The ZenFone 2 was one of the best budget phones to launch last summer, and the Laser variant (named after a laser auto-focus module) was a good follow-up. Now the latter (ZE500KL model) is getting its Android 6.0 update, WW_188.8.131.52_M3.6.44.
For a phone that was supposed to "kill" high-priced flagships, the OnePlus 2 seems to have taken its sweet old time in upgrading to the latest version of Android. Whether that has to do with a smaller development team over at OnePlus, or the idiosyncrasies of the company's custom "Oxygen OS" ROM, we couldn't say. But it appears that the wait is finally over: according to a post on the OnePlus user forum, the Oxygen OS 3.0.2 over-the-air release (based on Marshmallow 6.0.1 code) is heading out today.
Apps aren't just for phones anymore, now they're for your wrist. That's the focus of the Android Wear app and watch face roundup—apps that should go on your wrist. They might not all appeal to you personally, but these are all the best things that have come to Android Wear in the last few months. We've got timers, calendars, and oh so many watch faces.
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.
You usually have to get a car with Android Auto pre-installed if you want the feature to ever be available to you, but Hyundai has embraced Google's car platform more so than others. It just announced an update is available for some of its 2015, 2016, and 2017 models that adds Android Auto and CarPlay. You can install them yourself or go to a dealership and pay them to do it.
Google's Text-to-Speech engine has seen many updates over the past months with new voices, more natural enunciation, and more. What it's getting in this latest version is more of a functional improvement.
After Google released the Android Wear 2.0 Preview images for the Huawei Watch and LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition, many of us quickly flashed the firmware onto our watches to test out the new features. Most of the major changes are pretty easy to find, and some could even be said to be a little in-your-face. However, we saw quite a few people were confused by what seemed to be the absence of the handwriting keyboard. It turns out that it's just not enabled by default on the preview firmware. While it's not exactly buried, knowing that it has to be activated and where to go isn't very intuitive; so we've made a quick how-to guide for those that got a little lost.
There are many opinions about wearable technology, but most criticisms focus on the awkwardness – or just plain unattractiveness – of many products that have come thus far. One of the more interesting presentations from I/O 2015 came during the ATAP session, in which Project Jacquard was introduced. This is a touch-sensitive fabric that can be woven into regular clothing and used a bit like a trackpad. This technology is being put to real use, and in a partnership with Levi Strauss, the first product using Jacquard will be launching next Spring.
Levi's is calling it the Commuter Trucker Jacket, a denim jacket with Jacquard woven into the left sleeve.