How To Sign Up For Subscriptions in Google Assistant in Allo

With the release of Google Allo earlier this week, Google also released an increadbly powerful feature inside the app.  Google Assistant, as the name suggests, aims to give you information, weather and even play games (and tell a joke or two) all within Allo.  Indeed, with Allo itself still needing some fleshing out, Google Assistant is by far the killer feature of the app and gives us a glimpse as to what we can expect as the company starts rolling this out to other devices like Google Home.

One of the great feature of Assistant is the ability to sign up for news, weather and other information in a subscription that is delivered to you daily.  It is a great way to stay up-to-date with the latest information on a topic of your choice.  In this How To I’ll show you how to subscribe and manage your subscriptions within Assistant.

Pre-Order Available for the BLU Life One X2

BLU’s latest offering, the Life One X2, is now available for pre-order at their store front on Amazon.  The phone comes with either 16GB of storage and 2GB of RAM for $135 or you can get the much better deal 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM model for $180.  That’s a great price for a well appointed budget phone, something that BLU is well known for producing.

As for the specs, it isn’t too shabby.  The Life One X2 is a 5.2″ display device that is curved and gives you Full HD rendering.  It is protected by Gorilla glass 3 as well.  Powering the phone is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor.  That’s an octa-core processor running at 1.4GHz.  It’s not the fastest processor out there but keep the price point in mind here folks.  As mentioned, the phone has two options from a storage/RAM perspective at 16GB/2GB or 64GB/4GB.  That storage can be expanded up to an additional 64GB as it has a MicroSD card slot.

Reminder – Nextbit Robin Down to $199 Today Only on Amazon

A friendly reminder for those who are still thinking of picking up the great deal on the Nextbit Robin over at Amazon.  The Robin is still on sale today at Amazon for just $199, a $200 savings off the regular price.  It is available in both Mint and Midnight for that price and if you are an Amazon Prime member, you can get free shipping on it as well and get it on Saturday if you order today.

For those that don’t recall, the Nextbit Robin has some great features and offers a unique device-meets-cloud storage solution.  It has 32GB of onboard storage merged with 100 GB online storage, so you always have the space you need. Robin seamlessly backs up your apps and photos, intelligently archives the stuff you’re not using, and easily restores items when you need them.  The idea is that you never run out of space.  Those less used apps are backed up into the cloud but then are instantly available when you want them.  You’ll know an app has been backed up into the cloud as it will be grey on your Robin.

Yahoo Reports A Security Breach – 2 Years Later

Yesterday Yahoo announced that in late 2014, a security breach on their network resulted in some 500 million user accounts being compromised.  Yet the company just now reported it.  The hack, which the company believes was state sponsored, compromised accounts and user data including names, birthdays, email addresses, passwords, security questions, and telephone numbers but, thankfully, did not include payment or bank data.

Based on the ongoing investigation, Yahoo believes that information associated with at least 500 million user accounts was stolen and the investigation has found no evidence that the state-sponsored actor is currently in Yahoo’s network. Yahoo is working closely with law enforcement on this matter.

Security breaches in companies happen and far to often than they should.  It is a constant cat-and-mouse game between companies and blackhats, especially those blackhats who are working for governments around the world.  My issues is that it took Yahoo two years to tell users and even then, it wasn’t in big bold letters. It was a frickin’ Tumblr post.  Really?

Samsung Reports Nearly Half of Defective Galaxy Note7 in The US Have Been Returned

Samsung USA has stated that nearly half of the 1 million of the Galaxy Note7 impacted by the recent recall have been returned here in the US.  That’s actually really great news as owners of the Note7 have taken the recall pretty seriously and returned the devices to their carrier or the store from which they bought it for a replacement.

Samsung Electronics America, Inc. announced today that about half of all recalled Galaxy Note7 phones sold in the U.S. have been exchanged through Samsung’s voluntary recall. Additionally, 90 percent of Galaxy Note7 owners have been opting to receive the new Galaxy Note7 since the phones became widely available on Wednesday, September 21.

It would appear too that users are opting to stick with the Note7 upon that exchange of their devices although they have mostly had the option to go with a different device if they so choose.

Happy 8th Birthday Android!

Happy Birthday Android!  Back on September 23, 2008, Android 1.o made its debut with T-Mobile G1, also known as the HTC Dream making it commercially available for the first time.  As we who love the platform know, it has grown exponentially in features, performance and functionality over the past 8 years and it is exciting to think of what the next 8 years hold in store for it.

To be fair, there is a lot of confusion on the Interwebs on the exact birthday of Android but it seems to come down to two dates.  The first, September 23, 2008 as I mentioned before being the commercially available date.  There is also the date of November 5, 2007.  That is the day that the beta of Android 1.0 was made available.  It seems pretty clear in Google’s mind however that the September 23rd date is the one of record and clearly is the one they are celebrating.

