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3 months ago

Instant Apps now on 500 million Android devices

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Instant Apps now available on 500 million Android devices.

Instant Apps are a way for developers to provide a lightweight, modularized portion of their full app experience when a user opens specific search results. The user has to enable Instant Apps in the Settings menu before the feature will work, however. Announced at Google I/O 2016, the feature was made available to all developers after this year's I/O.

Google has announced the feature is now available to 500 million users, so developers should feel encouraged to start building for the feature. Instant Apps are available for any user running Android 6.0 and later, or 45.8% of all Android users. While that's not a majority, that's still a very large number of users and will continue to grow in the future.

Google also shared that application developers are already seeing a return on their work for Instant Apps. Vimeo increased session duration by 130% following the integration of Instant Apps, while the real estate purchasing application dotloop saw a 62% increase in users using its service to sign documents after integrating Instant Apps into its platform.

Google also provides a list of best practices for developers interested in integrating Instant Apps into their service.

Have you stumbled across an Instant App you like yet? Let us know down below!

Android Oreo

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3 months ago

Alt-Right network Gab removed from the Play Store

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Google has removed alt-right social network Gab from the Play Store.

Google has removed alt-right social network Gab from the Play Store, the social network shared on Twitter. This comes days after Nazis protested in Charlottesville, VA, leaving one woman dead after a protester drove a van into a crowd of counter protesters. Two police officers also perished when a police helicopter crashed during the protests.

Gab stated the application was removed for violating the Play Store's hate speech policy. That policy states:

We don't allow the promotion of hatred toward groups of people based on their race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, or sexual orientation/gender identity.

Android holds around 53% of the market share for mobile operating systems in the U.S, which is not large enough for this to be an antitrust concern. Nor is it a First Amendment issue, as some commenters on Twitter have pointed out. The First Amendment only forbids the government from restricting certain types of speech. Since Google is a private entity, the First Amendment does not apply.

Update: Google provided a statement to Ars Technica regarding the removal:

In order to be on the Play Store, social networking apps need to demonstrate a sufficient level of moderation, including for content that encourages violence and advocates hate against groups of people," the statement read. "This is a long-standing rule and clearly stated in our developer policies. Developers always have the opportunity to appeal a suspension and may have their apps reinstated if they've addressed the policy violations and are compliant with our Developer Program Policies.

Is Google going too far in removing this application, or should this have happened before lives were lost? Scroll on down and share your thoughts in the comments.

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3 months ago

Microsoft brings some Cortana magic to Skype Preview for Android

1

Microsoft has brought a little bit of Cortana magic to the Skype Preview app on Android.

If you use the Skype Preview app for Android, then you can now interact with Cortana alongside all of your other chats — so long as you call the U.S. home.

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3 months ago

Best adult apps in VR

Finding adult apps for VR is easy, finding awesome adult apps in VR can be more difficult.

Porn in VR is all over the place these days. In fact, all you have to do is a quick Google search and you'll find plenty of websites and apps that can give you what you're looking for. Not all adults apps are awesome though. So instead of slogging through the internet and hoping you find an awesome app, we've done the work for you. Below you'll find the best apps in VR for adult entertainment.

Read more at VRHeads.com

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3 months ago

Best tips for wrangling Bixby to get it to do what you want

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Getting Bixby Voice to do what you want can be pesky, but these tips can help.

Bixby Voice for Samsung's Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 delivers a pocket assistant that you can talk to in order to get things done. However, if you can't seem to get Bixby to do what you're asking, then this assistant can be more of a hassle than a help. That's why we've put together this handy list of tips to get Bixby Voice to listen when you give it a command!

Ask Bixby to open an app

When you're trying to get Bixby Voice to complete a specific task for you, the first thing that you need to do is ask it to open an app. Saying "Hey Bixby, Open my Calendar" will open up your Calendar, but once you have an app opened up, you'll be able to ask it to complete specific tasks without causing confusion for your pocket assistant.

Taking the extra moment to ask Bixby to open an app before giving her specific commands means that she'll know which app you're talking about, and you'll have a better shot of getting things done correctly the first time that you ask.

