Beats Music Reportedly Growing Slower Than Expected

The new music subscription service on the block, Beats Music, is apparently having some problems getting its user base going. The Beats by Dre name launched its music service a mere three months ago, but adoption is not where it was projected to be so far. No specific numbers were dropped, but according to a report out of Billboard, today Beats Music’s subscription total is somewhere in “the low six figures.” Ouch. (more…)

Google Preparing to Sell the Nest on Google Play? (Updated)

Once Google had acknowledged that it was acquiring Nest, the smart-home accessory manufacturer, we sort of wondered if they would ever use Google Play to help sell devices. While no announcement or movement has happened thus far, we noticed today that on Google Play’s support pages for available devices, they list Nest as being available on Google Play in the US, UK, and Canada. That is interesting for the simple fact that the device isn’t actually available on Google Play in any of those countries.

So we are now curious – is Google about to make the Nest available for purchase directly through Google Play? Tough to tell, but why else would they list the device as available in those select countries on a Google Play devices support page.  (more…)

Google Hangouts Updated to v2.1.075 – Simplified Contact List, Merged SMS Conversations, Widget

Google Hangouts on Android received a major update today to version 2.1.075. The update introduces a merged conversation list that combines SMS and Hangouts from the same recipient. Through that conversation, you can tell Hangouts how you’d like to send new messages to that person via switch. You can also tell the difference between messages that are sent via SMS or as a standard Hangouts message.

The update also includes a simplified contact list with two main sections for phone contacts and people you Hangout with. Google even included a Hangouts widget for your home screen and improved performance throughout things like video calls.

The full changelog is below, along with an .apk download link.  (more…)