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3 months ago

HTC U11 gets Alexa in the UK

3
HTC U11 Alexa

App update brings Amazon's virtual assistant to British U11 phones.

HTC has updated its Alexa app for the U11, bringing Amazon's virtual assistant to UK models of the phone.

As we saw a week ago when the service launched in the U.S., the app effectively turns the HTC U11 into a portable Amazon echo, responding to voice commands, and living harmoniously alongside Google Assistant, which shipped on the phone at launch.

When it's equipped with the HTC Alexa app, the U11 can access skills just like a full-blown Amazon Echo, including interfacing with any Alexa-enabled smart home devices you may have.

There are a few limitations in the app right now, as Andrew Martonik discovered in his time with Alexa on the U.S. unlocked HTC U11:

The fact that Alexa on the phone works just like your Echo at home is a big deal for those who are already familiar with it, but there are also clear limitations to this setup.

Nothing about Alexa on the phone takes advantage of the fact that it's on the phone. Unlike Google Assistant, Alexa can't control items on your phone like Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, can't give you directions to things that open up Google Maps, can't transition to showing you things on the screen and perhaps most importantly can't let you just type to it. It really is just an Echo virtualized into an app on your U11 — and that means at launch it lags behind Google Assistant in terms of raw capabilities and features that feel native to the phone.

British U11 owners can get Alexa on their devices by heading to Google Play and updating the preloaded HTC Alexa app: Go to Play Store > My apps and games and tap update. Once updated, you'll need to open the HTC Alexa app to run through setup and get started.

If you're playing around with Amazon Alexa on your HTC U11 for the first time today, hit the comments and let us know how you're getting along. HTC says the next country to get Alexa will be Germany, though there's no word on precise timings just yet.

More: Amazon Alexa on the HTC U11 Impressions

HTC U11

Amazon Sprint HTC

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4 months ago

Google is making it easier to discover local events in India

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Google wants to help you plan your weekend.

Google is rolling out an update to its mobile search platform in India through which you can easily find popular events in your city. The search giant issued a similar update in the U.S. back in May, and in India the company is pulling information from the likes of BookMyShow, AllEvents, EventsHigh, 10times, and more.

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4 months ago

Google brings former iOS-exclusive Motion Stills app to Android

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Google's Motion Stills comes to Android, and it's fantastic.

Google is bringing one of its remaining iOS exclusives to Android. Motion Stills emerged in the wake of the iPhone 6s' Live Photos feature as one of the easiest ways to capture short bits of stabilized video and turn it into shareable GIFs.

Now, a year and a bit later, Motion Stills is available on Android — for the 65% or so of devices running Android 5.1 or higher.

The app is set up quite differently on Android: instead of using existing video content and making it into a Motion Still, the Android version forces users to capture video inside the app, creating something like a Boomerang or Hyperlapse.

Like the iOS version, though, resulting video is stabilized — Google said it "redesigned [its] existing iOS video processing pipeline to use a streaming approach that processes each frame of a video as it is being recorded."

By computing intermediate motion metadata, we are able to immediately stabilize the recording while still performing loop optimization over the full sequence. All this leads to instant results after recording — no waiting required to share your new GIF.

Another feature, Fast Forward, builds on that stabilization algorithm to capture a longer clip and create a time-lapse, or hyperlapse in the modern parlance. Playback can be adjusted from 1x to 8x depending on the desired effect, and then output as a GIF in one of three sizes.

Motion Stills is available for 65.6% of Android users, which leaves out a fair few million, but it's an impressive technical achievement that needs modern GPUs and APIs. Such is life.

Download Motion Stills (free)

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4 months ago

How to watch the British Open on your Android phone

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The British Open starts today, and you can watch it right from your phone!

Golf fans everywhere already know what today is: the Open Championship, also known as the British Open, starts today. If you don't want to miss a moment, or you want to rewatch the best moments, then you'll need to know how to watch using your phone. While this is a bit tricky because of when most coverage is airing, you can take advantage of replays and clips from a few different apps to stay up to date.

