google pixel 2 phone

Made by Google: Theotek Podcast #102

Google took to the state and announced a slew of new gadgets for geeks like us to drool over. In this episode of the Theotek Podcast, we talked about the new Google tools. We had some strong opinions about them so watch below or listen at the bottom of this post.

In all Google announced some phones, a new Chromebook, a few new Google Home devices and other accessories. Here’s the list of the products with links to the Google device store pages for each item.

google pixel 2 phone

New Google Products

In the podcast we talked about the above products. Most of us agreed that the new Pixel 2 phone looks like a great new edition of the pure Android experience. It has a great camera with nice form factor. The Home Mini voice activated speaker seems like a nice lower price option for those who are heavily invested in the Google ecosystem. The Home Max competes with Apple’s Homepod for a high-end music listening experience that also includes the Google Assistant like the Google Home and Home Mini.

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We weren’t as excited about the Pixelbook because of the price. At $999 for the baseline model, that’s a high price for a Chromebook. My Samsung Chromebook Plus looks and feels like a premium Chromebook at less than half the price. However, people who love ChromeOS will love this Chromebook. It seems like a very nice piece of hardware.

We agreed that they announced a coolest new product called Google Pixelbuds. They offer a high-end music listening in Bluetooth form. The wireless earbuds look a little wired but include a great translation feature. You can talk to people speaking another language, like Chinese or Spanish. The Pixel Buds will listen and then translate. If it works like the demo showed, it will make a great option for people who travel or deal with people who speak another language.

google-pixel-and-pixel-xl-phones

Google Machine Announces Pixel Phone and More: Theotek Podcast #081

Google announced their new hardware in an event held on October 4. During the event they announced Pixel phones, Google Home, Google Wi-Fi and a new Google Chromecast. The Theotek team talked about the new devices and shared our opinions. Are they desirable for people wanting a new phone or other gadgets? Watch the podcast below or listen to it at the end of this post. Below the podcast is a list of what they offered with a few details and links to their store to order them.

Pixel and Pixel XL Phones

These two phones will run Android 7.1 operating system. That makes them the most up-to-date Android phones on the market. They hold 5 or 5.5-inch screens powered by the newest Snapdragon 821 processor. Throw in 32GB or 128GB or storage.

google-pixel-and-pixel-xl-phones

The announcement event also included the new Google Assistant, a form of their Google Now service akin to Apple’s Siri. It’s a chatbot essentially and helps people find things, control their phone with voice and look up pertinent information like movie times, directions, appointments and more. It’s pretty nifty looking.

The 12MP camera on the back got the highest rating from DXOMark, a camera rating service. The company will give users free unlimited Photo storage for the full resolution photos and 4K video the phone can shoot.

They look drool-worthy and I’ve seriously considered picking up the Google Pixel. Right now they’re backordered and buyers can’t get one till some time in November if they order directly from the company’s device store. Verizon customers might get one sooner, but they’ll also likely get a phone riddled with Verizon apps they can’t get rid of and they won’t get OS updates as soon as the unlocked versions sold the device store.

Google Home

google-home

Next up we talked about Google Home ($129). This Amazon Echo or Amazon Alexa replacement works like a voice activated search appliance and speaker. I wrote a post comparing the Amazon Alexa and the Home over at GottaBeMobile.

The Google Home connects to the Internet over Wi-Fi and listens for the user to say “Ok Google” like they would on their Android phone or with the Chrome browser on a computer. Search for things like weather, news, local sports scores, nearby movie times, restaurants and more. Also interact with your their services like your Calendar or To Do list. Play music or send videos to your Chromecast connected to a TV.

The speaker on the Google Home looks nice and the mic that listens for your voice should work really well. There’s a mute button to turn off the listening anytime you want.

