Google

Google Announces Several New Products

Episode 1428

Google Home Mini

This week Google announced a ton of new products, including a new Google Home and a donut sized version of Google Home (called the Mini) that Leo says may be better than Amazon Echo. Though Leo says that Amazon has a huge lead, in the long run, Google may have the advantage. Meanwhile, Amazon did get a shot in the arm this week with the announcement that Sonos will partner with Amazon to bring connectivity of Sonos to the Amazon Echo. But that may be short-lived since Sonos plans to work with Google and Apple as well.

What happened to my browser extensions?

Episode 1427

Don from Montana
Chrome browser

Don is having issues with his browser extensions. They had been slow, but now it's worse. Leo says that it could be due to Chrome's built-in sync option that will transfer his bookmarks and themes to another browser. You'd think that Sync would fix it. Leo says that Don should try resetting Chrome to see what happens. He'll have to reinstall his extensions afterwards. If he's going to do that, though, he should try deleting Chrome and then reinstalling. He's also running into verification issues.

How can I track my family with my phone?

Deena from Manhattan Beach, CA

Episode 1421

Deena wants to track her family with her iPhone. Leo says that a smartphone has GPS, an always on internet connection, it's designed to be a surveillance device. Always remember to have permission of the person you're tracking. For the iPhone, there's Find My Friends. There's also Life360. But her husband's phone is on Android, so how does he keep track of their son? Google Maps will let you share your location. Open Google Maps, tap the blue dot and select share location. It will time out after awhile though. That's the best option because it's free and cross platform.

Why am I getting my wife's phone calls?

Episode 1417

John from Fallbrook, CA
iOS Family Sharing

John and his wife share an iCloud account and whenever his wife makes a phone call, it appears on his phone and vice versa. Why is that? Leo says it's because they're sharing the same Apple ID. They will also be getting the same text messages as well. Leo recommends having separate iCloud accounts and Apple IDs. Then share the contacts, calendar and other data with a shared Google account. That way it won't impact their phone calls, text messages, etc. All they'll need to do is add that account in their phone's mail, contacts, and calendar settings.

Google to Release Android O

Episode 1414

Google is announcing Android O Monday, and we'll find out what the "O" stands for. Usually it's dessert names, and it's hard to imagine it would be anything other than Oreo. That is a brand name, however, so Google would have to get permission to use it.

Android O will bring some new features, and many users will not get it. One of the biggest problems with Android right now is that companies who make Android phones and carriers that sell them are slow to update, if ever. The only people who will get it right away are Google Pixel owners, or those who have Nexus phones.

What is the easiest way to build a website?

Sue from California

Episode 1407

Sue wants to start a website at geekyoldbroad.com. She already has the domain name, and now she can connect it to anything she wants. Wordpress.com is an easy-to-use site where she can set up a site for a low monthly cost. Another site that will do this is SquareSpace.com. She can just go in, pick a template that works for her needs, and start publishing content. Wordpress has a free tier with ads. These are the easiest ways to do it.

How can I get my Chromebook fixed?

Episode 1406

Ethan from Los Angeles, CA
Chromebook Pixel

Ethan has a Google Pixel laptop and he's having an issue with water on the keyboard. He's tried airing out the laptop. He's also popped off some keys to try and dry it out. Leo says the sad part is that Google has stopped making parts for the Pixel, and has by and large stopped supporting it. A local shop could possibly fix it. But the problem is, he doesn't have parts. So he'll have to find old Pixels on eBay to swap it out. At the end of the day, it may be just cheaper to buy a new one.

Why can't I use my Echo's intercom?

Episode 1405

Ron from Boston, MA
Amazon Echo Dot

Ron has a bunch of Echos all around his house but he can't use the intercom feature. Leo says he'll need to use the command "Drop in." He'll have to be sure they're enabled on each Echo and choose who can drop in as well. That's done in the Echo app. Leo says he'll need to sign up for Echo's calling and messaging as well, which is also in the app. His contact list will not sync with Echo, either. Leo says he'll have to sync his contacts to Google and then log into Google through the app.