Android Auto -- the app that essentially ports your smartphone to your vehicle -- is now available as an update for select 2016 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac vehicles from General Motors (click the links to find out if your model is included).
The update expands GM's Android Auto support to more than 30 US vehicles and 40 global vehicles, making it the biggest supporter of the app. To acquire it, you must visit your local dealer and request it, at which point a 30 minute install will take place.
Wells Fargo has been added to the list of banks supported Samsung Pay alongside US Bank, Chase, City, Bank of America, ACU, PNC, and a load of others, so now you don't have to switch banks just to use the service.
The entire list of Wells Fargo cards isn't supported as with some other banks, but the list is still quite long. See it here.
If you don't know about Samsung Pay, it works like Android Pay and Apple Pay in that it lets you pay for items securely with your phone, except it's compatible with nearly every card reader found in stores as opposed to just the newer ones.
It's strangely named but that concern will likely subside after some brief use: SoundHound's Hound app has left beta and is now available to all. If you're looking for a solid voice assistant app (allowing you to search and perform various other tasks with your voice alone), this should be your ticket.
Hound features a slick, fast, and intuitive interface, and appears to be more intelligent than most if not all apps of its kind with language understanding capabilities that combine with speech recognition as well as context and detail comprehension. The result: you can simply say things naturally and get the result you want instead of worrying about accommodating the app.
Google has given its Gmail Snooze functionality a makeover and some appreciable new features today. If you aren't familiar with Snooze, it lets you tell Gmail to resend email notifications later, much like the snooze button on alarm clocks of old.
"Later this week" and "this weekend" snooze times have been added, as has the option to set which weekend days -- if any -- that you prefer to receive email notifications. The latter will be rolled out over the next week.
Now if this functionality could just be added system-wide.
Sources have informed 9to5Mac that Apple will follow Microsoft's lead and add Siri to Mac, starting this fall with OS X 10.12.
Siri has been tested with OS X internally for at least four years now; it's said that Apple is finally happy with its vision and has a polished interface (see the mockup by Michael Steeber above) nearly ready to go. OS X 10.12 is expected to drop in June, so we can surmise that Apple needs a little extra time to polish the Siri integration.
A couple of other tidbits: a keyboard shortcut for Siri is said to be in place, and the app can be set to run on startup.
Announced in a recent email, Uber has launched its puppies initiative, stating that it has"teamed up with Purina's Pets at Work mission and local animal shelters to bring UberPUPPIES to offices in 8 cities across Australia."
Pets at Work is a campaign conducted by pet food company Purina and is explained as a way to help keep your staff happy, offering workplaces the ability to create a pet-friendly office in order to boost morale and keep furry companions around throughout the working week.
If you're not in the right working conditions or ready to take on a pet full time, Uber will now let you borrow one for a short while. Simply select the puppies option on your Uber app and they will deliver to you a puppy for 15 minutes of delightful play time. Setting you back $40 in total, Uber has stated that it will be supporting the Animal Welfare League of Queensland, Australia as part of this promotion.
Two and a half years-old messaging app Telegram has hit the big time, at least in some parts of the world. As of today, the service boasts over 100 million active monthly users with more than 350,000 new ones signing up daily. As well, 15 billion messages are delivered through it each day. Not too shabby.
Telegram hasn't gained traction in the west, but word is it's huge in Iran (pop. 78 million), where popular messaging apps are typically blocked by the government. With few options available to Iranians, and even fewer good ones, its domination makes perfect sense. Naturally, users in the country are waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Uber is still fighting an uphill battle in many places around the world as the Taxi industry strongly fights the rise of this new ridesharing application. The latest news comes from an Australian outback region called the Northern Territory, announcing that its Government refuses to allow Uber to operate legally.
Coming after a cabinet meeting in which discussed the Commercial Passenger Vehicle Industry Review Report, Gizmodo explained that attempted negotiations between Uber HQ and this local Government did not amount to much. Local Transport Minister Peter Chandler stated that "This was a Cabinet decision where we would stop Uber at the moment from coming to the NT," with Brad Kitschke from Uber replying "I think the Territory does risk being left behind."
While numerous other Australian states have accepted Uber with open arms, it seems that the Northern Territory will not follow the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales or Western Australia just yet.
One of the issues with texting today is a lack of interoperability, meaning you can't text with anyone from any device. Fortunately, Google has partnered with mobile industry leaders to push Rich Communications Services (RCS), the open standard replacement for SMS texting that, in combination with an Android RCS client, will solve this issue. If you're an iPhone user, this is effectively the Android equivalent of iMessage.
Apart from being able to text from anywhere, other benefits of the new standard and client include group chat, high-res photo sharing, read notices, and eventually, advanced calling features. Happily, an open source version of the client will be published at some point, so you can likely expect forks tailored to your preferences down the line.
Mention has been made of a "global rollout" of RCS, though it's not clear yet when exactly that will happen. As ever, we'll keep you posted.
Screen dimming software f.lux isn't having much luck with iOS lately, but Android progress seems to be coming along. Recently, a beta became available to interested users, likely indicating it's not too far off from a public release.
Requiring a rooted phone no doubt will alienate many users, so hopefully that gets nixed prior to the public launch. Should we hear anything to that end, we'll be sure to report it.