, 1080P full HD display can Show off your 13MP Camera pictures with shooting modes like time-lapse, slow-motion, and perfect-selfie.
The post 14 sweet tech gifts for Valentine’s Day appeared first on AndroidGuys.
Google’s self-driving simulator helps it refine its cars
Google’s self-driving simulator apparently plays a big role in the development of the company’s autonomous vehicle technology despite its cadre of cars being tested on actual roads. In its latest project report, the tech leviathan has revealed that it travels 3 million virtual miles every single day — enough to circle the equator five times every hour — to refine the features of its self-driving software. That simulator requires loads of computing power, but if there’s any company with the data centers capable of keeping it running, it’s Google.
The Big G uses it to extensively test any changes to its software before rolling updated versions out. For instance, the simulator runs Google’s latest software to drive the routes the company’s actual cars had previously driven to see if there’s a change in their behavior.
Here’s one example:
…to make left turns at an intersection more comfortable for our passengers, we modified our software to adjust the angle at which our cars would travel. To test this change, we then rerun our entire driving history of 2+ million miles with the new turning pattern to ensure that it doesn’t just make our car better at left turns, but that the changes creates a better driving experience overall.
Besides recalling old routes, Google also regularly creates scenarios with the simulator to fine-tune certain features. In the past, the company tapped into that ability to conjure up thousands of situations wherein its vehicle has to do a three-car merge to make sure its technology has truly mastered the skill. If the simulator proves that the self-driving software still needs more tweaking, though, then Google’s engineers can make changes before it makes its way to the current crop of vehicles under testing.
What the hell is Amazon Underground anyway? Here’s our complete guide to Amazon’s powerful app
One of my favorite topics to write about is how to “save you money”. I’ve recently focused on unlocked smartphones, but there’s a quicker and easier way to save you money. That is by using the Amazon Underground App. You all know Amazon.com, but you may not know about its alternative to the Google Play Store, which is its own app store that is 100% compatible with almost all Android devices and it can save you thousands of dollars on downloads.
The Amazon Underground App Store is even better if you have a subscription to Amazon Prime which costs $99 per year and opens up access to a free music, books and videos.
The Amazon Underground App Store is one of those deals that seems too good to be true, but I assure you it is not. You really need to give it a try and you may never pay for another app again.
What is the Amazon Underground App Store?
- The Amazon Underground app includes enhanced features that aren’t available on the Amazon Shopping app found on Google Play
- Shop millions of items including movies, TV shows, songs, books, apps, games, and audiobooks
- Get over $20,000 in apps, games and even in-app items that are actually free (available in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and France)
- Stream Amazon Instant Video movies and TV episodes via the Amazon Instant Video player
- Quickly search, get product details, and read reviews on millions of products on-the-go
- Find products, read reviews and compare prices instantly by scanning a barcode and using your phone’s camera.
- Get notifications on the latest deals and track your orders
- Instantly scan Amazon gift cards and apply them to your Amazon account using your phones camera
- Tap the microphone icon and say “track order” or “track my last order” or “where is my camera?” to see your open orders. Reorder items quickly by saying “reorder paper towels” or “buy more batteries” (US only)
- Buy with confidence, knowing that all transactions are securely processed
How to install the Amazon Underground App
Download Amazon Underground for AndroidVisit https://www.amazon.com/underground on your device
2. You’re going to need to change the settings in your phone to allow third party apps to be installed. Don’t worry, this won’t void any warranties and it won’t install viruses. Google doesn’t want the Underground app in the Play Store so you need to change one setting to allow this app to be installed.
- Go to your phone Settings page
- Tap Security or Applications (varies with device)
- Check the Unknown Sources box
- Confirm with OK
3. Go to Downloads
- Open Downloads on your device by going to My Files or Files
- Tap on the Amazon App file(Amazon_App.apk)
- Tap Install when prompted
Once you install the app it will perform like any other app on your device.