We've got the details for you here!

The Open

One of the best ways to keep up on everything going on during The British Open is the official Open app. You can watch the livestream, which is the ideal way to get a view of what is going on. You can watch a specific hole, or keep an eye on the featured group if you want to watch a specific player.

Of course, you can also listen to the radio broadcast, and watch highlights if you miss some of the action. The Open's app also includes a Course Guide, and a leaderboard. You can also check out The Open online for all of the same features if you want to check things out on your laptop.

Download The Open (free)

NBC Sports

NBC Sports also has tons of coverage for the British Open. You can watch live coverage if you're awake early, but you also get access to featured moments and clips throughout the weekend. This means that the most important moments that happen while you're sleeping will be available by the time that you wake up.

From within the app, you can filter the content, as well as see what is coming up over the weekend. Especially handy for those who haven't used the NBC Sports app before, there is a Golf Channel tab at the bottom of your screen. Tapping on that will directly bring you to all things British Open, which is exactly where you want to be.

You can also access of this through the website that has extras like more details on scores, and a better schedule. Of course, to access everything that NBC Sports has to offer, you will need to sign in with your cable provider.

Download NBC Sports (free)

Golf Channel Mobile

If all you're really interested in is golf, then you're going to want to take a look at Golf Channel Mobile. This is another app that you'll need to sign in using your cable provider, but once you do that you'll be good to go.

You can see scores, check the news, watch live videos, and even play some Fantasy Golf. This makes it a great way to keep up to date on things while the Open is going on!

Download Golf Channel Mobile (free)

Questions?

Do you still have questions about how to watch the British Open online? Is there another method that we missed here and ought to know about? Drop us a line in the comments below, and let us know all about it!

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4 months ago

'Lawnchair' is the best new Android launcher you (probably) haven't tried yet

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Lawnchair

New open-source launcher brings Google Now and Pixel Launcher capabilities to all phones — along with a huge loadout of customization features.

I'm usually pretty lazy when it comes to customizing my home screens. For the most part, I tend to stick with the stock launcher on whatever phone I'm using, and I don't go over-the-top tweaking absolutely every setting on my home screen.

Yet with the discontinuation of the Google Now Launcher, I've been on the lookout for a replacement, because so few third-party launchers include support for the Google Feed. (And for those that do, hacky workarounds are required.)

Enter Lawnchair which started out as an effort to bring Google Feed support to the Google's basic Launcher3 — the home screen app included in open-source Android. After gaining momentum on XDA, this curious little side project has become surprisingly polished, growing a bunch of new features from the Pixel, Android O and beyond — and porting over many Google Pixel design elements in the process.

And although Lawnchair, with its slightly goofy name, currently exists as a test release, outside the Google Play Store, it's well worth checking out. Developer Deletescape recently posted build 818 — a significant update with many performance enhancements and new capabilities.

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4 months ago

Adobe Lightroom mobile goes 'Android native' with slightly refreshed interface

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Just because an update looks small doesn't mean it isn't important.

Adobe has updated its Lightroom Mobile app for Android with an all-new "Android native" interface, though the changes aren't as big as you'd think with such a proclamation. The main change to the experience is better labeling of buttons and simpler sliders that make sense on a (relatively) small screen that's used exclusively with touch.

Lightroom Mobile continues to be extremely powerful, and even though the new update isn't adding any big capabilities it is aimed at making all of the fine adjustments and tweaks easier to accomplish on the smaller screen. Being that the app has been "designed from the ground up" to the latest Android spec, you can expect an improvement in performance as well. It's not that the old version of Lightroom was slow, but it did take a couple extra beats to perform some actions — hopefully that has smoothed out now.

The new version of Lightroom is available from the Play Store right now — it'll be worth snagging the latest version.

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4 months ago

Snapchat now lets you record 60-second Snaps ... sort of

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Nothing in Snapchat can ever just work as you expect.

