Android Apps are Coming to Chromebooks

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Google just announced at Google I/O, their developer conference, that Chromebooks will be able to run Android apps natively in the future. Right now Chrome OS and Android are two completely separate universes. Chrome OS has the apps that live inside the Chrome browser, accessed through the Chrome store. Android has over a million apps accessible through the Google Play store.

This is exciting because Chromebooks will now be opened up to a world of new applications and capabilities. This makes the idea of a $200 laptop much more interesting if it can run over a million apps including games. It appears as though it will only be available for touch-screen Chromebooks, and will come sometime later this year. The Chromebooks will likely need a GPS sensor and other sensors smartphones have to enable all app functionality. Google may require new Chromebooks to have these features in the future.

Spotify Claims Apple & Google Music Streaming Services Help Them

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Spotify VP Johnathan Forster says Apple’s streaming music service and Google’s are helping them too.  He says Apple is “raising the profile of streaming”.

With 30,000,000 paid accounts Spotify is doing very well …  which makes me wonder why they offered such an aggressive free trail of 3 whole months for most Starbucks rewards customers.

Google hooked me with their new YouTube Red service which includes unlimited audio streaming through Google Play as well.  At $9.99/mo for commercial free music videos snapped on the side of my Xbox One games is worth it alone for me.  So I turned down the Spotify offer because I am happy with the service I have now from Google/Youtube.

It is great that Spotify can grow despite Apple music moving in on it’s turf.  I am not sure though at this time if Spotify should be “happy” about Apple and Google being music streamers.

Leaked Moto G 4th Generation Spotted

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The latest version of the popular Moto G series has been spotted in the wild. The Moto G has always been a great value phone that was around $200. The latest leak suggests the phone will have an upgraded camera, NFC, and a 32 GB storage option. It also suggests upgraded specs like processor and RAM. It appears the Moto G will be announced during a May 17th press conference that will be held in India.

Although this phone will be a good value for the money, it will be hard to beat the latest deal from Google on the Nexus 5X. They are offering the 16GB version for only $199 ($249 for 32GB) when you sign up with Project Fi for at least a month. Obviously they want people to stick around with Project Fi, but there is only a one-month requirement to stay with their service. After that you could switch to another pre-paid GSM provider like Cricket, AT&T GoPhone, MetroPCS or others.

Windows 10 Reaches 300 Million Users

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Windows 10 is something people either love or hate. It has improved greatly from the Windows 8/8.1 days, and some think it is the best Windows since Windows 7. Windows 7 was regarded as a success after the downfall of Windows Vista. It seems as though Microsoft releases a successful operating system, then has one or two misses, then releases a successful one again. Windows 10 now has reached 300 million users, so Microsoft has considered it a success.

A much hated feature of the Windows 10 upgrade has been the constant nagging to upgrade. With users of Windows 7 and later they see ongoing notifications bugging them to upgrade to Windows 10. Although it is free it is still annoying. I even had a family member accidentally upgrade to Windows 10 just because the prompts purposely pointed her to do the upgrade.

Google Play Music App Now Runs Podcasts

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After announcing last year that Google Play Music would offer the ability to subscribe and listen to podcasts, it has finally come to mobile. This has worked on the web version, but until recently has not worked on the mobile version.

This brings the Android phone up to the same level of Apple when it comes to podcasting. Podcasting has always been a seamless experience on iPhone because the iTunes Store has been the most popular directory in existence. In the past you had to use separate podcasting apps, but now it is built-in. This will make listening to podcasts on the go easier for all Android users.

Comcast increases their bandwidth caps to 1TB

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In a very “un-Comcast like” move today, Comcast has announced it is upping its bandwidth caps from 300GB per month to 1TB per month. The bandwidth cap is only in place in certain markets, but it has been a real pain for users, and has fielded a lot of complaints to the FCC.

300GB a month of bandwidth worked a few years ago, but with 4K TV and 40GB video game downloads coming about it just wasn’t working anymore. The 300GB cap was a big issue for houses with multiple people streaming Netflix or other TV services at once. Just 3 people watching internet TV as their primary source can use 400-500GB without even trying. It is good to see Comcast up their data caps. The only downside is overages will cost more once you hit the 1TB limit.

Sling TV Getting Viacom Channels “Soon”

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Viacom and Dish Network reached a carriage agreement that would prevent a carriage dispute between the two companies.  Things apparently went so well that Sling TV, Dish’s streaming internet service, will “soon” get “select” Viacom channels.

There is a surprising amount of questionable reporting on this topic.  The only thing that is for sure known at this time is the channels will be added to both the single stream and multi stream packages.  We also know that not all 18 Viacom channels will be added.

People are reporting that Nick and other major key channels maybe missing, but we know that it could be CMT Pure Country that actually ends up missing.  Remember Dish only confirmed a few channels by name and everything else is speculation at this time.

Amazon Prime Goes Monthly And Head To Head With Netflix

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In a move clearly aimed at Netflix, Amazon is making it’s Prime service available monthly, previously only being available annually for $99.

The new pricing is as follows:
annual price for full prime  $99 (same)
monthly price for full prime  $10.99
monthly price for prime video only  $8.99

Full Prime includes discounts, free shipping, free music subscriptions, and free ebook subscriptions as well as video portion.