Google Store Back to School Sale: $30 Off Chromebooks, $100 Off Nexus 6P, More

Shopping for back to school supplies can suck, as well as be quite the expense. However, if your kiddies are in need of a few new gadgets, or you just want to spoil yourself, the Google Store is hosting a new sale to save you a bit of cash.

Listed on the Google Store, select Chromebooks are marked at $30 off (Acer Chromebook 14 and Acer R11), the Nexus 6P is $100 off, $50 off the Huawei Watch, plus $5 off the Chromecast and Chromecast Audio dongles. That’s quite a bit of savings if you add it up.  (more…)

Google Maps Updated With Improved Typography, Areas of Interest

An update for Google Maps will affect users on Android, desktop, as well as iOS, bringing a cleaner look, improved typography, and much more. As you would assume, when looking over a city in Maps, there is a lot of information, all condensed until you zoom in. Because of this, Google is redesigning the layout of Maps, but don’t expect anything too drastic. Google will be providing a “cleaner” look, plus improving the typography to make things a bit easier to read.  (more…)

Google’s Phone App for Nexus Devices Gets Spam Calling Protection

Google is updating the Phone app that is included on their Nexus devices to include spam protection against unwanted calls. The newest version of the app will alert you as a call is coming in if it may be a “suspected” spam caller (see below) and then let you take additional actions on it.

With Caller ID & spam protection turned on, users will be able to both block and report spam calls. From within the Recent calls log, a tap on a call you’d like to report will offer up an option to “Block / report spam.” You should see options to both report as spam and then block, assuming you want to do both.  (more…)

Cyanogen CEO Refutes Claims of Company’s Pivot to Apps, “We are an OS Company”

Kirt McMaster, the current CEO of Cyanogen Inc., took to Twitter this last Saturday and this morning to briefly discuss last week’s news of the company laying off a large portion of its workforce. McMaster confirmed that the company had to “let go of some wonderful people,” but cited that disruption and startups are “brutal.”

Furthermore, McMaster spent 136 characters of his allotted 140 on Twitter to refute last week’s claims that Cyanogen Inc would be making a pivot. Said pivot would be from OS to applications. According to McMaster, “We are an OS company and our mission of creating an open Android stands.”  (more…)

DEAL: Amazon has the Refurbished Echo Priced at Just $140

Amazon is currently selling the Amazon Echo for just $139.99 as a “certified refurbished” unit. That’s a good $40 discount off a brand new unit, which Amazon describes as being “refurbished, tested, and certified to look and work like new.” So in other words, you are basically getting a unit that has had any issues fixed and then made new again.

In case you need a recap on the Echo, you could think of it has a decent room-filling speaker for playing music from from a variety of sources or via Bluetooth. But on top of that, you can ask Alexa (the brains behind Echo) for answers to questions, about the weather, to set timers, control lights and thermostats, read the news, share sports scores, re-purchase products on Amazon, and even order an Uber or pizza. It’s a bit like a home assistant.

Amazon Link

Pokémon GO SDCC Panel: Game is Only 10% of Final Product, More Features on the Way

At this year’s SDCC, a lot of attention was paid to the Pokémon GO panel, featuring members of the Niantic Lab’s team. A lot of details were revealed, but most importantly, it should be known that no legendary Pokémon were released for those in attendance to catch. That would have really chapped my hide.

According to what was discussed, Pokémon GO is hardly finished, with the developers stating that the game is at about 10% of what they want it to be. Yes, you read that right, only 10%. As for which features we can expect in the future, Niantic wants to bring more Pokémon (as in later generation Pokémon), release legendaries (but only when everyone in the world has access to the game), as well as new functionality for Gyms.  (more…)

OnePlus 3 in Soft Gold Arrives Tomorrow

On the day OnePlus announced the OnePlus 3, there was a bit of confusion surrounding the available color choices out of the gate. In promo imagery, we saw both silver and gold models, yet only the silver has ever been up for purchase. Tomorrow that changes, as OnePlus will make the “Soft Gold” variant available in the US before rolling it out to other countries.

OnePlus says that Soft Gold is only available in limited quantities, so if you are interested, you may want to be ready the minute it goes live in their store. Tonight at noon Eastern (9AM Pacific) is your time if you live in the States.  (more…)