Snapchat is known for arbitrary limitations throughout its interface, but in general that's part of the fun. But one barrier is being lifted today with the announcement that you can now record 60-second long videos ... well, sort of. Rather than limiting you to just 10 seconds of recording at a time, if you continue to hold the capture button you'll now record six 10-second clips in a row continuously.

As you continue to hold for longer captures, the 10-second clips will line up in chronological order on the screen, giving you what is effectively a continuous 60-second clip but with the ability to selectively delete 10-second chunks. The clips you save will always be sent chronologically, but this at least gives you freedom to capture a longer video and select the portion you actually want, rather than being locked into timing it just right for a single 10-second video.

Of course the best way to handle the frustration of not being able to record longer would be to simply let people trim their video clips to any length ... but then again this is Snapchat we're talking about here. Today's change to Multi-Snap recording is at least a step in the right direction. The latest update will be available on Android soon, though it's launching for iOS users today.

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4 months ago

LastPass launching revamped family service with intuitive group features

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Keep everything locked tight from the public but freely shareable in your family.

LastPass is set to seriously improve its "family" tier of service, adding tons of intuitive features that make it easy to manage family-focused data between multiple users. The new LastPass Families, which is coming later this summer, is a big improvement over its current "family" plan which is simply a cheap way to get multiple individual subscriptions for people in the same household and offering one shared family folder.

The new LastPass Families focuses on actually offering family-oriented features, and they all sound great. You get unlimited sharing within your family group with as many folders as you want, and each folder will have its own permissions for different members of the family. So you can share your Netflix login with your kids, but only share banking information with your spouse, for example.

This is all about the permission model.

The designation of information expands to the LastPass "backup plan," where you can put critical information and designate which members can have access to it in an emergency. This keeps your data safe under normal circumstances, but gives you the ability to release it to your family members when necessary. The family manager will handle payment and be able to add or remove family members seamlessly.

When LastPass Families launches later this year, it will be available for a flat subscription fee for up to six family members. If you're excited to try it as early as possible, LastPass has a sign-up page where you can get in line for early access.

More: Best password managers for Android

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4 months ago

HTC U11 adds Amazon Alexa support, turning it into a portable Echo

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blank

HTC triples up on its artificial intelligence offering.

The HTC U11 launched in June with Google Assistant as its primary artificial intelligence service, though the promise was that at a later date we'd receive Amazon Alexa as a secondary choice. Now the time has come — with a new software update and an app install, you can use your U11 almost identically to the way you'd use an Amazon Echo sitting on your kitchen counter.

HTC U11 Amazon Alexa

Alexa can live right alongside Google Assistant on your U11.

The first interesting thing about the Alexa offering is that it can actually live right alongside Google Assistant. Long-pressing the U11's home button still launches Google Assistant, and as of now you can't actually remap that function to launching Alexa (though you can turn off Assistant there). So there are three ways to activate Alexa: by simply saying "Alexa" near the phone, by making Alexa an Edge Sense trigger for when you squeeze the phone, or simply by tapping the "HTC Alexa" app icon. Once you've activated the app once, you'll also get a notification with suggested things to ask Alexa and a microphone activation button.

Once you activate it, Alexa on the U11 works precisely like it does on an Echo in your home. You can configure it just like any other Echo using the Amazon Alexa app — by default it'll simply be called your "HTC Alexa" even. You can use any of the skills you're used to using, control smart home devices, buy items from Amazon, check on Amazon shipments, ask it knowledge-base questions, get your Flash Briefing and more.

Amazon Alexa on the HTC U11Amazon Alexa on the HTC U11Amazon Alexa on the HTC U11

The fact that Alexa on the phone works just like your Echo at home is a big deal for those who are already familiar with it, but there are also clear limitations to this setup.

This is simply an Echo virtualized on your phone — there's room to improve.

Nothing about Alexa on the phone takes advantage of the fact that it's on the phone. Unlike Google Assistant, Alexa can't control items on your phone like Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, can't give you directions to things that open up Google Maps, can't transition to showing you things on the screen and perhaps most importantly can't let you just type to it. It really is just an Echo virtualized into an app on your U11 — and that means at launch it lags behind Google Assistant in terms of raw capabilities and features that feel native to the phone.

