Verizon Pixel and Pixel XL Getting Updates With Bluetooth Fixes, Daydream View Improvements

According to Verizon, the Pixel and Pixel XL are receiving an update today to build NDE63X. My guess is that this is November’s security patch, but Verizon’s changelog doesn’t necessarily say so. What it does say is to expect a Bluetooth fix, VR improvements, and a WiFi Calling option for New Mexico.

UPDATE: Yep, it’s the November security patch. Details here. (more…)

Google Home Unboxing and Setup!

Google Home is available and we have a couple in-house to start our testing. No, we won’t be doing a 1-day review. Instead, we’ll actually do quite a bit of testing and get back to you with findings on whether or not this is an item your home needs. After all, with Google Assistant involved, these units should only get better the more we use them.

As a recap, Google Home is Google’s answer to the Amazon Echo. It costs just $129, though, so it’s quite a bit more affordable. But beyond the price, this thing is powered by Google, sports a built-in speaker, and also works with all of your Cast-ready devices, as well as a number of Google services (Play Music, YouTube, Calendar, Keep, etc.). It’s very much the hub that you may have been waiting for.  (more…)

Google, Sprint Provide RCS Messaging to Android Users Via Messenger App

Beginning today, Android users on Sprint will be introduced to RCS (Rich Communications Services) messaging, thanks to the efforts of Google and its Messenger application. With the universal RCS profile, which was created by carriers and other companies to become a standard for all SMS activity used by billions of people across the world, all SMS users are treated to group chat, high-resolution photo sharing capabilities, as well as read receipts.  (more…)

Google Messenger’s Latest Big Update Goes Live for All

Not to go off on a rant here, but Google’s method for issuing updates to its core apps is a complete disaster. These apps constantly get updates, but does Google ever relay what could be new with them? Almost never. The changelogs rarely update. And when they do, it’s two weeks after their sh*tty slow rollout system has completed and we’ve all forgotten that the app ever updated. Instead, we’re left in the dark, digging through the app ourselves, hoping to find something new, or being forced to waste time in random forums or reddit or IRC or wherever else ultra-nerds hangout to sweat over the shape of a text bubble changing, when all Google needed to do was update the app’s listing.

Take for example Google Messenger. This is their best messaging app by a mile. Over the past week, a pretty major update has been rolling out, but as far as I can tell, the “What’s New” section for the app wasn’t updated until either today or yesterday, after most of you already had the app. You would think that Google might want to spread the news about its biggest Messenger update in a year? Apparently, not.  (more…)

AfterShip Package Tracker Gets Account Syncing!

AfterShip, an old favorite of ours in the package tracking genre, received an update today that introduces the one feature that we thought would never come – account & device syncing. I say that because earlier this year, we made the permanent switch to ParcelTrack for all package tracking needs because of device syncing and because the AfterShip developer told us there were no plans to give us that same power.

A couple of days ago, though, the developer behind AfterShip hit us up to let us know that he had a “Data sync” feature on the way that we could test before release. So we did! And it works pretty well!  (more…)

IFTTT Gets a New App Too, Renames Recipes to Applets

IFTTT, the service that brings you control over the physical world through digital means, announced big changes to its platform today. For one, a new app is ready for us while some of its older “DO” apps are on the way out. Also, Recipes are no longer called Recipes and are now referred to as Applets.

With the new app, IFTTT is giving us a single app to do it all. Previously, we had an “IF” app, along with a handful of “DO” apps. Now, those have all been combined into a single experience that can be managed from a single place. On a semi-related note, the IFTT website has been redesigned too.  (more…)

Uber Introduces Redesigned App

Uber dropped a new redesign on us this morning, one that flips the experience a bit by starting you off with a question, “Where to?” That’s in a way Uber realizing that when someone requests a ride, the whole point is that they have a destination in mind and would rather tell Uber where to take them upfront instead of telling it where to pick them up. That make sense?  (more…)