AT&T Releases Update For Galaxy S7

For readers who have the Samsung Galaxy S7 through AT&T, there is a new and important software update rolling your way today.  The new update brings several enhancements and new features including support for Wi-Fi calling.  The updated build number is MMB29M and is available for the S7 and S7 Edge.

Wi-Fi calling is probably the most noticeable addition in this update which AT&T has brought to several of the phones on their network already.  This feature is pretty self explanatory but it allows you to make calls over Wi-Fi (assuming the quality and strength of that Wi-Fi signal is acceptable).  Think of it as mobile Voice over IP (VoIP).

Nextbit Robin Now Available in “Ember” Red

Nextbit has announced that a new “ember” red color option is available in limited quantities for their phone, the Nextbit Robin.  The new red option is at the same $299 price as the other two color options (Midnight and Mint) but it is in limited quantities.  If you want to pick one up, you need to get over to the Nextbit site and get one ordered.

The new ember model has red panels on the top and bottom of the Robin with a black back.  It is a pretty striking looking phone in my opinion and will make your Robin stand out from virtually any phone in the crowd.

Google Play Family Library Released

Google has released the much anticipated Google Play Family Library for users.  Starting today, you can have up to six members of your family share eligible apps, movies, TV shows or books at no additional cost.  All you have to do is sign up and register the email addresses of your family members so they can start sharing content.

Today’s families have a lot of devices, and it should be easy to share content no matter where we are or what we’re doing. Everyone in my family loves the Star Wars movies and we all want to be able to watch them, on our phones, tablets, laptops, or TV. All purchases added to Family Library are available across Android devices, and movies, TV shows, and books can be enjoyed on iOS devices and the web.

For families, this will be a big savings as there is no need to duplicate purchases or, and perhaps worse, share accounts to get to the content that you have purchased.

Chrome OS Update Brings Several Enhancements and Fixes

The Chromium team has released a sizable update to Chrome OS this morning, bringing with it several enhancements and improvements to the platform.  The updated build is version 52.0.2743.85 (Platform version: 8350.60.0) for those keeping score at home and it is available for all devices running the Operating System.  The update is already rolling out (I have received it on my HP Chromebook 11 G4 already) and you can check for it by going to Settings>About Chrome OS>Check for Update.

Today’s Deal – Archeer USB C Charging Dock – $11 on Amazon

Today’s Deal over at Amazon is a great one if you are looking for a charging dock for your USB Type-C devices.  Right now you can pick up the Archeer USB C Charging Dock for just $11, a savings of 72% off the normal $27.95 price.  The stand is designed to hold your Android phone charge it thanks to a connection on the back for a standard MicroUSB connector which you plug into an electrical source.  This won’t give you fast charging but, as it is designed to sit on your desk, fast charging may not be as big a deal for you.

Twitter Brings Night Mode to Android App

After several months of testing on their alpha and beta builds, Twitter has released a Night Mode feature for their production version of their Android app.  The updated build is version 6.7.0 for those keeping score at home and will now allow for the darker viewing mode to make things a bit easier on your eyes in a low light situation.  The nice thing is you can toggle it on or off pretty easily.

OxygenOS Updated for OnePlus 3

The OnePlus team has begun rolling out an OTA update to the OnePlus 3 that brings a sizable number of improvements to the device.  OxygenOS 3.2.2 is being rolled out to users in phases as the company continues to tweak and improve their homebrew version of Android Marshmallow for the flagship phone.  One of the big changes is the improvement of notification management in Doze, the battery saving feature of Marshmallow while your phone is unplugged and idle.  Another big improvement is the alert slide/silent mode issue where some users were accidentally turning on their phones while dropping it into their pockets.  This, appears at least, to have been fixed with this update.

