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1 day ago

Google Wifi review: A perfect mesh router for most people

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Google Wifi

Google's latest home product brings plug-and-play wireless networking to any sized house.

Google's latest effort to step into your living room comes in the shape of a small puck.

Google Wifi claims to be just what you need to get Wi-Fi to all your devices, no matter how big your home might be. To do this, the company is using mesh networking technology — a cluster of small devices can all carry the same Wi-Fi signal and be extended seamlessly. Mesh networking, whether wireless or hard wired, used to be one of those things people with lots of letters after their name would set up for you, putting it out of reach of most consumers. But all that has changed and Google is the latest of a slew of companies offering inexpensive home mesh networking products.

Router vs Mesh Networking: What's best for your home Wi-Fi network?

Since Google isn't alone in this space — products like the eero Home Wifi kit or the Amplifi HD home system are some serious competition — they'll need to do a great job at a competitive price point to be successful. We might accept quirks and bugs in out phone software, but nobody wants to get up and reset the Wi-Fi router. Ever.

Let's have a look at Google Wifi and see if it's something you need to consider buying.

The design: It looks good

Google Wifi three-pack

The unit itself is designed to not look horrible sitting somewhere it will be seen.

Google sent me a three-pack of Google Wifi units to test and review. You can buy a single Google Wifi, of course, but the three-pack is designed for folks with a bigger place (a single Google Wifi point covers up to 1,500 square feet and the three-pack will cover up to 4,500 sq. ft.) and you can save a few bucks and have everything you need to get started. You can add a network point to an existing setup if you find you need more coverage than one (or three) can provide.

The unit itself is designed to not look horrible sitting somewhere it will be seen. This is important because the network points work best when sitting in the open on a stand or table than they will in a closet. The units themselves are slightly more than four inches in diameter and about three inches tall (4.17 x 2.75 inches). They look a lot like a smoke detector, just a little taller. They're made of polycarbonate plastic and have a slightly textured finish for a matte look instead of a glossy look.

The sidewalls have a seam that almost circles the device, which acts as a window so you can see the LED ring that lets you know if things are on and running properly. The top and the sides are free of buttons, knobs and holes except for a power/reset button above the cutout for cords.

Overall it's fairly nondescript. Nobody will mistake it for an ashtray or coaster, but nobody will see an ugly Wi-Fi router, either. Again — these are designed to be set out in the open, in the places where you need Wi-Fi. If they looked like a Wi-Fi router, some folks wouldn't want them on the end table or the night stand.

Underneath is where everything happens. The unit itself sits on slightly raised rubber feet and the bottom has a recess for the things you need to plug in. You'll find three ports — a [USB-C[(/usb-c) port for power and communications and two plugs for Ethernet cables. The USB-C port is properly wired so you could use a phone charger if you wanted to, but each Google Wifi point comes with its own 5-volt, 3-amp power supply.

The Ethernet ports are proper unkeyed 8P8C jacks, so any standard Ethernet cable will plug right in but devices using a "real" RJ45 connector (like an older VOIP/landline telephony unit) are keyed not to fit. Chances are none of us has any equipment with a proper RJ45 jack, but be warned if you do. Each individual unit or three-pack is supplied with a one-meter Ethernet cable, and no matter how many units you buy you will only ever need one.

Key specifications

  • AC1200 2x2 Wave 2 expandable mesh Wi-Fi
  • MU-MIMO dual-band (2.4GHz / 5GHz) 802.11a/b/g/n/ac wireless support
  • 802.15.4 Zigbee TX/RX support
  • Bluetooth 4.0 LE support
  • 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • WPA2-PSK

Google Wifi ports

Connections are simple. The center USB-C port is for the power supply or a thumb drive if you need to access the recovery. One of the Ethernet ports is labeled with a globe symbol. Using the provided cable (or your own cable) connect this port to your modem. The other is a LAN port for a piece of wired equipment like a switched hub. If you don't have any wired equipment, this port will go unused. Additional Google Wifi mesh points will only need the power connection and are wireless. For these, both Ethernet ports are available for wired connections. This is extremely handy and makes connecting something like a wired switch for your TV cabinet a breeze. You can also wire the connection between mesh points with CAT 5e/CAT 6 Ethernet cables and Google's Network Assist feature will seamlessly integrate them into the mesh the same way as a wireless mesh point.

