Monthly Archives: October 2018

Android

How to stream audio to multiple rooms through Google Home

Do you own at least two Google Home devices? Any combination of Google Home, Home Mini, Home Max, or Home Hub will suffice. Two of one, one each, whatever.

Did you know that you can create a multi-room playback experience where you can play music and other audio across the whole house?  You’ve already got everything you need to do so.

One of the best things about Google Home units is that they can work independently as well as together. This is great for when you have music, podcasts, audiobooks, or something else you’d like to listen to around the home.

Let’s say you’re cleaning the house on a Saturday morning and you find yourself going from room to room. The last thing you want to do is pause playback for a few minutes at a time; you want that playlist to pump no matter where you are in the house.

If you own multiple Home devices, you definitely want to set things up so you can create multi-room playback. The next time you throw a party or backyard barbecue you’ll have music everywhere and look like a hero.

Don’t Miss

Setting this up is as easy as it gets. All you really need to do is open the Google Home and follow a couple of quick steps. Before proceeding, ensure that your audio devices are set up on the same Wi-Fi network and that your phone is connected to it.

  • In the top right of the menu look for Devices icon to see your available audio devices.
  • In the top right corner of the audio device, tap the card menu and create a Group
  • By default the name will be “Home” but you can create anything you’d like by erasing and starting fresh
  • You’ll see all of the speakers and devices on the same WiFi network as your Google Home. Simply tap the box next to the items you want to add to the group.

After a few moments you’ll see the group as a card in the Home app; you’ll be able to control it via voice or cast to it inside of an app. Note that Chromecast audio devices can be added to a group as well as Google Home speakers.

From here you can simply tell your Google Home, or phone, to play a particular song or playlist on your group.

Feature image courtesy of Google
Android

Poptel P10 Review: An ultra-rugged phone that’s just adequate

When you look at the lineup of smartphones, all you are likely to see are glass and metal sandwiches. These look absolutely phenomenal, but aren’t exactly the most rugged options on the market.

It seems that ruggedized phones have taken a back seat from most OEM’s. There are still a few options available, and the Poptel P10 is one of the latest to hit the scene.

Poptel P10 Specs

On the specs-side of things, there’s not really too much to write home about with the Poptel P10. We have a 5.5-inch display with a 2015-sequel resolution of 1280 x 640.

Under the hood, Poptel included the MediaTek Helio P23 chipset combined with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. This is all powered by a respectable 3,600mAh battery that aims to get you through the day.

As for the cameras, again there isn’t much to write home about. There is a single 13MP sensor found on the back, along with an 8MP selfie camera. We’ll touch a bit more on these later, but they are pretty pedestrian for the budget market.

Some of the extras included is the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, NFC, Bluetooth 4.1, and Android 8.1 Oreo. These are all things that we would expect to see from a budget handset, albeit a bit disappointing for the price tag.

Ruggedness

As you can tell from the spec sheet, the Poptel P10 isn’t really designed for spec-heads. Instead, it’s designed to be practically indestructible, regardless of what you throw at it.

The P10 is IP68-rated, which means that the handset is waterproof in up to about 4 feet of water for half an hour. This also means that it is resistant to dust, sand, and just about anything else that would ruin those precious flagships.

In our testing, we had some accidental drops with the P10 and you can’t even tell. The rugged body provides shock-resistance and we didn’t even end up scratching the screen at all. That point alone sold me on someone picking up the device for a little one who needs a smartphone.

Aside from the frame, the body of the handset is also rugged, and sports an interesting texture. This allows for the phone to actually sit nicely in the hand, without feeling like it will slip out at any time.

On another note, it was pretty neat to see the different Torx screws placed around the device. These are not to be unscrewed or tinkered with, but added a nice touch that I didn’t think I would care about.

Performance

Now, it’s all fine and dandy that the P10 can withstand the elements, but how does it perform. In short, surprisingly well. I was heading into this review expecting lagginess and just an overall bad experience.

Removing the “flagship” mindset was tough at first, but once I did that, the P10 was impressive. Sure, we’re not getting Stock Android, but instead, a skinned version from Poptel.

This is adequate and doesn’t leave a bad taste in my mouth, but it’s not a good one either. Regardless, we have seen worse versions of skinned Android on devices that are priced much higher.

You will begin to experience some lag when trying to do any type of intense gaming, but that’s to be expected. If you just want to play some solitaire or other non-graphic-intensive games, then you’ll be just fine. Just don’t expect to be able to play Fortnite on the go with the P10.

