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…)

Dropcam is Killing Off Your Original and Echo on April 15, Will Replace With Dropcam HD for Free

Over the weekend, Dropcam announced via its support knowledge base that it would soon be discontinuing support for older products, namely the original Dropcam and Dropcam Echo. The Nest-owned company has plans to improve the experience of its IP cameras, so that (unfortunately) means newly planned features won’t work on these older products and they will be shut down. Thankfully, because of the end-of-life status of those two products in particular, Dropcam is going to replace yours for free with a Dropcam HD. How awesome is that?  (more…)

Nest’s Tony Fadell Now in Charge of Google Glass, Separates Into Independent Division (Updated)

According to FortuneGoogle is making a few changes at HQ today, as Nest’s Tony Fadell has been placed in charge of overseeing Google Glass. The co-founder of Nest joined Google’s ranks after Mountain View acquired the smart thermostat business, but it’s clear that Google thinks Fadell’s experience in consumer electronics could benefit Glass.  (more…)

Now Live: You Can Now Control Your Nest With Google (Updated)

On Friday, we broke word that you were one step away from being able to control your Nest Thermostat using your voice in the Google Search app. As of this morning, the feature is live (pictured above). That’s right, the opt-in authorization pages that were 404-ing on Friday are now letting you move through to give “Works with Nest” the approval it needs in order to work with Google.  (more…)

Google App Now One Step From Being Able to Control Nest (Updated: It’s Live!)

Update:  It’s now live!

Shortly after Google acquired smartphone company, Nest, the thermostat and smoke alarm maker announced a “Works with Nest” program that would enable all sorts of smart products to interact with those made by Nest. Of course, the most obvious partner in this program is Google. In the announcement, Nest noted that this “Fall” we would be able to say to our phones, “OK, Google, set the temperature to 72 degrees,” or something along those lines and watch as our Nest changed temperatures. While we have yet to see this integration fully appear, it does look as though we are about one step away from it becoming a reality.  (more…)