Google’s Two New Project Fi Videos Help You Decide a Data Amount, Text and Call From Any Device

Look, the Nexus 5 2015 in all white!

Now that I have you attention with that placeholder device, let’s talk about a couple of new videos that Google added within the last 24 hours to its FAQ for Project Fi. The two videos focus on deciding how much data you should choose to start with on your Fi plan and how you can use your Fi number to call and text from almost any device, including tablets and computers.  (more…)

First 15 Apps I Install on Every New Android Device

As a part of this job, I have the (depending on how you look at it) pleasure of setting up new Android devices more often than any normal human should. The process, which has become much easier and more automated on Lollipop, can be both tedious and exciting. On one hand, you have to sign-in to every single app all over again, but on the other, you get to start playing with a brand new phone or tablet. For the most part, the joy of using a brand new phone outweighs the 20-30 minutes it may take to set it up.

Over the years, my setup process has become much tighter, leaner, and more efficient. Instead of installing a hundred or so apps with each new device that comes across my desk, I often only install a select few apps that I can’t live without. Since I tend to spend only a couple of weeks with a phone during a review period before sending it back to its owner, I’ve realized that I probably don’t need three different Twitter apps and a package tracker and credit card managers and four different photo editors.

These days, when I setup a device, I can get get by with a group of specific apps that you wouldn’t typically find pre-installed on a phone. Obviously, I’m a huge Google services user, but those related apps are all installed before I boot a new phone for the first time. If we look outside of those (Gmail, Hangouts, Maps, etc.), here are the first 15 I install every time.  (more…)

Google Voice MMS Messaging Support for Verizon Now Official

Confirming what we reported last week, Google software engineer Dylan Salisbury writes on Google+ that Google Voice MMS messaging with Verizon Wireless subscribers is now officially supported. That means, as he points out, that MMS through Google Voice should work with all major carriers in the US and Canada.

In a related announcement, Salisbury said Hangouts is gaining native MMS support for photo messaging; pictures sent to Voice recipients via MMS will now appear natively, instead of as a link. As for the other major feature of MMS, group messaging, it will be apparently be enabled in a coming update. (more…)

Google Voice MMS is Now Working on Verizon

Last month, the Google Voice team announced that they had expanded MMS support to nearly 100 North American carriers, including AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. As you all know, Verizon wasn’t included in the list, for whatever reason. Google’s Alex Wiesen mentioned in their announcement that they were “big fans of text messaging interoperability” and that non-participating carriers should reach out for help on gaining the functionality, which some took as a subtle jab at Big Red. (more…)

Google Voice MMS Expands to Nearly 100 North American Carriers – AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile Included

Google Voice team member, Alex Wiesen, took to Google+ this afternoon to announce that they have expanded MMS support to nearly 100 North American carriers as of today, a group that includes Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T. If you use Google Voice on a regular basis, you know how big of a deal this is, as you have likely missed out on picture messages from friends at some point. As Wiesen points out, with this new carrier support, you can say “goodbye to FOMO (fear of missing out).”  (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…)