On the battery side of things, we would have liked to see more. Sure, the LCD panel doesn’t draw a lot of power, but we didn’t see as much battery life as we expected. This may have something to do with power consumption from the Helio P23, but we would have liked to see Poptel push the limits with a bigger battery.

Finally, it’s important to make note that the P10 will only work GSM networks. So, if you’re on Verizon or Sprint, you’ll be left out to dry.

Camera

I almost skipped this section because of how disappointing it is. But it wouldn’t be a proper AndroidGuys review without at least touching on it.

The cameras will do exactly what you think – Take potato pictures. If you need a work phone that takes pictures of various pieces of equipment, then it’ll work just fine.

However, if you need those high-quality pictures for your job, then you might want to look elsewhere. The P10 will get the job done (see the recurring theme?), but there are definitely noticeable sacrifices.

The camera software itself is actually refreshing to see, as there’s not much going on here. You are greeted with the shutter button and a few different modes, but there’s nothing super-crazy or insane.

Conclusion

All-in-all, the Poptel P10 is just an adequate smartphone with a pretty sweet rugged design. If you need a spare work phone that is able to withstand the elements while providing access to calls, messages, or emails, then you’ve come to the right place. If you are expecting an experience on par with the Moto G lineup, then you might want to take a step back.

Pricing for the Poptel P10 starts at $219.99 and is available in Black, Orange, Navy Blue, Green, and Gray. Currently, the handset is available from our friends over at GearBest and AliExpress and you can get one now.

Let us know what you think about the Poptel P10 and if you will be picking one up!

Android

Lifetime VPNSecure account: Safer browsing for only $24.99

If you pay attention to cyber threats, you know they are more commonplace with every passing day. We employ thousands of government employees for the NSA and even they can’t keep our information secure from hackers. In, fact, we bet you can’t go two days without hearing the words hack, breach, or leak.

One step you can take to improving your personal internet security is through a virtual private network. It’s a method used to keep your sensitive data secure by replacing your IP address with one hosted by the VPN service. You can get an IP address from any location in the world using this method.

Beyond securing your information, if you travel overseas you might be limited in the sites you can access like Facebook and Netflix depending on where you go. A VPN allows you to maintain access to all sites you use in the US.

The AndroidGus Deals Store is here to save you. Head there now and you can find a lifetime account to a VPN service without breaking the bank.

About

Internet threats are a real thing – and surfing the Web on a public connection can result in your personal data falling into the wrong hands. This deal offers you a lifetime of protection so you can explore the Internet worry-free. With the Smart DNS component, you can even bypass those annoying geographical restrictions that block Hulu, and more abroad.

Plus, unlike other VPN services that claim to not log your activity, VPNSecure proudly assures that ZERO logs are recorded. Get VPNSecure, and you’ll get a cross-platform VPN service you can trust.

VPNs are not just for security, either. You can also use them for privacy, too. Did you know you can get into torrenting and file sharing without your internet provider keeping an eye on you?

Features

  • Allows you to bypass geolocation blocks on your favorite streaming networks
  • Encrypts your traffic so hackers can’t access your data
  • Hides your location & IP address
  • Supports torrents
  • Allows you to connect five devices simultaneously
  • Grants you the ability to choose Data Cipher
  • Uses Stealth VPN to render your VPN traffic unrecognizable
  • Delivers unlimited bandwidth
  • Does not keep any logs of your activity
  • Includes servers in 46+ countries & counting
  • Protects against DNS leak fixes, kill switches & more

Compatibility

  • Windows
  • Mac OS X
  • Android
  • iOS
  • Linux
  • DD-WRT
  • Tomato USB
  • iOS & Android apps available

Where to Buy

If you’re ready to take web browsing more serious, you’ll definitely want to consider the lifetime subscription to VPNSecure. Worth roughly $450, AndroidGuys readers can get their hands on a license for only $39. That’s a small price to pay for years and years worth of peace of mind.

Save even more!

In addition to the savings above, when you buy through AndroidGuys Deals, for every $25 spent, you get $1 credit added to your account. What’s more, should you refer the deal via social media or an email that results in a purchase, you’ll earn $10 credit in your account.

If this is your first time buying, then you are also eligible for a further 10% discount when you subscribe for email updates.

How about a freebie?

Not looking to spend any money today? That’s alright, we understand. Why not visit the AndroidGuys section for freebies and take something anyhow? Go ahead, grab two!

