Friday, December 23, 2016

enter Nexus 6P

it was time. there's really nothing wrong with the Nexus 5.. but it was time to upgrade.

I really want the Pixel XL, but consistently out of stock, or a 3-4 week wait for shipping. so I went with the next best thing.

it's friggin huge. I'll get used to it.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

what can Google Home do?

I know there are other lists out there, but this one is mine, the commands that matter to us. will be ongoing..

-change volume to 50% on Whole House
-add to Shopping List
-where's the nearest ..
-what time is so-n-so open?
-how long will it take to get to ..

things we know she can do:

-interrupt a music stream to ask her what song it is, to add to shopping list, or a question and then right back into the stream
-recognize voices when playing trivia

what she says she's not able to do/help with yet:

-when a song is playing on one unit, "Hey Google play this on Whole House."
-sending a song to another unit, "Hey Google play this song on Bedroom."
-queuing the next song or album, "OK Google, que The Mollusk album by Ween," or "Hey Google, play the album Tidal next."

what I want her to do:

-add to the Shopping List on the main account from any unit "hey Google, add milk to Kitchen Shopping List."

-remember wtf she was doing before she stopped- if the pause is too long between commands or a song/album end, Groups drop and the whole conversation needs to be started again and worded correctly

-stop announcing the default music source "playing blah blah blah on Google Play Music" just play please..

Friday, December 2, 2016

how to play different music on separate Google Home units and also play in unison as a Group

I dove in. two Google Home units and a ChromeCast as my birthday present to myself this year- I deserve it, dammit. while I was at it, pre-ordered a 3 pack of Google WiFi- we have three floors we use equally, plus outside in the better weather. Time Warner sucks, we don't want to give them as much money... and the Powerline adapters work, but need reboots too often- looking forward to GWiFi.

my goals for Google Home:
- music everywhere in the house, on demand, with pretty much zero limitations on content
- the ability to have all GHome units play the same music at the same time throughout the house and in specified groups
- the ability to play different songs on separate units and groups
- play around with ChromeCast and services, get rid of TWC in whatever fashion possible
- easy access to the same information with less effort
- eventually get smart with the house in general
- and of course, stay the fuck offa our phones so much

all arrived today. I already have Play Music Unlimited. I have 3 gmail accounts in my phone and Chromebook. this came in handy.

set up the first as "Livingroom" and got to know her a little bit before finding a good spot in the living room. set the second unit up as "Basement" while in the kitchen, about 3-4 yards away from Livingroom. before I took her downstairs, got to know how far apart they should be, what happens with two in close proximity, how they play under the "Whole House" group, etc.

then my daughter came home. while I'm working in the basement enjoying The Beatles Love album, she asks for Twenty One Pilots "Heathens" in the living room and I get booted. nope. not cool. certainly not putting up with this.

let's see if this works..
I upgraded our Play subscription to the Family plan. I added my other gmail addresses as users. I added my other email addresses as users in the Google Home app on my Nexus 5. I deactivated the Basement unit from my main gmail account, switched to another account within the Home app and Set Up Basement on the other account. it remained in the Whole House group as a speaker, and as a Linked Device.

then we test.
- leaning down the stairs, "Hey Google, play Adele." Basement starts playing some Adele song.
- in the livingroom, "OK Google, play Heathens by Twenty One Pilots." starts playing. I can hear my daughter singing along as I lean back down the stairs, listening to Adele on Basement for the entirely of both songs.
- standing centrally and speaking loudly, "OK Google, STOP" and both units go silent.
- in the livingroom, "Hey Google, play Pearl Jam on Whole House." SUCCESS! Livingroom announces the action and Pearl Jam is playing the same song at the same time on both Basement and Livingroom.

costs $5 extra a month and a few minutes of your time.

note: while in the Home app on your phone, all devices are listed, regardless of current account shown. if you want to make changes, you do need to have the corresponding account selected within the Home app.