Start downloading “actually free apps” from the App Store
You can download and install free apps, or paid as well from within the app. All you have to do is sign into your Amazon account to get started.
Or you can go to the Amazon Underground Store from your desktop and install the games or apps remotely to your connected devices. All you have to do is click “Get app” and the app will automatically download to your device when you are on WiFi.
You really need to try Amazon Underground today
It’s 100% free to install, is a great alternative to the Google Play Store, and it takes advantage of one of the great features of Android where there are more options where you can get apps. Amazon offers over $20k in free apps and in-app purchases on productivity apps through games. Amazon has you covered and there are no strings attached. Stop wasting your money on apps in the Google Play Store and give the Amazon Underground app a try today.
Amazon Underground – LINK
Amazon Underground Apps – LINK
If you do actually want to purchase apps you can save even more by purchasing Amazon Coins. You can save up to 15% if you buy coins in bulk, but it isn’t necessary. It’s just an option to keep up your sleeve if you ever do decide to make purchases within apps.
Enjoy apps and games for less! Save up to 15% on apps, games, and in-app items by purchasing Amazon Coins. The more you buy, the larger the discount. It’s just as easy to give Amazon Coins as it is to buy them for yourself. Amazon Coins are redeemable on thousands of apps, games, and in-app items from your Kindle Fire, Android phone or tablet, and on Amazon.com. Purchased coins are immediately deposited into your account and they never expire.
The post What the hell is Amazon Underground anyway? Here’s our complete guide to Amazon’s powerful app appeared first on AndroidGuys.
Five for Friday: Android games for getting your word fix in
Enjoy word games? Or do you sometimes need to kill some time with a game that doesn’t require an intense amount of skill or time? I am the type who always has a bunch of word games on my phone – they challenge my brain and are fun at the same time and don’t have a large learning curve. They’re also a ton of fun to play with friends in competition or in tandem mode.
Today’s list of apps are here to help you sort through the thousands of word games available in the Google Play Store. And since it is Friday, you can try some of them out this weekend while you relax and enjoy your time away from work.
This week: Android games for getting your word fix in
Words with Friends
Words with Friends is the world’s most popular word game app you can get today. So there’s a good chance you have played it, but if for some reason you have stopped, today is a good day to download it again. Words with Friends challenges your word building skills by giving you seven random letters that you assemble on a game board with point multipliers. You can play in solo mode, random mode, or select who you want to play if you know their username.
The developers of Words with Friends are constantly adding new features and it is available in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese and British English.
You can play random people or you can play friends you know anywhere in the world. If you want an easy win, feel free to challenge me directly. My username is pandab55 and love a good challenge. Just don’t cheat! If you do happen to challenge me it is a great way to chat with me about anything related to Android too using the Words with Friends chat tool.
Google Play Store – LINK
One of my new favorite games is Word Fever. It’s not too often you come across a fun game that is also ad-free, and this one is both.
Word Fever is part crossword, part word search game. Use the clues to figure out what the hidden words are. The answers can be about nature, food, science, sports, vacation, geography and many other categories.
It starts very easy but gets challenging quickly. Find the twisted words and slide your finger over the letters – as easy as that! If you like to play brain teasers, charades, text twist, quiz and word puzzles, this one is for you.
Google Play Store – LINK
Word Streak With Friends
Google Play Store – LINK
Rather than creating words, Word Search is a mashup of letters with hidden words that you need to find vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. You’re given a list of words to find at the bottom of the app and all you have to do is simply find them in the grid. It’s a fun game to kill time while also challenging your brain to look for words in odd directions. One of my favorite features is that you can play this game with no time restraints. Pick up when you have time and leave it when you’re busy. It will always be waiting for you to find your next word.
Google Play Store – LINK
What Restaurant ?
What Restaurant? is a lot of fun because it brings your knowledge of restaurants into play with creating words. It gives you an image of a logo from a restaurant like McDonald’s, and below is a grid of letters to pick from and you need to know how to spell the name correctly in order to advance to the next level. The game starts off easy but gets a little harder with each stage.
