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Showing posts from February, 2021

Pixel 5a renders have me excited for the Pixel 6

  As a watcher of Google and a fan of the Pixel lineup of phones, I must say that the leaked render of the Pixel 5a has me excited for the Pixel 6. With phones set to debut later this year, I tend to believe that the renders are accurate. It seems that Google finalizes their new phones in the 1st quarter of the year based on past leaks and rumors. So, what do we have? Not much we can tell from a picture beside the obvious. Design cues are definitely similar to the Pixel 4a and Pixel 5 from 2020. And I'm cool with that! Google typically introduces a new design with each iteration of Pixel phones but I like that we are getting some consistency. The design of a phone does not need to change every year, in my opinion. Other than a similar design the other apparent change we can see is the camera setup and this is why I’m excited for the Pixel 6. So, why am I excited about a dual-camera setup? To put it simply, we should see a triple-lens setup for the Pixel 6. If last year is any indic

Google introduces useful platform updates for Android (Spring 2021)

As of late, it seems as if Google is introducing more frequent updates to the Android platform. These updates are not always significant but tend to be useful to its users. Take a look at what Google revealed today. 1. Keep your accounts safe with Password Checkup on Android   Password Checkup notification screen On Android, you can save passwords to your Google account, making it quicker and easier to sign into your apps and services using Autofill. Your login credentials are one of your first lines of defense against intruders, so we’ve integrated Password Checkup into Android 9 and above devices, letting you know if the password you used has been previously exposed and what to do about it. 2. Use schedule send in Messages to write a text now and send it later Click on the image above to learn how to schedule a text to send at your chosen date and time Over half a billion people across the world use Messages to seamlessly and safely connect with family, friends, and others every mo

Shouts out to the YT Music team

  I must admit, I was a bit of a skeptic when Google announced that Google Play Music was going away in favor of Youtube Music awhile back. Then I remember when Google said that your music library will be transferred over from GPM to YTM. I immediately thought, oh no. How can this be done without error for millions of users? Yet they seemed to have pulled it off. I had no issues with transferring my music over and everything was there right where I left it in GPM.  If you haven't already I suggest making the switch and transferring your music from GPM to YTM if you intend to. Google gave notice to it's GPM users that you will no longer be able to make transfers after February 24th, 2021. Making the transfer is easy and is done in the background. Check out the community post here . As far as features and how YTM compares to GPM I would say that it's pretty much on par. For me, the main features are there and I like how the improvements YTM has over GPM. The cool thing is tha

Google Announces Android Dev Preview 1

  If you didn't know, Google announced Android 12 today. You can look forward to lots of goodies and the new features Google mentioned in their blog post can be found below. This is nowhere near the final version of the new OS so expect lots of changes over the coming months. Trust and safety Privacy is at the heart of everything we do, and in Android 12 we’re continuing to focus on giving users more transparency and control while keeping their devices and data secure. In today’s release we’ve added new controls over identifiers that can be used for tracking, safer defaults for app components, and more. These changes may affect your apps, so we recommend testing as soon as possible. Watch for more privacy and security features coming in later preview releases. Modern SameSite cookie behaviors in WebView - In line with changes to Chrome and other browsers, WebView includes new SameSite cookie behaviors to provide additional security and privacy and give users more transparency and

HTC Hero | The phone that made me an Android and Google fan

  I was thinking recently about how I got started using Google products and services. Then it dawned on me. The HTC Hero. If you don't know the HTC Hero was an Android phone by HTC released in 2009 exclusive to Sprint.  I remember buying the phone and realized that I needed a Google account so I signed up on my computer and then quickly signed in on my phone. From there on, it has been all Google for me. I switched from Yahoo to Gmail. Firefox to Chrome. MapQuest to Google  Maps. But that may have more to do with Mapquest than Google Maps.  Today, it's more or less the same. I use Google products and services and couldn't be happier. Not to say that it's perfect but works for me and fits my lifestyle. I’ll be writing a blog post on the Google services and products I currently use. Stay tuned for that!  My fondest memory of using my first Android phone wasn't really the UI but the window it opened for me into Google apps. Things just seem to work well and sync across

Sooo, the Google Pixel Buds just received its first update of 2021

  Last week the Pixel Buds received a firmware update to 553. The previous update was nearly 6 months ago when the first Pixel Buds Feature drop was released. There are no release notes as of today so I assume this is a bug fix update since the firmware version went from 552 to the aforementioned 553.  As for the update, so far so good. The Pixel Buds seem to be a bit more stable. The connection is solid and performance during phone calls is noticeably improved. Since the update, I have noticed that the left earbud gets a little louder randomly. It does go back to normal once I pause and play again. By the way, this only happens when both earbuds are being used and occurred twice in 5 days. Not a big deal just something I noticed and hope it gets fixed in the next update. As for the Pixel Buds, they are pretty good and are my favorite true wireless earphones to date. I've tried many others but these seem to offer a feature set and sound quality that's tough to match. The one ye

I choose the Google Pixel for the little things

  Look, this may sound fanboy-ish but it's true. It's the little things that makes the Google Pixel line the smartphone for me. I appreciate that Google tends to focus on the experience and deliver real world quality of life features. Some of these features are added over time and some have been existing for awhile now. Nevertheless, here are some Pixel features I rely on day to day. At a Glance - Located at the top of the homescreen. Here you will find relevant and timely information. Such as upcoming calendar events and reminders, birthdays, weather and severe weather alerts. Having this information on my homescreen and lockscreen keeps me on track throughout the day. I recently received a severe weather warning and appreciated that I could properly prepare myself prior to leaving the house that morning. See it's the little things.  Now Playing - not critical but a nice feature that displays song title and artist information when music is being played around. The cool t

Nest Secure Alarm | My extra long term review

If you didn't know the Nest Secure Alarm System is no longer being sold. You may be able to find one online or randomly at a Home Depot but your mileage may vary. Google says they’re committed to providing our existing Nest Secure users with continued feature support, software fixes, and critical security updates. You can still expand your alarm system with additional Nest Tags and Nest Detects. Nest Detects will be back in stock in early 2021. I'm especially interested in the Nest Detects for the expansion possibilities and to just have some spares.  In my review, I will discuss the hardware, software, reliability, and what I expect and want from Google Nest in the future. Before we get started I will say that the Nest Secure Alarm was developed prior to Nest being brought under Google and this has me even more excited for what they can do together now. So with that let's get started. What is the Nest Secure alarm? The Nest Secure is a DIY home alarm security system. Setu