From a hardware perspective, Google Wifi is simple and unobtrusive — both in regard to design and operation.

Installation: There's an app for that

Google Wifi setup card

It takes more time to write about the installation procedure that it does to actually do it. Google has made setting up a complicated wireless mesh network dead simple with 802.15.4 (Zigbee) support. Doing that is the important part of the equation, and having inexpensive equipment that still would require someone with network engineering training to setup would prevent consumer adoption. This is a common theme from companies who are building wireless mesh network gear for home users, and Google's approach is logical and effective.

You have to use an Android or iOS device to set things up — no exceptions.

An included setup card tells you how to plug things in and points you to Google Play or Apple's App Store to install the Google Wifi app to continue. Setup must be done through the Google Wifi app and any visit to the DNS gateway from a web browser returns the same page you see when trying the same from a Google OnHub router — it just tells you to install the app. That's important — you can't set things up without an Android or iOS device.

The app will find your Google Wifi unit (fun fact — the Bluetooth radio in Google Wifi acts as a standard BLE Beacon — and let you know it's going to connect you to it). It verifies an internet connection at the modem (you'll be prompted to restart the modem if needed) and walks you through the initial pairing and connection. Each step waits for user input (there is a next link at the bottom of every page) so you know exactly what is happening even if you don't know how it's happening. After a minute or two network handshaking and setup, you're prompted for a network SSID and password. Enter those and you're connected to your new Wi-Fi network. If you don't have additional mesh points, you're done at this point.

BTLE Beacon

If you have more Google Wifi mesh points to install, the app tells you to find a good spot for one (two rooms away and out in the open is the suggested placement), then tells you to plug it in and continue. Give things 30 seconds or so, and you're done here. You can continue if you have additional mesh points or say no when prompted and setup is finished.

One snag I found while testing: If you unhook everything without factory resetting the individual mesh points, setting things up again but using a different unit as the connection to your modem is a bit more difficult. I was eventually directed to scan a QR code on the bottom of the unit I was trying to connect with and still had several "false starts" before things were connected. Setting up additional mesh points went smoother, but still required multiple device restarts. Resetting the devices is simple in the app and something you should do if you need to move things around.

The app: Simple and easy

Google Wifi

As mentioned, Google Wifi is dependent on its app to do anything. If you're familiar with the OnHub app you'll find a lot of similarities and some changes to make things easier.

The app is divided into three tabs on its main screen and a settings menu through the Android "hamburger" that slides in from the left. The tabs are (from left to right) messages from Google's Network Assist, information about the devices connected to your network, and quick shortcuts to the tools and settings you might need more often that others.

The Google Wifi app is easy to navigate and everything makes sense.

The Messages tab shows information from Google Network Assist will let you know about setting up a Phillips Hue bridge so folks can access it through the On.Here server running on your internal network, tell you what features of the Google Wifi you haven't set up yet (like your guest network or family settings), or just let you know that everything is OK. If your internet service drops out or you unplug your modem, it lets you know about that, too.

The Devices tab tells you about your internet connection, your network devices and anything that's connected to the network itself. A tap on the internet icon allows you to check your internet speeds and see how much data you've used in a certain time period. Tapping the Wifi points icon brings you to an overview where you can see each node and the results of the last network test or perform a new test and a tap on the gear icon opens a page with more information and places where you can make adjustments like setting the LED brightness or changing the location of the node point. This is also where you factory reset things if you need to.