Google Play Store – LINK
What’s your favorite Android for traveling on a budget or saving a few bucks when out and about? Is it one of the five we picked? What do you like most about it? Leave a comment below and share with the class!
Why Stop Now?
Have you checked out our previous Five for Friday categories? Here’s some of the most recent selection!
- Android apps for traveling on a budget
- Apps for fans of Pinterest
- Apps for tracking your run and workout
The post Five for Friday: Android games for getting your word fix in appeared first on AndroidGuys.
Google is testing a new login feature
Google is testing a new feature allowing users to login to their Google account on a PC, Mac or Chromebook without the need of their password. Google believes people have too many passwords these days to remember and wants to help solve that problem. Here’s how it works.
When logging in, users will be prompted for just their email address. Once entered, Google will send a notification to your connected smartphone (must be connected to the Google account in which you’re trying to login). When you see the notification on your smartphone you’ll have to confirm that it’s you and then Google will automatically authorize you the entry on your computer. No password needed.
Users will most likely have to set up the device in which they want to authorize prior to trying out the feature. There’s also a rumor floating around that the feature may only work with Nexus devices.
Although this requires more steps and is a bit more time-consuming than just entering your passcode, it saves people from having to memorize another code. It’s great to see that Google is working on this and it may come in handy if you forget that passcode you recently changed. Let’s just wait and see if we actually get it.
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iOS and Android are both great. Here are some reasons to consider switching to Android.
I know I am going to get my fair share of hate emails and comments from this post, but I beg you try to keep an open mind when reading through this article. I understand that the whole Apple iOS versus Google Android debate is a heated topic for many, and expect comments on both sides of the fence. Let’s try to keep the comments civil.
I am going to do my best to explain why Android is a great alternative to iOS and try to avoid the whole Android is better than iOS debate as best as I can. I think both platforms are successful and by no means are Google or Apple struggling for cash. Monetarily you can say both are pretty darn successful. Apple is worth more money based on market value, but Google has more market share. I know that I will have a decent amount of bias towards Android, since I do use Android as my primary platform, and I also write for a website called AndroidGuys.
But it is in my nature to look at all things with an open mind: I am a scientist at a biotech in San Diego, and it is my job to investigate and offer answers with actual information to back it up. Any good scientist uses the Scientific Method to ask questions, investigate, acquire knowledge, and to use evidence to develop conclusions based on results. Once a conclusion is developed it is my job to test it and to prove it.
In my immediate family we are split 50/50 in what mobile software we use. My father uses an iPhone 6S+ and my older brother uses an iPhone 6 at my recommendation. Both of them started with the Apple iPhone, and are the type who prefer to stick with what works and to stay within one ecosystem. iPhone’s have great cameras, software, design, build, customer support and more. Just because I use Android doesn’t mean I force it on my own family.
My mother uses a Samsung Galaxy Note 4, and I use a a wide variety of Android devices like the Nexus 6P, 5X, Asus Zenfone 2 and the Doogee F5. My older sister uses an iPhone 5S, and she also uses an Android LG G2 too. So even in my own family, we are split 50/50 on what platform we use.
So let’s put the debate of what is better behind us. Let’s just take a look at Android and why it is a good alternative to iOS.
Let’s start with the most important factor: Price
iPhone 6S 4.7″ 16GB – $649
iPhone 6S+ 5.5″ 16GB – $749
Whether you buy an iPhone on a 0% financing plan, two-year contract, or in full, you’re going to pay a heck of a lot of money. Because Apple is the only company who makes the iPhone, the price stays relatively unchanged throughout the course of its one-year life cycle. Apple owns a monopoly on its products and can charge accordingly. It’s quite rare to see any technological device hold its value so well, but the iPhone does it regardless. And it even has incredible resale value. Apple controls its mobile market share by not making iOS accessible to other manufacturers.
