Moto G5 review

MKBHD does a great review of the Moto G5.  If you are in the market for a great budget phone this is the one you should get.

 

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Setting Windows active hours – so your computer doesn’t reboot while you are working (or gaming)

Windows updates can be annoying if they try to reboot your computer in the middle of work or gaming.  Take a minuet to set the active hours for your computer so that updates happen at an appropriate time.

How to set up active hours:

  • Select the Start button
  • Select Settings (or use Windows key + I)
  • Update & security
  • Select “Change active hours.”

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Choose the start time and end time, then click Save.

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Keep your kids safe – Google Family Link – Coming Soon

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Family Link

With the Family Link app from Google, you can stay in the loop as your kid explores on their Android device. Family Link lets you create a Google Account for your kid that’s like your account, while also helping you set certain digital ground rules that work for your family — like managing the apps your kid can use, keeping an eye on screen time, and setting a bedtime on your kid’s device.

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Manage the apps your kid can use

Kids will need to ask before any app is installed on their tablet or phone.  This allows you to approve or block access to any app that you deem appropriate or not.

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Keep an eye on screen time

Being able to monitor what apps and sites your kids are using is an important part of keeping them safe.  With Google Family Link, you can do just that with weekly and monthly reports. You can see what apps your kids are using the most and are able to set daily screen time limits for each device.

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Set device bedtime

Set times when it is appropriate for your kids to have access to their Android device. Remotely lock your kid’s device when it’s time to play, study, or sleep.

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Get started by applying to get early access – Request access

I have requested access to the program and will post an update as soon as it is granted!

You can now send money through Gmail, fee free – Google Wallet integration

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Gmail now has Google wallet integration.  If you link your debit card or bank account, there is no fee for sending money.

Here is how to set it up:

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. Click the Compose button.wp-1489511407511.png
  3. Enter the email address of the person you want to send money to.
  4. Add a subject and message text (optional).
  5. Click the $ icon (£ for UK users).wp-1489511390853.jpg
  6. If you don’t have Google Wallet yet, you’ll be asked to set up your account.
  7. To send money: Enter the amount you want to send and choose a funding source.
  8. To request money: Click Request at the top of the box, and enter the amount you’d like to request.
  9. Click Attach.
  10. Review your message and click Send.

source – Google

Save your money and get this app

I don’t know when the last time I paid for an app was, (and no I am not getting them illegally somehow).  By signing up for google opinion rewards you can make between $0.10 and $1.00 for answering surveys that usually take less than a minute of your time.

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Over time the rewards can add up!

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If you like free apps, books, and movies, you should get the app and start letting google pay for your stuff.

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Don’t pay for home phone service…

I’ve been using Google Voice for my home and business phone service since 2011. With this app, you can use a cell phone that is designated exclusively for this purpose, or add a google voice number as a second line to an existing, in service cell phone, like me wife does on her Nexus 6p for her business. I have found that outside of the tech world not many people know about this option, but everyone I tell about it wants to give it a try. If you’re needing a phone line to be used exclusively in a place where you have WiFi, give it a try.

Let google be your free home phone service! I will be using a Nexus 5 for my home phone.

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  1. go to voice.google.com, sign in to your gmail account and select a phone number.  I created a new email account for the family, so that my personal email account was not available for anyone to use.screenshot-2017-02-21-at-10-24-53-am
  2. Use an Android phone you have lying around or if you don’t have a new enough one available, an inexpensive one will do.
  3. Start fresh – wipe and reinstall the operating system.wp-1487701140346.png
  4. Log in to your gmail account.wp-1487701145053.png
  5. Download the google voice app from the app store.  Make sure it is the official Google app and not one of the many third party ones.wp-1487701135257.png
  6. Make sure all apps are up to date via the play storewp-1487701116955.png
  7. Open the app and sign in.
  8. Enter the cell phone number linked to the account.wp-1487701113197.png
  9. Set google voice to use for all calls.wp-1487701108219.png
  10. Get the hangouts dialer – This is necessary to make calls via google voice.wp-1487701130115.png
  11. Open hangouts and make your first call or text.wp-1487701210597.jpg
  12. For now, hangouts is the best way to interface with google voice but google has been updating the google voice app and may at some point replace hangouts for calls.
  13. Get a durable case – because kids drop stuff.

Allo is getting even better

The Allo app is a great way to communicate with friends. Using Google’s machine learning in the form of Google Assistant, it makes texting more fun by adding relevant GIFs, Stickers, Emojis, and quick responses.  This latest update takes those same features and makes them even more accessible.

