Author: Clinton

Today’s Deal – Anker 5-Port USB Charger with Quick Charge 3.0 Down to $27

Today’s Deal is on the Anker 5-Port USB Wall Charger.  This 63W unit has two ports that support Quick Charge 3.0 technology for rapid charging of compatible devices.  Today you can pick it up for $26.99, a saving of 70% off the regular $89 price.  Anker is one of the long time manufacture of accessories for Android and iOS and I never hesitate in recommending their products.  This particular accessory I have (albeit the Quick Charge 2.0 model from last year) and it is rock solid and used every day for the myriad of devices I have plugged into it at any given point in time.

While two of the ports support Quick Charge, the other 3 ports on the Anker charger support own technology, PowerIQ.  This technology figures out what type of device you have connected to it and optimizes the charging flow to that device to assure a safe charge at maximum speed and efficiency.  It will work with any device including Android phones and tablets as well as iPhones.

All Anker products come with an 18 month warranty and have a durable finish to them that allows them to stand the test of daily wear-and-tear but keep looking good while doing it.  It is compatible with any Android device or iOS device and you can, of course, mix the two for the entire family to use.

The price on the charger is through today only.  Head over to Amazon for more details.

Recent Tab Now Showing Up in Your Google Feed

Google has been working on the the Google app for Android a lot in recent weeks, with the most notable change coming last week with the introduction of Google Feed.  If you aren’t up on it, basically the Feed is similar to the features are found in the Google Now Launcher and Pixel Launcher, but it gives you more relevant information based on your searches and location.  It is more dependent on Artificial Intelligence to give you information that is more important to you.

There is now a new feature in the Google Feed feature:  Recents.  Now you have a third tab that shows you your recent search history on your device.  You can simply swipe left and right to see the history and tap on a result to go back to that site to continue reading it.

Microsoft Teams Update Bring HD Video Calling

Microsoft continues to develop their suite of apps for Android and the latest update to Microsoft Teams reflects that development.  The Slack-like app for enterprise Office 365 customers has been updated to version 1416/1.0.0.2017071901 for those keeping score at home and with it comes several key new features and improvements.

The big news is HD audio & video joining of meetings.  Audio meetings has been in Teams for sometime now but the audio was not HD quality and the option to join via video was not available.  Now when you join a meeting, you have the option to do so via video from your phone.

Alphabet Q2 Earnings Up 21% to $26.01 Billion

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has released their Q2 2017 financial report and it is, in a word, impressive.  The company had earning of $26.01 billion US for the quarter, up some 21% over the same quarter in 2016.  This beat analyst expectations which had pegged earnings at just over $25 billion.

Operating income was down to $4.132 billion with an overall operating income margin of 16%.  Both of these were down from the same quarter in 2016.  Net Income was down to $3.54 billion for the quarter.

Android O Developer Preview 4 Easter Egg Features A Swimming Octopus

Ah yes, a fresh new Easter Egg!  If you have Developer Preview 4 of Android O on your device, you have a new Easter Egg to find in the Settings.  For the first three DPs there was a cat emoji but that is now replaced with an octopus that you can interact with on your phone.

For those who don’t know how to get to it, it is easy.  In Settings go to System>About Phone then tap on the Android Version 3-4 time really fast.  This will bring up an Android O logo.  Now tap on that 5 times real fast then hold it.  It will disappear and bada-bing, you have the octopus floating on your screen.

Project Fi Winning at Customer Service – Again – With Usage Credits

One of the big advantages of Project Fi, besides the seamless carrier switching and auto-connecting WiFi to known hotspots, is their great customer service.  This weekend proved it once again.

Multiple Project Fi subscribers received an email (you can see mine after the break) letting them know of a lag issue in their data usage reporting.  Normally, if a carrier has this happens (which it does on all carriers at some point), they simply add the extra data use to your next bill.  Not Fi.  Nope, you get credits.  Those credits are aimed at balancing out any data billing that was missed from June 14th to July 14th.  In other words, you aren’t going to pay for a reporting issue on their side.  Brilliant.