Samsung Galaxy S6 5.1″ 32GB – $679.99
Samsung Galaxy Note 5.7″ 32GB – $699.99
Nexus 6P 5.7″ 32GB – $499.99
Nexus 5X 5.2″ 16GB – $379.99
There are dozens of Android device manufacturers. There are so many that I can’t even find an accurate count on the web. I listed the biggest Android device manufacturer in Samsung, and I also listed Google’s pure Android Nexus devices. Android phones can be expensive too. It’s difficult to do a direct comparison to iPhones, because the Samsung S6 line has been out since the Spring, while the iPhone 6S and Note 5 line have only been out since the Fall. Internal hardware varies greatly from device to device too.
The prices for the Galaxy line devices are clearly almost identical to the iPhone, with the Galaxy devices offering more base storage than the iPhone. Google’s own Nexus devices are $180-300 cheaper than the iPhone which means you can save money with pure Android devices. On top of the initial MSRP savings, Android prices drop much faster, but at the same time have terrible resale value. Overall, the upfront fees can be much cheaper when buying an Android device.
Letv 1s 5.5″ 32GB – $238
Nuu Mobile Z8 5.5″ 16GB – $249.99
Who? Who the heck is Letv and Nuu Mobile? I know you have heard of Motorola, but the Letv 1s and the Nuu Mobile Z8 are example devices that come unlocked with fantastic features. They also run the same Android software that the more expensive devices like the Note 5 and S line run. You haven’t heard of Letv because they are focused on the Chinese market.Nuu Mobile is a up and coming Android device manufacturer with a small budget and can’t afford to blast advertisements around the world.
And just because these devices are cheaper, doesn’t mean they lack in hardware.
Display: 5.5 inch 1920 x 1080 FHD Screen
CPU: MTK6795 64bit Octa Core 2.2GHz
System: Android 5.0
RAM + ROM: 3GB RAM + 32GB ROM
Camera: Dual Cameras, front camera 5.0MP camera, back camera 13.0MP
Nuu Mobile Z8 5.5″
Display: 5.5 inch 1920 x 1080 FHD Screen
CPU: 1.7 GHz Octa-Core Processor, MediaTek MTK6752 64-bit
System: Android 5.0
RAM + ROM: 2GB RAM + 16GB ROM
Camera: Dual Cameras, front camera 8.0MP camera, back camera 13.0MP
Android software is easy to use, is secure, can be customized, and Google apps are loaded with features
Again, I’m not here to argue that Android is better than iOS. Both email, text, make phone calls, browse the web, play videos and music, and take pictures incredibly well. There is no arguing that both platforms do the basics with ease.
The iPhone just works. I know it does. But that doesn’t mean Android devices don’t work. Many of us, me included, got started with iOS. I bought the first iPhone on the day it was released and waited in line for every subsequent release until the iPhone 5. I made the switch to Android when I took the time to evaluate the software with an open mind. Android is as safe as iOS and iOS is as safe as Android. Both Apple and Google make security the top priority for their software. Don’t buy into all of the misinformation out there about one being safer than the other.
The other sad truth is no software is bug free. Both Android and iOS have their fair share of bugs which is the reason why they release updates.
Just “Google” it. Google’s search tools are so powerful that many of us have swapped the word “search” for the company name Google. The dominance of Google search is so overwhelming that the name Google has become a verb. We don’t say just Apple it, Yahoo it, or Microsoft it. Many of us say just “Google” it because Google has become synonymous with searching and researching unknowns. It like calling tissue “Kleenex”, lip balm “Chapstick”, or cotton swap “Q-Tips”.
Google owns the market share when it comes to searching, and Google Search is native to Android devices making it a super powerful tool. Yes you can download Google Search software onto iOS devices, but there are benefits to being native. You can “Google” directly from any screen on an Android device, while it constantly keeps you up to date on weather, stock prices, news, parking location and more through Google Now.
Arguably the best feature about Google Photos is that you have unlimited storage for FREE. Once backed up, you can access your photos from anywhere you have an internet connection and a web browser. You no longer need to worry about saving your most precious memories on back-up hard drives with Google Photos.
