Tip: When Setting Up a New Android TV, Use the Android TV Remote for Quicker Logins

If you’ve ever used an Android TV-equipped box, like the new SHIELD, Nexus Player, or Mi Box, you have probably had to go through the painful process of logging in to all of your apps using an included control. Depending on the app, there is a chance that you had to type out an email, login, and password letter-by-letter using a d-pad, which I would argue with anyone is one of life’s most frustrating experiences.

Thankfully, Google has a free option available to help you get through these steps in a much more efficient manner. By using the Android TV Remote Control app, you can pop-up an input box from your phone to type out logins, passwords, etc. on your Android TV without having to use the remote that came with your box. Trust me, you’ll want to do this.  (more…)

Google’s Switch-To-Android Site Helps Sad iPhone Users Get Tech Happy Again

If you are currently using an iPhone, chances are you are sad. Why do I assume that you are sad? We all know that you’d rather be on Android, yet you keep hesitating to break free because all of your out-of-touch friends who still think iPhones are a status symbol and that they’ll be left behind without iMessage, won’t join you. And look, they probably never will, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t time to find happiness. You deserve this, my friend.

To help your transition over to a smartphone world filled with diversity, openness, and less “courage,” Google has put together a simple set of steps on a newly revamped Switch website. The steps to get you easily over to Android from iOS are pretty easy and basically involve installing Google Drive. I’m not kidding, it’s that easy.  (more…)

Quick Look at Android 7.1 App Shortcuts on the Pixel

Within the next week or two, Android 7.1 will move outside of the Pixel phones and onto the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X, through the Android Beta program. Google is calling the update “incremental,” which is an accurate way to describe it since there aren’t any massive changes. Still, there is at least one new feature included that adds some new functionality – App Shortcuts. Let’s take a look at them. (more…)

Video: Google Assistant on the Pixel

Google is really going to push the Google Assistant on its Pixel phones. You know that already, of course, because Google started off its October 4 Pixel event by talking about the Assistant and AI for a good 15 minutes before ever announcing a thing. This is the future of Google’s software advancements and with it front and center on their new phones (soon Google Home too), it’ll only get better, smarter, and more valuable the more you use it.  (more…)

Google Shares a Bunch of New Voice Commands for Your Next Google Maps Adventure

Through a new blog post, Google is doing its best to make sure you are always getting the most out of one of its greatest apps, Google Maps. The post talks about using voice commands to get you to that next destination, tweak settings, avoid tolls, and even get out of navigation if you just want to look at a map.

All of this voice magic can happen within both navigation and driving modes because each contains a UI with a little white microphone. So in reality, anywhere you see that microphone within Google Maps will open up voice capabilities. Not familiar with driving mode? Open up Maps, swipe out the side menu, and tap on “Start driving.” I think you’ll like it.  (more…)

Buying an Unlocked Smartphone

I buy a lot of unlocked smartphones. In fact, as I type this, in front of me, there are eight smartphones on my desk and every single one of them is “unlocked.” Why do I buy them, you ask? For a number reasons, all of which I mentioned in this lengthy piece written about a year ago. The basics are this, though – they give me flexibility to test different networks, they often get faster software updates than carrier phones, they tend to be less expensive, and have far fewer bloatware apps than their relatives who are attached to carriers. They are the phones I will continue to choose time and time again.

With that in mind, I get the feeling that many of you are still confused as to what an unlocked smartphone is and may even need help in buying one. So today, let’s take a few minutes to talk through some of the things to look for when buying an unlocked smartphone.  (more…)