Google Wifi app

The Shortcuts tab is where you'll set a priority device or check your network speeds and connections, as well as access all your settings. The Advanced networking section has settings and options for the following:

  • Network DNS
  • WAN settings (DHCP, PPPoE, and Static are supported)
  • DHCP IP reservations
  • Port forwarding (TCP and UDP in and out)
  • UPnP on/off
  • Network mode settings (read-only) for NAT or Bridge modes

The adjustments are simplified and if you're running a complicated setup with multiple bridges and subnets Google Wifi is not going to be robust enough. But it wasn't designed for anything like that and I'll be the first to tell you not to buy it in that case. For more simple needs that still fall in the advanced category, it's fine. I'm running an SSH server complete with X forwarding (great read and how-to on that here) and an FTP server, each connected to the outside world through Google Wifi and the setup was simple for both of them via the Google Wifi app. Your needs might not be served as well. Remember, this is a consumer device.

Network testing: Rock-solid performer

Speed test

Google Wifi isn't designed for long-range networking, and that was easy to see when trying to duplicate the tests we did with the Amplifi HD from zero to 100 yards. What I did see while using iPerf — a MacBook Pro running the iPerf tool next to the NAT mesh point and a second MacBook (iPerf needs a PC so I couldn't use my phone) moving through the testing field — was a solid ~200Mbps connection right until the end-of-line for the network.

Google Wifi isn't designed for long-range networking, but it still works great in most big houses.

With the Amplifi HD, you could see when the network needed a boost but you weren't yet connected to a newer, closer mesh point but once connected to the right node the speeds were faster. Google Wifi was a constant speed with seamless handoff until we reached the edge of coverage, about 150 feet from the source. Acceptable performance (<30Mbps) continued until we reached a point 177 feet away from the NAT node and modem. The node layout, as calculated using 1500 sq. ft as a coverage sphere looked like this.

Network node layoutThis isn't how Google Wifi is supposed to be set up, but it works.

While long distance testing satisfies our curiosity, a better test was just using Google Wifi for a week while trying to do things that would strain the network. I was able to reach what I feel was network capacity by downloading four simultaneous Netflix streams (three at 1080p and one at 4K). At this point, downloading content from the internet via a computer would cause the 4K Netflix stream to stutter and pixelate and eventually buffer. My house is about 3200 square feet across two floors (1600 sq. ft per floor) and I have solid and fast Wi-Fi with exceptional ping times everywhere.

I have a great Wi-Fi network at the table on my back porch where I spend my summer evenings, and my phone will connect when I turn into my driveway. The TV can stream Netflix or a PC game through my Shield TV as well as it did when things were wired, and my outside connections perform exactly the way I expected and need them to work. While Google Wifi doesn't deliver blazing linear distance performance, it makes up for it with exceptional networking that's consistent in the whole network footprint.

I'm impressed.

The verdict: A great product

Google Wifi

Eventually, you're going to need a new Wi-Fi router. Chances are you don't have a bank of servers set up and won't need to clone MAC addresses or do any traffic steering. In that case, Google Wifi will be perfect for you.

But Google Wifi doesn't exist in a Vacuum. The Amplifi HD home system is as easy to set up, offers more advanced networking controls and better long-distance performance (as well as a dedicated long distance version with additional directional antennas) at a slightly higher price and more performance variability between nodes. Other systems from eero, Orbi, and Luma all have similar features. Each of these systems can be picked up at a price that's within $100 or so of Google Wifi and each has their fans. All of these choices are good, and the days of using wall-plug network extenders are, thankfully, about to disappear.

Google Wifi is a great buy, but so is its competition.

I heartily recommend Google Wifi to anyone looking for a way to cover their whole house with a network connection. But I also can recommend the Amplifi system and have plans to look at what eero and Luma have to offer. I can't say one is any better than the other, but I can tell you that each is a good choice. This is a good place to be, where we have a choice of products that work the way we expect them to work. If you're deeply tied into the Google ecosystem, go with Google Wifi for a multi-device setup. You'll like the On.Here integration for connected devices, and the Zigbee and BLE radios mean more functionality may be coming, though we heard that before with OnHub and it didn't materialize.

