Contest: Win 1 of 5 Chromecasts From DL to Celebrate the Dongle’s Birthday!

Since Google is taking the time to celebrate the 1st birthday of the Chromecast by giving away free 90-day All Access subscriptions, we wanted to join in on the party by giving away additional goodies. Instead of handing out All Access subscriptions – that many of you can’t take advantage of because you have already taken it for a trial run – we are instead giving you free Chromecast devices! We will put up 5 for 5 lucky DL individuals.  (more…)

1 Year in: Google has Sold “Millions” of Chromecasts, Gives Away Free Google Music to Celebrate

Today, Google is celebrating the birthday of Chromecast by announcing a handful of stats to show how popular their HDMI streaming dongle has become. At $35, the Chromecast is still one of the best values in tech, as it allows you to take all sorts of media and “cast” it directly to almost any screen. It is a fantastic tool.

According to Google, they have sold “millions” of Chromecast devices in this first year, have tracked more than 400 million casts, and are selling the device in 20 countries and 30,000 stores across the globe. I don’t know that any of us saw this dongle becoming such a big seller, but like I just mentioned, there is incredible value there. It was sold out for months on Amazon and Google Play when initially launched before Google could catch up to demand. One year in, I would say that Chromecast has been a surprise success.  (more…)

Hangouts is Now an Option for Making Calls on Google Voice

Google Voice and Hangouts will be merged at some point in the future, at least that is what Google keeps telling us. Google announced back at last year’s I/O conference, again in October, and then again in March that Hangouts is the “future” of Voice, only they forgot to give us another update at this year’s I/O conference. So yes, we are more than a year into this supposed merger of Hangouts and Voice, yet the mystery surrounding the timing of that action is thicker than ever.

Thankfully, we know that at least Google’s Alex Wiesen has not stopped working on Google Voice. He told us back in June that Google is working to improve voicemail transcriptions with your help, and has followed that up with the unveiling of Hangouts calls through the web version of Google Voice. Mentioned on his G+ page last night, Weisen noted that when placing a call through the web version of Voice, you now have the option to call through Hangouts instead of through your phone or “Google Talk.” If you aren’t a G+ user, you can still use the Hangouts option as it doesn’t require a G+ account.  (more…)

Google Maps Introduces Explore Button to Help You Discover New Places

This week, Google is introducing a new “Explore” button through Google Maps that will help all of us discover new places nearby. The button will appear in the bottom right corner of Google Maps, likely next to the location/compass button, “where available.” In other words, it should just show up if you are in an area that is ready to help you explore.  (more…)

OnePlus One Review

The OnePlus One has grabbed more headlines over the past few months than almost any other phone outside of an iPhone. Some of them have been good, many have been, well, not so good. The phone boasts incredibly good specs with an equally good price point, yet the world isn’t able to buy one because OnePlus can’t seem to get their sh*t together. Apologies for the strong words, but this phone had the potential to be a game changer, yet here we are months after it was announced and the general public still cannot buy it.

We were lucky enough to pick one up because this is what we do for a living, but that also made this review quite difficult. You see, we have had our OnePlus for almost two months now and have absolutely enjoyed every minute with it. The problem is, reviewing it seemed silly if none of you could buy one for yourselves after we said our piece. Thankfully, more invites are about to open and a handful of readers have begun asking for this review in case they get the chance to buy one.

So, here you go – this is our OnePlus One review.  (more…)

Deal: Unlocked LG G3 in White, Gold, or Black for $499 on eBay Daily Deals

An unlocked LG G3 popped up today on eBay’s daily deals for $499, which actually seems like a solid price for a brand new phone that works on AT&T (LTE too if the specs on this page are correct).

You can choose from any of the three available colors:  white, grey, or gold. This is the G3 that falls under model number D855, which appears to be an international unlocked UK unit, but again, the description lists out that it should work perfectly on AT&T’s GSM and LTE networks. Also, there is a good chance that this phone has built-in wireless charging out of the box.  (more…)

Fleksy Jumps to v3.0 With “Major” Redesign, Adds Theme Store and New Languages

Fleksy, an innovative keyboard that at one time was my daily ‘board, received a major update today to version 3.0. In this latest build, we are seeing the introduction of a store that offers both premium themes and content, along with an evolutionary change on the minimal design of the Fleksy default minimal look. Users of the “award-winning” keyboard can choose from any of six new premium themes, including one free bonus theme for premium users.

The update also includes 17 new languages and improved accuracy for all 40 supported languages. Version 3.0 is live on Google Play.  (more…)