Google Phone for Android Can Now Send Spam Calls Straight to Voicemail

Spam Call Filtering to Voicemail in Google Phone

Google has quietly rolled out an update to the Google Phone app for Android, the dialer app for the Nexus and Pixel lineup and a few other phones out there that can run it.  The update brings the ability to send recognized spam calls straight to your voicemail and won’t even notify you of the call.  That way you don’t even face the distraction of a notification.

The feature only works on on calls that are recognized as spam calls from Google so it may be a bit hit-and-miss at times.  But when it does hit, it will be a great way be distraction free from these types of calls.

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Microsoft Updates Several Office 365 Apps for Android

Microsoft Word for Android

Microsoft is one of the best developers when it comes to frequent and meaningful updates to their swath of Android apps in the Play Store.  The Redmond, Washington company has released several updates to some of their apps as part of the normal monthly Office 365 updates.  All of these updates are now in the Play Store so you should be able to check for the update now or, if you have auto updates enabled, you likely have already been updated.

Outlook for Android has a great new feature that frankly I wish Gmail had:  Do Not Disturb.  It’s no mystery on what it does.  It prevents email notifications from showing up on your phone.  It works just like the DND feature in Android itself, meaning you can set it up for a specific amount of time or until you manually turn it back off.  Also, in Outlook, you can now delete contacts directly in the app.

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Prime Day – ASUS C302 Flip Chromebook Down to $449

Asus Chromebook C302

As part of the Amazon Prime Day sales, you can now pick up the excellent ASUS C302 Flip Chromebook for $449.  That’s a savings of $50 off the regular price.  That’s for the well appointed Intel m3 model that comes with 64GB of storage.  If you want to pick up the faster Intel m5 model, that’s on sale too for $599, a savings of $49.

The Asus Chromebook C302 has a 12.5″ display that has a resolution of 1920 x 1080.  It has an Intel Core M processor clocked at 2.2 GHz so it has a lot of horsepower under the hood.  Couple this with 4GB of DDR3 RAM and 64GB of storage, you have a Chromebook that can handle being your every day computer needs.

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YouTube Rolling Out Full Screen Width Thumbnails

YouTube Full Width Thumbnails

After doing a limited A/B testing of the new look, YouTube has begun a full scale roll out of a new full screen width thumbnails look to the stream site.  Instead of having smaller thumbnails with the titles of the just below them, you have have a widescreen looking thumbnail with the title under it in a cleaner font.

The update appears to be a cloud-side update so as long as you are running the latest version of the app, you should see this new look roll out to you over the course of the next few hours.

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Chrome OS Dev Channel Gets Third Chrome 69 Build & Lots of Fixes

All Open Windows View in Chrome OS

The Chrome OS Dev Channel, essentially the alpha build channel for the platform, has received its third Chrome 69 based build today.  Build 69.0.3486.0 (Platform version: 10866.1.0) is the new build for testers in the channel and should be available to most devices already.  You can always check for the update by typing chrome://help in the browser bar.

As you would expect with an early build of any platform, this update to the Dev Channel has a slew of fixes to issues that were in the previous builds.  An issue with external monitor support has been fixed and Linux app stability & support, known as Project Crostini, has been improved in this update too.

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Twitter for Android App Update Brings The Bottom Navigation Bar to The Masses

Twitter Bottom Navigation

Twitter has begun the process of rolling out a new bottom navigation bar to everyone.  The update to the Twitter for Android app is a cloud-side update meaning that so long as you have the latest version of the app, you should get the new navigation bar in the social app.  For those that are curious, the latest version is 7.53.0.

There isn’t a lot of mystery here – you get a bottom navigation bar when this update is pushed to your account.  You have the Home (feed), search, notifications, and direct messages all a single tap away with the tab you are on highlighted in blue.

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Microsoft Launcher Update Brings UI Tweaks and Family Centric Improvements

Microsoft Launcher

Arguably one of Microsoft’s most popular Android apps, and one of the most frequently updates, is Microsoft Launcher.  The launcher has now passed 10 million downloads and is great for readers who are deep in the Microsoft ecosystem at home or at work.  The app now had a new update rolling out that brings a handful of improvements, especially around the user interface.

For those keeping score at home, the new update is version and it has been released to the Play Store.  If you are using the launcher on your Android phone or tablet, you likely have the update available to you.

So what are you getting in this update?  First, on the Family card on the information screen (a right swipe on the home screen) you can now show or hid kids on that card for privacy reasons.   This assumes, of course, that you have children accounts associated with your own so that the feature will work.

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Fourth Chrome 68 Based Build Arrives in The Chrome OS Beta Channel

Google Pixelbook Chrome OS Interface

The Chrome OS Beta Channel, the last step before a new build of the platform arrives to the masses, has been updated with its fourth Chrome 68 based build today.  Build 68.0.3440.59 (Platform version: 10718.50.0) is in the process of rolling out to the majority of devices registered in the channel and should be available today.  As always, you can check for the new update manually by typing chrome://help in the browser bar and then clicking the Check for update button.

This fourth update comes two full weeks after the previous update, a unusually long period of time during the beta cycles.  Most of the time in the Chrome OS Beta Channel, there is an update every 7-10 days.  The delay however could simply be because of the United States Independence holiday which was last week.

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