Right now there are just a few limitations with Alexa on your phone compared to an Echo speaker. At launch you can't train the voice model for waking up Alexa, nor can you do some specific functions like create reminders or make calls. Presumably the gaps should close as Amazon works on its APIs to tailor to a mobile experience.

As with many Amazon products this is U.S.-only for now, but it should be localized for both the UK and Germany soon as well.

Amazon Alexa appAmazon Alexa appAmazon Alexa app

Further driving home the point that you're just using a virtualized Echo on your phone, you'll need to use the Amazon Alexa app to configure all of the things Alexa can do on your U11 ... which isn't the best app in the world, as you may have already experienced. You add skills, rename the phone, configure "do not disturb" hours and just about everything else right alongside your settings for Echos you may have.

If you're someone who's already into the Echo/Alexa ecosystem in your home and you want that familiarity on your U11, it's simple to do and worth checking out. You just have to have the latest firmware update for the U11, which is rolling out now (version 1.16.617.6 for unlocked, 1.13.651.6 for Sprint), and install the "HTC Alexa" app from Google Play. If you're not invested in Amazon and just want a general-purpose assistant for your phone, Google Assistant is still the go-to choice until Alexa can improve its on-phone experience.

HTC U11

Amazon Sprint HTC

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4 months ago

How to change the keyboard on your Android phone

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How to set default keyboard on your Android phone

Setting up a default keyboard on your Android phone is a lot easier than you think!

One amazing thing about Android phones is the plethora of customization options you have, including the option to change keyboards. There are a bunch of great keyboard apps for Android to choose from, so find the one that feels right for you.

We'll be working with the SwiftKey keyboard today to show you how to set a default keyboard on your Android phone, but the process is the same no matter which keyboard app you choose.

Note: This method applies to devices that run "stock" Android like the Google Pixel, Nexus phones, and the OnePlus 5. Your experience may be slightly different, but the general steps still apply.

  1. Download and install new keyboard from Google Play.
  2. Go to your Phone Settings.
  3. Find and tap Languages and input.

  4. Tap on current keyboard under Keyboard & input methods.
  5. Tap on choose keyboards.
  6. Tap on the new keyboard (such as SwiftKey) you would like to set as default.

  7. Read the Attention prompt that comes up on screen and tap OK if you wish to continue.
  8. Make sure the switch beside the keyboard has changed from gray to green.
  9. Go back to the main language & input screen.

  10. Tap on current keyboard again.
  11. Select the new keyboard (such as SwiftKey). This will save automatically.
  12. Make sure the keyboard is working by writing a quick message to someone.

Enjoy using your new third-party keyboard on your Android phone! If for any reason you want to go back to the stock keyboard or want to try out a different keyboard, it's the exact same process.

Updated July 2017: This article was updated with updated links and text.

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4 months ago

Google Maps now tells you how long a future trip will take

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"If I don't leave now, it's only going to take longer."

It's hard to know the perfect time to go somewhere, because there's no one outside mailmen and UPS drivers that really know when traffic is best in your city... except for Google Maps. With millions of users and millions more Waze users helping them graph traffic in real-time, day after day, Google Maps really can tell when the best time is to go run down to that trendy bistro downtown with a handy new chart.

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4 months ago

Chromecast for Gear VR has started its rollout

What is Chromecast for Gear VR?

Back in May 2017, Oculus announced that they were toying with Gear VR support for Chromecast, and gamers rejoiced. Now it would be even easier to play awesome group games like "Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes" or to show off just how awesome a particular game or experience is when you only have one headset. However, there wasn't anything resembling a timeline on when we were to expect this update; only news that the update would be rolling out slowly.

For some folks, this update has already hit, and we're excited to fill you in!

Read more at VRHeads

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4 months ago

The OnePlus 5 is filled with great little software customizations to make it your own

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OnePlus 5

It's your phone, and you should be able to change things — no matter how small.

