We've known for a while that Google was interested in making its own chips. Recently their hardware efforts even bore some fruit, but most of us assumed that it would be quite a while until Google made anything at a consumer level.
Well, it turns out that the new Pixel 2 phones have a bit of Google-designed hardware inside them. It's called Pixel Visual Core, and it brings even better camera performance to the phones — or it will, once it's turned on. Pixel Visual Core augments Google's HDR+ implementation, improving latency, power efficiency (using 1/10 the power), and speed (5x faster). Read More
Most of us that cover Bluetooth audio here at AP really like Phiaton; the company does an excellent job at providing a blend of good sound quality, stellar battery life, and an attractive price point. Phiaton's latest product, the neckbud-style BT 150 NC, looks to be in the same vein from many appearances. Read More
Most Android manufacturers these days publish update release schedules to let consumers know when their devices will be getting the latest software. But what these release schedules don't usually say is that you'll have to wait a full nine months to have the newest Android version make its way to your phone. Lenovo has done just that with the release schedule for the Lenovo K8 series of phones, claiming that they'll receive Android 8.0 Oreo by June to July of 2018. Read More
Oh Google, all the mysterious ways in which you work will continue to elude us, but now we shall shed the light on one very important puzzle that's been making us scratch our heads for months, nay years. One day you say "OK Google" to your phone and it responds with a ding letting you know it's listening. A few weeks later, you try again, and there's no ding so you have to look at your display and spot that tiny animation on the bottom to figure out if it's listening to you or not. What's the difference? It's not your phone's volume level - you sometimes hear the ding even with Do Not Disturb on and then other times you don't hear it with the volume up to maximum. Read More
A new version of the Google app began circulating in the beta channel late last night. This one brings a small addition that makes it easy to remove your account from a linked Android TV unit with Assistant. It's not too exciting, but it is important to have available. The more interesting details are found in the teardown, where we finally see a sign that Assistant is coming to tablets soon, the 'Recents' screen is going to get a bit more versatile with more types of content, and more. Read More
Samsung is releasing a new type of tracking tag that can be attached to just about anything and offers smart location notifications over cellular. The Connect Tag was announced yesterday and is the first of its kind to use narrowband network technology (NB-IoT, Cat.M1). This means it can connect to the internet without consuming too much power, leading to a battery life of up to 7 days on a single charge.
The tag can utilize GPS, WPS, and Cell ID to accurately determine location before relaying it to your phone. It will link up with Samsung's SmartThings hub, and its geo-fence feature can be used to trigger certain actions when the two are in close proximity. Read More
Listen up, you Nova customization geeks. We know you've been looking at your phone's homescreen for months hoping you could just hide that app from your drawer, use a clockwise rotation gesture to open the clock app, or swipe up on your messaging app to launch directly into a chat with your best friend/partner. Well, if you live in India, now's your lucky time.
Nova Launcher Prime, the paid upgrade to Nova Launcher that enables gestures, unread count badges, custom app drawer groups, app hiding, icon swipes, and much more, is being discounted to the sexy price of ₹10. (That's about $0.15 for all of you jealous people living outside of India.) It's a limited time sale for Diwali and it seems like it comes with a special Diwali-themed icon. Read More
With the introduction of the Home Mini and Home Max, there are now three types of Assistant-powered hardware from Google. The Assistant is already very capable, but that isn't stopping the team from continuing to add useful features. At Google's event earlier in the month we learned that Google Home can now easily find your phone, and it also recently added the ability to turn off your Chromecast-connected TV.
The latest addition to Google Home's feature set is a new type of timer. It's already possible to set timers for things like cooking or game time, but we can now also set a sleep timer that will stop your music playing at a given point in time. Read More
5G is still a few years away for most of us, but networks and tech companies are laying the groundwork for it right now. One year ago, Qualcomm announced it was developing its first 5G-capable mobile modem, the X50. If you're not familiar with mobile SoCs, the modem is the component of a phone that connects to a cellular network. Qualcomm promised speeds of up to 5Gbps, with an expected ship date of 2018. Read More
It was only a few months ago that Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 630 and 660 system-on-a-chip (SoC) designs. If you're not familiar with the company's large SoC lineup, the 6xx series is roughly mid-range, used by phones like the Moto G5 and Moto X4. Now the company has announced yet another chip in the series, the Snapdragon 636. Read More