Android

YouTube app on Android finally gets a beta program

The good thing about Gboard and Chrome on Android is that their beta program handles tests and features prior to them hitting the masses. YouTube has utilized server-side tests that basically use random users as guinea pigs, but it now has an official beta program to (supposedly) stop that practice. I’d much rather have tests […]

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Android

Gear Up: Check out our favorite smart wallet options

Smart products are everywhere. Anything that we can add technology to, we usually end up doing. That ranges from everything like lights, fans, and security systems to garage doors, car chargers, and more.

Adding smart technology to otherwise dumb products can be a real game changer. No longer do we have to wonder if that shadowy figure in front of our door is a robber or sweet old grandma. Now we can unlock the front door of our home so we can get in even faster since its pouring down rain. Connected tech, in most instances, makes our lives easier.

But, there’s a different kind of tech being added to products too. It’s tech that keeps us from doing dumb things. You can see traces of this in Google’s new Android 9 Pie operating system. It includes the Digital Wellbeing app that alerts us to how much we’re actually on our phones. Smartwatches and fitness trackers can let us know where we’ve gone or how long we’ve been running, but also when we’re doing too much.

Did you know there’s tech that can keep you from losing your wallet too? If you’ve ever been lucky enough to lose your wallet or have it stolen, you know it can be a serious situation.

So, we went on a search for the best connected wallets. There isn’t a ton out there right now but we feel we’ve brought together three of the best options you can purchase right now.

Ekster Senate and Parliament

Ekster Parliament

The first two wallets we’re taking a look at are both from Ekster, the Senate and Parliament. These two don’t look like traditional wallets, but that’s actually an advantage to some consumers. Sometimes you want something just a little bit different.

Both the Senate and Parliament are a little bit bigger than your standard wallet. While they aren’t as wide, they are taller to account for the card holder inside. This card holder can house up to six cards (three if you have raised print on the cards) or the Trackr, the little device that makes these wallets smart.

Read more: Monet review: All-in-one wallet, kickstand, and phone grip

Trackr is a third-party company that Ekster teamed up with for these wallets. The Trackr device is about the size of a business card and a few centimeters thick. If features a small window for solar recharging (one charge can last three months) and a small button.

Pressing this button interacts with the Trackr app you can download from the Play Store. If you’re ever missing your phone but have your wallet, a quick press of this button will ring your phone through the app. You can also ring your wallet through the app and set up alerts to tell you when you’ve walked out of range of your wallet. You can turn these off or tell the app to not alert you when connected to your home WiFi network.

This Trackr came in especially handy in a recent situation. I asked my brother to carry the wallet and give me his impressions of it. Due to some poor driving in front of him, he, unfortunately, rear-ended a truck and his phone went flying. He remembered that he could press the button to ring his phone and he found it wedged between seats. It saved the day.

You can see the Trackr poking out of the rear card slot here.

The Trackr app has some other excellent features as well. Of course, you can use it to ring your wallet if you can’t find it. But, it also helps passively find other Trackr devices as well. As I was testing the Senate, I got an alert on my phone that I recently walked passed another Trackr-enabled product that had been lost. The app found the product and alerted its owner with an updated GPS location.

 


Back to the wallet itself, this is one of the softest leathers I’ve ever felt. I’m not a big leather person, but I never want to put this wallet down because it feels so nice. As you can see in some of the pictures, the brown is wearing rather nicely and should have a nice patina as it gets used more and more.

The biggest difference between the Senate and Parliament is the flap that allows you to store some extra cards. If you want to keep it minimal, you can grab the Senate and just throw your cards in the middle pop-up slot, which is RFID shielded. If you need a bit more, grab the Parliament.

Both wallets have the option for the cash strap that allows you to hold important papers or money. I don’t love having money exposed in this way, but it seems like the best option given the design of the wallets.

Overall, the Ekster Senate and Parliament are not only excellent smart wallets, but they’re also conversation starters. I’ve had multiple people ask me about them as I got out a card to pay. I told them what I’m about to tell you, they’re simply fantastic. Sure, you don’t need a smart wallet, but if you’re as forgetful as I am, I would definitely suggest picking one of these up for the outstanding Trackr support.

If you decide to pick up one of the wallets from Ekster’s site, they’ve provided a discount code for our readers. Just copy and paste androidguys-EKSTER to receive 15% off your order. You can also check out Ekster’s new Kickstarter campaign for its brand new wallet with voice activation tracking!

