I've been without a working internet connection at home for almost a month now, so that's why these appear randomly. I can only do them at work, because I'll be damned if I'm going to try writing an entire post from my phone. And seriously, fuck AT&T. We've been calling for three weeks now to get them to come out and fix things and they haven't yet. Bastards!
Anyway, there are a few interesting updates in the world of Google/Android.
Hangouts finally got Google Voice integration!!!
Some things are still rolling out on the server side of things though, so for now all most of us can do is make calls through Hangouts, which requires the separate Hangouts Dialer app. Once installed you just run it the first time and it will set things up, beyond that you never have to touch it again. You can just launch Hangouts and swipe to the dialer tab and do your thing there.
As for use, I tested it out yesterday afternoon and when you make a call you'll be given the option to do so using Hangouts (aka your Google Voice number and data only) or Cellular (using your phone's number and your cellular voice minutes). I elected to use Hangouts and did so while in my car. The reason I mention my car is because I have one friend who has an iPhone on AT&T and when I call him from my phone over Bluetooth in my car the connection sounds really shoddy and my phone and Bluetooth setup in my car are not the issue, it seems to be more on his end. Well, anyway, the Hangouts call went through perfectly fine and everything sounded perfect.
Also, the UI (user interface) of the Hangouts app also got a noticeable makeover. There's now the slide out menu which has more options in one place, the swiping between tabs (people, messages and dialer) and in general it just looks and feels great. Like most Google apps, this one is a staged roll out. Luckily you all are here reading this and you know me and I can't let you all sit on an outdated version, so grab the latest APK for the Hangouts update from here and install it to be up to date.
It's really important to note that the Hangouts Dialer app WILL NOT work without having the latest version of Hangouts. So install that apk if you want to use the former.
Moto 360... the search continues.
On top of that, I went Moto 360 hunting Tuesday. No luck on that front. However, being the "fuck you, I'll get what I want sooner or later or die trying" type, I've been keeping tabs on all sites online and asking around at local stores and the Moto 360 should be in stock at your nearest Best Buy this Sunday. I came this close to buying a Chromebook the other day just because I really didn't want to have wasted my time searching for the Moto 360. Also, if you go searching on your own be warned there is some smartwatch that looks a crazy amount like the Moto 360 from afar (and even up close). It isn't the Moto 360, but goddamn if I wasn't fooled by it twice in two stores. I saw it and thought, "MOTO 360!!!!" and ran right over only to be disappointed when I realized what it was. Or as one of my online tech enthusiast friends put it, "HAHAHA, you got trolled." Goddamn Martian Notifier. (Yeah, that was the watch's name.)
I'll do a write-up come Monday assuming I get the watch Sunday. I'll also share some of the apps I've installed on my G Watch (which will end up on my Moto 360 too) that I find useful.
At the end of the day though, there's one reason above all others that I want the Moto 360 and it isn't because of its look.
That reason would be, GoldenEye 007 inspired watch face!!! Or, its Play Store name, Secret Agent Watchface. It's slick and cool looking and you know it! You're a damn liar if you say or think otherwise, not too mention just plain wrong.
In related news (as it pertains to being "just plain wrong"), to paraphrase Mark Twain, "reports of 12-hour battery life have been greatly exaggerated". While everyone seems to be believing the gospel that came from both The Wall Street Journal and The Verge, more and more people who've gotten the device onto their wrists are reporting that battery life is enough to make it through a given day. Naturally, your mileage may vary is very much a thing here, but as long as Ambient Mode is turned off (which is a mode/setting that keeps the display on randomly for any given length of time, which contrary to a lot of misconception, DOES NOT save battery life) you should definitely get away with charging your device overnight and making it through the next day until you have to throw it on the charger again.