If you just need one Wi-Fi router and want something expandable (and pretty cool to use through the app) definitely go with Google Wifi here. The price is comparable to any good Wi-Fi router and you'll appreciate both the network performance and ease of use.

See at Amazon

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1 day ago

Galaxy S8 reportedly sticking to QHD display, may not feature home button or 3.5mm jack

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Samsung is making radical changes to the Galaxy S8.

The Galaxy S8 was rumored to offer a 4K display, but it looks like that won't be the case. According to SamMobile, Samsung will continue to offer a QHD Super AMOLED panel, albeit with a new substrate. That isn't all, as the publication notes that Samsung is all set to get rid of the 3.5mm port. The phone will offer USB-C, so if you're interested in wired audio, you'll have to pick up USB-C headphones.

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1 day ago

Netflix shows now start previewing as you browse

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Netflix is coming for those remaining precious spare hours.

As if it wasn't already easy enough to begin binge-watching one of Netflix's many excellent shows, the company has announced that it is rolling out dynamic previews for many of its homegrown movies and TV shows in order to make it easier to sample before pressing the play button.

Available on all of Netflix's TV user interfaces, including smart TVs, Android TV, Xbox, PS4 and Roku, the previews are not traditional trailers but sculpted synopses of stories, characters and tone without spoiling the content itself.

Netflix says this is to make it a better experience to filter through the company's growing collection of first-party content, over 1,000 hours of which will be uploaded in 2017. "We know we have less than 90 seconds to capture someone's attention and get them excited about a title," says Chris Jaffe, VP of Product Innovation.

The new feature is rolling out over the next few weeks.

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1 day ago

Google Home vs. Amazon Echo: Which should you buy this holiday season?

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Should I buy Google Home or Amazon Echo?

There are now two great home-based assistant speaker systems you can put in your house, but which one is the best fit for you? Are you a full-time Google user with a Chromecast on every television and an Android phone in both hands? Do you live and die by being able to have Amazon rush you something within an hour so you don't have to stop what you are doing? Maybe you're looking for the best way to fully automate your home, or the most efficient way to automate your personal life?

There's a lot to consider when choosing between Google Home and Amazon Echo, and it really comes down to what kind of person you are. First you need to know what kind of commands you can give and conversations you can have. We've got you covered here!

As you can see, neither speaker is perfect and there's some personalization needed to really get the most out of either experience. There's a few basic rules you can align with through this video:

  • Home is unlikely to ever be as capable as Echo for ordering from Amazon.
  • Echo is unlikely to ever handle sending video to your televisions like Home.
  • Google apps are much easier to connect to Home, but most work just fine on Echo.

There are plenty of basics that these speakers are always going to be able to do in roughly the same way. If you want a smart speaker in your kitchen that will offer you recipes or measurement conversions, both of these will work in essentially the same way. If you're looking for a nice single speaker to stream music in one room, both systems will handle that just fine. Asking basic questions about the weather or common search definitions are all the same.

Where things start to get more interesting is in less common but more day-to-day interactions. Starting from the top, you'll quickly learn that saying "Alexa" ten times a day to interact with you speaker is more convenient than "OK Google" will ever be (you can make this a little nicer with "Hey Google" but it's still not as mellifluous). Echo also has the benefit of having been around longer, which means Amazon has more services thanks to partnerships. If you have a favorite pizza order, you can have it delivered with only your voice. If you're looking for suggestions on a new mixed drink, there's an Alexa partner for that. You can even check your bank balance with Echo, though you probably shouldn't.

Asking to see a YouTube video and having it just show up on your television is so damn cool.