I'll be getting a few more units down the line. will set up under the main account, add to the groups I want, before switching to another account on my Play Family plan. and Taryn can have her own, on her own account in her own room for so many reasons.

next two projects:
- Hey Google, announce "blah blah blah" to Whole House and/or Hey Google, play "this song" on "this Home" (I had to play to the Whole House group to Rick Roll Andy in the basement LMAO)
- "OK Google, add "blah blah blah" to Kitchen Shopping List" from any Home unit

oh and Chromecast.. uuhh.. I'll play around with it a little more, but I don't think it fits us- we'd have to keep TWC just to be able to log into all the apps, everyone would need the apps on their phones.. nah.. we're better off with PS Vue for what we wanna do.

Monday, July 7, 2014

more thoughts on Powerline networking

I've done more research and read more reviews.. it is happening, but the brand and model is still under configuration.

we're planning on getting the wireless router from TWC- only to keep the mess down. I can turn off the wireless function in my current router and use it as 4 solid ports in the basement for my computer, the PS4, etc. but then the computer won't be able to talk to any of the other media outlets on the network.

will need 3 kits- Powerline base off the router in the livingroom, adapter in the basement, in both the girls' rooms, in the master bedroom..

I want to do this right and have everything working together as we're used to: I'll just have to splurge on a 4-port switch adapter. glad all HomePlug AV compliant work together!

the house is wired to one box in the basement- reading about adapters being on the same circuit to work best.. what exactly does this mean?

Saturday, July 5, 2014

battery testing

one of the major concerns I read regarding the Nexus 5 was the battery life.

my slab of awesome was born 4/21/14. I took screen shots when my battery got to about 50%.






Thursday, July 3, 2014

Nexus 5

simple and gorgeous.

first gripe: icons far too large, installed Nova Launcher with the Google Now bar
second: no Bubbles live wallpaper
third: had to install Message Classic

aside from the wallpaper, all set up and functioning just like I was on the N4.

love the Spigen Neo Hybrid case- metal slate, of course. looks frikin classy.

getting myself organized and called TMo for my old SIM to be added to Taryn's line. hoping to surprise her tomorrow morning with a fully, but tastefully, bumpered Nexus 4.

the Ionic GUARDIAN Armor Case will be awesome for her. easy to press the buttons, adds good grip and looks like more than adequate protection.

our accounts are still syncing and downloading and installing and whatnot. I'll be sneaking her phone away while she sleeps to load her pictures and music, then put the new one in its place.
      my 9 year old has a Nexus 4.

edit 7/4/14: and of course, I can't wait for surprises- gave it to her last night. moved all her pics and music this morning. still waiting for the SIM to be active, but she's loving it, and picking up the new OS and features mighty quick!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Nexus upgrade?

I've had the Nexus 4 for about a year and a half.. getting direct OS updates from Google, running KitKat 4.4.4, still haven't rooted. I love straight up Google-iness and want to continue with my future devices.

now have my eye on the Nexus 5.. capable of running Android L beta, and will get the official update as far as I can tell, while my Nexus 4 probably will not. but.. I know I should wait until October when the next device is announced, and not jump the gun too soon-- on the other side, why not get the Nexus 5 now while it's on the cheap and available? TMobile has that Jump thing, so if I do want to upgrade after the new one comes out, I can without issue, so I might as well.

since TMobile will only give $85 for trade-in, and getting her a new lesser model would cost at least $120, Taryn will get he Nexus 4 whenever I do upgrade.. along with an otterbox-type case! poor kid is struggling with the Exhibit 4G- small screen and she can't play nearly a quarter of the games she wants- phone just can't handle it.

to get the Nexus 5 itself, about $30 from TMobile in shipping and sales tax, additional $16.50 added to the bill each month.. and about $30 from amazon in a new case for Taryn on the Nexus 4, and a case for my new Nexus 5. hey, I have $60!

I'm itching.. easy to make happen.. I think it's happening soon. like today.

and then I did it. yeay!