Tag Archive: Using


Google to evolve Android Messages into ‘Chat’ using RCS, pause Allo development

This may finally be the one Google chat service that works.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Google has a plan to launch a unified messaging system. Right, it’s done this what feels like a dozen times before — but the reality is it’s been like half a dozen, and that’s still bad. Google Talk, Google Voice, Google+ Huddles, Hangouts, Allo … yeah, not a set of successes right there. The latest attempt, according to a  [Read More…]

ZTE banned from using U.S.-based hardware or software in its products

In other words, ZTE’s smartphone business in the United States may be coming to an end.

The United States government has been heavily targeting China-based technology companies throughout all of 2018, and the latest move from the Department of Commerce is a particularly large blow against ZTE. On April 16, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur L. Ross, Jr. issued a Denial Order against the company that essentially kills its smartphone business in the U.S.

Per the order –

  [Read More…]

How to set up and start using gestures in MIUI

Full-screen gestures will transform the way you use MIUI.

Xiaomi rolled out the MIUI 9.5 update last month, introducing a slate of new features, including support for gestures. The goal with gestures is to maximize screen real estate by eliminating the navigation bar at the bottom of the display, and offering an easier way to navigate the interface.

For instance, the default gesture to go back in an app or exit to the home screen is  [Read More…]

Why I’m still using a BlackBerry KEYone in Spring 2018

I’ve used a lot of phones, but none fit me as well as the BlackBerry KEYone does.

If you had asked me, or anyone, really, two years ago if I would be using a BlackBerry in 2018 I’d have quietly replied with a no. Like everyone else, I was sure the company was a goner and I hated thinking about that. BlackBerry was not only in financial trouble, but had a stigma following it through conversations on-  [Read More…]

How to get the most out of Google Home using Bluetooth

Bluetooth and Google Home are a perfect pairing.

Smart speakers have quickly become commonplace in the consumer tech space, and one of the most popular entries is the Google Home lineup. The Home Mini is an excellent buy for folks that want all of the Google Assistant’s power in an affordable package, the regular Home finds a nice middle-ground between value and sound quality, and the Home Max is an audiophile’s dream.

There’s a neverending list of  [Read More…]

Nest Secure can now be armed using Google Assistant

Available as part of the latest Nest Secure software update.

Google and Nest products have always worked well together, and now that Nest is part of Google’s hardware division, that point should be even more prevalent going forward. Most recently, Nest finally added Google Assistant integration for its Nest Secure home security system.

This functionality is available as part of an update to Nest Secure itself, and the next time you open the Nest app you should  [Read More…]

Alexa now lets you donate to charities by just using your voice

There are 48 charities/nonprofits to choose from at launch.

The list of functions you can perform with Amazon Alexa is neverending, and today the virtual assistant is starting to think outside itself. Thanks to a new feature called Alexa Donations, you can send money to your favorite charities and nonprofits by just using your voice.

Next time you feel like paying it forward, you can say “Alexa, make a donation” to have the assistant ask you where  [Read More…]

Are you still using the stock launcher on your Galaxy S9?

Samsung’s TouchWiz launcher isn’t the monster it’s made out to be.

While most everyone can agree that Samsung makes some of the best smartphone hardware around, the same isn’t true when talking about the software experience found on these devices. Some people love the Samsung Experience / TouchWiz interface, but on the other hand, there are folks that can’t stand it.

Now that the Galaxy S9‘s been out for a hot minute, we decided to check in  [Read More…]

How Echo Connect Lets You Make, Receive Calls Using Alexa

It’s Alexa Calling, though a landline.

Don’t overthink the Amazon Echo Connect. While the name is somewhat confusing given it lives alongside Amazon Alexa and Amazon Echo, the Connect really just another avenue for Alexa Calling. (OK, that’s one more name you need to know, and thus adding to the confusion.)

Here’s the real deal: Alexa Calling is the method by which an Amazon Echo device can make phone calls. It uses the internet to do so but  [Read More…]

A parent’s guide to kids using their phone during an active shooter event

The ability to communicate is powerful when everything goes wrong.

Crisis situations come in all shapes and sizes, and when you are not there with you kid to protect them these events can be equally terrifying. While the most important thing is staying safe, there’s nothing wrong with being prepared and knowing the best way to navigate a bad situation. It’s not always easy to remember the right thing to do in those situations even as adults,  [Read More…]