OnePlus Rolling Out OxygenOS 3.2.6 to OnePlus 3 Devices

OnePlus has announced that a big update for OxygenOS is coming to the OnePlus 3 starting today.  The updated build is version 3.2.6 and will have a small roll out today with a broader roll out starting tomorrow.  The Android Marshmallow-based build has a significant number of performance and bug fixes in the update and if you have a OnePlus 3, you will most certainly want to get this installed on your device as soon as it comes to it.  You should get an OTA update over the course of the next few days and you can manually check for it by going to Settings>About Phone>System Update.

Chrome for Android Updated to Build 53

Chrome for Android has been updated to build 53 and the update will be rolling out to your Android devices this week.  The update comes a week after the same major build was released for Chrome OS and about two weeks after it was released for Chrome for desktop (Windows, MacOS and Linux).  The updated build number is version 53.0.2785.124 for those keeping score at home.  The update has been released to the Google Play Store so it is a matter of when the OTA update comes to your device which will likely happen at some point this week.

Google Allo Likely To Be Released This Wednesday

The stage is set for the world to finally see Google’s new messaging app, Google Allo, this week.  Wednesday in fact if you take in consideration the leak from Evan Blass over the weekend and Google’s own words.  On Saturday, Evan Blass tweeted that we would likely see the new messaging app this week.

Given Blass’ outstanding recording when it comes to such things, it is hardly for me to question that this will happen even if it is a leak-meets-rumor.  But for me, my money is on Wednesday of this week.  Why?  Google’s own words.

Nexus 5X 32GB Once Again Down to $239 on eBay

Last month eBay had the Nexus 5X down to $239.99 and it has returned at this great price.  Currently the 32GB model of the Nexus 5X is down to $239.99, a savings of about 40% over what you can pick it up from Google directly. Right now both the Carbon and Quartz colors are in stock.

Obviously with the new Marlin and Sailfish Nexus devices on their way, we can expect to see the prices starting to drop on the 5X and 6P but these are still solid devices.  Plus, as you probably already know, the 5X is upgradable to Android Nougat.

As a reminder, the specs of the Nexus 5X are pretty impressive.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Officially Recalled

While Samsung and carriers here in the United States have been voluntarily recalling the Galaxy Note 7, yesterday the government made it official.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission, the agency in charge of protecting US consumers from dangerous goods, has officially issued a recall for the nearly 1 million Note 7’s in the country.  The CPSC also makes it very clear that the phones should be powered off, not used, and returned to Samsung or carriers for a replacement or refund.

Consumers should immediately stop using and power down the recalled Galaxy Note7 devices purchased before September 15, 2016.  Contact the wireless carrier, retail outlet or Samsung.com where you purchased your device to receive free of charge a new Galaxy Note7 with a different battery, a refund or a new replacement device.  Go to www.samsung.com for more details.

Despite the warning to not use the phone, reports seemingly come in daily about someone getting hurt from a battery catching fire or property being damaged.  Folks, seriously.  Shut them off and get them back to where you both them immediately.

Samsung has setup an official recall site that has an IMEI search feature which will allow you to see if your Note 7 is impacted by the recall.

Google Drive Update Adds Home Screen Pinning

Google has pushed an update to Google Drive for Android that has several small but nice updates.  The most notable change is the ability to pin files or folders to your phone or tablet’s home screen.  This gives you quick access to that file without actually having to open up the Drive app itself.  To use this new feature is pretty simple.  Once you have open up the app, next to the file or folder in the list will be an overflow menu (3 vertical dots).  Tap that and you will see an option “Add to Home screen”.  Tap that and it will be added.  To remove it, just tap-and-hold then drag it to Remove.

Outlook.com To Get Improved Google Drive Support

Microsoft has announced that users of the new Outlook.com experience will soon have improved support for handling files from Google Drive and photos from Facebook.  The updates are going to be rolling out over the course of the next few weeks and it is a back end change so there is nothing you need to do.  Once you have the update, Google Drive files will be available to you from the Attach menu when creating an email.  Today when you want to do this you have to open a wholly separate tab.  That will no longer be the case and it will make attaching files out of Google Drive quicker and simpler.

Microsoft Edge Beats Out The Competition in Battery Life

Microsoft has published a report comparing their newly updated Microsoft Edge browser against the competition and the results indicate that it is far more battery friendly than other browsers out there.  The report is similar to one that the company ran in June and this new report is based on the updated version of Edge in what is commonly referred to as the Anniversary Update of Windows 10 (Build 1607 for those keeping score).  The results indicate that Edge has seen some dramatic improvements since the release of the update.

At the risk of giving away the ending, the results may look familiar! With the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Microsoft Edge is more efficient than ever, and still the best choice for extending your battery life on Windows 10 – up to 24%-43% more efficient than the competition for general purpose browsing, and lasting up to 23%-69% longer when streaming video.
That is pretty impressive no matter how you cut it but Microsoft went much deeper into their research, offering both lab and real-world data to back up their claim.

Pandora Dramatically Improves Its Subscription Service

Pandora has announced a big change to their subscription tier and their free tier for its users.  The great thing is, all these new features will remain at the same current $4.99 per month subscription fee.  First, the change brings a rebranding of sorts to the pay service.  Pandora One will now be known as Pandora Plus and will be rolling out to users in the coming months.  with this roll out, exiting One customers will be moved to Plus and when it happens, they will get unlimited skips of songs as well as replays.  In One you are limited to the number of skips and repeats per hour.

Google Plus Update Brings Improved Images in Comments Support

A couple of weeks ago, a new feature rolled out in Google Plus (G+) that allowed you to leave images in comments on posts.  This was very well received by users on the social platform as it gave a bit more of a personalized response to something (with an image or a GIF) instead of just text.  Now the Google Plus team has expanded that a bit further.  In the latest update, version 8.7 for those keeping score at home, you can now view those images in the replies in full screen and yes, you can save them to your phone to add to that awesome meme or GIF library.

In other words, the images in comments are treated and act like images in an original post on the site.

Google Photos Update Brings Photo Sorting in Albums

Google Photos has been updated for Android and with it comes a long requested feature of the app.  Version 2.0 is out now in the Play Store and if you have the app already installed, you will get an OTA update for it over the course of the next few days.  The new feature?  The ability to permanently organize photos in albums.

Prior to this release, photos in an album could be moved around but they could not be sorted automatically (say oldest to newest).  This update to Google Photos brings that feature.

Google Releases A Series of Google Duo Adverts

Google’s new video app, Google Duo, has been out about a month now and while the 10 million downloads are okay, it isn’t exactly setting the world alight.  If you haven’t tried it out, it is a great video experience.  To help get awareness of the app up and to show it in action, Google released a series of 10 adverts for the app and some of them are really good.  My favorite, which you can find after the break, is something we can all related to:  A lost sock in the laundry.

The range of videos are centered around things that go together.  Like a pair of socks.  Or salt and pepper.  Or Peanut Butter and Jelly.  You get the idea.  Duos

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