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Waze Looking for Android Auto Beta Testers

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One of the most frequently asked question in the Android Auto User Forum is about Waze.  When will it be available for Android Auto users?  It was demonstrated at CES in 2016, so many thought we would see it in 2016.  And the end of 2016, it still was not available.  This week Waze fans got a indication that Waze for Android Auto is coming soon.  Some Waze users received an email about interest in beta testing Waze Android Auto.  Those interested will need to fill out this form.

Android Auto adds Swipe to Dismiss

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The Android Auto team released version 2.2 this week.  The release introduces swipe to dismiss!  This is a much needed feature that has been lacking since the initial release of Android Auto.  I am surprised it wasn't available from release.  Now you can dismiss the cards that are no longer relevant for you and the cards stay dismissed for the duration of your drive.  This works whether you are displaying Android Auto on your phone screen or projecting it to your head unit screen. 
One other change I noticed with this release is that you can now say "Navigate to John Smith's house".  Previously this command was not understood by Android Auto, but "Take me to John Smith's house" was understood.  This is a nice change since people naturally want to say "navigate", not "Take me to".
Official announcement can be found here:  https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/android-auto/-5mrNN-z2AA

Speck Candyshell Grip Case

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The Speck Candyshell Grip case is certified to meet or exceed MIL-STD-810G drop test standards for military-grad protection.  The case has raised bezels to protect the screen from impact.  For those that like to keep place your phone screen down, this will keep the screen off of surface and protect it from damage and scratches.  The volume and power buttons are covered, but they buttons are still very responsive.  The back of the case has raised rubber ridges to provide protection and grip.

  The case does add a lot of bulk, but it does offer a lot of protection.  This is probably too much bulk for me, but it is great a great case for teenage kids or someone looking for a lot of protect that doesn't mind the extra bulk.  The raised ridges on the back do offered a lot of grip and the case feels good in your hand.  All of the cutout are perfect for the microphones, charging port, headphone jack, and fingerprint sensor.  This case for the Nexus 5x cost $34.95, which is one of the m…

Pleason Pixel XL Crystal Clear Case Review

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When I got my Pixel XL in Oct. 2016, I also picked up a Pleason clear case.  I have been using the case for a while now, so here are my thoughts. The case is a soft and flexible TPU which provides a nice feel.  It doesn't provide a ton of grip, but it also isn't slippery.  The case is on the thinner side and does not add a lot of bulk, which I like.  The front edges are raised which helps protect the phone screen when you place it face down.







The cutouts for the fingerprint sensor, charging port, speaker, microphones, and headphone jack are perfectly placed.  There are not cutouts for the power and volume buttons.  The buttons are covered and they are not that responsive.  The volume buttons are more responsive than the power button.  I am not a fan of how unresponsive the power button is.  I feel like I have to apply a lot of pressure to the power button.  Because of this, sometimes it takes me 2 or 3 tries to take a screenshot.






After 5 months of use, the clear case has not y…

Project Fi: VoLTE testing

The Project Fi team announced that they are testing VoLTE with a subset of user!  This is a feature that many user have been asking for and we are one step closer.  

This is still in the testing phase and no date has been given when this will roll out to everyone. 

A few advantages of VoLTE are:

Higher quality calls over data - without using any of your data allocationFaster data browsing during an on-going callFaster call setup You can tell you're making a VoLTE call because your signal indicator will continue to display LTE instead of falling to H[HSPA] when you make a or receive a call.

Official announcement is here.


Android Auto: Using Navigation with Project Fi

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When I purchased my new truck early this year, I decided not to get the factory navigation system.  Instead, my plan is to use Android Auto and Google Maps for my navigation.  This would save me about $800 off of the cost of my truck.  I also won't have to pay the ~$150 yearly charge that the map company wants to update to the latest map.  The only thing that had me a little worried was cost of using Android Auto with Project Fi.  With Project Fi, you are only charged for the data that you use, so would this actually turn out to be a costly option?  More costly than buying the factory navigation?

Project Fi: Adding a Member to a Group Plan

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I recent added a member to my existing Project Fi Group Plan. The process was very easy and straight forward. I have documented the steps for the Group Owner and new Group Plan Member.

The Group Owner needs to invite the new member to the group. This can be done from your Project Fi account. Click on Manage Plan, then click "Add Another Member"

The Group owner will need to enter the email address of the new member, select the data budget, and purchase a compatible device, or order a SIM card if they already have a compatible device.


The new Member will receive an email with link to accept the invitation to join the group.  They will be asked if they want to use there Google Voice number if they have one, port an existing number, or have Project Fi assign them a new number, confirm their service address, and accept the terms and conditions.  That's it!
I have included some screen shots from the process.



Group owner adding a new member













Member Accept - What they see