Weather Channel App Update Brings Improved Radar Images

The Weather Channel app for Android has been updated today with some very impressive new radar images.  The updated build is version 7.0.1 for those keeping score at home and the update is rolling out in the Google Play Store now for those who have the app installed.  Now when you go to the radar section of the app, you will see a much more interesting maps than in the previous release.  The first thing you’ll notice is that the maps look more topographical which is great for those of us who live in mountainous areas.  But the update isn’t just skin deep.  The app now allows you to zoom down all the way to street level so you can see exactly when a storm is going to impact you & your neighborhood.  Before you could zoom in but it wouldn’t go down to street level.

Samsung Appears to be Testing Android Nougat on The Galaxy S7

If there is one fact in Android life that remains true, it is that Samsung will be slow in getting updates out to their devices.  It was four months after Android Marshmallow was released before the company pushed it out to the Galaxy S6 and they have been even slower on other devices and releases.  So when reports that Samsung has a test build of Android Nougat in the wild for the Galaxy S7, just weeks after it was released, it is good news.

Before you get your hopes up, no, a release of Nougat on the S7 lineup is not immanent.  In fact it is probably months away.  But SamMobile is reporting that Samsung has confirmed to them that they are indeed testing Nougat on a S7.

Chrome OS Sees Android Apps Hit The Stable Channel

The good news is that the Chromium team has released into the stable channel a build of Chrome OS that supports Android apps.  The bad news is that, for now, it is only for two devices.  We have been waiting for months now for the release to happen and technically the support of Android apps is still in beta, but it is finally to the production build of the OS for users and that is a great sign of things to come.

Officially the build is 53.0.2785.129 (Platform version: 8530.90.0) and it is available for the Acer Chromebook R11 and the Asus Chromebook Flip.  Readers may recall that these two devices along with the Chromebook Pixel 2015 from Google have had the ability to run Android apps for a while in the beta channel.  Essentially this update brings the support to all users with these devices.

Nextbit Robin Down to $199 on Amazon Today and Tomorrow

The Nextbit Robin is on sale today and tomorrow at Amazon for just $199, a screaming deal on a solid Android Phone.  Normally the phone retails for $399 (although you can pick one up from Nextbit directly for $299) but the two day sale at Amazon is by far the best deal around on the Robin.  It is available in both Mint and Midnight for that price and if you are an Amazon Prime member, you can get free shipping on it as well and get it on Saturday if you order today.

For those that don’t recall, the Nextbit Robin has some great features and offers a unique device-meets-cloud storage solution.  It has 32GB of onboard storage merged with 100 GB online storage, so you always have the space you need. Robin seamlessly backs up your apps and photos, intelligently archives the stuff you’re not using, and easily restores items when you need them.  The idea is that you never run out of space.  Those less used apps are backed up into the cloud but then are instantly available when you want them.  You’ll know an app has been backed up into the cloud as it will be grey on your Robin.

Today’s Deal – Samsung 128GB EVO Plus MicroSD Card for $39

Today’s Deal over at Amazon you can get a great deal on a speedy MicroSD card for your devices with a huge amount of storage.  Right now you can pick up the Samsung EVO Plus Class 10 MicroSD card with 128GB of storage for $38.75.  It is a savings of 62% off the regular price.  The card comes with a reader adapter and as with all MicroSD cards and it is waterproof and shock proof for durability.  It is also fast enough to keep up with HD recording in devices so you should have no trouble with really anything that accepts this size card.

Google Photos Improves Photo Sharing To Contacts

Google has rolled out a small but important update to Google Photos that makes it much easier to share your photos with others.  The update gives you the ability to share a photo or set of photos with an individual contact, not just another app.  The ability to share with another app has been there for a while but to share photos with a contact, you had to dive into another app (Messages, Hangouts, etc.) to make that happen.  Now you will see your contacts in the Share menu and can share directly from within Photos, saving taps and steps.

How To Sign Up For Subscriptions in Google Assistant in Allo
Pre-Order Available for the BLU Life One X2
Samsung Reports Nearly Half of Defective Galaxy Note7 in The US Have Been Returned
Happy 8th Birthday Android!
Google Clearly Defines Update Support for Nexus Devices
Unicode 9.0 Formally Ratified
Android N Developer Preview 4 – A Progress Report
Android N Developer Preview 4 OTA Now Rolling Out
Chrome OS Sees Android Apps Hit The Stable Channel
The Bright Future That Awaits Chrome OS
Chrome OS Updated To Chrome 53 on Most Devices
New Android-Like Hangouts Chrome Extension Now Available
Wi-Fi Assistant Now Hitting Nexus Devices
Project Fi Set to Improve International Data Usage Tracking
Project Fi Update Brings Chat Support
Wi-Fi Assistant Coming To All Nexus Phones
Outlook.com To Get Improved Google Drive Support
Microsoft Edge Beats Out The Competition in Battery Life
Update – Gmail Accounts Working on Windows Phone
Starbucks App Finally Arrives on Windows Phone