It looks like Google is performing some surgery on the Google bar, the familiar toolbar that appears across the top of many of Google's web properties (including Chrome's new tab page). Until recently, the bar held a G+ sharing shortcut, a profile switcher, an "app drawer" to switch between Google products, and a link shortcut to your Google+ profile.
Today it looks like two of those things have been axed - specifically the Google+ link and the sharing shortcut.
Of course, while "Google+ is dead" sentiments have been floating around virtually since the service's inception, we'll resist the urge to speculate about the rationale behind removing Plus-specific functionality from the bar for now. Read More
Samsung's latest and most advanced tablet series is the Galaxy Tab S. That's kind of amazing when you consider the company's previous rate of releasing new tablets, and that the Tab S 8.4 and Tab S 10.5 were released almost a year ago. But I suppose it's nice if you happen to have one, so Samsung is more motivated to release faster updates. Today the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 on US Cellular gets its Android 5.0 update.
The update information was just posted to Samsung's support site, with a release date marked as today. So the update itself (version T807R4TYUBOE5, Android 5.0.2, if you're wondering) may or may not actually go out over US Cellular's network immediately. Read More
Google likes jokes, but it has confined most of the Android gags to one specific place. When you open the secret version logo, you can long press to see what Google has cooked up for an Easter egg. In KitKat it was an interactive mosaic of platform logos, in Lollipop it was a Flappy Bird clone, and in the M preview it's a shrug emoticon.
To see the shrug for yourself, you have to go into About Phone (or tablet) and tap a few times on the Android version line, which just says M right now. Read More
Google is very into this whole cloud thing, so much so that it's offering unlimited storage of high-quality images and video as part of the new Photos. If you've got all your stuff online, do you really need it locally? The new Photos app doesn't think so, and it can help you save some space.
The Galaxy Note 4 was a beast of a device at launch, and as a direct result, it came with a beast of a price tag (the AT&T model in particular still goes for $850). It's the kind of phone that carriers offer for $300 on contact, which is enough money to outright own a decent piece of hardware these days.
Now that the Galaxy S6 exists and we're nearly a year out since the Note 4's launch, it's easier to get the 5.7-inch device at a more reasonable price. Today refurbished units are currently going on eBay for $400. Read More
Last year the company that made it a thing to "check in" somewhere shed the social network aspect of its service and pushed out a complete redesign. The new Foursquare was less interested in where you've been and more concerned about where you're going. The experience now centers around personalized recommendations, and the latest version sticks those suggestions directly on your wrist.
The Foursquare Android Wear app lets you search for interesting places in your area and get information on your smartwatch. There isn't much screen real estate to work with, but you can see a restaurant's location on a map, how far it is from your location, whether it's pricey, and its overall rating. Read More
The OnePlus One is still a great deal in terms of hardware, even more than a year after its release. If you'd like an even better deal, keep an eye on the OnePlus online store this week. According to this page, the One will be $50 off during "flash" sales, at least once per day between today, June 1st and Sunday, June 7th. Times for the start of the sale will vary, and presumably a set number of discounted phones will be sold each day.
The discount is applied to both the 16GB white and 64GB black versions of the One, bringing the prices down to $249 and $299, respectively. Read More
File this in the weird, unlikely, but well, stranger things have happened, category of rumors. Japanese website Nikkei, which appears to have a good track record when it comes to Nintendo rumors, has dropped a little piece of insider information regarding the company's next console: the NX (that's the console's codename) might be based on Android.
According to Nikkei's insider source, an OS based on Android would make it easier to get developers on board. Read More
There was a time, several years ago, when SMS notifications were very handy. Twitter, Google Calendar, and many other services, used the 160 characters to let you know of any changes to your schedule, new mentions and direct messages, and surfaced other useful information to you. But in today's age, where smartphones are so ubiquitous and you could get one for less than $100, SMS is taking a step back to regular notifications from installed apps. That's why Google is canning SMS notifications for its Calendar service on June 27th.
Important: SMS notifications not available after June 27th
Starting on June 27th, 2015, SMS notifications from Google Calendar will no longer be sent.