“OK Google Now, Let’s Go Caroling” Brings in the Holiday Cheer on Your Phone

Still haven’t managed to get into the holiday spirit? Grab your phone, open Google Search, tap the microphone, and say “let’s go caroling.” If you own a Moto X (or new DROID), don’t bother touching your phone, simply say “OK, Google Now, let’s go caroling.” With a Nexus 5, feel free to say the same thing from the home screen.

Tap a song, sing along. Happy holidays, from Google.

Cheers Jigga_Z!

How to: Use Google Voice SMS with Hangouts

When Google finally introduced SMS into Hangouts, an immediate sadness overcame the Google Voice users in the building, as the apps aren’t officially ready to work together. In fact, Google has said that full Google Voice integration is potentially months off and going to take time, because there are some security concerns that need to be addressed first. At the time of SMS launch into Hangouts, only Sprint SMS and Google Voice integration was officially compatible, though we’re pretty sure that T-Mobile customers can now join in on the fun.

What if I told you that wasn’t 100% true and that any Google Voice user can at least send and receive SMS through Hangouts? Whether you answer that or not, I’m here to tell you that you can. Here is how it works.  (more…)

Tip: Changing the Default SMS App in Kit Kat [Beginners Guide]

Shortly before Google released Android 4.4 “Kit Kat” into the wild, they announced that a change was coming to how the OS tolerated SMS apps. In the past, you could have any number of apps on your phone set to receive SMS messages. From the stock messaging app to third party beauties like Sliding Messaging, the whole SMS world was wide open and a free-for-all of sorts. So with Kit Kat, Google has tried to tighten that all up by limiting the OS to allowing one app to essentially send and receive SMS and MMS messages.

As is the case any time a change like this happens, we want to make sure you know how to handle it going forward. Google has actually built in a system setting for Android 4.4 that allows you to toggle between SMS apps that are installed on your phone, you just need to know where to find it. Let’s open the beginners’ guide and take a look!  (more…)

Tip: Gmail on Kit Kat Includes One Finger Zooming

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You know that trick in Google Chrome and Maps that allows you zoom seamlessly with one finger? That would be with a double tap, hold then drag? That same trick works in Gmail on devices running Kit Kat. My Nexus 5 is currently allowing me to perform the trick, as is my Moto X on Android 4.4. However, the same experience can’t be had on my Moto X running Android 4.2.2.

Just sharing.

Cheers Jason!

How to: Get Google Wallet Tap & Pay Working on the Moto X With Kit Kat

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We just got done installing Android 4.4 Kit Kat on our Verizon Moto X and realized after setting up Google Wallet that it wasn’t showing up in our Tap & pay section. We also weren’t seeing the option to be able to “tap and pay” in Google Wallet like we were sort of expecting once running 4.4. We mentioned in our quick overview that Google may need to push out an update to Google Wallet to get it to work with Kit Kat devices outside of the Nexus 5, since the N5 is running a newer version of Wallet than is currently available on Google Play.  (more…)

Reminder: The Nexus 5 has a Beautiful Multi-Color LED Notification Light, Take Advantage of It

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One of the most underrated features we have come to love over the course of the last 3 Nexus phones happens to be embedded just under the glass, centered in the chin area of each device. Yes, we’re talking about the multi-color LED notification light that Google is also quite fond of. Yes, it’s also present on the Nexus 5. With that big beautiful light in play, there are apps out there that will let you decide how and when it is displayed. Do you want Sky Blue to show for emails? Red for calendar reminders? Purple for Twitter DMs? Yellow for Hangouts? You name it and it can happen.  (more…)

Android 4.4 Tip: Screen Recording Takes Screenshots to a New Level

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Does anyone remember how long it took for the Android team to include native screenshot taking without root in Android? I believe it wasn’t until Android 4.0 that one could take a screenshot without needing root and a 3rd party application or the Android SDK. We never really could figure out why it lacked such functionality, but now you can take one on most phones by hitting Volume Down + Power at the same time for a couple of seconds. On Samsung devices, I believe it’s Volume Down + Home. Either way, it’s there and has been there for some time now.

Guess what? You now have even more screenshot power thanks to Android 4.4 and its new “screenrecord” functionality. It’s glorious, by the way.  (more…)

How to: Remove Galaxy Note 3 SIM Cards (Updated)

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This morning, I attempted to remove the SIM card out of my international Samsung Galaxy Note 3 variant and struggled mightily until giving up and going with a pair of pliers to snatch the little guy out. You see, Samsung chose not to spring-load their SIM slot on the Note 3, so you can’t use a nail to press the SIM in to release it. It’s a weird move, since almost every other phone on the planet has a spring-loaded SIM Slot. It definitely threw me for a loop, causing way too much stress over something as minuscule as a SIM card.

As it turns out, I’m not alone in struggling with the Galaxy Note 3 SIM removal process. I took to Twitter to see if there was a personal lack-of-SIM-removal-DNA on my part or a wide-spread dealio and was told that many have struggled to remove the SIM from their Note 3. Some used paper clips, others used mighty amounts of pressure from their now-purple fingers, and a couple worked with extra sticky tape. As much as it makes me feel better than I wasn’t alone in the process, I need to point out that we are all fools. Samsung had us covered from day 1, we just needed to dig a little deeper in the boxes that our phones arrived in.  (more…)