The OnePlus 5 receives appropriate praise for its clean software experience, but there's more to it than simplicity. OxygenOS, as OnePlus calls it, integrates a ton of little useful customization options to let your OnePlus 5 look and act just how you like it. Now there isn't so much customization in here as to let you change the entire experience, but there are things you can change on a OnePlus 5 that you typically have to load a custom ROM on your phone to get, and that's great.

Here are some of the little things you can change on your OnePlus 5's software to make it your own.

Status bar

OnePlus 5 status bar customization

Now this is a really nerdy thing, but one that's wonderful: you can choose exactly which icons show up in your OnePlus 5's status bar. Just head into Settings and then Status bar to get started.

Of course most people will keep the usual set of icons for the volume status, Bluetooth connection, Wi-Fi and such ... but the best part about this is being able to turn off the more annoying and relatively useless icons. Things like the VoLTE status, Wi-Fi calling, NFC, and the headset indicator. If you don't want to see them, you don't have to. It's rather magical and we seriously wish every phone did this.

On top of that, you can of course choose what battery indicator you want, show the active network speed, and change the clock to actually show the seconds as well.

Navigation buttons

OnePlus 5 button customization

Probably the best example of the software's customizability is the navigation buttons. Not only can you decide between on-screen and capacitive navigation keys, but you have so many options beyond that simple choice. Head into Settings then Buttons to get started.

If you choose to go with the capacitive keys below the screen, you get the most customization options — and the most screen real estate, of course. You can of course swap the back and recents keys but also enable both a "long press" and "double tap" action for all three buttons. Each of the six actions can do things like open or close the menu, launch Google Assistant, turn off the screen, open your last-used app, and more. It will take a while to learn but can be extremely powerful and save you time.

For the software navigation bar, you can simply choose to swap the back and recents keys (if you're perhaps used to Samsung phones), or enable the hardware home button so it works even though you have an on-screen button. That's useful in full-screen apps. If you turn on the hardware home button, you also unlock the long press and double press actions for that button as well.

Gestures

OnePlus 5 gestures

OnePlus honestly had some troubles with its gesture control system early on, but has refined it to make it relatively useful for those who want extra "hidden" things they can do with their phone. Found in Settings then Gestures, you'll see a few different things you can do by swiping your finger around on the screen when it's turned off.

The basics are double-tap to wake, which we've seen on many phones, and music controls that let you swipe down with two fingers to play/pause media or draw an arrow to skip back or forward.

You then get five more gestures you can turn on and customize. By drawing an O, V, S, M or W, you can choose to perform actions like launching the camera, turning on the flashlight, or just launching any app on your phone. Between all five letters, you can do a whole lot without actually turning on your phone and tapping an app icon. That's powerful.

Launcher, theme, and icon packs

OnePlus launcher icon packs

If you choose to stick with the stock OnePlus Launcher, which closely mimics the Pixel's launcher and is quite nice, you get a few nice features. One hidden nugget is the ability to swipe up anywhere on the home screen to access the app drawer but also swipe down anywhere to bring down the notification shade — no more reaching! In the launcher settings, you can turn off the notification swipe if you want but also turn off the Android Nougat long-press app shortcuts if you find them annoying.

OnePlus includes an important feature for those who love to tweak their phone: full icon pack support. Just pinch in on your home screen and select Settings. The stock launcher lets you choose between three different icon styles — standard, rounded or square — but also supports any third-party icon pacs you may have installed. That means you can get one of the hundreds of custom icon sets out there, install it, and have the OnePlus 5 switch to it seamlessly. They usually take a bit more work than that, so it's great to see native support for this sort of niche tweak.

To complete the look with your icon pack, you can also choose between different themes at a system level as well. Under Settings and Display, select Theme and choose between the default theme, a light theme, or a dark theme. Yes, a default dark theme.

Notification LED

OnePlus 5 notification LED settings

Knowing its target market, OnePlus still includes a notification LED on the top bezel of the phone — it also gives you great control over it in the settings. Under Settings then Display and LED notifications, you'll find all of the available options.