Google Maps Sees A Major Makeover

If you have used Google Maps the last day or two and things look different, you aren’t imagining things.  The Maps team has been rolling out a significant update behind-the-scenes for the app for Android and the web that has a much improved color pallet and new highlight areas of interest on the maps.  The good thing is this update is all happening on Google’s end.  There is no app to update on your side.  As the improved maps roll out to all users, you will just see it on your account.

The biggest change is really around the color pallet and the removal of things like black lines around roads.  This makes viewing maps much easier and cleaner than the old maps.

The world is full of information, which means highlighting necessary info on the map without overcrowding it is a balancing act. So as part of this update, we’ve removed elements that aren’t absolutely required (like road outlines). The result is a cleaner look that makes it easier to see helpful and actionable information like traffic and transit. And we’ve improved the typography of street names, points of interest, transit stations, and more to make them more distinguishable from other things on the map, helping you navigate the world with fewer distractions.

In a practical sense, this means that viewing Google Maps will be easier on a lot of levels:  clearer text, less clutter and easier identification.

Pokemon Go Passes 50 Million Installs on Android

If there was any doubt to the popularity of Pokemon Go in your mind, you can comfortably put them away.  The listing for the hugely popular game was updated in the Play Store and now indicates that over 50 million downloads of the app has happened in just the first 20 days the app has been available.  Keep in mind that it isn’t even rolled out globally just yet so these are staggering numbers by any measure.

Internet Speed Test in Google Search Rolls Out

After being available to a limited number of users, the new Internet Speed Test feature built into Google Search is now available to the rest of us unwashed masses.  There is no app update required but you should be able to go to Google search on your Android phone or tablet and type in “Internet Speed Test” and get the option to use the feature.  Once you tap the Run Speed Test button, a download and upload test of your internet connection will be started.  Once it is completed, you’ll see the results of the test along with a description of what type of performance you can expect with apps or streaming content based on your connection speeds.

Bubble Zoom Comes to Comics in Google Play Books

A new and exciting features for those who read comics in Google Play Books has begun rolling out to users.  The new Bubble Zoom feature is designed to make reading the speech bubbles in a comic book much easier by automatically zooming in on those bubbles as you view the comic page.

Using the same technology to recognize objects in photos, we trained our system to identify speech bubbles in comics. Bubble zoom expands the speech bubbles of a comic one-tap-at-a-time, making them super easy to read on your mobile device. It’s much easier to read digital comics one-handed as Bubble Zoom automatically identifies and expands each speech bubble for readability. No more compromising the full-page experience or getting lost while panning around.

The feature was announced last week at the San Diego Comic-Con as Google continues to push to be a leading comic book platform for readers.

Bank of America App Sees A Material Design Makeover

The Bank of America app for Android has seen a healthy update this weekend that brings an all new Material Design look and feel to the banking app.  Gone is the heavily menu driven app and in comes a scrolling tab style menu at the top of the app to easier navigate to different part of the app for your needs.  It is a much cleaner and more responsive app to be sure and falls more in line with what you would expect from a contemporary app on Android.  The update is rolling out now for those who have the app installed on your phone.

AT&T Releases Update For Galaxy S7
Nextbit Robin Now Available in “Ember” Red
Today’s Deal – Archeer USB C Charging Dock – $11 on Amazon
Twitter Brings Night Mode to Android App
AT&T Releases Update For Galaxy S7
OxygenOS Updated for OnePlus 3
Life on One Screen – Using Android With One Home Screen
Today’s Deal – Sony Xperia M4 Aqua is $149 on Amazon
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 Update Brings Several Enhancements and Fixes
Today’s Deal: HP Chromebook 11 G4 – $175 on Amazon
Chrome OS Stable Channel Update Arrives for Most Devices
Comment Notifications Come To Google Docs, Sheets and Slides
Signal Spy Update Brings Support for U.S. Cellular
Project Fi App Update Paves The Way for U.S. Cellular Service
U.S. Cellular Now A Part of Project Fi Coverage
T-Mobile Set to Acquire More 700MHz Coverage In The Chicago Area