Google Would Love to Bring RCS to Your Phone, but US Carriers are Bad

Google Would Love to Bring RCS to Your Phone, but US Carriers are Bad


If you assumed that your US carrier is the reason you haven’t been given access to RCS, which should be the future of SMS, you are probably right. Google’s Hiroshi Lockheimer said as much in a Tweet this weekend, while sharing news that they have fully rolled out the new messaging technology to the UK and France. So yeah, US carriers suck as much when it comes to this messaging thing as you guessed.

To back up for a second, let’s recap what Lockheimer is referencing. Just over a month ago, The Verge reported that Google was going to bypass carriers in the UK and France and push out RCS (or “Chat” messaging) on their own, through their Android Messages app. Google never acknowledged any of the report publicly, didn’t write up one of their typical blog posts on what is a pretty major move, and hasn’t … Read the rest

Google Just Released a New Gallery App for You to Try

Google Just Released a New Gallery App for You to Try


As a follow-up to Google’s surprisingly popular Files Go app, Google just released Gallery Go, a lighter gallery app to make managing your photos super easy.

Gallery Go is a 10MB app (that’s small, FYI) that works offline, automatically organizes your photos by the people and stuff you take photos of, and provides you with a set of editing tools. Those editing tools include auto enhancing, filters, cropping, and rotating.

By no means is this the fanciest, most feature-rich photo or gallery app you will use and that’s by design. It’s meant to work on almost any phone and without using data. It’s pretty slick too and most definitely fast.

Gallery Go is free and available now through that link below.

Google Play Link

// Google

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Alaska Airlines Adds Google Pay Boarding Passes Support

Alaska Airlines Adds Google Pay Boarding Passes Support


Alaska Airlines announced through an update to their Android app that they now support Google Pay boarding passes.

Once you have the new update, which is available right now, you’ll be able to check-in to your flights, then choose “Save to phone” to have it show up in Google Pay. By performing that action, you’ll have access to your boarding pass from within Google Pay and from lock screen notifications, according to the app’s changelog.

Also new, you can press and hold on confirmation codes and mileage plan numbers to quickly copy them.

Google Pay boarding passes were first introduced last year to select airlines.

Google Play Link

Cheers Alex!

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Go Play the Plants vs. Zombies 3 Pre-Alpha

Go Play the Plants vs. Zombies 3 Pre-Alpha


Old school mobile gamers, rejoice! Plants vs. Zombies 3 has been released as a pre-alpha title on Google Play, playable right now on a wide range of devices.

According to the app’s description, “In this plant-tastic Pre-Alpha, you should anticipate experiencing bugs (zombies don’t bathe very often) and other issues. Pre-Alpha is focused on getting your feedback on combat features only. We’re saving a lot more for later!”

Downloads are very limited, so if you want to play, you best hurry!

Google Play Link

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YouTube Music Finally Gets Option to Switch…Off All Videos

YouTube Music Finally Gets Option to Switch…Off All Videos


For a brief moment, I thought today might be the day that YouTube Music finally delivered the option to switch our libraries over from Google Play Music. I got halfway through the title of a new post to the YouTube Blog that read, “YouTube Music now lets listeners switch…” and began raising my hands in the air, only to be disappointed by the finish. We hit full peak then valley of emotions there, because the title ended with “…switch seamlessly between audio and music videos.”

DAMMIT.

Still, as I mentioned in a post earlier this week, the excessive focus on video in the YouTube Music app has been a part of why I’m so turned off by it. Seeing a new simple switch to toggle between song or video is certainly welcomed. And not only can you quickly switch between that experience, YouTube Music will now let you fully … Read the rest

OMG, Thank you: Arlo App Adds Notification Muting

OMG, Thank you: Arlo App Adds Notification Muting


As much as I like Arlo cameras from Netgear as a battery-powered security system, they certainly aren’t without flaws. One of their biggest issues was eliminated today, though, and I’m super excited about it.

You see, I have an Arlo Pro 2 in my backyard and another on my front porch. They do a fantastic job at allowing me to cover areas of my house that a wired camera can’t without a lot of work I’d rather not perform.

Because they are perfectly placed and see everything, they are constantly sending me notifications to any movement. While that’s mostly a good thing, it also includes notifications for every single time I walk out of my backdoor to check on what meat I have sizzling on the grill (as well as the walk back inside), if my child is out crashing dump trucks for an hour, if my wife and I … Read the rest

Pixel 3 Owners are Turning Off Digital Wellbeing and Finding a Better Life

Digital Wellbeing Update Adds Parental Controls


At Google I/O in May, Google announced that it was expanding Digital Wellbeing to include some parental controls in tandem with their Family Link service. An update this morning appears to have added just that, which Google said would arrive at some point this summer.

The new Digital Wellbeing update changes the name of the settings section to “Digital Wellbeing & parental controls,” with separate sections for each within. The section for Parental Controls will show a list of kids you have setup, plus it gives you a link to “set up parental controls” on additional devices.

As far as I can tell, the section, outside of listing devices you have controls over, is just a shortcut area to Google’s Family Link. If you tap on anything in that area, it wants to open Family Link to give you actual control over settings. Family Link, for those not familiar, is … Read the rest

RIP Nest App for Wear OS

RIP Nest App for Wear OS


Wear OS users are being met with the following message when opening up the Nest app on their smartwatches — “Nest is no longer supported for Wear OS.”

Womp womp.

Reported by 9to5 Google, who received the following comment from Google, it just seems that no one was using the app in the first place.

We took a look at Nest app users on smart watches and found that only a small number of people were using it. Moving forward our team will spend more time focusing on delivering high quality experiences through mobile apps and voice interactions.

You will still get notifications on your watch with Nest app via your mobile device. Wear OS users can control their thermostat with the Google Assistant from any Wear OS device, check out more details here. If you’re using an Apple watch you’ll no longer be able to adjust your

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Pujie Black Available for Samsung Galaxy Wearables

Pujie Black Available for Samsung Galaxy Wearables


Pujie Black, one of the better watch face store options out there for Wear OS devices, is now available for the majority of Samsung’s wearable lineup. You can currently find it for the Galaxy Watch, Galaxy Watch Active, and Gear Sport, but Gear S3 support is marked as coming soon.

To be clear, Pujie Black is not a single watch face, but instead, lets you take existing templates and customize them, as well as design a lot of the individual aspects themselves. It’s a very sweet app we think all Wear OS and Tizen owners should use.

On top of Galaxy wearable availability, the developers have also introduced a new numbers and tickmarks section for further customization capabilities. You can now add multiple layers of custom tickmarks and place them on their required positions on a watch face.

To get it going on your Tizen device, you’ll need to … Read the rest

Spotify Lite is All About Consuming Less Data, Not Yet Available in US

Spotify Lite is All About Consuming Less Data, Not Yet Available in US


Spotify launched Spotify Lite this week, available in 36 markets, all of which are not the US.

Like other Lite apps, Spotify Lite is focused on conserving data, allowing users to have greater control over the amount of data the app uses. Additionally, the app’s initial download size is limited to just 10MB.

According to Spotify, any user of the Lite version will still be able to search and play their favorite songs and artists, save them, share with users, discover new music, and enjoy playlists made just for them.

Available Markets

Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Chile, Colombia, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Uruguay, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Oman, Jordan, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, South Africa, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, India

Feel free to bring this to the US at any time, Spotify.

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