The man best known for cofounding the tech blogs Gizmodo and Engadget, Peter Rojas, said today that Google will be unveiling a new platform known as "Android VR" along with a standalone VR headset at Google I/O next week.
This is not the first time we've heard of Google's phone-less VR hardware ambitions, and Google I/O's already-published schedule contains VR sessions aplenty. Rojas' tweets give us a bit more information in terms of the alleged experience and branding, which he calls Android VR. Read More
Exchange Services has been available in Android for a long time, but now it's also in the Play Store. As with other Google apps in the Play Store, that means it will be possible to improve the feature over time without waiting on OS updates. In fact, this version of Exchange Services will add some new capabilities. Read More
Google Maps Navigation has existed for almost seven years (and it's still beta), but Driving Mode is new. This feature was added early this year, but it was only available in a few countries. Google Maps Driving Mode now seems to be expanding across the globe. Read More
Google Translate has gained a ton of cool new translation features over the years, but you usually have to open the app to use them. That's not the case with the latest update. Now, you can just copy text and have it translated on the spot. It's called Tap to Translate and it's part of the new Translate v5.0 update. Read More
Logitech is unveiling a new product today, and its exclusively for Android with the aim of making it easier to use your phone in the car without distraction. Logi ZeroTouch is a smart car mount with included voice control app. And yes, you need one to use the other. These two things are not usually so intertwined, but ZeroTouch is an unusual product. Would you like to know how unusual? Read on. Read More
Google's Camera app isn't the most advanced tool for taking photos. It completely avoids manual controls and generally lags behind OEMs for most major features. Where it's lacking in advanced features, the Camera app tries to make up for with a simple interface and clever techniques to intelligently deliver better photos without putting the burden on users. This means it works pretty well for simple point-and-shoot purposes, but skilled and professional photographers aren't likely to give it a second look. A teardown of a recent Camera update shows that Google is testing an option to save both RAW and JPEG files with each picture, a popular feature on many dedicated cameras and high-end smartphones. Read More
I've lost count of how many Samsung tablets there are now, but one member of the lineup just received an update, with the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 being spec-bumped to the latest and greatest. It seems like a normal, mid-range, large-ish tablet, but that doesn't mean it's not worth looking at.
The screen is a Full HD 1920x1080 display, with 2GB RAM and a 1.6GHz octa-core processor (Samsung has declined to mention the make or model of the processor) powering it. There's a 7300mAh battery, the usual array of WiFi connections (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac) and of course Bluetooth 4.2. The camera is an 8MP affair, with F1.9 aperture, LED flash, and autofocus. Read More
If you're curious about what has changed in the latest round of factory images for the Nexus family, there aren't many better ways to see the bare details than to browse through the changes exactly as they are written in the Android Open Source Project. We've generated changelogs from the available code commits from the latest round of updates. So far, this only includes the MOB30G-MOB30J builds, but the rest should be coming soon.
May's changelogs are pretty brief, owing basically all of their contents to the security-related fixes. Read More
Nexus phones tend to last a while, at least in terms of software - thank Google's spot as the gatekeeper of Android for that. I'm still using my Nexus 6, and will probably continue to do so when the 2016 models come in and it passes the two-year mark. The previous phone, LG's Nexus 5, is coming up on three years old, but it still has access to the latest version of Android with new security releases every month. It's still a great budget phone, especially for enthusiasts and developers. Read More
So you've yet to snag a free Google Cardboard VR headset from a trade show. Or a Star Wars promotion. Or a copy of the New York Times, or a late-night talk show host, or even a freakin' porn website. And even when Google started selling Cardboard for actual money, they only did it in the US and not [your country here]. Don't worry: if you lack the skills and/or materials to build one of the ultra-cheap headsets, you can now buy one in Canada, the United Kingdom, France, or Germany. Read More