The Vulkan graphics API is a big deal for mobile developers, since its direct GPU access allows for complex graphics to be rendered with a considerably lower hit to the processor, and thus a lower overhead on the hardware and battery life. A few devices like the SHIELD family and Samsung's 7 series already supported Vulkan several months ago, but Nougat now features full support for all updated Android 7.0 devices. Developer Super Evil Megacorp, which turned heads last year with its Vainglory mobile MOBA, now has a beta version that uses the Vulkan API.
OnePlus phone owners can probably agree that the company needs to work on faster OS updates. (It's a safe bet: pretty much everyone can agree on that, including Nexus owners.) OnePlus is trying. To that end, the company has announced that its two disparate Android software builds will be merged into one: Oxygen OS and Hydrogen OS. I'll pause for a moment to allow the chemistry nerds to make an H2O joke before we continue.
Niantic might not technically be part of Google anymore, but it looks like at least a few people at the old stomping grounds are keeping up with the AR development team's progress. Reddit user GoldLeader272 noticed a juicy new addition to the activity selector in the Timeline feature of Google Maps yesterday: users can now indicate that they were "catching Pokémon," i.e. playing Pokémon GO on their phones. Users can even update Timeline activities on the Android app: go to "Your timeline," tap on the travel (car, walking, bus, cycling, etc.) icon, and then edit it to "catching Pokémon." Neat.
Samsung has officially initiated a global recall of its Note7 smartphone due to a tiny number of devices that may have defective batteries that could cause the device to self-immolate. The Note7 is a hugely prominent smartphone around the world, and part of a franchise well-loved by enthusiasts and regular consumers alike. Samsung's larger solution in the recall is to replace customers' smartphones with new ones - a costly fix indeed - and would generally make consumers whole in the process. As responses go, Samsung has been swift and cautious, and I'm not sure much more could be asked of them in this scenario.
Let's be honest: the Xperia X was kind of a ripoff at its MSRP of $549.99. It's a solid mid-ranger, but that much dough for a non-flagship? Come on. A few months back, this Sony smartphone got a price drop of $50 to $499.99. Now, numerous official retailers have dropped their prices to an even more palatable $449.99, and BuyDig is also throwing in a Lexar Class 10 128GB microSD card.
Are you in the market for some new drones? Even if you're not, Parrot's new releases are still worth taking a look at. Parrot, maker of various wireless products and drones, has released two new models - the Parrot Swing and Parrot Mambo.
The Parrot Mambo is close to your typical quadcopter drone, but with a few extra goodies. You can attach a cannon to the top of the Mambo to take down your friends' drones, try to aim the balls into a goal, or continuously fire the balls at the back of your friend's head.
If firing tiny balls isn't your thing, you can also attach a grabber arm to the bottom of the Mambo.
Does a calendar app need a voice control function? Samsung seems to think that it does. That's the premise behind JifiCal, the company's latest published app in the Play Store. It's essentially a voice control add-on for a phone's built-in calendar. So what makes it better than, say, Google Now's voice control system (especially since the actual voice recognition in JifiCal is using Google's own servers)? According to the app description, the special sauce here is the natural language processing.
S Note is the included app for Samsung's Note series that enables, well, notation. It's designed to be used with the S Pen stylus for a variety of quick notes and drawings. It features most of the things that you'd expect from a notation tool, but since it's such a signature part of the differentiating hardware, Samsung seems interested in making a beta version of the app available to its users. The beta app is up on the Play Store now - head to this address to opt-in to the program, then this address to download it.
It's not often that we see an Android game released just for Android TV, aside from the various exclusives that NVIDIA has acquired for its SHIELD set-top box. Hotlap Heroes eschews smartphones and tablets and insists that players experience its old-fashioned racing action on a full-sized television. The 3D racing game, a rookie effort on the Play Store from developer Team Pea, is $3.99 with no in-app purchases.
When I was approached about writing an introductory post about myself, I really had no idea where to start. The point here is to get to know me a bit better, so I guess I will start with the basics.
I am currently a senior at the University of Colorado on track to earn my Bachelor's in Business Administration. Despite my major, I am obviously a huge geek. It began with the movie Tron, a film that ignited my imagination for the world of computers. Though, my primary focus at the time was on riding a lightcycle. The concept of the Grid led me to explore programming.