Latest Google Play Books Update Brings Shelves to Your Library

Shelves in Google Play Books

Google Play Books for Android has a new update rolling out in the Play Store, bringing with it a new shelves concept to your library.  The update, version 3.14.17 for those keeping score at home, allows you to quickly sort your books by those you have not started reading, those you are currently reading, and those you have completed.  This makes it easier to find that book you are currently reading instead of having to wade through the list of books you have already completed.

The update allows you to mark any book in your library as finished but, interestingly, it does not allow you to mark a book as not started.  This could be a handy feature if there is a book you started a while back, never completed, and want to start over on it.

The new shelves visible in the Library tab of the Google Play Books app.

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Chrome OS Build 60 Released for Most Devices

Chrome OS Build 60

Chrome OS Build 60, the latest version of the platform, is now rolling out to most devices.  Build 60.0.3112.80 (Platform version: 9592.71.0) contains a number of bug fixes, improvements and other enhancements to device.  The release of the Chrome OS update to Build 60 comes after updates to the Chrome browser and Chrome for Android apps over the course of the past week.

There is a rather extensive list of device that will not be seeing this update, at least not yet.

  • Google Chromebook Pixel
  • ASUS Chromebook Flip C302
  • HP Chromebook 13 G1
  • Samsung Chromebook Plus
  • Dell Chromebook 13 3380
  • Chromebook 14 for work (CP5-471)
  • Acer Chromebook R13 (CB5-312T)
  • Lenovo N23 Yoga/Flex 11 Chromebook
  • Samsung Chromebook 2 11″
  • AOpen Chromebox Mini
  • AOpen Chromebase Mini
  • AOpen Chromebox Commercial
  • Lenovo Thinkpad 11e Chromebook
  • Acer Chromebook 15 (CB3-532)
  • Samsung Chromebook 3
  • Acer Chromebook R11
  • Chromebook 11 Model 3180
  • ASUS Chromebook C202SA

The devices on the list not getting the update are generally those which are able to run Android apps natively (i.e. in the Stable channel) and are on a slightly different train.  If your Chrome OS device is not on the above list, the easiest way to get the update is to open up the browser and type chrome://help and check for the update.  I’ve already updated my Acer Chromebook 14 to this new build and it took about 5 minutes to download and install.

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Google Clock App Updated With New Dark Theme and Android O Support

Google Clock for Android

The Google Clock app for Android has an update rolling out to the Play Store that brings a new dark theme, icon and support for Android O.  The update doesn’t bring any new features overall.

The new dark theme replaces the default blue/white theme that was in the app prior to this release.  There is no way to return to the old theme if you liked it as theme changing is not an option in the app.  Personally, I find this new theme a lot easier to read and easier on my eyes, especially in dark situations.

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Unlocked Variant of The Samsung Galaxy S8 Lineup Seeing The July Security Update

Samsung Galaxy S8

Good news this morning for those of you who have the unlocked variant of the Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+.  The July Android Security Update patch is currently rolling out to these devices along with a handful of other improvements to the phones.  The update was release Friday by Samsung and comes after several carriers released the update already to the devices on their networks.  If you have the unlocked version of either phone, you should see the update at some point this week.

For reference, the Galaxy S8 will be receiving firmware G950U1UEU1AQG2 while the S8+ will see build G955U1UEU1AQG2.  Both updates bring the July security patch but also brings improvements to the camera as well as a new ability to hide the navigation bar on the device.

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Today’s Deal – Samsung Galaxy S8 64GB Unlocked for $575 on Amazon

Samsung Galaxy S8

Today’s Deal is on the powerful flagship Android phone, the Samsung Galaxy S8.  Right now you can pick up the unlocked version of the phone with 64GB of storage in Midnight Black for $574.99.  That’s $150 off the original price of the phone.

The 5.8″ Galaxy S8 will be powered by the octa-core Snapdragon 835 processor running four cores at 2.3GHz and the other four running at 1.9GHz.  It is coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage which is expandable up to an additional 256GB thanks to the MicroSD card.  The display renders at 2960 x 1440 QuadHD with an impressive 571 PPI.  Powering all of it is a 3000mAh battery which is charged with inductive charging.

Camera wise, the rear shooter is a 12MP camera with OIS and has a f/1.7 aperture.  On the front is an 8MP camera.  The S8 is IPS68 rating meaning it is water and dust proof.

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Google Working on an Issue With Google Home and Google Play Music

My Google Home

Google has acknowledged that they are working on a reasonably significant bug between Google Home and Google Play Music.  The issue varies from user-to-user but most are experiencing one of two issues.  First, purchased music is not showing up in their libraries and is not playable.  Second, entire libraries for some artists are not searchable or playable.  What makes it interesting is that if you open up the Google Play Music app and Cast the songs in question to Google Home, they will play.

The issue was discussed in detail in a post in the Google Product Forums for Google Home.  There, users were encouraged to use the Send Feedback feature within the Home app to send detailed information to Google so they can continue to investigate.  Right now, there isn’t a fix available.

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Microsoft Cortana for Android Gets a Major Update

Microsoft Cortana for Android

Microsoft Cortana, the company’s personal assistant, has a major update rolling out for the Android version of the app.  Version 2.9 brings a major revamp of the user experience of the app, improved controls and settings and, frankly, is nearly an entirely new look and feel.

Microsoft has aimed the app to be much more streamlined with an emphasis on users being able to get to content more quickly.  Microsoft is referring to this as being more “hands-on” for things like reminders.  You can now, for example, pin your reminder to the top right corner of the page to make it easier to get to later.  You can also adjust contents, time, date and delete them from your reminders list.

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