As a kinda, sorta well-known technology journalist, I get a lot of pitches for hardware to review. More often than not, I just ignore these emails (sorry PR people) because I simply get too many of them. On occasion, someone pitches an interesting thing, and I'll take a closer look at it. Such was the case with the Grace Digital CastDock X2. I thought at first it was a Cast enabled speaker, and I bet that's what you thought just now too. Well, it's not. This is literally a dock for your Chromecast Audio, and that makes it just weird enough to warrant a quick hands-on here. Read More
The Xiaomi Mi5 was only released a couple of months ago, but the Chinese company is already refreshing it with some improved specifications. In addition, Xiaomi has announced a larger version of the Mi5s, the aptly-named Mi5s Plus. (Does this naming scheme remind you of a certain fruit company's?) Both handsets sport excellent internals and great price tags.
First up, the Mi5s. This phone is largely based on the outgoing Mi5, but there are a number of changes, both inside and out.
On the exterior, the main changes include a metal back, an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, and a pressure-sensitive display. While the Mi5's rear panel was glass, Xiaomi is going with metal for the Mi5s. Read More
Spotify is big on music discovery with features like suggested artists and Smart Playlists that are based on your activity. Now, Spotify users are getting yet another music discovery feature. It's called Daily Mix, which offers a pretty good hint of what it does. Read More
Exactly one week ago, real photos of the Pixel and Pixel XL leaked. Although that leak did clear up exactly what we can expect appearance-wise from the Pixel devices, the images did not show the home screen - or the rumored new navigation buttons.
VentureBeat has leaked a press photo of the Google Pixel (not the XL), including a screenshot of the phone's user interface. We can clearly see the Pixel Launcher in action, as well as the new circular launcher icons. What is new, however, is our first look at the new navigation icons. Read More
Regular expressions are common in the programming world as a way of finding (and filtering) text based on patterns. regexes can range from extremely simple, such as the example above for finding whitespaces, to longer expressions for more general inputs. If you are one of the wizards who can actually comprehend phrases like Read More
(?<=^|(?<=[^a-zA-Z0-9-_\.]))@([A-Za-z]+[A-Za-z0-9]+) (a regex for identifying Twitter usernames), then Google Docs' latest feature is just for you.
You've probably played Crossy Road at some point in the last few years. It's been successful to the point that it has created something of its own sub-genre in casual gaming. If you see a game with a title following the pattern of "verb-y noun," you probably know what you're getting into. The latest title in that category is Looty Dungeon. It's published by Yodo1 (like Crossy Road), and I'll give you one guess what it's about. Read More
It's a frequent woe of Android users: you buy that fancy, top-of-the-line phone in the summer or fall, and you just know it's going to take the manufacturer months to get around to releasing the updated software that Google pushes out soon. They tend to issue press releases or Twitter posts promising support for the new update, though dates are typically either absent or vague. Such is the case with Motorola's commitment to Android 7.0 on its latest phones. Read More
Owners of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge on T-Mobile aren't getting Nougat yet, but at least they aren't being left completely out of the update fun. An OTA is rolling out to both phones that includes newer security patches, Samsung's own online backup system, and a myriad of little tweaks. Read More
Google News & Weather has an interesting history. After years of being included on Android devices with almost no changes, it moved to the Play Store and received a Material Design facelift in 2014. Now Google has added a 'Lite mode' to the application, designed to save bandwidth for users in India and other regions where data is at a premium.
As indicated in the screenshot, you can set Lite mode to activate automatically, or force it on or off. When Lite mode is on, the application won't load as many images on the main screen. More importantly, opening a link in Lite mode causes an optimized version of the page to load instead of the full content. Read More