Google's strength with Home right now is in polish. The commands are more personal and conversation-like. You can use the nicknames you set in the Hue app without any extra configuration. Home treats everything like a first-party feature, where a lot of Alexa add on's require you to say "Tell [X Service] to do [Y command]" to get it to work. Home also syncs music across any Google Cast speaker, where Amazon Echo only plays on one speaker at a time. It's undeniably limited in these early days, especially when it comes to some of its coolest features, but the potential for this speaker to do everything Echo does only more naturally is significant. Also, asking to see a YouTube video and having it just show up on your television is so damn cool.

For many, this decision may come down to price. Amazon's Echo is $50 more than the $130 Google Home, but the smaller Echo Dot is only $50. It's cheaper to put Alexa in more rooms of your house, but if you care about streaming music and don't have a whole-house speaker system Home is a comparably inexpensive system that does a ton more. There's no clear "winner" if you look at it that way, but once you figure out what kind of user you are there's a lot of fun to be had!

See Amazon Echo on Amazon See Google Home on Google Store

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1 day ago

How to use Move shortcuts on the Google Pixel

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How do I quickly access notifications using the Google Pixel's fingerprint sensor? Move shortcuts!

Google has added three useful gestures to the Google Pixel that are sure to make you more productive. While they're not exactly new in the Android ecosystem, found in various phones from Motorola to Huawei to LG, they're put to great use here.

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1 day ago

Lenovo PHAB 2 debuts in India with 6.4-inch 720p display, 4050mAh battery

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Lenovo kicked off sales of the Tango-enabled PHAB 2 Pro in the U.S. last month, and now the standard variant of the phone — without the Tango tech — has made its way to India for ₹11,999 ($180). The phone will be available exclusively on Flipkart starting December 9.

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1 day ago

Nougat update rolling out to unlocked HTC One M9, coming to carrier variants early next year

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Unlocked HTC One M9 is now receiving the Nougat update.

HTC has announced that it is rolling out the Nougat update to the unlocked HTC One M9 starting today. The company also stated that carrier variants of the phone will pick up the update early next year.

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2 days ago

Android Security Bulletin: Everything you need to know

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Fixing the latest bugs and exploits in Android every month.

Google has detailed the latest Android Security Bulletin and released the fixes for Nexus and Pixel devices.

These are exploits and other security concerns that affect Android as a whole. Issues with the operating system, kernel patches, and driver updates may not affect any particular device, but these need to be fixed in the Android base by the folks maintaining the operating system code. That means Google, and they've detailed the things they have improved for this month.

Updated factory images for Pixel and Nexus devices that are supported are available, and over-the-air updates are rolling out to users. If you don't want to wait you can download and flash the factory image or OTA update file manually, and here are some handy instructions to get you started.

How to manually update your Nexus or Pixel

The company who made your phone uses these patches to send an update out to you.

These changes have been released to the people making Android phones for at least 30 days, but Google can't force anyone to deliver them to you. If you're using a phone from Samsung, LG or anyone besides Google, you'll need to wait for them to send an update and shouldn't try to flash any of the above files.

Of course, Google has safety checks in place to prevent any problems on your phone because of any security exploits. Verify Apps and SafetyNet are at work anytime you add an app to your phone, and seamless updates to Google Play Services will keep them up to date regardless of any hold up from a manufacturer or carrier. Details and incident numbers can be found in the yearly Android Security Review (.pdf file).

Highlights for December 2016

December 2016's update comes with two patch dates: 12/01/2016 and 12/05/2016.

  • Fixes in the 12/01 update cover Android in general, and address issues with the Android operating system itself. The most serious exploit addressed was in the CURL library (software used to transfer data that covers most transfer protocols and security certificates), where a man-in-the-middle attack could be performed by someone with a spoofed security certificate. Other patches for Smart Lock, the telephony system, and comm stack are also included.
  • The 12/05 patch date covers issues with the kernel or drivers. These aren't part of Android, but Google is the central maintainer and assembles updated code and resources from the folks making the hardware components. This time we see fixes for serious exploits from Qualcomm, MediaTek, and NVIDIA — so chances are your phone needs these. Samsung's Exynos chips are covered outside of the Android Security Bulletin and are patched by Samsung themselves.

