DEAL: Chromecast and Chromecast Audio are Still $5 Off

Still haven’t picked up a Chromecast or Chromecast Audio? Now would be a good time since Google is once again hosting a $5 off sale at a number of retailers. Remember, the Chromecast is already reasonably priced at $35, so anytime you get a discount, it’s worth jumping at.

Live under a rock and have no idea what a Chromecast is? The basics are this: The dongles attach to your TVs or speakers and then let you “cast” content to them, whether that be movies, TV shows, music, or photos. It’s one of the great technological advancements in recent years, especially when you factor in the reasonable price.

Report: Google to Launch Commuter-Focused Rideshare Service Powered by Waze

Waze, the navigation platform purchased by Google in 2013, may become its own rideshare service if Google’s reported plans come to fruition. According to sources of the Wall Street Journal, Google wants to offer commuters yet another means of getting around, while being far cheaper than services like Uber and Lyft.

Currently, a pilot program in the Bay Area of California charges riders about half of a dollar per mile driven, which is a fraction of what Uber or Lyft charges. Should all go well with the existing pilot, Google will open the Waze-powered service up to all nearby residents. Then, should that be successful, the service could spread from there.  (more…)

Sonos Will Soon Work With Amazon Alexa, Gets Spotify Connect Integration Too

Sonos, a pioneer in the multi-room speaker game who has struggled recently because of poor software experiences and increasing competition, announced two major moves today that it hopes will help it maintain its lead in the category. For one, Sonos will soon get Amazon Alexa integration, so that users will be able to control their Sonos speakers by talking to an Echo or Echo Dot, for example. And two, before Alexa support arrives, users will be able to control Sonos through the Spotify app.  (more…)

Samsung Begins Production of Exynos 7 Quad 7570, Aimed at Budget Devices

Samsung has begun mass production of the Exynos 7 Quad 7570, otherwise known as the Exynos 7570. The silicon is designed to bring high-end performance to budget-friendly devices, built on 14nm process technology. According to Samsung’s press release, the Exynos 7570 features four Cortex-A53 cores, delivering 70% improved CPU performance and 30% improved power efficiency.  (more…)

Google Maps is Getting Lists to Help Keep Places Organized

In the latest Google Maps beta, Google has included a new feature that is currently only available to Google Local Guides rated level 4 and higher. That new feature is lists, which is pretty self-explanatory, but could also be really, really useful for heavy Maps users.

With the new lists option in Maps, users will be able to create and view lists of places through the “Your places” section sitting in the slideout navigation menu. Once in there, the new lists area shows a FAB in the bottom corner that allows you to create new lists, but also starts out with a handful to get you going, like “Favorites,” “Want to go,” and “Shared places.” In order to save items to lists, you’ll still tap on the “Save” button when viewing a location, but with lists activated, you will see a list of your lists pop-up for selection.  (more…)

Report: This Year’s Nexus Phones Won’t be Nexus Phones

As the leaks have trickled out in recent months surrounding the rumored two Nexus phones for 2016, made by HTC, potential names have not been a part of the equation. Why? That’s a question we don’t have an answer to, but I think it’s safe to say that some of those rumors were considering the idea that these might not end up being Nexus phones, at least in name. According to a report out of Android Central, that’s exactly what we should expect to happen. In fact, their sources are under the impression that the HTC-made phones will arrive under a different brand name altogether.  (more…)

Google Hosting Indie Games Festival in San Francisco on September 24, Open and Free to Public

Google has announced the Google Play Indie Games Festival, a place for developers and mobile gamers to come together and play the latest and greatest indie titles. During the festival, those in attendance will have a unique opportunity to play unreleased indie games from many developers, then vote to see which games will win awards. Should a developer take home a prize, it could be a SHIELD Android TV, SHIELD Tablet K1, Razer Forge TV prize pack, or other exciting stuff.  (more…)

RIP: Chromebook Pixel (2015), New Model Hopefully On the Way

The Chromebook Pixel (2015) is no longer for sale in the Google Store, and according to a statement from Google, they don’t intend on restocking it. The Pixel 2 is Google’s uber high-end Chromebook, a sequel to the original Pixel laptop. Featuring specs far beyond that of a standard Chromebook that you could buy for a couple hundred of dollars, the price was no laughing matter, with the Pixel 2 starting at $1300.

According to Google’s statement, provided to VentureBeat, “We’re committed to the Pixel program but we don’t have plans to restock the Pixel 2.” To me, that sounds like Google is too busy working on a potential Pixel 3 to waste resources on restocking the Pixel 2. In fact, a job listing from June of this year gives quite a bit of credence to that theory.  (more…)