Ekster Senate purchase linksEkster | Amazon

Ekster Parliament purchase linksEkster | Amazon

Nomad Slim Wallet

If you’re looking for something that looks more like a standard wallet, the Nomad Slim Wallet might be for you. There are two big differences between the wallets from Nomad and Ekster; design and tracking.

As we said, the Nomad Slim Wallet looks like a regular wallet. It’s a bi-fold design that features card slots on both sides. One side houses the tracking card and one slot where I keep my license and insurance cards. The other side has four slots for your cards. I’ve found that these are big enough for one card, two if you have something small and laminated. On the back of the wallet is another slot big enough for one more card.

Read more: The world’s thinnest charger can fit in your wallet

The Nomad also uses different leather than the Ekster wallets. It uses Horween leather that doesn’t feel as soft and is pretty lightweight. Now, don’t take that as a negative because it isn’t. Sure, we love some soft leather, but I have zero doubt how well this wallet will stand up to abuse over time and how long it’ll last. It’s a quality product.

As for tracking, Nomad is teaming up with Tile for the Slim Wallet. Yep, that Tile. Tile has been one of the most popular tracking companies in recent years and makes trackers that you can stick in your bag, on your keyring, or pretty much anywhere else you can think of. This time, it’s stuck in a pocket inside the wallet and you can’t tell it is even there. While the Trackr on the Ekster wallets is tall and a little thick, the Tile tracker is much smaller and feels thinner.

There are some downsides to this though. While you can recharge the Trackr, you can’t with the Tile. Tile says the included tracking device has a year-long battery life and then you’ll need to buy a replacement. Luckily, you get a discount on your replacement.

Tile’s app is fantastic it. You get the features you’d expect like tracking, GPS location, and crowd location, as well as the ability to ring your phone from the tracker and vice versa. I love the layout and how easy it is the navigate. Everything feels intuitive.

Overall, I love the Nomad Slim Wallet. It is a fantastic intersection of classic style with modern technology. If you’re as forgetful as I am, you need a wallet with tracking because you’ll definitely leave it behind at some point. If you’re looking for something that looks traditional but offers fantastic features, the Nomad Slim Wallet is the one for you.

Nomad Slim Wallet purchase links: Nomad

Android

How to create a legacy contact for Facebook

Death. The one thing that none of us can avoid. It’s coming for all of us and it’s the last thing that any of us will do, too. Surely, it is the last thing you really want to think about.

Do you know what else you probably don’t want to think about? What happens with your social media accounts when you pass? Yes, we’re talking about your words, pictures, and legacy.

For many people, social accounts become a place of memorial and remembrance. Visitors often stop by accounts of those who have passed away simply to share a memory or experience. Others use it for grieving or moving on. For whatever reason, your social media account is important, even after you’ve departed.

Facebook is still the largest network on the planet and things don’t look to change anytime soon. As such, the chances are very high that you’re signed up for an account. Whether you use it actively or just for logging into other apps and services, you probably have a Facebook profile. Do you have a Legacy Contact?

What is a Legacy Contact?

Facebook has an option tucked away in its settings which let you decide what happens with your account should you die. Called the Legacy Contact, it’s where you choose a family member or friend who can manage your account when you pass away.

What Can a Legacy Contact Do?

Once someone notifies Facebook that you’ve passed away, it will memorialize the account and the legacy contact can do a number of things. For instance, they might want to write a post at the top of the timeline, update the profile picture, or respond to friend requests.

Another key feature of the legacy contact is the ability to download an archive of photos, posts, and profile information shared on Facebook. There are a lot of options available to the legacy contact, but one thing they cannot do is log on as you or see your private messages.

Ultimately, it’s truly up to you what happens to your Facebook account once you pass away. If you want, you can have Facebook delete your account altogether. But, if you want to create a Legacy Contact, it’s pretty easy to do. We’ll show you how to do it from your mobile app.

How to Create a Legacy Contact for Facebook

  • In the app, open up the main menu; it looks like three horizontal lines and is in the top right corner.
  • Under Settings & Privacy, tap on Settings
  • Under Account Settings, tap on Personal Information
  • Tap on Manage Account and follow the prompts to activate and add an account.

Should you wish, you can remove the Legacy Contact at a later date. Additionally, you have to remove them if you decide that you would rather have Facebook delete your account.

Android

[TA Deals] Learn to take better photos with the Hollywood Art Institute Photography certification!