Check compatible apps

While Bixby works with many apps already, and Samsung is adding more to that catalog, it definitely does not include everything. If you want to be sure that Bixby is capable of doing what you are asking it to, double-check that the app you're talking about is compatible with Bixby.

There's a full list of every fully compatible app that you have access to. On top of that, if you take a look at Bixby Labs, these are apps that are currently being tested with Bixby. They may well lack full functionality for now, but knowing whether the app you want Bixby to use is available is key to getting it to do what you want it to.

Be specific

When asking Bixby to complete a task for you, be sure that you're being specific. Just asking her to do something vague isn't going to do you any favors. By being quite specific when you talk to Bixby, you'll be in much better straits to have the app do what you've asked it to on the first try. By saying "Bixby do I have anything on the Calendar for August 22, 2017?" it's much easier for it to complete my request in a single try than if I say "Bixby what's going on next week?"

Simply put, by being as specific as possible, Bixby will be able to understand exactly what you are asking it to do without clarification needed.

Take the time to teach Bixby

Every time that you have Bixby complete a task for you or answer a question, you have the ability to teach Bixby and give feedback. In some cases, Bixby gets the picture quickly, but if you find that the app is regularly mishearing your words, then you'll definitely want to correct it.

Bixby learns by interacting with you, and the better it understands you and what you're asking, the easier time it will have to complete all of the tasks you set.

Use Quick Commands

Quick Commands with Bixby Voice gives you access to really customizing your experience. By building your own quick command, you'll be able to launch specific actions with a phrase that you choose.

This means you can create phrases that will automatically launch what you need them to do. For instance "Take me to Mom's House" can automatically launch Maps and start navigation to your desired location. By setting up a cadre of Quick Commands, you can always be sure that your verbal commands are fulfilled correctly by Bixby.

Questions?

Do you still have questions about getting Bixby to do what you want it to? Is there a tip for using Bixby Voice that we should have included here? Let us know about it by dropping us a comment below!

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Unlocked

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3 months ago

How to set up Google Home with multiple users

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Google can differentiate between up to six Google accounts, making it easy for the whole house to use!

Google Home works by recognizing your voice, letting you listen to music, add items to your shopping list and even check the day's news. With multi-user support, that goes a step further allowing up to six different accounts to link to a single Google Home. This means that every account can receive personalized responses from Google Home to help them on their day.

We've got the details on using Google Home with multiple users here!

Note: Multi-user support is available in the U.S., UK, and Canada at the moment.

How to add an additional account to Google Home

When adding an account that does not belong to you, the user will need to go through the setup process on their own phone. This includes teaching Google Home to recognize their voice so that their preferences are used when talking.

  1. Open Google Home.
  2. Tap the device icon in the upper right corner.
  3. Tap Link your Account (you may see "Multi-user account is available" instead).

  4. Tap Continue.
  5. Teach Google Home your voice by following the commands on screen.
  6. Tap Continue.

How to adjust your preferences with Google Home

  1. Open Google Home.
  2. Tap the device icon in the upper right corner of the screen.
  3. Tap the menu button for Google Home (it looks like three vertical dots).

  4. Tap Settings.
  5. Tap More under Google Assistant settings.

  6. Tap the feature you would like to adjust.
  7. Tap a checkbox to change your preferences.
  8. Tap the back arrow to save your changes.

How to change the News sources Google Home reads to you

  1. Open Google Home.
  2. Tap the device icon in the upper right corner of the screen.
  3. Tap the menu button for Google Home (it looks like three vertical dots).

  4. Tap Settings.
  5. Tap More under Google Assistant settings.

  6. Tap News.
  7. Tap Add new sources.
  8. Tap a checkbox to select new sources.

Questions?

Have you added multiple accounts to your Google Home? Have you been having issues getting Google Home to cooperate with multiple users? Be sure to drop us a comment below, and let us know about it!

Update, August 16: Google Home now supports multiple users in Canada in addition to the U.S. and the UK!