If you get an update with a patch date of 12/05 you also have every issue addressed by the 12/01 update in place.

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2 days ago

Android is not iOS, December 2016 edition

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Marshmallow rises while KitKat slowly melts.

December's Android distribution numbers are out, and they're boring. Android is still not iOS, and things don't change in large increments, so haters will still hate and defenders will still hate.

Impressively, Android 6.0 Marshmallow now holds the single version crown with 26.3% share. That takes over Android 4.4 KitKat, the previous leader, which dropped 1.2% to 24% even. Lollipop cumulatively holds the lead with 34%, divided between versions 5.0 and 5.1.

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2 days ago

Gmail: Boost your productivity with these tips and tricks

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Master your inbox with these Gmail tips and tricks.

We covered the basics of Gmail for Android in an extensive guide, and now it's time to take a look at features that extend the functionality of the email client. Whether it's creating labels to categorize your email or using filters to automatically sort incoming mail, Gmail offers a variety of tools aimed at managing your inbox clutter.

If you haven't already, you should enable two-factor authentication on your Gmail account. Two-factor authentication works by combining something you know (a password) with something you have (your phone), effectively doubling your account's security.

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2 days ago

Essential Accessories For Moto G4 + Moto G4 Plus

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Essential accessories for Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus

What are the essential accessories for the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus?

The Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus are awesome. We know it, you know it. And awesomeness deserves, well, more awesome. We've rounded up all the very best essentials for your favorite new phone.

Screen protectors

For some added protection and security, a tempered glass screen protector is an excellent investment. No need to worry about cracks or shattered glass with one of these in place.

Jasinber tempered glass screen protector

Jasinber tempered glass screen protector

A quality tempered glass screen protector won't interfere with the touch screen on your Moto G4 or Moto G4 Plus, and that's true of the screen protector from Jasinber. For good measure, your purchase comes with two.

The adhesive on the back of the tempered glass spreads automatically when applied to the surface of your phone, so installation is precise and simple. It offers exceptional clarity; you won't even realize it's there, but you'll be glad it is.

See at Amazon

OMOTON tempered glass screen protector

OMOTON screen protector

OMOTON's tempered glass screen protector offers a lifetime warranty; pair that with the two-for-one pricing and you've got security and a great deal.

Application is bubble-free and it won't leave behind any gooey residue if or when you remove it. It's clear, oleophobic, hydrophobic, and completely scratch resistant, which means you don't have to worry about fingerprints, oils, and all the daily crud that tries to get onto your phone screen.

See at Amazon

Cases

Make a statement or enhance the look of your Moto G4 or Moto G4 Plus with a case that protects and fits like a glove.

Orzly FlexiCase

Orzly FlexiCase

Orzly's FlexiCase has a non-slip gloss finish so your Moto G4 or Moto G4 Plus will be easier to grip. It's a slim fit that won't bulk up your phone, and it's made of a flexible silicone gel that won't move around or let dirt and dust get it.

The case allows you access to every port, button, and screen feature you want, and it's available in black, blue, red, purple, or a simple clear finish that shows off the hardware on your Moto G4 or Moto G4 Plus.

See at Amazon

Abacus24-7 flip cover wallet

Abacus24-7 flip cover wallet

Odds are, if you're leaving the house with your Moto G4 or Moto G4 Plus, you're also leaving with cash and cards. The flip cover wallet case from Abacus24-7 will keep all of your essentials in one convenient place.

Take your pick from four colors of vegan synthetic leather that feels like the real thing. Your phone stays safe and the screen stays protected while you get space for three credit cards (one with a clear window that's perfect for your ID), and separate compartment for some cash.