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A GIF library at your fingertips

A few months ago, we introduced a smarter way to help you find the perfect emoji or sticker without having to scroll through hundreds of options. Now, we’re making it easier to add GIFs to your conversations too—just tap the smiley icon in the chat bar and swipe left to find the right GIF for your chat.To roll the dice with GIFs, we also recently introduced Lucky. Tap on a Smart Reply with the Lucky icon or type “@lucky” followed by a phrase, and you can share a randomly selected GIF to your friends. So far, lmaowow, and I love you are among the most used phrases with Lucky.

Bring your emojis to life

We’re guessing that you don’t keep a straight face when you hear a great joke. So why should emoji?! Step up your emoji game with new animated emojis in Google Allo. To animate your emoji, touch and hold the send button, and then drag up to see it come to life. This currently works on 10 emoji (try one of these: , , , , or ).

 

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One tap to get help from your Google Assistant

The Google Assistant can help you share lots of information and content right in your chats, like movie showtimes, YouTube videos, or even pics of cats in hats (because why not?). So today we’re adding a shortcut to make it faster and easier to bring the Google Assistant into chats with friends. Just tap the Google Assistant icon in the compose box and your Assistant is ready to help.

These new features in Google Allo will be rolling out on Android starting today, and will come to iOS soon.

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source – Google Blog

Android Wear 2.0 – Do more

Google has announced their new operating system for smart watches, Android 2.0.  Here is a quick rundown on some of the new features.

 

Android Wear 2.0 Watch Face

More personalized, helpful watch faces

You can now personalize your Android Wear always-on watch face with information and actions from your favorite apps. Simply glance at your wrist to check your next appointment, stock performance, progress on fitness goals, or whatever is important to you. A quick tap on your watch face lets you instantly order an Uber ride, start a workout, or get in touch with your significant other. Interested in different info throughout the day? Just swipe to switch your watch face as you go from the office to the gym to dinner with friends and home again.

Better ways to work out

Google Fit, the pre-installed fitness app on most Android Wear watches, now lets you track your pace, distance, calories burned and heart rate* as you’re walking, running or cycling. You can also measure weight-lifting reps, in addition to push-ups, sit-ups and squats. When you work out with a cellular-connected Android Wear watch, you can stay in touch with calls and messages, stream tunes from Google Play Music and still use your favorite apps right on your watch.

New ways to use apps

With Android Wear 2.0, you can choose which apps you want on your watch and download them directly from the new on-watch Google Play Store. If your watch has a cellular connection, you can make calls and use your watch apps no matter where your phone is. Whether you use an Android phone or iPhone, you’ll be able to use apps built for Android Wear 2.0, like AccuWeather, Android Pay*, Bring!, Foursquare, Google Fit, Google Messenger, Google Play Music, Lifesum, Robinhood, Runkeeper, Runtastic, Strava, Telegram, Uber and many more.

More ways to respond to messages

Now it’s easier than ever to read and respond to a message right from your watch. When you receive a message, you can expand the notification and tap to respond by dictating, typing or handwriting your answer, or drawing an emoji. Try it out on apps like Facebook Messenger, Glide, Google Messenger, Hangouts, Telegram or WhatsApp. Need to respond quickly and discreetly? Use Smart Reply, which instantly and intelligently suggests different responses based on the message you received.

The Google Assistant on your wrist

Android Wear 2.0 brings the Google Assistant to your wrist, so you can find answers and get things done—hands free. Ask your Google Assistant about the weather or remind yourself to bring an umbrella. Make a restaurant reservation or navigate to work. You can even update your shopping list right from your wrist. To ask for help, just hold down the power button on your watch or say “Ok Google.” The Google Assistant is available in English and German on Android Wear and will be available in other languages in the coming months.

source – Google Blog

Don’t Lose Your Photos

Google offers an array of features that I have found most people aren’t using.  For the most part, people who I come in to contact with are not aware that these services are available and just use the ones that the carriers tell them to use.  The freedom to access your data and take your data with you is one of the most important features to me.  When you use a service like the Carrier’s cloud (ie Verizon and At&t) they do not make it easy for you to take that data with you if you switch to another carrier.  Google photos on the other hand is a free, unlimited, hi-res photo and video back up service that makes it easy to keep and share your media.

Just open the Google Photos app and log in to your account, your photos will begin to back up automatically.