Google Wi-Fi

google-wi-fi

Our host Wes Allen got excited about Google Wi-Fi because it’s a Wi-Fi router that hooks up to your Internet router and then sends the signal throughout your house or office. Get one for $129 or three for $300. If you get three you can set them up as a mesh network which helps offer a strong Wi-Fi connection in larger homes or buildings. That’s why Wes got interested. He’s been looking for a good Mesh network.

Google Chromecast Ultra

google-chromecast-ultra

The Google Chromecast was one of the most popular “set-top” streaming devices when it showed up a few years ago. I think it had more to do with the $35 price than the functionality. However, taking advantage of that popularity, they’re testing the market by upping the price to $69 on their new Chromecast Ultra while adding 4K and HDR support. It still plugs in to and HDMI port. Get’s power from the USB port on a TV or you can plug it in via an AC adapter. This time around they added an Ethernet port to help with the 4K and HDR streaming bandwidth.

Daydream View

Google Cardboard started almost as a joke or more likely an experiment. However, it took off and helped kick off the VR craze today. The search company announced a competitor to the Samsung VR for $20 less. The Daydream View ($79) holds your Google Pixel phone, the only one that works with it for now, and lets the user enjoy VR content like 360-degree videos or images and games. The device comes with a motion sensing remote to help with gaming controls and video controls.

daydream-view

This kind of device offers some interesting possibilities for believers. Imagine 360-degree views of the temple or Jerusalem. A church could give a 360-degree tour of their facilities or stream their worship in 360-degree video so viewers can not only see what’s going on up on the platform, but also see the audience.

 

e-sword-on-pc is best free stuff bible study app

The Value of Free Stuff: Theotek Podcast #080

Sometimes churches or believers can’t afford the high-end or expensive option in many categories like Bible software or web services, so we’ve got some of the best free stuff or free alternatives for you. We shared our favorite freebies that churches, pastors, and believers can use to help build the kingdom of God in their context without wrecking their wallet or bank account balance.

Below the video you’ll see the list of freebies starting with the Bible Software free stuff and then a simple list of the other free stuff we talked about in this episode of the Theotek Podcast.

Bible Study Free Stuff

e-Sword is the best free Bible study app available. They make both PC version and a Mac version, that’s not free but really inexpensive.

e-sword-on-pc is best free stuff bible study app

Sticking with Bible study Rick Mansfield showed off the free Accordance Mobile app, which people can download on their iPhone or iPad and get a ton of free content, especially if you sign up for a free user account with Accordance. Rick showed off the great ESV interlinear Bible available in the app.

accordance-mobile-esv-study-bible-app

Antoine showed us his favorite Bible app called Verse3. We had the developer of Verse3 on show #044. It’s not free, but only costs $5.

verse3 ipad app

Olive Tree offers a free version of their Bible app for almost every platform you could want. Download the app on your computer or mobile device, get some free content and then, if you prefer, add some premium content later as needed.

olive tree ipad app
Olive Tree Bible app

I showed off some free online Bible study sites that I wrote about a while ago in a two-part series. Here’s part two.

Finally, LaRosa also reminded us that WORDsearch, his former employer, offers what used to be called Bible Explorer. It’s now called WORDsearch Basic and it’s now their free option.

wordsearch-basic

The Other Free Stuff

Here’s our list of other Free Stuff to help you do your work for free or almost free.

  • WordPress website management system also called a content management system or CMS. You can set up a free website and even buy a domain from a company like Hover that will forward that domain to your free WordPress site.‘
  • YouTube for video hosting and for playing videos. Find tons of content from entertainment to music to educational content all on YouTube. Of course we use it to stream our Theotek Podcast.
  • Microsoft Sway is a great presentation app that lets users share images and pictures. Think of it as a PowerPoint or Keynote alternative for online presentations.
  • Facebook Live lets you record and host live video which people can then find later in recorded form on your Facebook wall.
  • Libre Office offers a full free office suite with alternatives for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more.
  • Google gives away tons of free tools, including free office software like Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms.

iPhone 7

We ended the show discussing the new iPhone 7, which Rick and I both had our hands on. I did an unboxing of the wrong phone. Watch me get totally disappointed because T-Mobile screwed up and sent me an iPhone 7 instead of the iPhone 7 Plus I actually ordered. Watch the above video to hear what Rick thinks of his iPhone 7 Plus.