See at Amazon

Headphones

Take your tunes and your talk on your daily run, walk, or commute with the right headphones for the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus.

Jaybird X2 Sport Bluetooth headphones

Jaybird X2 Sport headphones

There are six color variations of the Jaybird X2 Sport Bluetooth headphones, and they start at under $100. That's a good buy, folks.

You can choose an under-ear or over-ear fit, and either way they're not going to budge no matter how active you are. They ship with multiple tips so you're virtually guaranteed to find the perfect, comfortable fit. You'll have up to eight hours of music or talk time, and the sweat proof lifetime warranty is a huge bonus.

See at Amazon

SoundPEATS Bluetooth headphones

SoundPEATS Bluetooth headphones

For HD sound, noise cancellation, and a low price point to boot, SoundPEATS Bluetooth headphones are where it's at. The nine vibrant color variations give you plenty to pick from; maybe match a pair to your favorite case?

You'll get up to six hours of play or talk time, and they're sweat-resistant, so run all you like and don't worry about a thing. SoundPEATS include several different sizes for the ear tips which means you can find a comfortable fit that won't move on you.

See at Amazon

Bluetooth speakers

Bring the party with you wherever you go with portable Bluetooth speakers. Your Moto G4 or Moto G4 Plus has the soundtrack, and you can have the ultimate sound system to match, wherever the party may be.

UE Boom 2

UE Boom 2 speaker

The waterproof, shockproof UE Boom 2 is an impressive Bluetooth speaker. Its six color options range from the vibrant to the subtle, and they're among the best-reviewed portable speakers out there.

With a 15 hour battery life and a 100-foot range, they suit virtually any environment. You get 360-degree sound with excellent bass; no one will believe all that sound is coming from such a tiny speaker. The Blockparty feature allows you to go between three friends' devices on one speaker, or you can choose to pair a second speaker to your Moto G4 or Moto G4 Plus.

See at Amazon

JBL Flip 3 portable speaker

JBL Flip 3 speaker

If you want quality and a speaker that stays under the $100 mark, the JBL Flip 3 portable speaker is right up your alley. It's splash proof (because water happens) and comes in eight different color options.

The bass radiator creates sound that will keep the party going long into the night. If you feel like sharing, you can connect up to three devices to the same speaker (but everybody knows your playlist is the best).

See at Amazon

Car Mounts

Always on the road? Keep in touch and get where you're going safely with a car mount that will keep your Moto G4 or Moto G4 Plus secure and hands-free.

iOttie Easy One Touch XL

iOttie Easy One Touch car mount

You can choose a dashboard or a windshield mount with the iOttie Easy One Touch XL car mount. The XL will fit your Moto G4 or Moto G4 Plus even with a case on, so you don't have to constantly take it out of the case to install it.

The car mount really is a one-touch device to lock your phone into place or to remove it. It's fully adjustable with 360 degrees of rotation, which is necessary if you're using your Moto G4 or Moto G4 Plus as a GPS device.

See at Amazon

New Trent Arcadia magnetic car mount

New Trent Arcadia car mount

The New Trent Arcadia car mount offers an alternative to windshield or dashboard mounting by using your car's air vents and a powerful magnet. The mount is available in black or blue.

The slim magnet adapter will fit inside virtually any phone case and hold your Moto G4 or Moto G4 Plus securely in place. The car mount allows you to fully rotate your phone without the need for an extended arm, and there's no cradle; just pop on your phone and go.

See at Amazon

Charging accessories

Keep your Moto G4 or Moto G4 Plus charged to the max no matter where you are with some handy charging accessories for home, office, or the road.

APLUS desktop charging cradle

APLUS desktop charging cradle

The APLUS desktop charging cradle is specifically designed to fit the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus. It keeps your phone propped up and plainly in sight while it charges, which is perfect for speakerphone calls or video watching.

