Before I got this job, I was a flashaholic. Every week I was trying at least one new ROM, which meant signing back into all of my apps for each new installation. For you Waze users, you have one less app to worry about remembering login credentials for. The latest update brings with it Smart Lock for signing back in, and all of your maps and points will be restored. Read More
Yesterday, Google announced what many hoped would be the first "proper" Android Wear smartwatches - designed from the ground up to provide the best Wear experience possible by the very team behind Android Wear. But what we received increasingly appears to be two LG smartwatches with hints of Google design influence, with far more of Google's effort being felt in the marketing and media campaigns than on consumers' wrists. Our reviews of the LG Watch Style and Watch Sport haven't yet landed, and I don't wish to taint their conclusions (my opinions here are my own), but to me they show Google's strategy with the struggling Android Wear platform is deeply misguided. Read More
The Android SDK isn't something that normal users see all that often (except perhaps when they're unlocking the bootloader on a new phone), but developers still rely on it heavily. One of the components included in the collection of desktop tools is Google's first-party Android emulator. It's a way of running a simplified version of Android software on a computer for the purpose of testing apps. And as cool as that sounds, it's also kind of a hassle - like all emulators, it's significantly slower than using Android on native hardware. But that's changing with the latest release, at least according to Google. Read More
A new beta update of Google Maps began rolling out late Tuesday night. The changes aren't particularly major, but they might tie up a few loose ends. If you're a Local Guide with a few points to your name, this version will bring the ability to share links to individual reviews. There are also some tweaks to the notification settings, including a new notification for people with business listings to maintain. Finally, there's an improvement to the parking difficulty rating system, but it may not be live yet. Read More
The Polar M600, which was announced in August of 2016, is on the list of smartwatches slated to get the Android Wear 2.0 update. But there's more to look forward to when the update rolls if you own the GPS fitness watch or were planning on buying it.
Polar has announced that the M600 will be getting Android Wear 2.0, including the Google Assistant, more customizable watch faces, and integrated Google Play Store. The update also improves the battery life to 36 hours, a nice upgrade from the 24 hours that were quoted at launch, especially for those who use more of the sporty and battery-draining features of the M600. Read More
NVIDIA is on fire this year. Not only did the company release new SHIELD TV boxes, it also quickly updated them to Android 7.0 Nougat and upgraded the older SHIELD TV as well, then said it would bring the same update to the SHIELD Tablet, and here we are: promise fulfilled.
SHIELD Experience 5.0 will start to roll to NVIDIA Tablets today and will be staged over the next few days to make sure no issues arise. It brings Android 7.0 with multi-window support and quick switch between apps by double tapping the Overview button, bundled notifications and quick reply, better notification management, better battery standby through doze, Unicode 9 emojis, customizable Quick Settings tiles, and plenty of improvements under the hood like a new JIT compiler for faster app and system updates, and more. Read More
Facebook is still trying to be your one-stop shop for everything. We've seen the social media platform evolve in ridiculous leaps over the years, the latest evidence of that being a weather section. While it shows only the most basic information, it's still an interesting step. Read More
One of the many announcements at Microsoft's Windows Developer Day was "Project Rome," a way for Universal Windows Platform applications (apps from the Windows Store) to have cross-device services. In addition to supporting all the various Windows 10 platforms (PC, Windows Mobile, Xbox, etc), Microsoft has also released the Project Rome SDK for Android. Read More
Google does weird things. Assistant for example has different capabilities if you use it on Google Home, in Google Allo, on the Google Pixel, or on Android Wear 2.0. Why? It's hard to explain and even harder to remember what is possible where, and more importantly, what is not possible.
For example, you could control your compatible smart home gadgets from Assistant on Google Home, but the functionality wasn't available on the Pixel. Last December, a small workaround showed up: if you already enabled Nest control on Google Home, you could issue the command on your Pixel and it would be interpreted correctly, but if you didn't have a Home already, Google would reply that it doesn't know how to do that yet. Read More
You may not have noticed - we didn't - but it seems that, a couple days ago, Google removed casting from the Google Photos Android app on a temporary basis. This was due to "stability reasons," according to Photos community manager Ben; however, as of v2.8.1, the feature seems to have returned, with multiple Android Police team members seeing this on their personal devices. Read More