Google Releases Device Assist, a Troubleshooting App for Nexus and Google Play Edition Devices

Websites and forums can be helpful in diagnosing problems with your smartphone and/or tablet, but even better would be an easy-to-use, dedicated application. Perhaps in recognition of that fact, Google released Device Assist today, an app for Nexus and Google Play Edition devices running Lollipop that can troubleshoot issues and proffer tips. (more…)

Goodbye, FACKWORS, Google Simplifies the CAPTCHA Process

Google announced this morning that entering in impossible-to-read letter combinations on websites to verify that you are a human will soon be a thing of the past. Realizing that the CAPTCHA process had become obnoxiously difficult over the years as bots became smarter, Google decided to start over and make things easier. They are introducing a new API for websites to use that they are calling “No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA,” which is much simpler than its name is to type. Going forward, assuming the “No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA” decides you are a human, a simple check of a box is all you will need to do to pass through to your destination, submit a form, etc.  (more…)

Google Makes Change to Nexus and GPE Device Update Policy, Your Carrier Could Affect Timing on Updates

The benefits of owning a Nexus and Google Play Edition (GPE) device are quite apparent; no bloatware, no ghastly OEM custom skins, and mainly, quick updates straight from Google. However, from what we have seen with this update to Lollipop for GPE devices, it seems to be taking a bit longer than the two to few weeks Google and OEMs initially mentioned for devices to be updated.  (more…)

Google Updates Santa Tracker App, Chrome Extension, and Homepage

It is December, which marks among other things the beginning of Google’s annual Santa Tracker. A fun-filled countdown to Christmas, the homepage features a number of games and projects, with the promise of new activities each day.

Among the web-based interactives are parachute practice, “reindeer games,” and phone calls to Santa. The Santa Tracker app for Android, meanwhile, has been updated to support tablet, smartphone, TV, and wearable form factors. For PCs, a Chrome extension is available for download.  (more…)

Video: A First Look at the Nexus 9 Keyboard Folio

The Nexus 9 Keyboard Folio is the first official accessory available for Google’s new tablet. It’s also more than likely going to be the most expensive. At $129, this Bluetooth-connected keyboard-case-combo is going to be tough for most to justify buying without any knowledge of its capabilities, quality, etc., so we went ahead and took the plunge for you, just like we do with almost all of the important Nexus accessories.

To kick off our coverage of the Keyboard Folio, we wanted to first put together an overview/first look and tour of the device, so that we are all on the same page and know exactly what we are dealing with here. This is also a chance for us to share initial impressions, many of which tend to stick through to the end of a review cycle.  (more…)

Deal: Expansys Will Give You a Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 (2012) for $179

Desperately need a phone and tablet, but don’t have hundreds of dollars to spend and do not care if they are a couple of years old or refurbished? Check out Expansys and all of their Black Friday weekend deals, including this one, which will land you a Nexus 4 (16GB) and Nexus 7 (2012, 16GB) for $179. Oh, they will even throw in a Nexus 4 bumper too, all for under $200.

Again, neither product is new (both are refurbished) and each is likely to show its age very soon (both are two years old at this point), but still, if you need something now or a cheap present combo, think about it. And as a reminder, the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 (2012) are also running Lollipop!  (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…)