Inbox now available for tablets, will soon be available for Google Apps customers

New_Features_to_Inbox_Pic1Good news for those of you that like Google’s Gmail alternative: Sundar Pichai has announced that Inbox is officially available on Android tablets and iPads, and it’s slated for release for Google Apps customers very shortly. Plus, it’s up and running on Firefox and Safari, if you prefer to do things from a full web browser but don’t want to stick to Chrome. This means you’ll be able to tackle your cluttered Gmail inbox from nearly any device you own.
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Google testing cloud backup for external devices in latest Dev Channel Chrome update

chrome cloud backupGoogle appears to be testing a new feature for Chrome OS that will let you automatically upload files and folders from external media devices to your Drive cloud storage. The feature is only available in the Dev Channel as of right now, but it puts a new cloud backup option in the My Files app when browsing photos on something like an SD card or flash drive.

The option obviously only works with Google Drive, and it’s only going to work on devices that are set up using the standard DCIM folder for photos and videos. That means you won’t be able to sync music or documents this way, but Google does offer several other ways to take care of those.
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USA Today gets Android Wear support, lets you check top stories from your wrist

usa todayUSA Today’s Android app has received an update today bringing a few new features for users. You’ll get your traditional vague bug fixes and improvements, a new video playlist section for keeping on top of the news clips in one place, and Android Wear support.

This update will let you quickly check the current top five stories from your Android Wear smartwatch without having to open the app. You won’t be able to read them on your watch (why would you want to?) but if you see something that catches your eye, you can take your phone out to catch up.
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Lollipop soak test for 1st Generation Moto G starting to roll out

Moto_G_Back_TAWhile most other manufacturers are busy getting their flagship devices ready for Android Lollipop, Motorola is prepping its first generation Moto G for the update. Some users with the 8 GB, 3G-only Canadian model have been notified about the Android 5.0.2 upgrade, so while that’s being limited to a very small selection of devices, it does mean that a bigger rollout is on its way.

This soak test brings devices up to Android 5.0.2, skipping 5.0.1. The incremental update really only affected tablets, but at least you’ll be able to say you’ve got the latest and greatest on your Moto G when it hits. At least until Google takes the wraps off of Android 5.1, anyway.
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Google Voice users having problems sending MMS messages

Google-Voice-LargeGoogle just recently enabled MMS support for North American Google Voice users, but it looks like the service is already seeing its first hiccup. Many users are reporting being unable to send any MMS messages, and Google has acknowledged that its a problem on the official support site. Fortunately, SMS messages seem like they’re okay, so if you’re solely using a GV number, you’re not totally up the creek until this gets fixed.

Hopefully Google will get the problem sorted out sooner rather than later, but if you want to keep up with the progress, you can find the thread below.
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Sony may exit the smartphone and television market to increase profits

Sony_Xperia_Z3v_Front_Lower_Sony_Logo_TASony makes some very nice equipment, especially when it comes to smartphones, and I don’t think there are many people that will argue against that. However, the company has struggled to gain much market share and turn a profit in the wireless industry, partly because of intense competition on both the high and low end, and partly because of their inability to make any headway in the lucrative US market.

Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai talked about how Sony plans to get back to profitability by the end of the 2018, and those plans include leveraging Sony’s Playstation business, as well as their camera component sales and access to media like TV shows, movies, and music. However, two of Sony’s current major divisions, televisions and smartphones, are absent from that plan.
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Kickstarter project ZRRO gives you a way to play any Android game on your television

ZRROThe market for Android-powered game consoles can seem pretty crazy sometimes, and with the mixed success of devices like the Ouya and Mad Catz’ MOJO, it doesn’t look like any company has the formula nailed down just yet. Google and Amazon are even taking a stab at it with their latest set top boxes, although gaming is not the first priority with either device.

The newest contender in this new market is the ZRRO, which is currently up for funding on Kickstarter. The ZRRO differs from other boxes because it tries to offer a touch screen experience and full compatibility with any and every game available on Google’s Play Store. The device uses a fancy controller that utilizes patented “zTouch” technology; the input device actually tracks where your fingers are hovering over the screen (think Samsung’s S-Pen or Air View) and when you’re actually pressing the screen, which is supposed to allow you to be any Android game on your big screen television.
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ASUS refreshes their tablet/phone hybrid lineup with the Fonepad 7

asus fonepad 7ASUS has announced a refresh in their massive Fonepad line with the Fonepad 7. The device features some decent upgrades over previous models, plus Android 5.0 Lollipop right out of the box.

The 7-inch, 1280 x 800 tablet sports a Intel processor under the hood, keeping up the trend with the Fonepad lineup. You’ll also find 2 GB of RAM, up to 16 GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot, and a 5 megapixel rear camera. The Fonepad 7 supports 7 LTE bands for a wide range of wireless compatibility, and the speakers are located on the front of the device, which is a nice touch.
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VLC bringing Chromecast support with next update

VLC player androidIf you’ve ever dabbled in playing movies and TV shows on your computer, you’ve probably used VLC, or at least heard the name a few times. The program (and Android app!) supports nearly any file format or codec you throw at it, and it’s arguably the most cohesive media player available, even if it lacks some of the extra features other players have.

One thing that VLC has not had, though, was Chromecast support. When Google’s cheap streaming device was announced, VLC said they were planning on supporting it, but as of right now that hasn’t actually panned out. But according to some changes in VLC’s source code, version 3.0 looks like it’ll be bringing full Chromecast support so you can happily sling any media around to your televisions.
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