The relationship between Hangouts and SMS/MMS messaging has been a long, gut-wrenching story full of danger at every turn. Although Hangouts 4.0 was a massive improvement over every previous version, it would appear that all is still not well on the MMS side of things. Read More
The Galaxy S6 edge+ is a large Galaxy S6 edge. If you want this phone distilled to its essence, there it is. It is derivative. That is its sole reason for existing, and if that is the bar to meet, the Galaxy S6 edge+ meets it with unforgiving literalness and exacting precision.
The Galaxy Note 5 is a large Galaxy S6... with a pen. And a curved backplate (a reverse edge, if you will). The Note 5 is very clearly not defined not by the Note device that preceded it, but by Samsung's larger "premium" corporate brand image unveiled with the S6, and makes all but a complete break from last year's device except in regard to the stylus. Read More
When you're really good at ping pong, sometimes you start to feel like a ninja. Look at you, swinging that paddle back and forth, cutting through balls with so much force that it's a miracle they keep coming back. If someone took your persona and turned it into a video game, Chillingo's Power Ping Pong would be the result. Read More
Ah, the Nook Color. I have fond memories of Barnes & Noble's don't-call-it-a-tablet tablet, if only because that early hardware was a gateway drug to custom ROMs and root modifications. The Nook brand eventually crashed and burned against the twin onslaughts of cheap Android tablets and Amazon's unstoppable Kindle e-readers, but there are still at least a few B&N product managers who want to keep the hardware kicking, as evidenced by "Nook" versions of Samsung tablets. The latest to get the treatment is the new Galaxy Tab S2.
Specifically the 8-inch version of the Tab S2, because that makes the most sense as a "reader" device. Read More
Inbox for Gmail continues to stack on new features and refine its existing capabilities. While it may never fit the needs of many Gmail users, it has earned a strong following of fans that couldn't live without it. The latest release doesn't appear to add anything to the user experience, but a teardown shows a few of the changes that may be on the horizon.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong. There is always a chance that details may change or plans may be cancelled prior to the launch of a new feature discovered in a teardown.
If you're a long-time Skype user, then you've no doubt seen its many faces and redesigns. Today marks the release of yet another redesign, and this time it actually looks pretty damn good.
First off, Skype took a page from the Android playbook and went with Material Design and a FAB, so it not only looks better, but it functions in a smart and intuitive way. I think that's something we can all get behind.
Aside from that, search has also been enhanced so you can more easily find the people you talk to the most. Along that same line, it's also faster and easier to see how many unread messages you have. Read More
SmartThings users have the luxury of controlling a large number of things from a single spot—their phones. That means the app SmartThings relies on must be pretty good, or the entire experience falls to pieces. To coincide with the formal release of its second generation Hub (which went on pre-order last month), the company is now pushing out an update to its Android app. Read More
Door Kickers is a military-style, real-time, top-down, squad-focused tactical game. If all those hyphens mean nothing to you, imagine it as something like XCOM with a more straightforward interface and a severe lack of aliens. But the difference between more conventional tactical games and Door Kickers is what makes it exciting: the game's 2D interface boils the admittedly niche genre down into its purest elements of placement, timing, and sight lines. It's available for Android tablets (and only tablets) for $5. Read More
Rumors began circulating a few weeks ago about a supposed Samsung tablet with a humongous 18.4-inch screen. At the time we suspected it was just a typo in an inventory system somewhere (an extra 1 in front of 8.4-inches). However, Samsung slyly showed off the huge Galaxy View during the Gear S2 announcement, so it looks like this one is real. Read More
So here's the scenario: you're in San Francisco for the first time. You're starving, but have no idea where to go, what's good, or where to even start. What do you do?
Now, you can open Google Maps, hit the Explore link, and get all the recommendations you could ever hope for. But not just "hey, here's some stuff near you" - starting now, Google is offering curated results in San Francisco, New York City, and London. Basically, this will make it easier to find exactly what you're looking for around your location. That's pretty awesome.
If you're not in any of those areas, though, you can still get the "hey, here's some stuff near you" recommendations, and it looks better than ever thanks to the new interface (in the US and UK only, though). Read More