When it comes to choosing an Android smart phone, I strongly advise you to consider crapware-free Nexus models. But Google isn't the only company selling clean Android phones. And with this year's Moto G lineup, you have now have more excellent options to consider.
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One of the nice things about Android is that it behaves like Windows when it comes to choosing default apps. This means that you can always use the web browser or other apps you prefer, even if your handset maker or wireless carrier has configured the phone to use other apps.
Tech tidbits from around the web: You can now preorder some cool new Lumia cases from Mozo, FTC could be taking a second look at Google Search, Google Chirp to compete with Amazon Alexa, Cardboard VR is available in Canada, the UK, France, and Germany now, and Google provides its Gboard keyboard on iOS.
If you are using a Nexus smart phone as I recommend, you will want to know about this: Google is now offering downloadable OS images which let you update the handsets manually without wiping them as well.
Microsoft this week revealed its schedule for shutting down Sunrise, the mobile app calendar it purchased in early 2015. With all relevant Sunrise functionality being made available in Outlook Mobile since the acquisition, Microsoft will shut down Sunrise on August 31, 2016.
Google has announced a set of interesting updates for its Google Translate apps for Android and iOS, adding Tap to Translate, Offline, and Word Lens in Chinese features. These improvements will be particularly useful for the over 500 million people who use Google Translate outside the United States, Google says.
Tech tidbits from around the web: Windows 10 upgrade to remain free for those who use assistive technologies, Windows 10 build 14332 ISOs are available, iTunes is picking up a minor redesign, the 2016 Moto X leaks, and we really don't know much about the PlayStation 4.5 as it turns out.
Tech tidbits from around the web: No Windows 10 Insider builds for PCs or Mobile this week, NextBit Robin is on sale for $299 at Amazon.com, Apple is set to completely overhaul its Apple Music app, and some headline riffs.
Tech tidbits from around the web: More takes on Microsoft's phone strategy and Intel's mobile fail, Xbox at E3, Microsoft following in the footsteps of AWS, Microsoft quietly sold its stake in Caradigm health venture with GE, more.
While Spotify is arguably the most popular full-featured music subscription service in the world, it lacks one key feature for those with their own music collections: Spotify offers no way to upload your own music to the service.
The "post-PC" world that Steve Jobs imagined is closer than many expect. All it needs is for the major mobile platform makers to subtly shift their offerings to meet the needs to more sophisticated productivity scenarios. If they do, the PC market will contract even further.
Part of the appeal of Android to Windows users, I think, is that Android offers the same freedoms as Windows, and works similarly. But Android can be quirky and non-obvious too. Case in point: What happens when you connect an Android phone to your Windows PC via a USB cable.
Tech tidbits from around the web: Weather forecast is interrupted by Windows 10 upgrade prompt, Microsoft releases Windows 10 for PCs 10586.240 and Mobile 10586.242 to Release Preview ring, a remastered "Modern Warfare" will be bundled with next Call of Duty game, and much more.
There's been an interesting push this year by hardware makers to adapt Chromebooks for business use. But HP's new Chromebook 13 for business borrows a page from its Windows phone strategy in going the extra distance and offering integration capabilities with Microsoft environments.
Tech tidbits from around the web: Microsoft open sources the Xamarin SDK, Office Lens for iOS and Android is updated, Google expands Android Wear bands to better compete with Apple Watch, a reminder about Amazon cloud storage, more.
While most readers know that Microsoft makes a ton of great Android apps, you probably don't know that it also provides a way to keep up-to-date on its Android app innovations.
An update to the Gmail app for Android is adding support for Microsoft Exchange accounts. This capability was previously provided only on Google's own Nexus devices, apparently.
A report in Ars Technica claims that Google will dramatically expand its App Runtime for Chrome (ARC) technologies to bring over one million Android apps to Chrome OS and Chromebooks. And to Windows, too.
Tech tidbits from around the web: Inside Bash on Windows, using Project Fi with non-Nexus phones, Android N will support 3D Touch too, Apple Watch apps must be standalone by June, Another legal out for Apple, and a new Jason Bourne trailer.
Tech tidbits from the web: Windows Insider build 14295.1004 heads out to the Slow ring, Chrome has over one billion users on mobile, Google Keep adds an extension too, Apple lies reach a new low, and ARM is looking to the future.
When Google first announced Inbox, it's "other" email interface for web and mobile, I didn't get it. But Inbox is a wonderful email client, and it's getting better this week with Google Calendar integration and more.
Microsoft this week announced a major update to its Translator app for Android. Key among these changes is the app's ability to scan live and saved images and translate any text found within. (This feature is already available in Microsoft Translator for Windows and iOS.)
Google's decision to provide pre-release versions of Android N to the public earlier than with previous versions has provided a bonanza of information about where this platform is headed. And with a second new preview of Android N available, even more features have been revealed.
It's hard to keep up with the rapid release and updating of Microsoft mobile apps on Android and iOS. Case in point: Outlook Mobile is just now adding support for Android Wear devices. And I am surprised to discover this wasn't already a feature.
Tech tidbits from around the web: Kangaroo releases Mobile Desktop Pro, Microsoft Groove app is now "truly universal," the Minecraft generation, Google Play Podcasts is finally happening, Google launches Live Cases for Nexus 5X and 6P, more.
Tech tidbits from around the web: evidence of updated Xbox One emerges, sort of, Skype for Business Updated on Android and iOS, Spotify declares war on Sweden, HTC's New Android phone supports Apple's AirPlay, and you'll be able to get your USB-C cables tested.
Just a month after its initial---and earlier than expected---Android N Developer Preview release, Google has shipped a second version. Android N Developer Preview 2 provides new and improved features and fixes for bugs found in the first preview.