Here are some other great features taken directly from the app landing page:
Your photos are now searchable by the places and things that appear in them. Looking for that fish taco you ate in Hawaii? Just search “food in Hawaii” to find it – no tagging required.
FREE UP SPACE ON YOUR DEVICE
Never worry about running out of space on your phone again. In Settings, just tap “Free up device storage” – photos that are safely backed up will be removed from your device’s storage, but will still be available in Google Photos.
BRING PHOTOS TO LIFE
Enjoy automatically created montage movies, interactive stories, collages, animations, panoramas, and more from your photos. Or you can easily create them yourself – just tap +.
Get everyone’s photos and videos in one place, across iOS, Android, and the web. Privately sharing all the photos you took – and getting the ones you didn’t – has never been easier.
Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drive
Google has its own answer for word processing, spreadsheet editing, presentation building, file storage and collaboration all for the price of nothing. Most of us learned how to use these tools using Microsoft Office, but Google created its own powerful tools and they are native to Android as well. Just like with Google Photos, all Google Docs are accessible from tablets to smartphones to desktops. And Google Docs is also compatible with Microsoft file types, while offering almost all of the same powerful features.
An alternative to Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Slides offers a great and free way to make presentations.
Google Docs is an online word processor that lets you create and format text documents and collaborate with other people in real time.
Google Sheets is a web-based spreadsheet application that allows you to store and organize different types of information, much like Microsoft Excel.
Project Fi is Google’s answer to cellular service. It isn’t Google’s own network – they have partnered with providers to offer its own affordable plan. Only select Nexus devices(Nexus 6, 6P and 5X) can access Project Fi, but it is a strong reason to give consideration to Android. Project Fi is still very new so this reason is highly debatable. But here are some reasons to consider it:
Project Fi is a combination of Sprint and T-Mobile
What’s included in the Fi Basics?
What happens if you go over your data budget?
You can bring your own number to Fi
Like any other provider, you can simply transfer your number when you sign up.
Wearables are taking hold in the marke,t and Android is at the forefront. Yes, Apple has its own watch too, which is great in its own right, but there is much more selection with Android. Tag Heuer, Fossil, Asus, LG, Samsung, Motorola, and Huawei are some of the major manufacturers of Android Wear devices, and the list continues to grow. With Android Wear you can monitor your activity levels, open apps, search and text using just your voice, get notifications, see the time and more.
Android Wear watches feature always-on displays, so you’ll always see important info like time, calls, and alerts. Respond to messages right from your watch, even when your phone isn’t with you.
Works with your Android phone or iPhone
Android Wear requires a phone running Android 4.3+ or iOS 8.2+. Supported features may vary between platforms. Visit g.co/wearcheck on your Android phone or iPhone to see if it’s compatible.
Android Wear is native to Android and is a great reason to consider Google’s software as an option.
You should consider Android if you don’t use it already
No I don’t work for Google, even though sometimes I wish I did. Google employees get get free food and drinks just for showing up to work! I have been to the Google campus, and they even let guests eat and drink for free. I hope Google let’s me hangout at its campus again some day in the future. It truly is an experience I will never forget.
Instead, I work for a biotech and research neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Schizophrenia, and the like. We get free coffee and tea, but I am not complaining. Nothing is more gratifying to me than working to solve unmet medical needs.
It’s my job to look at problems objectively, to ask questions, to research and to develop conclusions based on evidence.
In no way am I arguing that Android is superior to iOS, or vice versa, but I am offering reasons why you should consider Android if you are not using it now. There are fantastic devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 or the Nexus 6P that offer the latest and greatest hardware, or there are fantastic alternatives like the Letv 1s or Nuu Mobile Z8 which offer great hardware for budget conscience users.
The software is also incredible and better yet, the applications Google provides are completely free to use.
If you would like to learn more, head on over to Google.com. No you don’t have to switch to Android – there are plenty of great features on iOS too.
My favorite Android commercial.
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