Moto X Tip: Use a Whistle Instead of a Cheesy Phrase to Launch Moto Voice

The new Moto X (2nd gen) introduced the option for its owners to initiate Moto Voice by teaching the phone a custom launch phrase. Rather than having to say “OK, Google Now,” as was the case on the original model, users can say almost anything as long as it has enough syllables for the phone to understand it each time. For example, mine has been “Talk to me, Moto X,” for months, but you could also say something silly each time like, “Silly cheeseburger fackwors.”  (more…)

How to: Change Moto 360 Watch Bands

Now that the official watch bands for the Moto 360 are available for individual purchase, we thought it was time for a tutorial on how to swap yours out. Motorola is going to recommend that you head into a jeweler to have the dirty work done, but with a single tool, you can do it yourself within a couple of minutes. It really is that easy.

As a recap, the leather and metal Moto 360 replacement watch bands are now available for $29.99 and $79.99, respectively. The metal bands come in light or dark stainless steel and can be purchased here. The leather bands, made by Horween, come in cognac, black, or stone and can be purchased here.

Ready to swap bands?  (more…)

Android 5.0 “Lollipop” Feature Recap – The Best New Features

Android 5.0 “Lollipop” is without a doubt one of the biggest (if not the) Android releases to date. There are 5,000 new APIs for developers to take advantage of, a brand new design language that will re-shape the way we look at and use apps going forward, and a couple of dozen new forward-facing features that you and I can take advantage of from day one.

Because it has been such a massive release, we have spent the better part of the last couple of months diving through the biggest features that we wouldn’t want anyone to miss out on. From a mini tour of 5.0 to the new power of Android Beam to screen pinning to multiple account setup on phones to the way Chrome acts within the app switcher, we have tried to cover almost all of it.  (more…)

Android 5.0 Feature: Tap & Go Restore and Restore From Specific Devices

I would hope that I am not in the minority when I say that pre-Lollipop, the Android setup and restore process was terrible. In fact, I don’t know if we can even consider the previous process to be much of a restore process. In the past, you input your Google account credentials and then told it to restore, though you had no idea where it was restoring from, which apps would be downloaded automatically, and if you were going to spend more time after the restore uninstalling stuff than you would have freshly installing only the things you need. But with Android 5.0, you have two new options that have been so greatly improved, I can’t even think of an adjective to describe them other than, awesome.

In Android 5.0 “Lollipop,” Google is introducing two new options for restoring your devices – Tap & Go, and specific device restores. The first, actually works just like it sounds; you tap your old device to your new device and go! With specific device restores, this is Google’s way of letting you decide which specific device you want to restore from, a method that is incredibly handy should you deal with or have owned multiple Android devices. Both are equally great, so we wanted to make sure you understood each.  (more…)

How to: Unlock the Nexus 6 Bootloader (Nexus 9 Too)

I get that the timing of this post seems super silly, especially after the conversations we had yesterday, including one where I said I don’t buy Nexus phones to flash all the things, but you know what? Many of you did buy a Nexus 6 or Nexus 9 to do just that, flash and tinker, so we want to make sure you know how to get started. Also, the process for unlocking the Nexus 6 or Nexus 9’s bootloader that we are about to walk through is something I do with all Nexus devices I own, because there is always a chance I may want to tinker later on down the road. Why not be prepared?  (more…)

Android 5.0 Feature: Google Updates Smart Lock on Lollipop to Include Trusted Places

When Android 5.0 “Lollipop” went into a final preview build shortly after being announced by Google, we ran through a series of features to make sure you knew all about the awesomeness that was about to grace your phone or tablet. One of those features was Smart Lock, which is Google’s take on Trusted Devices, a feature that uses Bluetooth or NFC (or your face in Lollipop) to allow you to bypass secure lock screens when you are near, but securely lock the device when you need it most. We are happy to report today that Google has added a new and incredibly useful feature to Smart Lock, thanks to the latest Google Play Services 6.5 update that began rolling out yesterday. That’s right, Smart Lock just got better without a system update.  (more…)

Reminder: Carriers Probably Can’t Activate Your New Nexus 6, Here are Your Options

So you received your brand new Nexus 6 today, straight from a factory in China, and you walk into a Verizon or AT&T or Sprint store to have it activated for use. As you and a sales rep get the process going, you get to the point where they need to scan the nano SIM for the phone and then your phone’s IMEI. You can almost taste the Lollipop. You will soon know how many licks it takes. You are this close. The sweat needed to give you extra grip on the 6-inch whale in front of you is starting to build in the palm of your hand. Your fresh pair of JNCOs is crisp from the dryer. The fresh Free Willy tattoo under your tribal band still has a bandage protecting its scab. You are a Nexus 6 owner. No, even better – you are an unlocked Nexus 6 owner on the verge of becoming one with a marine mammal. “I tell you what to do, carrier,” you say under your breath as you reach for your newly activated phone.

And then the sales rep gives you that look. You have seen this look before, typically when the 7-11 clerk scans your lottery ticket. You sir, do not have a winner. “Sorry, the phone won’t activate because the IMEI is not in our system. There is nothing I can do,” the sales rep says. (more…)

FYI: Android 5.0 Introduces “Enable OEM Unlock” Option in Developer Options

If you buy one of the new Nexus devices – the Nexus 9 or Nexus 6 – and plan to unlock its bootloader upon first boot, so that you can get to tinkering, understand that you may have to enable the “OEM unlock” command that would typically be used to accomplish that task. In Android 5.0 “Lollipop,” Google has added a check box under Developer Options that enables the OEM unlock command to work. If that box isn’t checked, then I would imagine you will see an error during the bootloader unlock process.  (more…)