Category Archives: Google

New Instant Tethering feature is rolling out as part of Google Play Services 10.2 for Android

Standard

Google is currently in the process of rolling out the latest version of Play Services, namely 10.2, to all Android devices. As usual, there’s nothing you need to do – Play Services updates automatically in the background. Once you get this version, you may also receive a neat new function called Instant Tethering.

Here’s what it does. Say you have an Android phone and tablet, both connected to the same Google account. You’re browsing the internet on the tablet at home, connected to your wireless router’s Wi-Fi network. But then, all of a sudden, this becomes unavailable or gets disconnected from the internet. With Instant Tethering available and turned on, you’d then receive the following message on the tablet:

If you tap Connect, your phone (which you don’t have to touch for this to work) will disconnect from Wi-Fi, connect to cellular data, start up a mobile hotspot, and allow your tablet to connect to it – and the tablet will do just that automatically. So with literally one tap on your tablet you’ve gone from being connected to a network sans internet access, or being disconnected altogether, to browsing the internet through your smartphone’s data plan. And that’s without having to pick up the phone, turn off Wi-Fi, turn on cellular data, and turn on the mobile hotspot functionality.

The bad news is that not a lot of people have Google Play Services 10.2 yet. As usual with Google, it’s a slow rollout. And even if you do, that’s just a prerequisite to see the Instant Tethering feature. Google still has to do a server-side switch in order to enable it. So it could be a while before you see this on your devices.

To check for it, go to Settings > Google and look for Instant Tethering. If it is there, you can tap on it to see two options which can be toggled On or Off: Provide data connection (if the device you’re on has a cellular connection and you want it to make it available to your other devices), and Get data connection (which lets that device locate others with your Google account that can provide a cellular data connection). In the example above, the phone would be the one “providing” a data connection, while the tablet is the one “getting” it.

Source 1 | Source 2 | Via

July security patch is now out for Nexus devices

Standard

OnePlus and Samsung may have been faster than Google at outing Android’s July security update, but the company that makes the OS has now commenced the rollout to supported Nexus devices.

These are the 6P, 5X, 6, 5, 7 (2013 model), 9, and Player. After having applied the update you’ll be on build version MTC19X for the Nexus 6P, MTC19Z for the 5X, MMB30K or MOB30O for the Nexus 6, MOB30P or MMB30M for the Nexus 7 (2013), and MOB30P for theNexus 5, Nexus 9, and Nexus Player.

As usual, the over-the-air rollout of this update should conclude in a couple of weeks or so, since Google simply loves taking its time with these things. Thankfully however, the company has made both factory images available for all devices, as well as the OTA files that you can use if you’re impatient and need to manually install the new release as soon as possible.

Via

Google reportedly working on two smartwatches of its own

Standard

According to Android Police and one of their reliable sources, Google is reportedly working on its own two Android wear smart watches that could possibly be Nexus branded. One would feature LTE connectivity and GPS while the other would omit these.

Android Wear 2.0 brings new features

There are two alleged watches coming. One is called the Angelfish and the other will be called the Swordfish with the former being the larger model with the added connectivity mentioned above and the latter to be the smaller more budget-friendly model.

Angelfish

The Angelfish resembles the Moto 360 in the round-ness of the watch’s face. There are lugs studded around the body with a housing that smoothes into the watchband’s assembly. But it’s mentioned that the body won’t resemble a puck shape. Android Police calls the design “subdued but sporty”. There are also 3 physical buttons, one on the center of the right side, and the other smaller two either above or below.

Here are some other points mentioned in the report regarding the Angelfish smartwatch:

  • 14mm thick (similar in thickness to the LG Watch Urbane)
  • 42.5mm diameter (no “flat tire”)
  • Matte dark-gray finish that could be called ‘titanium’
  • GPS, LTE, Heart rate monitor

Swordfish

The Swordfish is a bit smaller and “reminiscent in basic shape to the Pebble Time Round”. The design is said to have a distinct button arrangement than the Angelfish and does not have an internal screen bezel like the Pebble Time Round did. There is just one single button on the right-center with a polished button cap. The Swordfish is a bit on the thinner side with 10.6mm.