Developer Preview 4 of Android O Released as a Release Candidate

The final beta build of Android O has been released today by the Android team to those in the Android Beta Program.  Build OPP4.170623.014 is rolling out to devices now with it having the final API levels (API level 26) along with finishing touches on the platform overall.

In a post on the Android Developer blog, Vice President of Engineering David Burke indicated that this is being considered by Google as a Release Candidate.  That means that it is both very stable and very little, barring a major bug being found, will stop it from being released in short order.

Developer Preview 4 is a release candidate build of Android O that you can use to complete your development and testing in time for the upcoming official release. It includes the final system behaviors, the latest bug fixes and optimizations, and the final APIs (API level 26)

To be clear, the new APIs were introduced in Developer Preview 3 so this confirms that they are indeed final.

Galaxy Note 5 on T-Mobile Receives A Minor Update

If you are a T-Mobile subscriber and have a Samsung Galaxy Note 5, there is a minor update rolling out that should hit your phone this week.  The update is build N920TUVS4EQG1 for those keeping score and weighs in at only 25MB.  The hint of the type of update is in the size of the install package.  At 25MB, this is addressing minor bugs and issues with the phone and isn’t going to be uplifting big changes.

This is also backed up by the vague release notes from T-Mobile on the update.  They only list “various system improvements” in those notes.

June Android Security Update Arrives for The Galaxy S8 Lineup on Sprint

Sprint has released the June Android Security Update on their network for the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus.  The updates are 250MB in size and mostly consist of the security update but also have a few other minor performance improvements too.  For the S8, you are looking for build G950USQU1AQFJ while the S8 Plus will be getting version G955USQU1AQFJ.  The update is rollin g out now and should hit all devices over the course of the next week.

Along with the security updates, there are fixes for the Find My Mobile app as well as an LTE Roaming fix and a SMS fix for “(/5)OK”.

LG V10 on T-Mobile Seeing An Update to Android Nougat

For those of you who have the LG V10 on the T-Mobile network here in the US, today’s a good day.  The Android Nougat 7.0 update is finally rolling out to your device and it should be hitting everyone’s V10 over the course of the next week.  The update is build H90130b for those keeping score at home and it weighs in at 1.38GB in size.  You will have to download it via Wi-Fi and you need to have at least 50% battery remaining in order to install it.

The update brings Nougat to the phone and all of the goodness that the update brings to any Android phone.  Those features include things like improved Doze, split-screen viewing and a host of other visual and performance changes.  You can read my review of it to get all the details.  You can get all of the details on this particular software release from the T-Mobile site.

Chrome OS 59 Finally Comes to The Samsung Chromebook Pro

For those of you who have the Samsung Chromebook Pro, today’s a good day.  After a wait of some six weeks, Chrome OS 59 is finally shipping to your devices.  Build 59 was released back on June 12th and it was widely available for the majority of devices.  The Chromebook Pro was not on that list which, at the time, wasn’t a big shocker.  It, after all, is one of a handful of Chromebooks that runs Android apps natively and it was assumed the build would come for it in a week or two.  But it took a lot longer.

There is no official reason for why the delay happened but the update is now rolling out to these devices.  The team over at Chrome Unboxed have confirmed they received the update on their Samsung Chromebook Pro.  If you have the Chromebook Pro, just type chrome://help in the browser and check for the update to install it.

Google Engineer Confirms That Google Duo Consumes 8MB per Minute of Usage

When it comes to video calls on any app, the question for many is just how much data is this app consuming?  In the case of Google Duo, it isn’t much for what you are getting.  Google’s Justin Uberti, a principle engineer with the company and the technical lead on Duo, Tweeted that in the case of the video calling app, it consumes about 8MB per minute.

That means that a 5 minute call is going to consume roughly 40MB of your data plan while an hour long call would be roughly 480MB.  So is that a lot?  Well, not really for the quality of the calls that Duo produces.