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Google releases fix for Chromecast WiFi bug

Google has started rolling out a patch that will prevent Cast-enabled devices from killing your WiFi connection. Multiple complaints reported over the past few weeks revealed that Android devices Cast feature suffers from a WiFi bug. Apparently, they sometimes beam too much data at a very high speed in a very short amount of time, slowing down and even disrupting WiFi connections when you try to Cast to Chromecast, Google Home and Android TVs. Routers from various manufacturers are s….
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This Android 11 feature has changed how I use my smart home

When Google announced the new smart home power menu in Android 11, my initial response was “that’s cute”. However, the more I delve into this new quick menu, the more I have enjoyed it. It truly has how changed how I interact with my connected home.Fragmentation is realMy main issue with home automation is that there are soooo many options. These are fringe devices that I think most people just pick the cheapest one on Amazon when a need arises. While I tend to gravitate towards eufy products, I still have accumulated smart devices from six different companies with a combination of switches, lights, and cameras.The problem is that each one also has its own app for controlling these devices. This is really where I’d started using Google Home as my aggregation point. Most of the home gadgets I have can be plugged into the Home app and most of the features for all of them can be easily accessed with a single interface.Power menu is super convenientWhile the Google Home app started my consolidation project, the new power menu made it even more accessible. Gone are the hunt and peck through apps or even scrolling through Google Home.I have set the power menu to only show me the smart devices that I use the most and it really has made the interaction much more pain-free. Everything in my home that’s connected to the internet is now just a long-press of the power button away.A smart addition to a dumb buttonI have to applaud Google for continuing to innovate on something even as trivial as the power button. As we all salivate over the future of a buttonless slab phone, buttons are just plain useful. They offer users a tactile and functional way to interact with their phones without the fuss of navigating layers of software.Google meeting this paradigm halfway and finding a marriage between traditional buttons and software layers is just smart. The company started this journey with contactless payments in Google Pay and extended it to the Google Home is a great addition.

TCL TAB joins Verizon tablet lineup as carrier exclusive

TCL seems to want to keep its name in the spotlight this year; it made a pretty big splash with the TCL 10L and 10 Pro at the start of the year. Both devices were almost universally praised in the tech community. Now it seems TCL isn’t content with just making some pretty darn good smartphones. It’s hoping to get the same praise in the tablet market.Starting October 8 the TCL TAB is available exclusively through Verizon. From the looks of it, the TCL TAB will be a sleek little 8″ tablet running Android 10 (no word on being updated to Android 11). Your eyes will be looking at a FHD display with Eye Comfort mode, which filters out that harmful blue light. Of course it will also have dark mode. TCL TAB Features8″ FHD+ Display (1200×1920)Snapdragon 6653GB RAM, 32GB storage with support for up to a 256GB microSD cardRear camera – 8mp with recording up to 1080p @ 30fpsFront camera – 5mp with recording up to 1080p @ 30fps5500mAh batteryGSM – 850/900/1800/1900MHzUMTS – 1/2/4/5/8LTE – 2/4/5/12/13/66Wi-Fi – 802.11 b/g/n/acBluetooth 5.0USB-CTCL is claiming 17 hours worth of mixed usage on a 5500mAh battery. One neat trick is the fact that the TCL TAB has OTG reverse charging. Basically if you need a quick charge on your smartphone or even your smartwatch, the TCL TAB can act as an external battery of sorts.Here’s something I thought was interesting. The TCL TAB does have a fingerprint sensor built into the power button, but that’s not the cool part. You can register up to five different fingerprints to quick launch your favorite apps.The TCL TAB seems to be a solid little device, and it doesn’t carry a giant price tag. The TCL TAB will be priced at a very reasonable $199.99. Will you be getting one? Let us know in the comments.

Verizon Prepaid Buyer’s Guide

Practically anyone and everyone in the US is familiar with the top-tier wireless service providers. Ask around and most folks can think of Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint — they’re the so-called “Big Four”.For every one of the major network operators listed above there are a number of other players in the space. Some service providers license infrastructure to Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) and include the likes of Metro, Boost Mobile, and Cricket Wireless.Select carriers offer their own prepaid services with different rate plans, phone selection, and support. Let’s take a look at one of them in particular: Verizon Prepaid.AboutVerizon Prepaid operates in the United States using the same network as the tier-one brand and, for the most part, provides nearly identical coverage. One key difference is that prepaid customers may face roaming fees in select areas.There are no credit checks required for service and there are no activation fees at the time of subscription.Rate PlansVerizon Prepaid rate plans are no-contract, meaning you can go month-to-month with no long-term agreement or cancellation fees. Moreover, it does not charge for going over your allotted data; you receive “throttled” 2G  speeds on data for the remainder of the bill cycle.$40/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with 5GB of high-speed data$50/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with 15GB high-speed data$65/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with unlimited high-speed dataSubscribers can sign up for Auto Pay, or automatic bill payment, and save $5 per month on each of the three plans.Loyalty DiscountVerizon Prepaid gives its subscribers a discount for staying with the brand. Customers save $5 per month on a line of service after three months; a $10 monthly savings is offered after nine months.Here’s how the same three plans break down after nine months of online payment and with automatic bill payment.$25/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with 5GB of high-speed data$35/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with 15GB high-speed data$50/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with unlimited high-speed dataClick here to access Verizon Prepaid FAQs.Multiple LinesCustomers interested in family plans or multiple lines can do so. It’s possible to mix and match based off of individual needs.Other Verizon Prepaid Features and OfferingsVerizon Prepaid provides a handful of extras to its customers, including international calling and the ability to use allotted data overseas.Handset SelectionVerizon Prepaid has a number of prepaid phone options, including those from familiar names from brands like LG, Samsung, and Motorola.For those looking to save money there are also a handful devices which are certified pre-owned, meaning they come with their own guarantee/warranty.If you’re in the market for a new phone under Verizon, be sure to check out our regularly updated guide on which devices are the best.Bring Your Own DeviceYou can often use your current phone to Verizon Prepaid, especially if it was previously paired with the standard Verizon service. Head to Verizon Prepaid’s website to check whether your specific model is supported.Also, we’re seeing a growing trend of unlocked phones with support for Verizon and its Prepaid bands. Examples include the various Motorola E and G series as well as those from Blu, Alcatel, TCL, and Samsung.

Sony Xperia 5 II review: Perhaps Sony’s best phone ever

The Sony Xperia 5 II is a premium flagship that offers powerful features in a more comfortable and pocketable size.