Monthly Archives: May 2017

Google Assistant expands to iPhone

Because nothing is shocking in 2017, Google has announced that its own Google Assistant will now be available on your iPhone.

Google Assistant for iOS was confirmed earlier today at Google’s I/O conference, and is already available to download via the US App Store. The digital assistant is set to compete with Apple’s native Siri for all your voice-activated iPhone inquiries.

The downside? iPhone owners won’t be able to access Google Assistant from their home button à la Siri, and saying ‘Ok Google’ won’t switch on the feature (as it does on Androiddevices). You’ll need to manually open the Google Assistant app every time you plan to use it, which may be enough to keep Apple users firmly in Siri’s corner.

What can Google Assistant do?

However, Google Assistant still reigns supreme in certain areas. Users can avoid the awkward ‘talking to my phone in public’ searching by typing questions directly onto the screen, alongside interacting with Assistant vocally. The program can also handle plenty of non-Apple ecosystem tasks such as streaming to most music apps, or playing movies on your Chromecast.

Google Assistant can be used to make calls and send texts and emails, set reminders and events, conduct Google searches, help plot routes via Google Maps, find nearby restaurants and businesses, check news and stock prices, translate languages, and much more. Once you’ve installed the app and signed in to your Google account, simply tap the centre button or keyboard to get started.

One thing Google Assistant can’t yet do on iOS is set alarms. Regardless, the app still offers some pretty powerful search and help features, and provides a fun alternative for Apple users tired of Siri (or its Amazon competitor, Alexa).

American iPhone owners can download Google Assistant free from today, provided your device is operating iOS 9.1 and up.

Don’t Cry Over Cracked Glass: It Will Soon Be Easier to Fix Your iPhone

These, and a list of expletives I can’t reprint here, are just some of things you’ve probably exclaimed after breaking your iPhone’s screen.

I should know. I’ve cracked four of my own iPhone screens, and one of my friends’. I’m like the Michael Jordan of iPhone screen breaking (I blame ADD).

Historically, cracking your screen has meant you’ve either had to take your phone into an Apple Store, or an off-the-radar third-party vendor—likely some guy with a kiosk at the mall. The problem with this latter option is that any damage caused in the repair could void your iPhone’s warranty.

This is going to change by the end of 2017. Apple says by that point they’ll have put their proprietary screen repair machines in 400 authorized third-party service centers in 25 countries. “Authorized third-party” centers include Best Buy and some lesser known retailers. The upshot? Getting your screen repaired at these places won’t put your iPhone’s warranty in peril.

It’s been speculated that Apple’s decision to open up access to their screen repair machines has to do with a number of states passing “right to repair” laws. This legislature is aimed at dissolving tech companies’ control of where their devices can be fixed in an “official” way.

This is great news for the accident prone iPhone owners among us. While Apple claims the latest iPhones’ screens are much more shatter resistant than those of models past, in my experience, they’re still pretty easy to break. At present, screen repairs run $149 without an AppleCare+ warranty, $29 with one.

Want in on the iPhone action and a cell phone plan to go along with it? WhistleOut’s comparison tool allows you to browse and compare hundreds of plans to find the right one. The platform is now supercharged with an address lookup feature, which filters out carriers that don’t provide good coverage to your area. Check it out!

Internet Speeds: How fast do you need?

Buying an internet connection used to be easier, back in the days of one-size-fits-all internet technology. But, as many will remember, dial-up internet was very slow. Nowadays, your connection will be faster, but you are faced with a number of decisions before connecting. The speed of your connection plays an important role in what you choose, and how much it costs.

In this guide, we’ll consider the different speed options available, and more importantly, which speeds are better for the different types of homes we live in.

The essential info

Before diving into the specifics of each technology, it is important to understand Megabits Per Second (Mbps). The speeds of all internet plans are measured in Mbps, and it relates to the speed that you can both upload and download data from the internet.

This is referred to as bandwidth, and while we think about this in terms of how fast a connection is, it is also the way we describe the capacity of a connection. Multiple users on the same network share the bandwidth. So, for example, if you have a 100Mbps connection then several people can all be using it at the same time up to a the maximum capacity. You can have multiple Netflix movies streaming at the same time and not notice the difference.

It’s also important to note that while we’ll be referring to the advertised maximum speeds of the different connection, real-world obstacles will often mean that the actual speed in the home may be slower.

Internet Speeds

When signing up for an internet plan you may have a choice of speeds between basic 3Mbps plans up to super-fast 1Gbps download speeds.

Wireless Internet speeds

Seen by many as an alternative to the fixed-line connections, wireless internet uses the same wireless frequencies as smartphones. But rather than using a phone, you connect using small, battery-powered modems.

Reelgood Lets You Browse All Your Streaming TV at Once

For those of us who are tired of flipping from one streaming service to another to find our favorite shows, there’s a new one-stop-shop interface that’s going to make our lives a whole lot easier.   

Reelgood, a Streaming TV and Movie Tracker, allows you to  browse all your streaming sources at once. Services include Hulu, HBO, Netflix, AmazonPrime, FX, Showtime, Cinemax, Starz, and over 90 others. In addition to being able to browse through all your paid streaming options, Reelgood also shows you everything available to watch for free…legally.

Not sure if there’s a new episode coming out for your favorite show? Reelgood’s “Track It” feature will let you know when a new one’s out and remind you where you left off.

Aggregating content from over 250 streaming services, including a large number of free, ad-supported TV like Fox, CBS, ABC in a single platform, Reelgood’s single interface simplifies how we find new shows and keep track of old favorites.

How does it work?

1. Go to Reelgood.com

2. Select  the streaming sources you’d like to see displayed.

3. Take brief auto tour highlighting the site’s features and then click in bottom right corner “Create Account.”

4. And yes, it’s free!