Map for Game of Thrones Lets You Explore All of Westeros

[Spoiler Alert:  This post contains references to the latest episode of Game of Thrones.]

If you are a fan of the HBO series Game of Thrones, there is a new app in the Google Play Store that is for you.  Map of Game of Thrones, as the name suggest, gives you a zoomable map of Westeros and all of the lands of the fantasy series.  The app is intuitive and gives you a wealth of information about locations – even those not featured in the show – as well as character information and episode information.

Netflix App Update Brings Improved Data Consumption Controls

For a while now, Netflix has been throttling users data consumption on AT&T and T-Mobile to help users not kill their entire data allotment on a streaming movie.  Now Netflix has brought that capability to everyone thanks to the latest update of the Android app from the streaming service.  The updated build, version 4.5.0 for those keeping score at home, is rolling out now in the Google Play Store.  If you have the app installed, you should see the OTA update over the course of the next day or so.

Google Plus Update for Android Brings Quick Access To Other Google Apps

The Google Plus app for Android has yet another update rolling out today, the ninth such update this year.  Version 7.8.0 brings mostly refinements to the community centric app for Android and brings back quick access to other Google apps you may have installed on your phone.  In all, there are 22 bugs fixed in this update according to Google’s Luke Wroblewski as well as Quick access to Google Photos, Hangouts and Search within the app. If this seems like a blast from the past, it should.  Before Google decided to decouple other services and apps from G+, you had quick access to other Google apps before the whole Google Plus is Dead, Long Live Google Plus era we are in now.  This is back now and frankly is a great touch that has needed to come back to the new and improved app.

Google Sheets App Updated With Improved Image Support

Google Sheets, the spreadsheet app in the Google Apps for Work suite, has been updated with a long missing and much wanted feature:  Image support.  With this update, users will be able to view images and drawings with the Sheets app and not have to revert to the desktop version of the app to view them.  It is a nice addition for sure and closes the feature parity gap between the desktop and mobile versions of the app.  The update is rolling out now to the Google Play Store and given that this update also impacts the iOS version, the update is rolling out in the iTunes App Store too.

HTC 10 Pre-Orders Are Now Shipping from HTC

On Monday, I posted that HTC reported over the weekend that they would start shipping the HTC 10 to those who had pre-ordered the device since its announcement last month.  Based on a tweet from the company yesterday, those shipments have now begun.

It is certainly good news for those who have pre-ordered the latest flagship device from HTC and with the praise the phone has received so far, disappointment will likely be low for new owners.  It is certainly a step in the right direction over the One M9 of last year.

Microsoft Adds Wunderlist Support to Arrow Launcher for Android

Microsoft’s latest improvement to their launcher app for Android, Arrow Launcher, brings more improvements and functionality to the app.  For those who have tried it,  Arrow Launcher gives a mult-page look to your phone that brings things like contacts, widgets, most used apps and reminders within easy reach and is designed for Android phones.  The latest update, version for those keeping score at home, brings a handful of new features to the app.  The biggest of those new features is integration with Wunderlist.  With this update, all of your lists are displayed and you can set reminders for the app within Arrow as well.

PSA – EMail Hack Shows Once Again Why You Need To Use 2-Factor Authentication

The news from Reuters today outlining a massive email hack that has impacted some 270 million accounts globally, including some Gmail accounts, serves as another reminder to be safe out there and to use 2-Factor authentication.  Yes it is a pain and yes it sucks that we have to do these kinds of things, but it is a great way to keep your Google account and any other for that matter more safe and secure.  In fact, I would go as far as to suggest that if a service you use doesn’t offer 2-Factor authentication, you may need to rethink if you really need that service.

Google Releases The Google I/O 2016 App

For those who are attending Google I/O 2016 in person or remotely, the official app for the developer event is now in the Google Play Store.  The app gives you the ability to see all of the sessions that are available and setup your schedule of those that you want to attend.  Even better, if you aren’t one of the lucky attendees in person, you can live stream the events remotely and can add those events to your Google calendar so you can tune in.

Oh, and a lot of those are going to be in VR. 🙂

Celebrate Star Wars Day With Google Play Music’s John Williams Station

As just about everyone on the planet knows, today, May 4th, is Star Wars day.  Undoubtedly on your Google+ or Facebook timeline you will be told, more than once today, May The Fourth Be With You.  Yeah, it’s geeky but fun.  To add to your fun, head over to Google Play Music on your Android device (or on the web) and look up The Galaxy of John Williams radio station.  The station has been setup by the team at Play Music to bring you one place to get all of the great movie soundtracks, including those from Star Wars, in one station for your listening pleasure.

Review of Huawei Mate 8 – A Fabulous Flagship Phablet

While Huawei is still considered one of the “new kids” when it comes to smartphones, the Chinese company has produced some excellent products over their brief history.  While they have been producing white label devices since 2010, it hasn’t been until the last few years that the company has sold devices under their own name.  Late last year they released the Mate 8, the follow up to the 2014 Mate 7 and as far as phablet sized devices go, have hit the mark.  While a device this size, a 6″ display is what the Mate 8 sports, is not for everyone, if you are looking for a seriously powerful device with an excellent display and stunningly good camera, this device should be on your shortlist to consider.  The only real hesitation I have with it is the Emotion UI that Huawei has on top of the Android Marshmallow build it runs.  That can, however, be largely eliminated if you don’t like it and certainly doesn’t stop me from giving this device a strong recommendation.

Google Ending Support For Old Versions of Google Drive for PC and Mac

If you are a user of the Google Drive app on your PC or Mac, make sure you are up-to-date.  Google has announced that starting July 1st, support for versions 1.22 and older will end.  Version 1.22 is over a year old so the cut back on support for it and older versions makes sense and falls in line with what the company has done on older version of other apps.  For reference, the latest version of the Drive sync app for PC is build 1.29.2074.1528.   To see what version you are running, open up the sync app, click on the menu (3 vertical dots) and then click about.  If you need to update, just go to your Drive folder online and in the lower left corner click on the Download for PC or Mac button.

YouTube Adds Autoplay Feature To Android App

Whether you like the feature or not, the autoplay feature in YouTube has made its way to Android.  The video streaming site has had the autoplay feature – where the site plays the next video automatically as you are watching – for some time now and it has both friends and foes.  In the latest update to the Android app for phones and tablets, this feature has been enabled.  For those who like the feature, now you can get endless streaming of videos without having to touch your phone.  For those who don’t like the feature, good news!  You can disable it.

Map for Game of Thrones Lets You Explore All of Westeros
Netflix App Update Brings Improved Data Consumption Controls
Google Plus Update for Android Brings Quick Access To Other Google Apps
Google Sheets App Updated With Improved Image Support
Android Marshmallow Install Base Jumps Nearly 3%
T-Mobile Rolls Out Android Marshmallow To The LG G3
AT&T Finally Releases Android Marshmallow For The Galaxy S6
May Security Update Factory Images for Android Released
Two New HTC-Built Nexus Devices In The Works
Android N Beta Comes to Select Xperia Z3 Devices
Android N Developer Preview 2 Released
Improved App Optimization in Android N
Latest Chrome OS Update Brings Material Design To The Browser
Google Drops The Entry Level Chromebook Pixel From the Google Store
Google and HP Launch Premium Chromebook Starting at $499
Minor Update Comes to Chrome OS Stable Channel
Project Fi Turns 1 Year Old
Project Fi App Update Brings A New Widget For Your Home Screen
Project Fi Adds Call and Text History to Website
Project Fi Update Adds Ability To Send Network Diagnostics