OnePlus 5 Now Available for Purchase

As expected, the OnePlus 5, the latest flagship from OnePlus, is now available for purchase.  You can pick one up directly from the OnePlus website and, at the time of this posting, shipping was offered immediately.  That is expected to change, especially on the 8GB/128GB configuration of the phone.  If you are wanting to pick one up, do it sooner rather than later.

The new flagship phone is available in two variants:  a 6GB RAM/64GB Storage model for $479 or a 8GB RAM/128GB Storage for $539.  Both of these price points represent an increase in price over the OnePlus 3T but the OnePlus 5 is a higher spec’d phone too.

Google Home Multi-User Support Comes to The UK

Good news today for Google Home users in the UK.  The ability to add multiple Google accounts to the Google Assistant powered smart speaker is now available in the country.  In total, you can add up to six account to the device and teach it to recognize each individual users voice.  To add an account, go into Menu>Settings>Shared devices and train Google Assistant to recognize your voice.  You can sen send invites to others to add their account to your Google Home.

When they add their account, they will get personalize results just like you do as the primary user.  So, for example, they will get their Google calendar information and not yours.  All of this supposes that you have the latest Google Home app for Android or iOS installed on your devices.

Twitter for Android Update Brings Automatic Night Mode Setting

After being in beta testing for several weeks, the Twitter for Android app has been updated with a new automatic night mode for all users.  The latest update to the app, version 7.2.0 for those keeping score at home, gives you the option to enable a darkened UI anytime or when the sunset happens in your location.  The new feature is found in Settings>General>Display and sound.

Twitter for several releases of the Android version of their app has had a dark UI mode that could be enabled.  This would turn the app from having a white background to a dark blue-grey background.  This, of course, lowers eye strain when you are viewing your screen in low light.

Minor Chrome for Android Released

For those who use Chrome for Android, you can expect a minor update to hit your various devices this week.  Build 59.0.3071.117 was released yesterday for Android and follows up on a similar update released for the desktop version of the browser late last week. This update for Android fixes a few crash issues, a performance issue, and an issue which prevented some users from downloading images.

The update is rolling out in the Google Play Store now and everyone should see the OTA update for it this week or next.  It will be particularly important to get this update if you have run into some of the specific issues outlined in the release notes.

60 New Banks Now Support Android Pay

The growth of Android Pay in 2017 globally has been impressive, particularly here in the United States.  The tap-to-pay service has added new financial institutions nearly every month in 2017 and June is no exception.  Late on Friday, 60 new financial institutions added support for Android Pay.

The vast majority of these new additions are regional or local banks and Credit Unions.  The team over at Android Police have put together a list of all the new banks which includes:

  • Great Lakes First Federal CU
  • Gulf Coast Educators FCU
  • Hoosier Heartland State Bank
  • Isabella Bank
  • Lakeside Bank
  • Lamar Bank and Trust
  • Libertyville Savings Bank
  • Lone Star National Bank
  • Los Angeles Police FCU

See the post at Android Police for the complete list.

AT&T Releases June Android Security Update for The Galaxy Note 4

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 continues to get incremental updates from both Samsung directly and carriers here in the United States.  AT&T has started rolling out updated firmware version N910AUCS2EQF1 which is fundamentally the June Android Security update that was released by Google earlier this month.  In fact, only security updates are listed in the release notes on the AT&T site for the device.

This update does not update the device to Android Nougat, an update that is likely never to happen officially given the age of the device and the expected release of the Note 8 this summer.  Indeed, it is because of the debacle of the Note 7 that the 4 is still getting regular updates more-or-less.

Google Play Music Desktop App for Windows 10 Released

For those who are on Windows 10, The lack of a native Google Play Music app means, for some, you are limited from listening to the music from your PC.  Some version of Windows 10 won’t allow you to install non-Windows Store apps so that rules out Chrome for your browser and easier Play Music playing.

Enter GPMDP.  The app is developed by Samuel Attard and gives you a customizable app that allows you to play your Play Music natively within Windows 10.  While it is not an official Google app, it gets the job done and works really well.

Today’s Deal – Amazon Echo Down to $129.99 Today Only

Today’s Deal is on the powerful and very popular Amazon Echo.  Today you can pick up the Amazon Alexa powered personal assistant device for $129.99.  That is a savings of $50 off the regular price.  The Echo has thousands of services that you can link to it in order to get news, information and, of course, order things from Amazon.  The Echo is a truly immersive experience for those that leverage Amazon Prime and the associated services like Amazon Music.

Echo is also aimed to give you personalized information such as commute time to work, leverage smart devices in your house like smart lights and garage door openers, get recipes for things to cook or drink.

Today’s Deal – SanDisk Ultra Fit 64GB USB Flash Drive is $19 on Amazon

Today’s Deal is on the low profile USB Flash Drives from SanDisk.  Over at Amazon you can pick up the SanDisk Ultra Fit 64GB drive for $18.99 with other sizes available.  The Ultra Fit series are designed to fit into the USB 3.0 port of your PC, Mac or Chromebook and not protrude like a normal Flash Drive.  Indeed, the idea is that you can leave it in your computer without ever having to take it out when you slip it into a bag or backpack.

The sale is on the 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB versions of the Ultra Fit.  All three are have a zippy read speed of 150MB/s so while they are too slow to run apps from, they are perfect for data, photos and videos.  The drives also come with SanDisk’s SecureAccess software to encrypt the drives should they ever be lost or stolen (although you can use MacOS and BitLocker encryption should you choose to do so instead).  I personally use one  of these Ultra Fit drives (the 64GB model) and have no problem recommending them.  They are a great performing accessory for your Chromebook (in my case).

Regardless of the size of drive you pick up, they are all eligible for Amazon Prime free shipping.

Head on over to Amazon to check out the details on these great drives from SanDisk.

SanDisk Ultra Fit 16GB USB Flash Drive: $10.65

SanDisk Ultra Fit 32GB USB Flash Drive:$11.95

SanDisk Ultra Fit 64GB USB Flash Drive: $17.99

Latest Google Photos Update Removes Backup While Charging Feature

In the latest update to Google Photos for both Android and iOS, the ability to backup photos while charging your phone has been removed.  It is unclear as to why the feature was removed but in version 2.17 for Android and 2.18 for iOS, the feature is gone.  You can still limit the app to only backup when you are on WiFi networks as well as if you want to backup while roaming.

Google Photos remains one of the most popular Google apps with over 1 billion users of the service and over 500 million active monthly users.

Today’s Deal – Google WiFi 3-Pack for $269 on Amazon

Today’s Deal is on the Google WiFi 3-Pack, which will give you Wi-Fi access throughout your entire home.  Right now the 3-Pack is $269.99 on Amazon, $30 less that what Google sells it.  If you don’t need a 3-pack, the single unit is also on sale at $119, a savings of $10.

As for which one you need depends on your home.  If you have a home or apartment that is 1500 square feet or less, the single should do the job for you.  No need to overbuy.  Over that and up to 4500 square feet, the 3-Pack is what you need for your home.  The nice thing is, if you get a single and add more later, it is easy to add the new ones to the network via the Google WiFi app on your Android phone or iPhone.

Google Play Music Update Brings Search History Feature

The Google Play Music app for Android has an update rolling out that brings new features to everyone.  The bulk of the version 7.9 build is aimed at the future, namely Android O so a lot of the attention and focus of this release is to be found once O rolls out to everyone.  That includes things like Notification Channels, a new feature that will be coming in Android v8.

For today however, there is a new Search History feature that you can access on devices today that will give you access to your music search history.  This history includes any music, album or artist searches you have done either from the Play Music app or site.