The dream is to have smartphone batteries that can last days upon days of use. The reality is that the more power-efficient our smartphones become, the more demanding we are, perpetuating the status quo of lousy battery life. The band-aid solution so far seems to be the speeding of charge times. Qualcomm has its Quick Charge technology, Oppo has its Super VOOC, ASUS has BoostMaster, and MediaTek has Pump Express. The latter just received a boost to version 3.0, marking the first time it uses USB Type-C Power Delivery instead of VBUS current modulation.
The first benefit of Pump Express 3.0 is that it significantly reduces overheating while charging by bypassing all circuitry inside the phone. Read More
At MWC this year, Samsung confirmed its plans to expand to 7 countries in 2016 beyond the two where it was already available (South Korea and the United States). Among those 7 countries, only China has seen the light of day so far, but it looks like Singapore isn't too far off. Samsung has just announced a partnership with one of Singapore's leading banks: Citibank.
The service, however, isn't yet fully launched in Singapore. Samsung's press release says its launch is slated for Q2 2016, but I'm not sure how that's possible given that Q2 ends in about a month and that Samsung seems to be just ready to start its beta test phase now. Read More
Have you recently stopped to think about what modern smartphones can do? It's amazing how much power is packed into these small little devices that we carry around all day, and it's even more amazing that most of that power resides in teeny tiny chips that are lodged somewhere between the huge screen and the big battery.
ARM is one of the companies that provide the building blocks for modern smartphone SOCs. It makes graphics and application processors that companies like MediaTek and Samsung use in their Helio and Exynos chips, respectively. Now ARM is unveiling new processors for the 2017 flagships that will push their performance even further. Read More
Have you ever wished that your complex word processing software had a simple search function to let you know where the hell it put the word count? It does, and it's called Google. But say you don't want to pop out to another program to do so. That's the idea behind "Tell Me," a feature introduced into the latest versions of Microsoft's various Office programs. It's essentially just a search box with a few predictive tricks to help users find some of the less obvious features. Today it comes to the Android versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Read More
Devolver Digital has consistently brought some of its published titles to Android, so long as you're lucky enough to own a SHIELD-branded machine. Their latest port is Not A Hero, a 2D shooter that has a very old-school style of gameplay mixed with a somewhat modern approach to everything else. The game absolutely revels in its stylized, Guy Ritchie-esque British ultra-violence mixed with the kind of humor you might expect to see on any given Internet forum. Read More
Good things come to those who wait. Nowhere is that adage more true than when shopping around for high-profile, high-margin smartphone hardware. For example, LG's modular G5 flagship can now be had for under $500, at least if you're willing to buy off eBay. A vendor there is selling the international unlocked version (model number H860) for $496 even, almost $200 off of the retail price at most carriers. Black, white, gold, and pink versions are available, and US residents in the lower 48 can swing free shipping too.
Square, the company that makes those little headphone jack credit card readers, would like you to use their services more. Of course they would - that's kind of the whole point of commerce. But at the moment merchants using Square are limited to the dedicated Square app, which by default is a sort of digital cash register. The company is hoping to expand itself a bit with its latest API, which allows developers to integrate Square payments into their independent Android apps. Read More
Community projects are fantastic - just look at how strong Android's aftermarket community is, creating custom ROMs and launching entire operating systems and companies in the process. Now Amazon's getting in on the action, rebranding developer Sam Machin's Alexa in the Browser project as Echosim and bringing Alexa to everyone in the process.
The latest indie game to immigrate from the huddled masses of Steam is one that makes a lot of sense for mobile. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a 3D platformer, at least broadly: you control one brother with an analog stick on one side of the screen and the other brother with a second stick on the opposite side. If you ever tried to play both sides of The Adventures of Cookie and Cream (AKA Kuri Kuri Mix) by yourself, it's sort of like that, without the division. Read More