An Option To Fix Google Assistant On Your Android Phone

March 28, 2017

Google Assistant is Google’s new artificial intelligence personal assistant that allows you to ask Google questions (or give commands) and engage in a two-way conversation with Google. I have been playing around with it and it is very cool. I especially like that I can do hand’s free texting using Google Assistant when driving or I can ask Google about my day or any question for that matter. To determine if it is on your phone, simply hold down the “Home” button on your phone and you should be greeted with the “Hi, How can I help?”. In my case, I was waiting patiently for the Google Assistant to download to my Android phone and when it finally did, I ran into an unusual problem. I decided to do a blog post on this describing the problem I ran into and how the problem was resolved.

Google Assistant

The problem I ran into (in short summary) is that after I had determined Google Assistant was on my phone, by checking the version numbers of the Google App, it simply was not working correctly. When I held down the home button nothing would happen. If I tapped the home button it took me to the old Google Now screen.  At the Google Now Screen when I went into the settings, I noticed that it was the settings for Google Assistant (and not for Google Now). At first I thought that my phone being a mid-ranged phone wouldn’t support all of the Google Assistant settings; therefore, I only was entitled to maybe a lite version of Google Assistance.

Finally, after suspecting there was a software (or app) conflict and after searching the internet for a solution (with no luck), I found the Google Search and Assistant Help ForumForum’s are great for troubleshooting problems. After searching and browsing the forum I was unable to find a solution that matched the problem I was experiencing; therefore, I had to join the forum and describe the problem with hope that someone may be able to help. Part of the problem, when describing an issue, is finding the right words. When it comes to computers, electronics, smartphones, etc…; they all have a language of their own.

In this instance, I described the problem as follows:

Why is it when I launch Google Assistant it appears to launch Google Now?

When I launch Google Assistant via the home button it appears to launch Google Now.  I am not seeing the Google Assistant launch screen “how can I help”…  I also noticed that some of the Google Assistant features work and some do not.  For example, if I say “OK Google” , “read me the news” (from my customized list), it takes me to Google Play and plays a song from “the news”...

Within 24 hours a “Community Specialist” in the forum (named Lucas) came back at me with some things to try:

Lucas – Community Specialist said:

Hi Ramblinrick,

Welcome to the Google Search and Assistant Help Forum!

Just to confirm, is your Google app updated to the latest version? To check, visit Play Store and go to the Google App page. If you see update button, try updating the app that may help resolve this issue.

If that doesn’t help, try to reset the app and then try to update again. To reset go to device Settings > Apps / Application manager > Google > Storage > Clear Cache and tap on Manage Space > Clear Data. This step will reset the app to factory condition and all the personalization and preferences will be reset to original.

Please let me know how that works.

Best,

Lucas

The solution:

I followed the instructions and found that by doing a reset of the app was the solution (Settings > Apps / Application manager > Google > Storage > Clear Cache and tap on Manage Space > Clear Data).  Google Assistant is now performing flawlessly and we are now having conversations with each other on a daily basis. A big thanks to Lucas, whoever and wherever you are, for your assistance.


Update to Vudu App Converts DVD/Blu-Ray Movies To Digital (for $2 each) – TechSpot

March 25, 2017

Found this over at TechSpot; an article about an app that allows you to convert your physical movies (i.e. DVDs) to digital for $2 each…

Walmart’ streaming movie service, Vudu, is expanding its disc-to-digital program with an update to its mobile app that will allow users to scan the film’s barcode for converting into digital movies you can watch anywhere.

Source: Walmart’s Vudu app converts your physical movies to digital for $2 each – TechSpot


New Tappable Shortcuts Coming To The Mobile (google.com) Search App

March 21, 2017

On your mobile phone you should soon start seeing when performing a Google search (google.com), shortcuts peppered on the home screen for quick access to in-depth experiences associated with sports, eat & drink, entertainment and weather.

Google Search is taking the next step forward: providing in-depth, tappable search experiences within the Google app, keeping you in the know about the things that matter to you.

Source: New shortcuts in Search help keep you in the know


Set Digital Ground Rules For Your Kids Using Google’s Family Link

March 17, 2017

Google’s Family Link app lets you create a Google Account for your kids that helps you set certain digital ground rules, such as; managing the apps for your kids, keeping an eye on their screen time, and even setting a bedtime on their device.

Family Link is available by invitation only
to parents of kids under 13 years old.

To get started, you’ll need:

  • To create a Google Account for your kid through Family Link.
  • A compatible Android device for your kid*.
  • Your own Android device.
  • Your own Google Account.
  • To be in the U.S.

Source: Google Family Link – Home


You Can Now Use Google Docs As A WordPress.com Editor

March 7, 2017

With the new Google Docs add-on you can now compose a WordPress blog article in Google Docs and send a draft directly to WordPress.com (or a Jetpack powered WordPress.org site). I am always looking for ways to post my blog articles and this add-on appears to make good use of Google Docs and its’ formatting options.

Source: WordPress


Reverb Brings Amazon’s Alexa To Your Phone

March 3, 2017

Love Amazon’s Alexa???  If so, you may be interested in taking a look at Reverb. This app is currently in development and will only continue to improve. Simply install, log in to your Amazon account, and ask Alexa questions or give commands by holding down the microphone on the screen.

Reverb currently does not support the music component that Alexa supports. The app can be a little buggy at times and on my phone appears to conflict a little with “Google OK”, however, I was very impressed and expect that this app will only improve (and become quite popular).

If you need to learn more about Alexa’s commands, check this out “The complete list of Alexa commands so far“…

Reverb allows you to interact with Alexa from anywhere. Via Alexa, Reverb answers questions, reports traffic and weather, gives info on local businesses, provides sports scores and schedules, and more using the Alexa Voice Service.

Source: Reverb for Amazon Alexa – Android Apps on Google Play


DailyRoads Voyager – Turn Your Smartphone Into A Dashcam

February 28, 2017

It is unbelievable what one can do with these smartphones these days. I now know why the PC industry is on the downslide. It is because of apps such as DailyRoads Voyager. I have a real passion for software and the Android platform continues to feed my passion. This app (DailyRoads Voyager) allows you to turn your phone into a dashcam; and, I must say it has worked flawlessly for me. You will need a phone mount that you can place at dash level in order for this to work for you and it is advisable that you keep the phone plugged in when using this; and, “yes” you can continue to use the phone when running the app (which will run in the background). On my phone I have the app saving the video to the SD card in 3GB segments (note: you can allocate how much space to use to store video).

Key features:

– Continuous video recording, with user-defined length and video quality; sound can be included
– User-defined storage space on the SD card with cyclic recording; i.e. the card never fills up
– One-touch video retention allows you to keep video files for interesting road events during the whole journey
– Auto retain video upon sudden shock (e.g. accident); configurable g-force sensitivity
– Automatically capture photos at user-defined intervals and resolutions; great for time-lapse photography
– Background video/photo capture, with optional buttons over other applications
– Auto start and shutdown based on car dock detection and related options
– Videos/photos are timestamped & geotagged
– Automatically determine street address of retained videos/photos
– Display videos/photos location on a map
– Display speed, elevation, timestamp and GPS coordinates on videos/photos
– Option to change speed units (km/h, mph) and date format
– Overheating protection
– GPS can be disabled to reduce power consumption
– Brightness adjustment option allows less distraction when driving at night
– Built-in file manager, video/photo browser
– Add title/description/bookmark to files
– Upload files to DailyRoads.com
– App2SD

Source: DailyRoads Voyager – Android Apps on Google Play