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2 months ago

Choosing when to use Google Cast on Android TV

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Google Cast and native app performance are rarely the same.

There are few modern streaming technologies as well-executed as Google Cast when it comes to getting a knowledgeable user from wanting to watch something to actually watching it. If you've got a Chromecast or Android TV box on the same wireless network, it doesn't get much simpler for those of us with our phones always in our hands. For users who went the Android TV route for their entertainment center, there are two options for streaming just about everything. You can use the Google Cast mode from your phone, or you can open the native app on Android TV and use your controller to select the video you want to watch.

It turns out these experiences, even on high-end Android TV hardware, are not identical. Here's what you need to know about choosing the best way to stream.

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2 months ago

Samsung again offering free Wireless Charging Pad to new Samsung Pay users

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Samsung is again offering a free Qi Wireless Charging Pad in its latest Samsung Pay promotion. The company has offered various different free gifts and credits for new customers who add cards to the service since it launched.

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2 months ago

Slack rolling out voice calls beta to its desktop messaging platform

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2 months ago

Google Photos for Android gets a visual refresh with simplified navigation

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Google Photos has received a substantial update, redesigning the interface and making it easier to find different features like Assistant and Albums. Rather than hiding these sections away in a sidebar, Assistant, Albums, and Photos can now be found in a bar at the bottom of the screen.

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2 months ago

Google starts testing Hands Free mobile payments app

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Google has announced a new pilot program for hands-free payments with a new app, appropriately named Hands Free. With the app, you won't need to grab your wallet, hunt for cash, or even pull your phone out of your pocket or purse in order to pay. Currently separate from Android Pay, the Hands Free beta is currently limited to the South Bay area of San Francisco.

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2 months ago

Samsung Pay adds Wells Fargo to its supported cards

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Samsung Pay, the mobile payment solution from Samsung, has added support for Wells Fargo. This marks support for 70 different banks and credit unions, which Samsung says covers around 70 percent of the U.S. credit and debit card market. Some of the other banks and credit cards that are supported include American Express, Chase, PNC, Bank of America and many others.

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2 months ago

Android Pay still hasn't replaced my wallet

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Mobile payments in the U.S. are just as confusing as ever.

I've been on board with mobile payments for a long time now. I stared in excitement as Google handed folks Nexus S phones loaded with Google Wallet and showed them how easy it would be to pay for things in the not-so-distant future. A few weeks later a cab driver chased me down the street for what he thought was me trying to rip him off, and that still wasn't enough to deter me from the hope that everyone would one day get on this train. With Apple tossing their hat in the ring and Google re-branding and resurrecting Wallet as Android Pay, that excitement climbed all the way back to the top.

And then the kid behind the counter at Best Buy told me I had to use chip-and-signature for the card I was using, and that Android Pay wouldn't work for that particular card at that particular terminal. I almost wished I was back in that cab with the guy who thought I was a hacker.

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2 months ago

Google updates its Play Developer Policy Center making it easier to find policies and more

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Google has updated its Play Developer Policy Center to make things a bit more transparent for developers. Along with a Material Design-inspired refresh, Google is making it easier for developers to find relevant policies and more. Based on feedback from the community, Google was able to identify pain points for developers, and make some changes that make things easier on them. The company outlines the key changes as:

  • Thematic organization of policies, so it is easier for developers to find relevant policies and understand the broad principles behind them
  • Visual examples and detailed guidelines for the most common violations based on developer feedback
  • Expanded information on our policy enforcement to help resolve violations
  • A visual refresh embracing Material Design to help developers more intuitively find the information they are looking for on mobile or desktop

If you are an Android developer, be sure to check out the updated Play Developer Policy Center, and see if it is any easier for you to navigate.

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2 months ago

30 Days later — a Marvel: Contest of Champions for Android follow-up

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Marvel walks a fun line with their psuedo-fighter, and it keeps you coming back for more.

When I initially sat down to write about Marvel: Contest of Champions I hadn't been playing for particularly long but I was already hooked. The access to a gorgeous and easy to play fighting game was the first draw, but I'm also a major Marvel fangirl. So, 30 days later, these are my thoughts on whether this game will keep you enjoying it after the first few days.

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2 months ago

Android 6.0 Marshmallow now rolling out to the Droid Turbo 2

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Droid Turbo 2 owners are in for a sticky treat, as Verizon has announced that it has started rolling out the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update for the smartphone.

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2 months ago

AC editors' apps of the week: Stack, Galactic Nemesis, MultiWindow Toggle and more

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Our weekly app picks

It's Appday Sunday and that means we're back with more of our favorites to share. Every week we bring a handful of great apps to the table and share them with everyone. Sometimes they are new apps, sometimes old standards, but every time they are apps we love to use.

Give these a look and then take a minute to tell us all about the apps you are using and love so we can give them a try. We all find some of our favorites right in the comments on these posts!

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2 months ago

League CEO Mike Serbinis on making a mobile-focused health and wellness platform

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High-level healthcare systems are still clumsy and terrible.

I would consider my healthcare situation relatively tech savvy, for what it is. I don't have a Google Glass-wielding tech-focused doctor or anything, but it's not bad. My doctor is cool enough to use an app for making appointments and sending over requests. She emails me test results and will gladly send a text message when the need arises. She's a rarity in the medical industry, and a lot of that has to do with the massive parts of the healthcare system that don't actually interoperate. Depending on who your doctor is, your whole medical experience could still be pen and paper in 2016.

Recently I sat down with the CEO of League, a Canadian company focused on bringing healthcare solutions into the smartphone age with their city-by-city program that recently came to the US. Of all the med tech solutions I've seen over the last year, this one seems like it's actually making things easier for the user.

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2 months ago

Marshmallow soak test begins for Droid Turbo 2

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Android 6.0 Marshmallow is now rolling out to at least some Droid Turbo 2 users as part of what appears to be a soak test.

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2 months ago

Marshmallow update heading to ASUS ZenFone 2, Zoom and more in Q2 2016

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ASUS has now posted an update on its Android 6.0 Marshmallow rollout plans, detailing a list of eight phones it says will receive an update sometime in Q2 2016.

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2 months ago

Google Inbox — one year later

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Google's new way to think about email took a while to fully hook me, but now there's no other way to email for me.

When Inbox was first announced, I quickly jumped to grab an invite to the service. Gmail had been my default email client for years now, and I didn't have any problems with how it worked, but I loved the ideas behind Inbox. The notion that my email account could be more than just a communication and advertising dumpster, but also a task list and a functional goal system, was more than a little appealing.

In the early days I switched back and forth between Gmail and Inbox, not quite ready to fully hand my email over to this new system, but just about a year ago I finally made the switch to full time Inbox use and haven't looked back.

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