Google Home

Google Store Best Buy Target

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3 months ago

How to use Bixby Vision

4

Bixby Vision can help you find images, shop and even translate text from different languages!

Bixby Vision for Samsung's Galaxy S8, and Galaxy Note 8, delivers a feature built to take your pocket assistant to the next level. Using Bixby Vision you can extract or translate text, search for images similar to what your camera sees, shop for those items, and plenty more. With so much going on it can be hard to get a decent grasp on everything. That's why we've done the hard work for you, and detailed out everything you need to get the most out of everything Bixby Vision can do!

How to open Bixby Vision

Bixby Vision is located within Bixby Home, which means you'll need to know where to find it!

  1. Open Bixby Home on your phone.
  2. Tap the Bixby Vision icon at the top of your screen. (It looks like an eye.)

    Open Bixby Home, tap the Bixby Vision icon to open Bixby Vision.

How to adjust Bixby Vision Settings

There are a number of different settings within Bixby Vision that can be turned on or off via toggle. Here's how to adjust them to your liking!

  1. Open Bixby Vision on your phone.
  2. Tap the Menu button in the upper right corner of the screen. (It looks like three vertical dots.)

    Open Bixby Vision, Tap the Menu button.

  3. Tap Settings.
  4. Tap the toggle to turn on or off specific settings.

    Tap Settings, Tap a toggle to turn or off specific settings.

How to extract text with Bixby Vision

Bixby Vision is able to capture and extract text from what it sees. It just takes a few taps to do, and it's pretty simple.

  1. Open Bixby Vision.
  2. Scan an item to capture text.
  3. Tap Text.

    Open Bixby Vision, Scan an item to capture text, Tap text.

  4. Tap extract. (it looks like a T at the bottom of the screen).
  5. Tap Save to save extracted text.

    Tap extract, and tap save to save extracted text.

How to use Bixby Vision to translate text.

When you use Bixby Vision to capture text in another language, you can automatically translate it. Here's how to do it.

  1. Open Bixby Vision.
  2. Scan an item to capture text.
  3. Tap Text.

    Open Bixby Vision, Scan an item to capture text, Tap Text.

  4. Tap Translate.
  5. Swipe your finger over the text you want to translate.
  6. Swipe up to see all of the translated text.

    Tap Translate, Swipe your finger over the text you want to translater, swipe up to see all translate text.

How to shop using Bixby Vision

After scanning an object with Bixby Vision you'll be able search for it on amazon so that you can purchase it for yourself.

  1. Open Bixby Vision.
  2. Scan an item to capture it.
  3. Tap shopping.

    Open Bixby Vision, Scan an item to capture it, Tap Shopping.

  4. Tap the item you want off of the list.
  5. Tap add to cart.
  6. Tap proceed to checkout to purchase from Amazon.

    Tap the item you want off of the list, Tap add to car, Tap proceed to checkout to purchase the item from Amazon

How to search for images using Bixby Vision

Bixby Vision can search for images similar to one you capture on your screen. This feature is still a bit rough, but depending on the image it can find you what you're looking for.

  1. Open Bixby Vision.
  2. Scan an item to capture it.
  3. Tap image to search for similar images.

    Open Bixby Vision, Scan an item to capture it

Questions?

Do you still have questions about using Bixby Vision? Is there more going on here that we ought to have mentioned? Drop us a line in the comments below and let us know about it!

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Unlocked

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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3 months ago

Google Search will now alert users to pollen levels

6

Google Search will now integrate pollen forecasts.

Google Search has long been able to alert users of various weather conditions, from thunderstorms to flash foods and and everything in between. One more weather condition will be available for search starting today.

Google has announced that users will be able to search for pollen levels near their location. I tried this on my OnePlus 3T by searching for both "pollen levels" and "pollen forecast." All this displayed was a basic web search, so the feature has yet to fully roll out.

Users will also be able to receive reminders from the Google app if pollen levels are particularly high in their area.

Have a pollen allergy? Let us know down below!

Learn more about the Google app!

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3 months ago

Google Allo has finally come to the web browser

42

Google Allo now has a desktop client, available from any web browser.

