What Happens if You Go Over Your Google Drive Storage?

Google Drive is a great service for storing your files and photos.  You get 15GB free and if you want or need more storage, you can get an additional 100GB for just $1.99 per month.  But let’s suppose for a minute you signed up for 100GB, use about 30GB and decide you want to cancel your subscription?  You are 15GB over the free limit so what happens to your files, photos and other things you have stored in Google Drive?  In short, not much.  It comes down to the service you are using tied to Google Drive but the data that you have there will remain there and not be deleted.  That’s the good news.  The not-so-good news is that your Gmail will start bouncing incoming messages.

Let’s deal with Google Drive itself first.  If you are over your quota, you won’t be able to upload new files.  Period.  Equally, syncing between your Google Drive folder on your PC or Mac will stop.  But, and critically, you can still create Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides files as they don’t consume any space anyway.  It isn’t necessarily a loophole in that the Google apps never used your quota anyway but it certainly is a way to keep on creating documents.  But keep in mind that the sync between your computer and your Google Drive stops so any Google Docs files created will only show up online in Chrome.  Those PDFs and Microsoft Office files? Yeah, no more uploading and syncing.

An option you would have – which I have done – is to convert your Microsoft Office files to Google.  This can be done via the web app or the Android app quite easily.  Just open up that Word document then go to File and convert it to Google Docs.  You can do the same for Excel files and PowerPoint files.  Once you have done your conversions, be sure to go to your Google Drive trash folder and empty it.  That will delete the Office files and reclaim your quota.  Keep in mind that reclaiming can take up to 24 hours to happen.

HTC One A9 on Sprint Has Android Nougat Rolling Out

Good news this morning for those of you who have the HTC One A9 on Sprint.  Android Nougat is rolling out to you starting today.  The software update from the carrier is build 2.18.651.2 and it brings Android Nougat 7.0 to your phone along with the January Android Security update.  With it, you get all the goodness that is Nougat including multi-window support, improved data saver and other features.

The OTA update should be hitting devices soon but you can always manually check for it by going to Settings>System Updates>HTC Software Updates on your phone.  As these things tend to go, it will take a few days before everyone sees the update so patience is required.

Android Accounts for 81.7% of all Smartphones Sold at The End of 2016

Gartner has released their quarterly smartphone sales report and it is solid news for both Android and iOS.  In the report, the analyst company states that Android accounted for 81.7% of all smartphones solid in Q4 of last year.  If you add that to the 17.7% for iOS, these two platforms account for 98.4% of all smartphone sales.  It is a staggering number and it goes a long way in explaining why the Microsoft’s and Blackberry’s of the world have all-but killed their own Operating Systems on mobile devices.

The report goes on to say that Apple has surpassed Samsung as the top selling brand globally in the final quarter of the year.

Get Fun Facts on Google Search

Sometimes you just need a fun fact.  Whether you are at a party trying to throw out some random trivia or teaching your kids some fun things about animals, flowers or other things, fun facts can be, well, fun, and maybe even educate you at the same time.  Google Search is making it easier to find those fun facts with a improved algorithm that surfaces these types of searches.  If you type in “Cat fun facts”, you will get a highlighted (with larger print) fun fact about cats.  Refresh your search (pull down on the screen on your Android phone) and it will give you a new fun fact.  There is nothing you need to update, it is just something that is now showing up more predominantly in search results.

Most of the fun facts are for animals and plants but you’ll also find some fun vegetable facts too.

Today’s Deal – SanDisk Ultra MicroSD Cards Starting at $12

Today’s Deal is on a wide range of SanDisk Ultra Class 10 MicroSD storage cards.  These high speed and highly reliable cards are great from Android devices as well as other devices (like Go Pro’s) for your storage needs.  Today there are a several that are on sale at Amazon starting at 32GB and going all the way up to 256GB of storage.

All of these cards are waterproof, shockproof, and magnet proof so they are going to stand the test of time.

Update – How To Enable Material Design Extension Page in Chrome OS

Material Design elements are making their way into Chrome OS at a snail’s pace. But, when you find something that can be setup in this new, sleek look, it’s kinda fun.  The latest, at least as far as I can tell, is in Chrome 56 which allows you to enable the look on your Extension page. I’ll preface this with two points:  First, I do not recall seeing this setting in Chrome OS 55 or earlier in the Stable channel.  It has been in the beta and canary channel.  Second, I’m assuming, but not sure, that this is in the Chrome browser as well.  I use a Chromebook so I can’t verify.  If you can verify this flag works in the Chrome browser, let me know and I will update this post with proper credit of course.   Thanks to John Borgen for confirming that this feature is indeed in the latest build of Chrome browser!