You get to choose between eight different colors — dark blue, light blue, orange, green, red, yellow, purple, and pink — for the LED for basic functions like charging, battery full, battery low, and any general notification coming in. But you can also choose exactly which apps will light up that "general notification" color. You probably don't care about the LED blinking for Android Pay or Dropbox, but you do want to be notified by Gmail or your banking app. Just scroll through the list and pick which ones you want.

Unfortunately you can't pick different LED colors for different apps or get super granular and start addressing different apps with a different flash pattern, but a vast majority of people will be happy with the included settings.

The coolest part about all of these tweaks is that if you don't want to change anything, you don't have to! None of these settings particularly get in the way or interfere with just using the OnePlus 5 right out of the box. That's great design right there.

OnePlus 5T and OnePlus 5

OnePlus Amazon

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4 months ago

Feeling depressed? These apps can help, or get you help

7

Life is long and arduous, and some of us have to face it with a health condition in tow. But sometimes, an app can help.

Mental health is not the easiest topic of discussion considering the social stigma surrounding it, but that hasn't stopped the breadth of mobile therapy and mood diary apps available in the Google Play Store. Treatment can be cost-prohibitive if you're not insured or don't have access to the proper resources, however, and while we'd never suggest that a app is adequate treatment for a condition, their mere existence has inspired the idea that you can use a smartphone to help manage your day to day.

I've even found my own routine with some apps. I've used Daylio, for example, to keep a micro-diary so that I could track my moods and day-to-day neurosis to present to my doctor. I've used the Muse brain sensing headband to learn to meditate, which has helped me make better use of apps like Pacifica that offer relaxation and mindfulness tools. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America has also developed a rating system for these particular apps, while Scientific American has come out warning users against phony apps:

According to the FDA, those psychiatric apps that provide coping techniques for people with diagnosed mental health conditions pose low risks to consumers. These apps will be regulated at the fda's discretion, and many will therefore escape the agency's safety and effectiveness assessments. Some experts, however, say that these apps can still be hazardous if they give out shoddy advice or otherwise mislead vulnerable consumers. 'Some of [these apps] are really good, and some of them are awful,' says Michael Van Ameringen, a psychiatry professor at McMaster University in Ontario. 'Clinicians and consumers need help sorting through them.'

So, while we can easily conclude that not all therapy apps are right for you, there are certainly plenty available that can at least help guide you on a path towards treatment that works. If you're suffering from depression, anxiety, or general dread for what tomorrow may bring, a talk therapy app or a micro-diary service could help at least organize those thoughts. Here are five apps we suggest you start with if you're considering it.

Headspace

Meditation is a thing that works for many people — and 8 percent of adults practice it regularly in the United States. It's about training your mind to focus attention, which — and I speak from experience – is much harder than merely thinking it.

Headspace is a great app for starting a practice of daily meditation. I've friends who use the service religiously. The service offers a basic meditation program, or you can upgrade to an annual subscription to unlock other programs and facets of the app. (There just so happens to be a 40 percent sale on annual subscriptions until July 24.)

Download Headspace (free)

BetterHelp

Need to talk to someone, but don't even know where to start? You can hire a counselor through the BetterHelp app, which offers access to 2000 counselors, accredited psychologists, marriage and family therapists, and clinical social workers from around the country.

After you sign up, you'll have to fill out a questionnaire so that the service can match you to an available counselor who might fit your criteria. Like other virtual talk therapy apps, BetterHealth offers a "virtual room" of sorts where you can walk in, take a seat, and wait for your session — just like you would in real life. You're not limited to the number of sessions you can have with your assigned counselor either, as long as both of you are available at the same time. Plans start at $65 a week for counseling.

Download BetterHelp (free)

TalkLife

Remember Secret? TalkLife app is sort of like that, but not at all as malicious, or dangerous to your mental health. If anything, Talk Life is a great place to go if you want to talk about what's going on, but you'd rather do so in a casual, candid manner. All you have to do is log on, tap out your thoughts, and share.