Google's Allo messaging client is nearing its first birthday, and the service is finally launching one of the biggest components of other messaging apps: a desktop client. I didn't use Allo at all for the first nine months of its existence because I could not have my phone at my previous job, and no web interface meant I could not use the service during the day. Google teased a web interface back in February, but there wasn't been any movement since then.

That changes today. The Allo application has begun showing the "Allo for The Web" option in its menu, with the application instructing the user to visit the Allo website and scan a QR code to get going on the desktop. Individual computers and browsers can be deregistered from the mobile Allo application.

The web version of Allo includes the same feature set as the mobile application, including emojis, smart replies, stickers, media sharing and access to the Google Assistant. Because the user needs to use their phone to register on the Allo website, we can presume that chats are still tied to a phone number and not centrally backed up like Google Hangouts, which is similar to the way WhatsApp approaches its web client, too.

Are you looking forward to using Allo on the web? Let us know down below!

Learn more about Google Allo!

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3 months ago

How to replace Bixby Voice with Google Assistant on your Galaxy S8

17

Replace Bixby with Google Assistant in a jiffy!

When it comes to having a pocket assistant for your Galaxy S8, or Galaxy Note 8, not everyone is sold on using Bixby Voice. If you prefer using Google Assistant, or you want to give a different assistant a try, then there are a few things you'll need to do. The Galaxy S8 has a dedicated button to map Bixby, along with voice commands. However, there are a few things you can do to replace Bixby Voice with Google Assistant.

Disable Bixby Voice

  1. Launch the Bixby app on your phone.
  2. Tap the menu button in the upper right corner of your screen. (It looks like three vertical dots.)
  3. Tap on Settings.

    Launch the Bixby app on your phone, Tap the menu button, Tap on Settings.

  4. Tap the toggle next to Bixby Voice.
  5. Tap Turn Off.

    Tap the toggle next to Bixby Voice, Tap Turn Off.

Note: Disabling Bixby Voice doesn't disable Bixby Home, so unless you remap the button to Google Assistant, pressing the Bixby button will always bring up Bixby Home.

Remap Bixby button with an app

The big hurdle in replacing Bixby with Google Assistant is that Bixby button. While you can't remap the button by just using your phone, apps like BxActions, or BixRemap can get the job done. It is, however, worth noting that in the past few months, Samsung updates have wreaked havoc with certain remapping apps. At the time of this writing, BixRemap is the app we suggest for remapping your Bixby button.

Keep in mind you'll still see Bixby flash before Google Assistant launches, but it only lasts a moment.

  1. Install BixRemap.
  2. Open BixRemap.
  3. Tap Enable.

    Install BixRemap, Open BixRemap, and Tap enable.

  4. Tap BixRemap
  5. Tap the toggle to Allow usage tracking.
  6. Tap the arrow to go back.

    Tap BixRemap, Tap the toggle to Allow usage tracking, Tap the arrow to go back.

  7. Tap the arrow to go back.
  8. Tap the Play button in the lower right corner of the screen (It is blue).

    Tap the arrow to go back, Tap the play button in the lower right corner of the screen.

Questions?

Do you still have questions about replacing Bixby Voice with Google Assistant? Is there another method that we should have included here? Be sure to drop us a line in the comments and let us know!

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Unlocked

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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3 months ago

You can now download Google’s super useful Contacts app

26

Google's Contact app is now available on Lollipop and higher.

The contact application isn't something most people worry too much about when they set up a new device. So long as the user can synchronize their contact information and make any necessary edits throughout time, what else is there to worry about? Well, good design is something users may appreciate, and today users will have one more option for contact management.

Google's Contact application was previously exclusive to Nexus and Pixel devices, but starting today the application is now available for all devices running Android 5.0 Lollipop and newer (75% of all Android devices). For those that don't see the application available in the Play Store, Android Police has the APK file for manual installation.

I was able to open the Google Contacts web page on the Play Store, and have the application download to my OnePlus 3T. Just as you'd expect, I was able to load my contacts, make any edits, and have those edits saved to my Google account. I was able to load separate contacts for my personal Gmail and my Mobile Nations account, so others that use multiple accounts would be covered.

