Google Allo is finally available for desktop, but not everyone can use it

Allo — Google’s nth chat app — continues to grow. It ticks all the basics — stickers, optional encrypted messages, expressive messages where you can change the size of your text bubble, and doodling — and has a couple of unique features, like smart suggested replies and Google Assistant built in for an endless feed of dad jokes. The app’s on par with the competition for sure, just a bit late to the party and lacking something truly exclusive to pull people away from WhatsApp and Messenger.

Allo has now made another major jump — it is now available for desktop computers! …


Bixby Voice might finally be getting a worldwide release soon

Bixby, Samsung’s not-so-new-anymore virtual assistant, has had a recent past that can only be described as “rocky.” Back when it was launched, it came without voice recognition capabilities. Those were later added in via an update, but only in South Korea — U.S. users had to wait for more than a month after that, and the end result of that wait had its fair share of problems.

And what’s worse, the U.S. and Korea are still the only two countries where the assistant is officially available, meaning users in countries like the U.K. have no access to the service despite, …

Google protects you: Play Protect is finally on a slow rollout to mainstream users

We’ve been hearing about Google Play Protect — Google’s solution for device protection — since this year’s I/O. And while some beta testers have seen it earlier, the feature seems to currently be on a slow rollout to all users.

What is Play Protect? It’s basically an anti-malware tool, which monitors app behavior and gives them a firm slap if they try something funny. To be clear, the Play Store has had various levels of scan for a while now. However, Play Protect ups the ante a bit.

The new service is not only a ghost scanner that checks apps that are live …

'Game of Thrones' episode 4 finally gave us the battle we've been waiting six seasons to see

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This recap is dark and full of spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 7, episode 4, titled “The Spoils of War.”

Are you still shaking? I’m still shaking. 

Episode 4 finally brought Daenerys Targaryen to mainland Westeros — a monumental power play that’s been six seasons in the making. 

Dany’s grand entrance is huge for a number of reasons, not least of which is that our many-titled Khaleesi desperately needed a decisive victory over the Lannisters after losing Dorne, the Iron Islands and The Reach in the last two episodes.

The way Dany arrived was a showstopper, to be sure, but the fact that she arrived at all is pretty incredible — as Robert Baratheon predicted way back in Season 1, Dany’s invasion marks the first time that the Dothraki have ever crossed the Narrow Sea, and even without her scaly children, that’s a big effing deal for Westeros, since its inhabitants have spent centuries resting safe in the knowledge that the Dothraki are no threat to them. We were only five episodes into Season 1 when Cersei outright dismissed Robert’s concerns about Dany with the arrogant assertion that “The Dothraki don’t sail… Read more…

More about Game Of Thrones, Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, Game Of Thrones Season 7, and Jaime Lannister

Nokia 6 finally hits the shelves in the UK, costs less than expected

After months of waiting, customers in the UK can finally purchase HMD’s most advanced smartphone to date, the Nokia 6. The device was initially slated for a June release, but because HMD was unable to cope with the high demand for the smartphone, availability in many countries was postponed for a few months.

Nokia 6 is exclusively available in the UK via Carphone Warehouse. The good news is the smartphone costs less than it was originally announced. Back in April, HMD announced the Nokia 6 would be up for purchase for £229.99 in the UK, but Carphone Warehouse is …

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ finally get Daydream VR support

It’s been months since Samsung and Google promised both Galaxy S8 and S8+ flagships would receive Daydream VR support. A couple of US carriers (T-Mobile and Verizon) pushed updates that pledged to bring the new functionality to these smartphones, but global availability was out of the question.

Luckily, things have just changed today, as Google confirmed Daydream VR support is now rolling out to both Galaxy S8 and S8+. Since this is a server-side update, you won’t exactly know when you can use the new VR functionality.

One way to make sure that you get Daydream …

Android may finally be getting native support for Bluetooth battery indicators

If you’re one of the many, many Android users who own some sort of wireless Bluetooth accessory, there’s a high chance you’ve at some point wished for an easy way to check its battery status right from your device’s screen. And as it happens, the Bluetooth standard already has support for the feature — in fact, it has had it for more than five years. And while many manufacturers have their own implementations of the feature, it’s still not present in the AOSP (a.k.a. the base all Android variants derive from).

But as uncovered in Android’s source …

Waze is finally available on Android Auto

After a couple of months of beta testing, the popular, Google-owned navigation service Waze has finally made its way to Android Auto.

The Android Auto app retains the functionality of its mobile counterpart, including the familiar police, traffic, and crash reporting features, but adapts everything for the much larger screen of your car’s center console. Everything is pretty straightforward, especially if you have experience with the mobile app, and initiating routes is easier than ever. All it takes is an “Ok Google” and the name your final stop. Of …

The Essential Phone will finally start shipping in the coming weeks

Announced by Andy Rubin in May, the Essential Phone – one of this year’s most interesting handsets – hasn’t been released yet. However, Essential started accepting reservations for the smartphone right after announcing it, and now the company knows when the device will finally start shipping.

Andy Rubin himself sent out an update today, informing the world that customers who’ve registered to buy the Essential Phone should have the smartphone in their hands “in a few weeks.” 

We ourselves received an email with the very same lines seen in …

Hangouts Meet finally gains in-call messaging ability in latest update

Hangouts Meet is the enterprise part replacing the now defunct Gchat service. Google announced back in March that it will discontinue Gchat and provide consumers with two new services instead: Hangouts Chat and Meet, as well as Allo and Duo.

The former is aimed at enterprise users, while the latter targets consumers. Hangouts Meet is supposed to offer a video calls service, and it’s just been upgraded to provide in-chat messaging capabilities.

According to Google, the chat functionality was the most requested feature in Meet since the service was launched …