There are no therapists on this app, though. Anything you post can be seen by whoever is hanging around at the time, and they can like and comment on your posts at will. The most recent update even added stickers.

In my experience, most of the people lurking about are kind and generous with their positive affirmations; I didn't see one critical comment pop up in the three days I was using the app. However, I do have to offer a trigger warning, as there is ample talk of suicide and abuse in the main feed. When you start feeling alright, you can then log on to help others as they need, too. The point of Talk Life is that you're not alone.

Download TalkLife (free)

What's Up?

What's Up? is a relatively straightforward app with straightforward functionality, but I like it because getting into the habit of launching it when you start to spiral can help you get out of those unproductive patterns.

What's Up? is a free app that offers a few cognitive behavior tools (CBT) and Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) methods to help you get through daily stressors. It offers advice on how to deal with the most common negative thinking patterns, as well as metaphors to help you snap out of your funk. There's also a positive and negative habit tracker, which you can password protect if you feel the need, as well as a catastrophe scale, which helps you determine the true weightiness of the situation at hand. There are even forums if you need a reality check from someone anonymous.

Download What's Up? (free)

Talkspace

Perhaps you've seen the commercials on television? Like BetterHelp, TalkSpace offers on-demand therapy and counseling from licensed professionals. The service gives you access to your therapist as you need, including the ability to message for help the minute you're feeling overwhelmed. The service starts at $32 a week.

Download Talkspace (free)

Your choices

Got any suggestions for apps to help with improving mental health? We're all ears!

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4 months ago

Do I need more than one Google Home?

25

Having more than one Google Home just adds benefits.

Google Home makes it easy to control your connected home. So what do you do when multiple people in the house all want to use your Google Home at the same time? Well, you pick up a second — or third! Having multiple Google Homes only increases your benefits, and we have the details for you here!

Do I really need more than one Google Home?

The first question that you might have is whether investing in more than one Google Home is actually worth it. Depending on the size of your living space (and how many people inhabit it) one Google Home may be more than sufficient. This is especially true if you don't really have much by way of connected home hardware.

However, if you've got a decent-sized house, then having a different Google Home in your living room, kitchen, and bedroom can seriously pay off. That's because connecting your smart home devices and using an app like IFTTT means that you can pull some added capabilities off of your accessory.

So if you have Hue lights in your bedroom, you want Google Home to read you a recipe while you're making dinner, and your partner wants to jam out to Spotify in the living room, all of those things are possible at the same time. The need for more than one Google Home is definitely personal, but if you want to get the most out of your technology, then having more than one is definitely a solid option.

What are the benefits of having multiple Google Homes?

If having more than one Google Home seems like the answer to your prayers, then you aren't on your own. Being able to play music in one room, while doing something entirely different in another room can make a pretty big difference. Especially if you are one of the people who get used to asking Google about the weather, your commute, and other information before you even leave the house.

Being able to have a different Google Home in each major room of your house means that no matter where you are, you have access to the information you need with just a question. This also means that if one person is listening to Spotify or an audiobook, they don't need to be interrupted if you need to know just how hot it actually is outside.

What if I only want one Google Home?

If you're really happy with your single Google Home, then strictly speaking there isn't any necessary reason to pick up another one. While you can only really do one thing at a time with Google Home, you should be pretty solid. Thanks to multi-user support, you can have several people connected to Google Home, and it will recognize their voices separately.

Google Home can support up to 6 users at a time and is able to tell who is speaking to it. This means it can also access specific accounts linked to a user without needing a separate accessory. While you can't play music and get a recipe for dinner at the same time, Google Home will remember background tasks you asked it for. This means you can set a timer while your partner listens to Spotify, and Google Home will pause the music when your alarm goes off.

For folks who live in smaller residences, live by themselves, or lack Smar thome hardware, then a single Google Home ought to be more than enough to help you keep track of everything going on in your life.

Questions?

Do you still have questions about whether or not more than one Google Home is a solid idea? Have you picked up a second Google Home? Let us know about it in the comments below!

Google Home

Google Store Best Buy Target

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