The application supports launching a new phone call or new SMS message from a contact's page, so this would be a suitable replacement for anyone to use instead of the included Contact application. It also supports the ability to import contacts saved to a SIM card, for users that still do that for some reason. The application also includes the ability to sort contacts by first name or last name, displaying the contact's first name first (ex. Tom Westrick) or the last name first (ex. Westrick, Tom) and the ability to manage blocked numbers.

Are you going to download the Google Contacts application? Let us know down below!

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3 months ago

Best Couch to 5K apps

2

Get off the couch and running with the help of a 5K training app!

Did you have bold plans to start running more at the start of the summer, but things just didn't pan out? It can be tough to just go out for a free run when you're maybe still working on your form and endurance.

That's where a running app can come in handy. The most popular smartphone apps for runners are the Couch to 5K training programs. They are typically built around an 8- or 9-week program that eases you into running using the interval training method. You start out with an even mix of walking and jogging, with the program gradually increasing the running intervals as you progress through the program. The goal is by week eight you're able to complete a full 5K run with no walking breaks needed.

If you search for "Couch to 5K" in the Google Play Store and you're going to find dozens of app options to choose from, so which one is right for you? There are a couple free options that are a bit more basic, as well as some premium options that play nice with other fitness apps and include GPS to track your run routes and distances. You're also going to need a good set of in-ear headphones to get the most out of these apps because they all use audio cues to tell you when to switch from running to walking — plus it's always better to run with music.

We've broken things down into the free apps and paid apps. Let's run through each app's features.

Free apps

5K Runner: 0 to 5K

5K Runner was developed by Fitness22 and is all about inspiring you to keep running — there's daily inspirational quotes and badges to earn as you continue down your path from couch to 5K. It also looks downright pretty with your next run's intervals clearly visualized from the app's home screen.

There's a built-in music player for any MP3s on your phone, and you're able to temporarily lock the screen from within the app so you can easily see how much time you have left on each interval at a glance without touching your phone — perfect if you're running with your phone in an armband case.

The app tracks your progress and run history so you can see how you've improved over the weeks. Fitness22 has some other related apps including a 5K to 10K app, a Gym Workout Trainer app, and bunch of other fitness apps that you may want to check out if you enjoy your experience with 5K Runner.

This app is free for the first week and includes all the premium features found in the other paid apps, but then you'll need to pay $2.99 to unlock the remaining seven weeks. A good option if you'd rather try before you buy.

Download: 5K Runner: 0 to 5K (Free trial)

5K Run — Couch to 5K Walk/Jog Interval Training

If you're just looking for a free running app to help you jumpstart a new running habit, 5K Run is right for you. You're able to use it on a treadmill or outdoors and it plays well with any music app you might use — although you'll need to switch between the 5K app and the music app to control the music.

The schedule has nine weeks of runs programmed in with the ninth week dedicated to hitting 5K on a 40-minute run. From there, you can move on to the 10K trainer app if you want to keep pushing yourself in training.

The app UI is very basic here with few bells and whistles. You get the chimes and voice prompts to start walking or jogging as you go, and there's built-in GPS to track your distance. You're also able to manually enter your distance if you're running on a treadmill.

It's all free and simple to use for beginners. If you want to try out a Couch to 5K program for free without any commitment required, this is your best bet.

Download: 5K Run (Free)

Paid apps

Couch to 5K (Active Network)

The first paid app we'll look at is the Couch to 5K app from Active Network. Its main features include an easy-to-use interface, customizable personal trainers, GPS support to track your distance and pace, and great integration for community support and finding 5K races near you.

One of the coolest features is the ability to select a personal trainer that suits your needs. You can choose a friendly female trainer that will offer you words of encouragement during your run, or other characters like Sergeant Block who will bark orders at you like you're in the military. You're able to switch between the different trainers so your runs never feel stagnant.

There's a music player built into the app, but it only works with MP3s downloaded onto your phone so if you use Spotify or the like you'll need to switch between the two apps. You're able to log all your workouts and view your progress which includes your total run time and distance, which can be encouraging to follow.