 

What Microsoft, Google and Apple Can Do for the Church: Theotek Podcast #042

With Microsoft, Google and Apple all releasing new hardware and software, we talked about what they can do to help the church.

We’ve already discussed the Apple hardware and software announcements for this Fall. We chatted about Google’s goodies too. Now it’s Microsoft’s turn. But more importantly for us, what can these three companies and their technology do to help the church do the Great Commission? This week’s episode covered this question. Watch it here or listen below.

The new stuff from Microsoft includes a new Surface Pro 4 tablet with the Surface Pen and Surface Type Cover updated with better keyboard and trackpad. There’s also the new Surface Book, a 2-in-1 notebook/tablet with high-end specs and a high-end price.

surface book

At the end we each recommend our choice for the most interesting or exciting of the new Apple, Google and Microsoft devices.

Google and Apple – Fight! Theotek Podcast #041

We discuss the new Google and Apple offerings after they announced their new hardware at their fall events. Apple released the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus as well as iPad Pro, a new iPad that competes with the Surface Pro 3 or now the Surface Pro 4.

Google announced their new goodies also, including a Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P smartphones. Learn more about them from our team in this week’s Theotek Podcast.

apple iphone

propresenter 6 for mac

Theotek Podcast #026: Make Yourself Presentable

Two new releases dominated our discussion this week on the Theotek Podcast. We also offered some useful tips on worship presentation. First, we talked about the new Google Now On Tap that came out of the Google I/O Conference before getting into worship presenting with Paul Alan Clifford.

Theotek Podcast Discusses Google Now On Tap

So what is Google Now On Tap? It’s a feature that will show up in Android M, the next version of Android to follow Lollipop.

Google uses both numbers and the alphabet to identify their operating system updates. The code name is Android M since it follows L, now named Lollipop. Android M (will it be Milky Way since they started their conference with a view of the Milky Way?) will include the new feature called Now On Tap. It lets developers take the power of Google Search and use it to search inside their apps. It will also search what’s on the screen on an Android device.

We talked about it because Bible apps use search as a key function. Could a simple Bible reader app use Now On Tap to harness the power of the web? Suddenly a nice Bible reader app like the Crossway ESV Bible app that we discussed before becomes a more powerful Bible study tool using the entire Internet as a library for digital Bible study. I can search for Abraham on the web while reading Romans 4 possible find some useful content to help in my study of Romans 4.

Propresenter 6 for Mac and Worship Presentation Tips

propresenter 6 for mac

Most of this week’s Theotek Podcast covered worship presentation tips and software. We spoke to Paul Alan Clifford of Trinity Digital Media. He’s a ProPresenter guru and he shared some of the new features in ProPresenter 6 for Mac, which got released recently. He also gave us some great tips on doing worship presentations in general.

In our discussion we talked about Leonard Sweet’s book Post-Modern Pilgrims. He talks about making worship experiences EPIC, an acrostic for …

  • E = Experiential
  • P = Participatory
  • I = Image Drivin
  • C = Connection

Paul said our worship presentations need to include these four elements to make them more relevant to younger generations. Might I also recommend a great book that talks about how the four generations in most adult worship settings learn. It’s called One Church Four Generations by Gary McIntosh.

Where to Get the Theotek Podcast

You can listen to the Theotek Podcast here (see the player below) or by subscribing on iTunes and Stitcher radio. It’s also available in most popular podcasting apps on mobile. Above you will see the YouTube video of our Hangout. Go over to our YouTube channel and subscribe so you can watch if that’s how you prefer to enjoy it.