It's Galaxy Note7 review day here in the US! ...Our review isn't ready. I received my evaluation device less than a week ago, and we've been swamped here with various leak posts and bringing on some new faces (say "hi!" to the newest members of our team when you spot their bylines), and there just hasn't been time for me to fully formulate thoughts and compile them into a 5000-word-plus post for you. But would you take an abridged review/extended hands-on until I can make good on that promise? If so, read on.
Early review notes
- Industrial design and attention to physical detail continue to climb to ever-greater heights at Samsung.
If you've never used Google Opinion Rewards, it's an app from Google that periodically sends you surveys and rewards you with Play Store credit. Most questions are usually location-based, asking if you've been to a certain place recently and how you would rate it. But it looks like Google may be using Opinion Rewards to improve YouTube video recommendations.
Earlier today, I received a survey asking about my YouTube history. It's worth noting that if you have YouTube Watch History disabled, you won't get these surveys.
Left: A YouTube survey?! Right: Here it asks about a video I watched earlier today. Read More
Just a few hours ago, Google started the rollout for the first of its two new messaging apps, Duo. For me and some of us here, the Play Store listing still shows "Pre-Registration," but this is the typical Google way. As a refresher, Google is releasing the dynamic messaging duo (ha) to compete in this mobile-first market. Both the text-based Allo and the video-based Duo will be tied to a phone number instead of a Google account. This, obviously, directly contests with Hangouts, Google's all-in-one messaging platform, and is more in line with services like WhatsApp.
Earlier, Google announced that they would be transitioning Hangouts On Air into YouTube Live, separating the feature from Google+. Read More
Instagram's Stories is a blatant copy of Snapchat Stories, so it's not really a huge surprise to see another feature carried over. In this update, Instagram is getting one-finger zoom - simply hold the record button and slide your finger up or down to zoom. Wonder where they got that idea from?
- We have a few improvements to Instagram Stories!
- Zoom with one hand as you're recording a video. Slide your finger up while holding the video record button.
- Lots of bug fixes and improvements to make stories even better (and faster).
There's not really much more to say on this, other than in practice it works well. Read More
Coming as an inevitable surprise to no one, Google has announced today that Hangouts On Air will be leaving Google+ and moving to YouTube Live. All future broadcasts will need to be scheduled in YouTube Live, and events in Google+ will shut down after the hard date of September 12.
Google says that recorded Hangouts On Air will still be available on YouTube, and that Google+ event content will be available in read-only format in the Activity Log.
In regards to Q&A, Google's suggestion to broadcasters is to use Slides, which has the same feature, in conjunction with broadcasts. The company also suggests that questions are gathered ahead of time via social media. Read More
Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.
Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.
Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Riptide GP: Renegade
Android Police coverage: Riptide GP: Renegade brings premium jet ski racing to the SHIELD TV, phone and tablet release coming later
Riptide is back for another round of water racing, and this time it's a full premium game. Read More
Making the rounds now is a GIF by Android Police alumnus Ron Amadeo. In it, Ron uses our leaked photo of the 2016 "Sailfish" Nexus device and frames it against a perspective-shifted image of the HTC One A9. The comparison has absolute merit: there is clearly some relationship between the front panels and overall proportions of these two devices.
But there are now claims that Sailfish has simply "recycled" the HTC One A9's design. In short: the growing sentiment is that Google phoned it in with Sailfish. But I would argue strongly that, aside from proportional similarities, dismissively calling Sailfish a reworked 2015 HTC phone is doing an unreleased handset a complete disservice and ignoring a vast, gaping chasm of nuance in favor of tired arguments about Nexus phones just being OEM leftovers that have persisted for years. Read More
The Android ROM community isn't quite as active as it was a few years ago with Android itself becoming more feature-rich. Still, CyanogenMod is chugging along with support for a ton of devices and a reasonably fast update cycle. A new snapshot build of the Marshmallow-based CyanogenMod 13 is now official (ZNH5Y), and it will be available on the first wave of devices today. Read More
The Tony Hawk series might be the King of skateboarding games, but that doesn't mean there can't be other viable contenders for the title. True Skate, currently available for $0.10 in many countries (but not in the US), is one such game, and by the looks of it does a damn good job.
True Skate is the official 'Street League Skateboarding' video game, which a bit of Googling tells me is an international competitive skateboarding series. For True Skate to have these credentials is a pretty big indicator of its quality (or at least potential quality) and should inspire confidence if you are a skateboarding fan. Read More
It's been reported that this year's Nexus devices will be built by HTC for quite a while now. We've had recreations, we've had photos, and now we've got FCC certifications. These applications were granted earlier today for both Sailfish and Marlin.
Although these labels don't look like they'd tell us much, we can learn a few things from them. First off, we now have further confirmation that there will be two Nexus models. From the weights listed, it's clear that G-2PW4100 is the larger Marlin, while G-2PW2100 is the smaller Sailfish. In addition, the font of the labels looks very similar to that of Google's new logo. Read More