There's a 5K to 10K app, too, if you complete the 8-week program and wish to continue with Active Network app's towards your next goal.

Download: Couch to 5K (Active Network) ($2.99)

C25K Pro

C25K Pro is another great paid option that features really good app integration with other fitness apps like Google Fit and MyFitnessPal. It's easy to use and fully customizable, which is nice. Developed by Zen Labs Fitness, this app also claims to be the official Couch to 5K app and comes with a bunch of great features built in.

While there is a free version with ads, the Pro version is where it's at with premium features including calorie and distance tracking. For music, C25K lets you listen to your own playlist from music on your phone, but the app also recommends a couple companion apps for music and audiobooks. RockMyRun is a free app with curated workout mixes from popular DJs, and actually ups the beats per minute (BPM) as your workout progresses to give you a boost as you go. There's also Audio Books by Audiobooks.com, which lets you engage your brain on your run with your choice of over 100,000 titles to choose through. You get one audiobook for free and then will need to sign up for a monthly subscription for more.

As you would expect, Zen Labs Fitness also has a 10K training app and other fitness apps you might consider checking out if you enjoy your experience with C25K Pro.

Download: C25K Pro ($2.99)

Which Couch to 5K apps have you tried?

Have you found success with a Couch to 5K app in the past? Got any tips for beginners just starting out? Let us know in the comments below!

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3 months ago

Google Assistant stops working for some Android Wear users

7

A bad Google app update has caused the Assistant to stop working for some users.

Among the wearables competition, Android Wear has a few things going for it. There are a plethora of unique options from super rugged watches to dressier options. Another advantage is the seamless integration with Android smartphones and the ability to access Google Assistant on your wrist. At least, in theory.

Android Police is reporting that following a recent Google app update, Google Assistant on Android Wear devices can't do anything except return basic web searches. Given how integral Google Assistant is with many of the actions on Android Wear, this severely limits the potential for affected devices. No sending messages, controlling your home, setting timers, or anything else beyond basic web searches.

According to Google's Product Forums, the company is currently collecting feedback and bugs from affected users. If your watch has been having this issue, it may be worth letting Google know so they can work on the fix.

Is your watch crippled by the latest update? Let us know down below!

Learn more about Android Wear

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3 months ago

Google Calendar is soon getting a Material Design overhaul on the desktop

21

Google will soon be rolling out Material Design to the Google Calendar website

The Google Calendar app for Android first received Material Design way back in 2014, but the same cannot be said of the website. It has been over three years since Google first introduced the Material Design language, but the company has yet to roll it out to its web properties such as Gmail and Calendar.

That will soon change, at least for Calendar. Reddit user xDawnut has shared images over the new UI, released as part of the Trusted Tester program. The new layout looks very similar to the Google Calendar Android application, as one may expect. There are new designs for day, week, month and list view as well as the settings menu.

The current (left) and Material (right) New Event pages

The differences between the old and new design (as seen above) are...drastic. I'm not sure why it took Google this long to get the Calendar web site updated, but it's good that it's almost complete. Most importantly, it seems Google hasn't deprecated any functionality while rolling out this new design. Here is a gallery of the new design:

Looking forward to the design improvements to Google Calendar? Let us know down below!

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3 months ago

Google Play Movies & TV now available for Vizio smart TVs

13

Vizio TV owners will now have another option to watch their purchased content.

Google has announced its Movies and TV application is now available to Vizio TV owners.

Vizio previously used Google Cast as the only smarts for its TVs, but the company rolled out an actual interface for the TVs earlier this month following customer feedback. The company was also fined $2.2 million by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for improperly collecting customer data and selling that data to data brokers.

Google Play Movies and TV is also available for Samsung's smart TVs, LG's WebOS TVs, Roku and of course, Android TV and Chromecast. Play Movies and TV also integrates with Disney Movies Anywhere, and most recent Disney releases come with a code for a digital version of the movie that can be added to a Play Movies and TV library.

Learn more about Google Play Movies and TV

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