As mentioned above, the Swordfish will not have neither GPS nor LTE connectivity and there’s a small chance that the heart rate monitor will make it to the Swordfish. Also, it looks like the Swordfish model will have interchangeable Mode compatible bands. This doesn’t look very likely for the larger watch as its design doesn’t look like it supports the same Mode mechanism for hot-swappng bands.

Mode swappable bandsBoth watches are said to support Google’s new Assistant integration with Google Now-like alerts based on contextual factors such as location, time, or activities.

It isn’t known why Google wants to release its own watches, perhaps they thought Android Wear watches didn’t become as popular as they’d hoped and would like to have control over all aspects of production including hardware design, which was left to other OEMs to make.

Source | Via

Google Now On Tap translates text from any screen, gets a new Discover section

Standard

Ever since its launch alongside Android 6.0 Marshmallow last year, Google Now On Tap has just kept slowly adding more features, and today’s yet another of those occasions. The search giant has announced that from this point on Now On Tap will be able to translate text from any screen. Just tap and hold the Home button of your Android device and then choose the “Translate this screen” option when Now On Tap shows up – like the screenshots below show.

For now, the translate option will pop up for users who have their phone’s language set to English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, or Russian, and when the content that they’re viewing is in another language. The text will be translated into the phone’s language.

A new Discover section is now accessible with a tap on the corresponding icon. This shows you “a stream of visual content related to what’s on your screen”, and that stream can consist of news articles, YouTube videos, and more.

Finally, Now On Tap is making barcode scanning apps obsolete since it’s now gained that functionality itself. You can scan both ‘regular’ barcodes and the square QR codes. If you scan a product’s barcode, Now On Tap will show you cards related to that object, such as user reviews and online shopping links. This is going to work with “packaged products, books, DVDs and more”, according to Google. You use the barcode scanning feature by opening the Camera app, pointing it at such a code, and then triggering Now On Tap by tapping and holding the Home button.

Source | Via

BlackBerry Priv receives update with July’s Android security patch

Standard

Along with Nexus devices receiving OTA updates for July’s security patches, BlackBerry Privusers will also join in on the latest Android security patches for those devices purchased unlocked from ShopBlackBerry or Amazon.

The update is around 95MB and includes the same security fixes that were patched in this month’s security update.

If you haven’t gotten the OTA yet, you should be getting it over the next few days. Alternatively, you can manually check for the update by going to the Settings app, then tap ‘About’, and check for updates.

Via

An in-house Google phone rumored to be coming later this year

Standard

If a new report from The Telegraph is to go by, we could soon see a non-nexus, Google-branded smartphone. Yes, the company is developing an in-house phone, which – according to the report – is expected to be launched by the end of the year.

The report also notes that the Mountain View, California-based firm is currently in talks with mobile operators about the handset’s release.

The move is expected to give Google more control on design, manufacturing, and – more importantly – software. “Its own phone would allow Google to control the software, securing the future of services such as the Google search engine and Google Play app store that run on it,” the report says.

So does that mean the end of the Nexus line-up? Well, that should not be the case, at least for now, given that CEO Sundar Pichai recently said that the company’s support for Nexus branded smartphones will continue. “Our plan is still to work with [other manufacturers],” he said.

Keep in mind that this ‘in-house Google smartphone’ news is just a rumor at the moment, so take it with a pinch of salt until an official confirmation is obtained.

Via

Google Photos now lets you sync deleted photos

Standard

Google has pushed out a new update to its Photos app that lets you sync deleted photos. Now, what that means is if you delete the local copy of an image using a third party photo management client (like Gallery apps included in Samsung and LG phones), the Photos app will now ask you if you want to delete the backed-up copy of that image as well.

That’s a useful feature given that we usually click many images that we eventually don’t want to keep, so there’s no point of having their backed-up copies in cloud. The feature is being rolled out as part of version 1.23 of the Photos app.

Via