The charging cradle can also become the regular resting place for your Moto G4 or Moto G4 Plus, even when it's not charging. Keeping it up off of a flat surface means you won't misplace it or lose it under papers and other desk junk again.

See at Amazon


AUKEY 30W 2-port USB car charger

AUKEY 30W 2-port USB car charger

When you're going to be on the road for a good stretch, why not use that time to charge your Moto G4 or Moto G4 Plus? The car charger from AUKEY allows you to charge two devices at once at equal speeds.

It includes a 3.3-foot USB cable, so you can charge your phone and use it in a car mount for speakerphone or GPS purposes. There are built-in safeguards to protect your Moto G4 or Moto G4 Plus from overheating and overcharging so you can be mindful of the road and not worry about how the charging is going.

See at Amazon

Moto G4 and G4 Plus

Moto G4:

Amazon Motorola

Moto G4 Plus:

Amazon Motorola

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

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2 days ago

Save $80 when buying an Amazon Tap and Fire tablet together

2

Best Buy is currently offering an $80 savings when you purchase the Amazon Tap and 7-inch Fire tablet together. To get the offer all you need to do is add both items to your cart, and then the $80 will be subtracted. With the savings, it is essentially like getting the Fire tablet (normally $69) for free and $10 off the Amazon Tap (normally $129). With the Tap, you'll be able to use your voice to order Amazon items, check the weather and much more with Alexa, and the tablet is great for browsing the web, watching videos and playing some games.

So, for $119 plus tax you can get both of these great items, which is a pretty awesome deal. This offer is only good for today, December 5, so don't wait long to place your order.

See at Best Buy

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2 days ago

Quartz 'texts' you the news with new app

2

Quartz app gives you the latest news in conversational tone.

It can be hard to stay on top of what's happening in the news throughout the day. Quartz is trying to keep things conversational with its new news app that delivers you the headlines as if you're having a text chat with your best friend who just happens to also be a knowledgeable journalist.

If you ever feel overwhelmed when you check out other news sites or apps by the wall of sensationalized headlines vying for your clicks, you definitely need to check out Quartz. It pulls headlines and news stories from their own news site, along with other reputable news sources including The New York Times, The Guardian, and the BBC, delivering them one at a time.

If a headline is relevant to your interests, you tap the response to read more about the story. If you're not interested, tap "next" or "anything else" to move onto the next story. Headlines are occasionally coupled with semi-relevant animated GIFs (because it's 2016, so of course there's GIFs), and if a story requires a deep dive, you can always tap to go out to the original source.

There's some amount of customization you can do by swiping right. By default, the app will send you notifications for "really, really big news", as well as for any news items might be worth your notice along with a few daily pokes when there's a queue of things to read in the app. If you'd prefer a notification-free experience, it's easy to hit the switches on those features.

For a more chill way of staying on top of the day's biggest news, check out the Quartz news app from the Google Play Store.

The best news apps for Android

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2 days ago

How to get Android 7.1.1 Nougat on your Nexus or Pixel right now

167

How do I get Android 7.1.1 Nougat on your Nexus phone right now?

Android 7.1.1 Nougat is officially available for the Pixel, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, and Pixel C, but your phone may not get the OTA (over-the-air) update for another couple of weeks. If you don't have a Nexus, you can get a feel for when (or if) your phone will get Nougat based on our expectations.

If you know your way around a command line, you can skip the waiting game by downloading the factory image for your particular device and flashing it on top of your software. But there are some caveats you need to know about when flashing a factory image, so read on to find out what you need to know.

Updated on December 5th with new information and latest links to OTA files.

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2 days ago

Android 7.1.1 is here for the Pixel and some Nexus devices

67

Sideload or wait for the update? That's the question.

Android 7.1.1 is slowly rolling out to the Google Pixel and select Nexus devices, with Google updating its factory images and over-the-air (OTA) pages to reflect the new builds.

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