The new Material Design extensions page is not enabled by default but it can easily be set with a flag inside of Chrome.  That new flag is chrome://flags/#enable-md-extensions or you can just go chrome://flags and search Material Design and find it there (and a lot of other things that can get an MD make over.

Google Home Promotion for 6 Months of Google Play Music Ends Soon

A friendly reminder to all of those who have been debating picking up a Google Home.  The promotion that gives you six months of free streaming audio on Google Play Music ends on February 27th.  That means if you want this promotion, you need to get your order in prior to that date.

Google Home launched with a lot of promotions including Google Play Music and YouTube Red.  These services are tied together so if you have a subscription for Play Music unlimited, you also have YouTube Red.  This is true for this promotion as well.  If you are already a subscriber to Google Play Music, sorry, you can’t take advantage of this promotion.

What is Smart Lock and How To Enable It on Your Chromebook

One of the great features of Chrome OS is one that few people actually use.  It’s called Smart Lock and while technically still a beta feature in the Stable channel of Chrome, it is a quick and easy way to unlock your Chromebook using your Android phone.  No longer do you have to type in your password on your Chromebook but rather, can simply walk into the room with your unlocked Android phone or click your account photo on your Chromebook to unlock it.  Setting it up is pretty easy and it can save you some time, especially if you have your phone setup as a Trusted Agent.

First, what is Smart Lock?  As the name suggests, it is a way to quickly and easily unlock your Chrome OS device by using your Android phone.  To do this, your phone and your Chromebook have to be linked and trusted with each other which is a quick five minute process.  It is a feature that has been in the Settings of Chrome OS since last year and requires that your phone be within 100 feet of your Chromebook to work.  In this How To, I’ll show you how to set it up and use it.

OnePlus Releases A Minor Update to OxygenOS

OnePlus has rolled out another small but significant update to OxygenOS 4.0 for their OnePlus 3 and 3T.  The update bumps the build up to 4.0.3 and contains a number of bug fixes and patches.  Two of the items addressed in the release have to do with Wi-Fi, with IPv6 now supported and an improved Wi-Fi Switcher.  This feature will switch your connection over to data if your Wi-Fi signal is consistently poor.

The camera app has also been updated, increasing stability in the app according to the release notes.

Google Pixel XL Finally Back in Stock at The Google Store

If you have been wanting to pick up the Google Pixel XL, you need to go to the Google Store.  Like, right now.  I’ll wait….

For the first time in weeks the XL is in stock and available for order.  Google has a mighty time keeping up with demand on both the Pixel and the Pixel XL and usually the phone shows out of stock in all colors and variants.  Right now at least, you can pick up the XL in Silver or Black with 32GB of storage.  The 128GB variants still remain out of stock as does the Really Blue color.

Review – Noreve Griffe Laptop Case – Elegance, Style and Protection for Your Laptop

When it comes to laptop sleeves and cases, there are plenty to chose from that give you protection.  But many of them lack in overall quality and style.  Afterall, if you are going to be carrying such a case into a meeting, you want it to look the part, not just be utilitarian.  That’s where Noreve Griffe 2 laptop case becomes the case of choice.

Noreve is based in Saint-Tropez, France and makes hand crafted cases for a wide range of devices as well as travel and office accessories.  All of their products are created out of exceptionally high quality leathers, assembled and stitched by hand and are some of the most luxurious cases you can find.  I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing several of the couture cases over the years, most recently the Ambition Folio cases for the Nexus 6P and Nexus 9 (which are available for other devices).  This, however, is the first time that Noreve has sent me a laptop case to review and it is just as impressive and stylish as their mobile device cases.  No matter what you carry for a laptop – Windows PC, MacBook Pro or Chromebook – the Griffe 2 case will provide great protection and look good doing it.

Microsoft Groove Music App Gets A Healthy Update

Microsoft has rolled out a sizable update to the Microsoft Groove app, their music streaming and subscription service.  The update brings a lot of changes to the app that frankly, catches it up to other services that are out there.  This update is rolling out now so if you have the app installed, expect the OTA today or tomorrow.

The biggest new edition is that you can explore relevant artists, albums and songs for a particular genre.  This not only allows you to see your favorite artists but also expose you to some that you may not have heard of before.  It is a great way to discover new artists in your favorite kind of music.