Google continues to quietly improve Google Now and the latest change is one that users of 3rd party messaging services will appreciate. Google has now added voice support for 3rd party messaging applications like WhatsApp and Viber, meaning you can send a message with these services without actually ever touching your Android phone or tablet. You have been able to do this with Hangouts for a while with Google Now but adding support for 3rd party solutions really shows how mature this feature has become in Android.
Earlier today Motorola made several new device announcements, chief among them is the new Moto G 2015 model. The mid-range phone has reasonable specs for a phone that starts at only $179 and it can be completely customized using the Motorola Moto Maker service on their website. The Moto G 2015 is the latest update in a successful series of devices for Motorola and this new Moto G comes with some nice updates.
The AccuWeather app for Android phones and tablets has received a nice but small update that brings support for Google Now to the app. It is the latest in a long line of apps that have started to support the Google Now feature which is part of the Google Launcher. With the update, you will start receiving weather information cards in Google Now on your device. The AccuWeather update is 22.214.171.124 for those keeping score at home and is available now in the Google Play Store. There are two versions of AccuWeather: A free, Ad-supported version and a non-ad version for $2.99.
Today only over at HTC, they have a huge sale going on their most popular devices and accessories that are really impressive. While supplies last or the end of the day today, you can get 25% off the HTC M9 Android Phone, 40% off the Nexus 9 Android tablet, 50% off the RE Camera and 50% off accessories for these devices. That means you can pick up the Nexus 9 tablet for example for as low as $239.40.
While HTC as a whole has been struggling, they do make some outstanding devices and their build quality is great. I’ve had plenty of HTC devices over the years and they always held up well to my daily wear-and-tear.
Today using a unique and interactive Virtual Reality stream, OnePlus officially launched the much anticipated OnePlus 2, the follow up to last year’s amazingly successful OnePlus One. The launch was hosted in the OnePlus offices by co-founder Carl Pei and through various points in the presentation, you ended up in large public areas, meeting rooms, break rooms and various other parts of the offices. Finally, when it came time to reveal the OnePlus 2, a product video was shown followed by some detailed hands-on of the new phone. The phone will be available starting August 11th and will ship to the US, Canada and the European Union on those dates. To get one you of course need an invite, which has been revised over the OnePlus One invite system.
As I’ve pointed out many times before on this blog, I travel. A lot. If I’m not at home then I’m likely in an airport and after well over 1 million miles of travel in my life, I’m always looking for ways to make it easier. A few weeks ago, the Hisgadget team sent me the iClever 6-port USB Travel charger to review and I’ve been using it consistently over those weeks during my travels to see how well it performs and its durability. I have to say on both counts, I’m quite impressed. The iClever charger handled the wear-and-tear of being in and out of my travel bags without any damage or even the slightest view of wear. Equally as important, the iClever quickly and efficiently charged both my OnePlus One and my Galaxy Tab 4 but also my Fitbit.
Priced at only $25.99 on Amazon, the iClever 6-Port USB Travel charge is an accessory you should take a lot at if you are looking for a quick and efficient way to charge your devices while at home or on the road.
Google’s payment app, Google Wallet, has received an update that should make life a bit easier for heavy users of the app. The latest update, build 9.0-R206-v14 for those keeping score at home, makes finding your transactions much easier than before and getting details about those transactions. It’s all part of a much improved search feature inside the app in an effort to give you transaction details.
Google Maps for Android has been updated with several new features for users. Probably the biggest update is the ability to view your timeline within the app to see where you have been on particular days. It’s a great way to see where a daily journey has taken you, especially if you have had some flights in the mix. This latest update is version 9.12.0 for those keeping score at home and it is available now for both Android phones and tablets.
If you are a Samsung Galaxy Tab owner who bought from late 2013 to 2014, the wait for Lollipop may finally be over. Late last week Samsung began pushing out the Lollipop 5.1.1 update to several Galaxy Tab models, all of which are 32-bit versions of their tablets. I can confirm that my Galaxy Tab 4 has received the update and a collage has reported his Galaxy Tab 9.7″ model has received the update as well. You will need to check on your individual devices to make sure you have the update available although it should be pushed to you & you will be notified.
For those of you who have Pro model 64-bit Galaxy Tabs, your wait is a bit longer.
Diet and exercise are pretty obvious points when it comes to a healthy lifestyle but sleep is equally as important. Without enough sleep, we have all kinds of issues from the self evident drowsiness to a loss of mental sharpness. It also leads to challenges around diet and certainly impacts our desire to exercise. Who wants to go to the gym tired? That’s why the latest update to Fitbit for Android is really important. In this latest update, version 2.8 for those keeping score at home, you have the ability to set a nightly sleep goal. In fact, this entire update is essentially dedicated to sleep with other features added around sleep and sleep goals. If you already use your Fitbit to track your sleep nightly then this new update will give you new insights and help you focus on getting the right amount of rest you need each day.