Video: Android 5.0 Feature – Setting Up Trusted Devices

Motorola has been doing this really cool thing for a couple of years now called Trusted Devices. The idea behind a trusted device is pretty simple (our tutorial on the Moto X) – when you have select Bluetooth devices paired to your phone, you can tell your phone to let you bypass a secure lock screen without having to enter a PIN, password, or pattern. It could be a watch that you wear with your phone all day, so that your phone remains mostly unlocked when with you. Or it could be your car, for example, which would allow you to skip by your lock screen security to make for easier (and safer) access while on the go. But, if you were to disconnect from those trusted devices (lose your phone at a bar), your phone would then revert back to being fully locked by that pattern, PIN, or password to protect your information. Make sense?

Google added Trusted Devices to Android 5.0 “Lollipop.” This is awesome news because it should mean that in the future, all Android phones running Android 5.0 or higher will have access to this super convenient feature.  (more…)

Tip: Send SMS and MMS in Gmail or the Chrome Hangouts Extension Using Your Google Voice Number

With the Google Voice and Hangouts merger in full swing (again), most of you who use a combination of the service are now noticing an added benefit – SMS and MMS through both Gmail and the Chrome extension for Hangouts. If you have a Google Voice number that has now been associated with Hangouts, you can choose to send an SMS to contacts, assuming you have attached a number to their contact information.  (more…)

How to: Setup Google Voice Voicemails in Hangouts

This morning’s Hangouts update on Android finally began the process of merging Hangouts with Google Voice, something Voice users have been waiting well over a year for. We know that not everyone has seen the prompt to initiate the merge process, but for those who have (and those who will soon), we wanted to make sure you got everything setup correctly after the fact. Since you likely still have Google Voice installed (you may not be able to uninstall it all yet), there are a couple of boxes here and there that need to be checked or unchecked to get this whole situation in order.

Once you have merged, the following should help you get Hangouts working properly with your voicemails from Google Voice(more…)

Your Current Qi Wireless Charger Should Work Just Fine With the Moto 360

Own a Qi wireless charging pad? Have a Moto 360 on the way? Awesome! You already own a spare charger for your brand new smartwatch.

We knew this would be the case, thanks to an FCC filing for the charger that popped up back in June, but we went ahead and confirmed as much now that we are home from Chicago. So if you have a couple of these charging pads spread between your house or office because you own a Qi-ready phone, then you should have no problem keeping your 360 charged if you happen to decide that Ambient Screen mode is for you.

Moto 360: To Ambient Screen Mode or Not to Ambient Screen Mode?

If you were lucky enough to buy a Moto 360 from the initial batch on Friday before they sold out, then you are probably due to receive your watch within the next day or so. Shortly after you first power it on, set it up through the Android Wear companion app, and then choose which notifications you would like to buzz through to your wrist, there is one critically important system setting you need to decide on leaving off or turning on. That setting is Ambient Screen Mode(more…)

Tip: Setup a Moto 360 as a Bluetooth Trusted Device on Your Moto X

If you end up buying a Moto 360 (unboxing and tour) today, and also plan on wearing it daily, you may want to consider setting it up as a Trusted Device with your phone. With a Trusted Device, your phone can have a PIN or password attached to its lock screen, but rarely ask you to provide it since it knows you have a “trusted device” near.

Basically, with a Trusted Device (could be your car or another smartwatch), you are telling your phone that if this specific device is connected to Bluetooth and near, I shouldn’t need to enter my PIN or password every time I access my phone. But, should I leave my phone behind at say a bar or the gym, it would be nice to have it protected should someone pick it up and try to access its contents. Make sense?  (more…)