Latest update to Google Phone app might be the root of Bluetooth issues

If you’re using a device that relies on Google’s stock Phone application that’s updated via the Play Store, you might have noticed some issues that started earlier this month that mess with your ability to make calls over Bluetooth. If you’ve run into that problem, well, the good news is that you’re not alone. Tons of other people have hit the snag, too, and everyone’s pretty sure it’s Google’s fault.

Google to launch RCS in Europe and Asia with help from Telenor

Google announced late last week that they are upgrading the text messaging service available to Android users in Europe and Asia through the addition of RCS service to users on the Telenor network. RCS stands for Rich Communications Services and is widely considered an upgrade to the traditional SMS platform that has powered text messaging for years. Through the partnership with Telenor, over 214 million users in European and Asian countries on the Telenor network will get access to features available via RCS.

Hey Google, this is how you should fix Allo

It’s safe to say that Google’s latest instant messaging app, Allo, isn’t setting the world alight in the popularity stakes. It’s faced with strong, entrenched competition in the form of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Apple’s iMessage, and even finds itself competing with other Google products such as Hangouts. It’s also not exactly clear why Google launched a separate video chat app called Duo instead of just including the function within Allo. To its credit, Google has asked Allo users how they would fix the messaging app a couple of days ago, and our readers were quick to offer the search giant some advice.

Facebook brings auto-playing sound to videos in its News Feed and a new app for the living room


Facebook has just announced a slew of changes to the way it presents videos in your News Feed, as well as a wider choice of platforms that you can use to watch videos on. One of the tweaks includes the auto-playing of sound when the video plays in your News Feed, which is sure to cause some consternation among some of us. Facebook has also made a new app for viewing videos on televisions and streaming devices. Join us after the break for more details.

Google wants to know how you would fix Allo

There are a ton of messaging apps to choose from, with heavy hitters such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and iMessage (iOS) all vying for your attention. Despite already offering the Hangouts and Messenger app (among others), in 2016 Google saw fit to throw two new apps into the mix in the form of the Allo instant messaging app as well as a new video chat app, Duo. While Allo managed to hit the 10 million downloads mark on the Play Store back in December, do you actually know someone who uses the app? If so, Google is now asking for feedback on the app. Join us after the break to find out how you can contribute your two cents.

Google serves notice on app developers that violate the Play Store’s User Data policy

These days, protecting your data is increasingly difficult to achieve, even on the Play Store where there are apps that access your sensitive information without a proper privacy policy. It seems that Google is on the case of these rogue apps, with the search giant sending emails to developers informing them that their apps violate the Play Store‘s User Data policy. Possible repercussions of this could see the offending apps having their visibility limited, or being removed from the Play Store.

YouTube launches live streaming for mobile with monetizing Super Chat feature

Live streaming is certainly not a new feature for social media platforms and even YouTube has provided some live streaming options for certain users for several years. The scope of availability expands today as YouTube announced the addition of a live streaming option to the mobile YouTube app. Google and YouTube say they think their option for live streaming will be effective after tweaking it based on feedback from testers over the past several months. Possibly more important for YouTube creators, a new feature will be available to help them monetize their live streams.

Latest update to YouTube app lets you double-tap forwards or backwards by 10-seconds

Killing time by watching cat videos on YouTube is one of the most relaxing things to do in your spare time, or even when the boss isn’t watching, but fast-forwarding or skipping backward on the Android app involved a lot of guesswork. Either you went way too far forwards or back, or not enough, it was a veritable pain. Not anymore, though, because the YouTube app has received an update that lets users accurately move backward or forwards by 10 seconds by double-tapping on the display.

Google Maps making it a little easier to find your way

Google has announced a round of updates that will start rolling out to Google Maps on Android that are designed to enhance the user interface, making it a little quicker and easier for users to access useful information. The data to be accessed via the new update is information already available in the app – Google is just trying to make it a little bit easier for users to get to it with a minimal number of taps of the screen. When users open the new, updated app, they will notice three new tabs at the bottom of the screen. The tabs are intended to provide quick access to real-time information regarding nearby places to eat, commute information, or public transportation schedules.

Streaming Super Bowl LI from your phone, tablet, or media player

Only one team is going to leave NRG Stadium in Houston as the winner of Super Bowl LI on Sunday, February 5. It’s down to the New England Patriots and the Atlantic Falcons. Based on the regular seasons both teams had, the game could be a real showdown that’s decided at the very end.

Google Now Launcher is going away, but it’s not all bad news

Hopefully you weren’t too attached to the Google Now Launcher, because has decided to take it the way of Google Reader. The good news is that they’re working on making GNL’s features available to pretty much every launcher, but that still means anyone that’s actively using the launcher from the Play Store will have to shift to something else very soon.