Better hardware will improve your photos and videos, but you can give an excellent photographer a mediocre camera and still get some shots that will blow you away. Knowing how to handle the equipment is worth more than a higher megapixel count, and if you’re serious about photography you’ll definitely want to dig into this […]

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Android

Boost Mobile starts selling an Android Oreo Go edition phone, the Coolpad Illumina

Boost Mobile recently welcomed its first Android Oreo Go edition smartphone. It’s called the Coolpad Illumina and obviously, it’s a low-end smartphone which you can pick up for $39.99 (plus tax) for a limited time.

Once the promo period expires, the phone will take you back with $79.99, which is still pretty affordable.

Anyway, in case you don’t know Android Go is a special version of Android designed to bring smooth experience on entry-level smartphones that have low amounts of RAM and storage. The end result is a top-notch user experience on a very affordable Android phone like the Coolpad Illumina.

The Coolpad Illumina is the latest entry to the Android Go family

The handset offers the bare essentials including a 5-inch display, probably with 720p resolution, although Boost Mobile’s website doesn’t make any mention of this aspect. The phone is based on a quad-core Snapdragon 210 processor, backed up by 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. There’s also a microSD card slot on board for memory expansion of up to 32GB.

The cameras on board the Coolpad Illumina are quite primitive. Users will get a 5MP rear camera and a measly 2MP front camera. But at least you’ll be able to snap a picture or two if you really have to.



Rounding up this affordable package is a 2,150 mAh battery, which according to Boost Mobile can provide users with up to 16 hours of talk time.

Sure, the Coolpad Illumina is no Huawei Mate 20 Pro when it comes to specs or looks, but most people out there don’t need a fancy device like that anyway.

If you want to get the smartphone for the promotional price tag of $39.99 we suggest you hurry up. Boost Mobile doesn’t say for how long you can grab the deal, so it might expire any minute now.

To help users get out the most of their new smartphone, Boost Mobile is also offering a limited time deal for those who switch from another carrier. Until November 15, customers can get four lines of unlimited data, talk and text for only $25/per line/month.

Get the Coolpad Illumina from Boost Mobile

Android

The first Wear OS smartwatch powered by a Snapdragon Wear 3100 goes on sale

The first smartwatch powered by the new Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor, which was unveiled last month, is now available for purchase. It’s called the Montblanc Summit 2 and it’s a premium intelligent timepiece with pricing kicking off at a hefty $995.

The Summit 2 arrives with a 42mm case and features a circular 1.2-inch AMOLED display with 327ppi. Montblanc offers up to 11 interchangeable straps to choose from including calfskin, rubber sport, nylon or Milanese steel. As for the case, it’s available in stainless steel, bicolor steel, black diamond-like carbon and titanium, which is the most expensive variant.

The watch features a large rotating crown on the right and two buttons on the left and right that can be programmed to launch various apps.

The Summit 2 is an expensive smartwatch

The new Snapdragon 3100 chipset inside is paired with 1GB of RAM (which is a first for smartwatches) and 8GB of storage. Qualcomm’s new wearable chipset is focused on providing a longer battery life, so the Summit 2 should last users a full day of use with an extra 4-5 days in “Time Only Mode”.

The package also includes a heart rate sensor, magnetic charging pins, NGC, GPS and Bluetooth 4.2.

Obviously, the watch relays notifications for messages, calls, calendar events and more. It also has the Google Assistant built-in and an always-on mode.

In addition, the wearable comes pre-installed with the Timeshifter app, which aims to help you minimize the effects of jet lag by providing you with tips on the watch face.

What’s more, the Summit 2 brings another exclusive, as it also includes the Running Coach app powered by Firstbeat analytics.

The app provides active individuals who want to keep in shape with key stats. For example, Fitness Score, which is updated after every run, compares internal and external workloads to reveal changes in your cardio-respiratory fitness.

Training Load is another feature which is meant to show users whether they are active enough to achieve their health and fitness goals. Running Coach also offers the services of Training Effect, which a predictive tool that reveals how your workout will influence your progress and fitness in general. Real-time training guidance is also included in the app.

If you find the Montblanc Summit 2 interesting, you can check out the smartwatch in its various configurations on the company’s official website. But you’ll need to find a Montblanc boutique if you want to actually buy one.

Android

YouTube is down for everyone right now, including YouTube TV and YouTube Music

Google’s major video streaming platform, YouTube, is totally down right now. The home page on desktop is struggling to load anything, and while the mobile app seems like it’s faring a little better at showing some videos, they totally error out when you actually try to watch them. Google’s acknowledged the problem, although they haven’t […]

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