Google Maps New Wi-Fi Only Mode Rolling Out

An important update is in the process or rolling out in the Google Play Store for Google Maps.  The update, version 9.33.1 for those keeping score at home, brings a new Wi-Fi only mode to the navigation app.  In this mode, Maps will not consume any data and will give you navigation information in areas that you have downloaded to your device.  Once you are connected again to a wireless network, you have full functionality of the app.  The idea behind this new feature is two-fold:  First, if you are traveling abroad, you can save on high data usage charges while you navigate in that foreign country.  Second, there are plenty of rural areas here in the United States were data from carriers is just not available.  Either way, you can use this new Wi-Fi mode and keep navigating.

Update – Gmail Accounts Working on Windows Phone

Last week I posted about an ongoing issue that Windows Phone users have had with adding a Gmail account to their devices.  The issue was that when a user opened up Outlook Mail and attempted to add a Google account, it would give an error indicating that the browser of the device was not supported.  This on again-off again problem has been going on for several weeks but it appears, finally, that it has been addressed.  Google indicated in a forum post that the error was not intentional on the part of the company which I personally think is the case.  To me, this feels like simple inattentiveness on the part of the Mountain View company.

Pokémon Go Surpasses 100 Million Installs on Android

In the first month since its release, Pokémon Go has hit the lofty number of 100 million.  That’s the number of installs that the augmented reality game has seen on Android and it is only going to climb.  The game has been a huge hit world wide with countless photos of parks and urban areas filled with people young and old with their phones in hand trying to catch them.  Whether you “get it” or not doesn’t matter:  The fact is that the game is hugely successful and for the developer, Niantic, it has been hugely lucrative.  In app purchases are rumored to be in the $10 million per day range for them.  They, clearly, caught them all.

Starbucks App Finally Arrives on Windows Phone

After months of waiting, the official Starbucks app for Windows Phone has been released.  The app, similar to the one available for Android and iOS, allows you to pay for your coffee or food items at participating shops with your phone.  This is done by providing a barcode which is connected to your Starbucks account (which in turn is tied to a credit card) that is displayed on your phone and scanned at the register.  It is quick and simple and as one who has been using their app on other platforms, it is about time it got to Windows Phone!

It’s Not Just You – Windows Phone Users Unable to Add Gmail Accounts

If you have been trying to add your Gmail account to your Windows Phone over the past few days and keep getting an error, you are not alone.  Currently when users attempt to add their Gmail account to their phone, they get an error indicating that the browser (Edge) is not supported and provides links to download other browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer).  But, as you will know, that’s not an option for Windows Phone users.

The issue, it seems, is with Google and this isn’t the first time this particular issue has popped up.

Snapseed Update Brings New Text Filters

The easy-to-use yet powerful photo editing app for Android, Snapseed, has been updated with several new features this week.  The updated build, version 2.8 for those keeping score at home, brings users the ability to add text to their photos in a wide range (dozens) of styles.  The new feature is listed under tools in the app and when you tap it, you will see a wide variety of styles to chose from for your text.  Once you type in your text (by tapping the text on your photo), you can move it around within the photo for effect or for location.  It’s quite powerful and certainly adds a nice touch to your photos.

Android Marshmallow Install Base Now Over 15%

In the latest platform version update from the Android team, the slow adoption of Android Marshmallow continues in the market.  The latest version of Android is now running on 15.2% of all devices that hit the Play Store during a 7 day period that ended August 1st.  That is up from 13.3% in the report last month.  While the growth is certainly not setting the world alight, it is a positive sign that more devices are either coming with the latest version of Android installed or are getting updated.  But, frankly, this also is a bit disheartening when you consider that in all likelihood, we will see Android Nougat released this month.

Pre-Orders for the Galaxy Note 7 Have Started in The US

As expected, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has become available as a pre-order from the four major carriers here in the United States this morning.  AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon all have the phone available to order today through various payment options with delivery of the device expected to start happening on August 19th, the day the device becomes generally available.  Generally speaking, if you want to buy it outright, it is going to be at least $850 regardless of the carrier you go with but many are offering accessories when you pre-order your Note 7 (subject to availability).


Outright, the Note 7 is $879 from the carrier or you can do one of the AT&T Next programs.  The 30 payment option is $29.34 while the 24 payment option is $36.67.  Along with this, the carrier is offering a $695 in credits when you buy one Note 7 and want to get a second one.  It’s pretty close to BOGO.  Or, if you sign up for a 2-year contract with the carrier, they will give you a free Samsung Gear S2.  Lastly, you can pick up a Galaxy Tab 3 for .99 Cents with the purchase of a Galaxy Note 7.

Press Images of The Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Earlier today Samsung announced the new Galaxy Note 7, the latest phablet from the company.  You can get all the specs and details here.  Part of the announcement were a good set of press images of the device in its various colors.  I’ve put all of them in a gallery after the break which you can flip through and of course download them yourself if you want.  The Note 7 will come in four different colors:  black, silver, gold and Blue Coral.  Like previous Note devices, it comes with a stylus with over 4000 points of pressure that can make it easier navigating the 5.7″ dual edge display.

Samsung Launches The Galaxy Note 7

After a couple of months of guessing and speculation, Samsung has pulled back the cover on the latest version of their phablet device, the Galaxy Note 7.  The Note 7 is, as you would expect, a well appointed device with more-or-less the same innards of the Galaxy S7 Edge.  That means you are going to get some top end performance in a 5.7″ displayed device that is waterproof and is the first device to hit the market with Gorilla Glass 5.

The Note 7 has a 5.7″ dual edge screen that supports a resolution of 2560×1440.  It is powered by a Quad-core Snapdragon 820 processor (in the United States.  International models will be powered by the Octa-core Exynos processor).  It comes standard with 64GB of storage but can be expanded up to an additional 256GB thanks to the MicroSD slot.  Coupled with the processor is 4GB of RAM so you have plenty of power under-the-hood.

The New Nexus’ Wallpapers for 2016

With the new Nexus phones from HTC coming later this year, there is already a fair amount of anticipation of what these two phones, code named Marlin and Sailfish, will bring.  But, for those who like wallpapers, the papers for these two new phones have already been leaked.  Thanks to the team over at Android Police, you can now download 15 new wallpapers for your devices today.  There is a nice mix of themes in them – aquatic, wildlife and fractals – and all look pretty darn spiffy.  I have re-posted the wallpapers here and you can see all of them after the break.  However, you can download from the original source here if you want to do so.

August Security Updates for Android Released

Like clockwork, with the change of the calendar to August, the Android team has just released the Android Security update for the month.  The new update patches are going to be hitting the AOSP over the course of the next 48 hours with the OTA updates for Nexus devices likely coming at the end of the week or early next week.  Like the Android team did in July, the August security updates are coming in two patches.  The first is the August 1st patch which has 1 critical update and 4 high priority updates out of the 14 total updates in the patch.  This patch is more generic in nature and applies to Android in general.  The Google team is trying to get these high priority updates out to their manufacturing partners faster so updates are done faster by them.  Those well versed in Android lore know that patches and updates are, um, lacking in some cases.

Wi-Fi Assistant Coming To All Nexus Phones
Bing Update for Android Brings Music Discovery
Sony Announces Nine Xperia Devices to Get Android Nougat
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Demand Forces Production Ramp Up
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
Wi-Fi Assistant Coming To All Nexus Phones
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
Update – Gmail Accounts Working on Windows Phone
Starbucks App Finally Arrives on Windows Phone
It’s Not Just You – Windows Phone Users Unable to Add Gmail Accounts
Rest in Peace Windows Phone