In the microUSB days, there were several handy little power meters you could get that measured the power draw of your phone. I have one in a drawer someplace because most new phones have moved to USB Type-C, rendering that device useless. Now, there's a Type-C power meter available courtesy of Satechi. It's a little more expensive than the microUSB versions were, but it looks slick.
I put out a question on Twitter a few minutes ago asking if anyone else was feeling like their Pixel was charging more slowly lately. The response was mixed, but some definitely concurred with me: For whatever reason, the Pixel's (and/or Pixel XL) rapid charging definitely isn't feeling so rapid sometimes.
I've consistently noticed when putting my Pixel on the official Google rapid charger (the one in the box) that it's taking much longer to charge than it should, regardless of whatever the indicated battery level is. At very low levels, I've seen the phone take nearly three hours to reach peak charge, which is well above what should be happening based on what we know about the charging speed.
In the words of Sprint, it's "doubling down" on unlimited. However much everyone now hates that phrase, this is probably good news. Unlimited data, calls, and texts are scarce nowadays, whereas Sprint is charging just $50 a month (for comparison, the 5GB data deal on Verizon is also $50 per month). Pretty good.
The sad news is this deal is only for new customers. Sorry, people already on Sprint - your time will come.
YouTube has been racking up a long list of features awaiting release – some discovered in teardowns and others have even been announced. The version that began rolling out late yesterday doesn't appear to have introduced anything like live broadcasts or a wide release of the quick seek button, but it does add to the list of things we know are coming. A teardown of the APK turns up evidence of a new feature to intelligently fill a device with videos for offline enjoyment, online polling for live broadcast viewers, and Picture-in-Picture support on Android TV.
Google Opinion Rewards has been around for a while, allowing Android users to answer various surveys to receive Play Store credit. Now Google has updated the Opinion Rewards app to version '20170119,' adding a hamburger menu and new notification options.
Huawei has become one of the largest phone makers on the planet, and it's done so without too much help from the US market. The company has dabbled mostly with mid-range phones here, including some from the Honor sub-brand. The Mate 9 is the first phone Huawei has brought to the US that isn't explicitly going after the budget crowd. It's running the latest version of Huawei's in-house Kirin SoC, has an all metal housing, and the Leica-branded cameras are present too.
The hardware side hasn't been Huawei's problem in western markets. It's the software. I've always had trouble using Huawei phones for very long because of the many, many annoyances present in the EMUI Android skin.
Games featuring phones are all the rage right now, huh? After Strange Telephone earlier today, we came across A Normal Lost Phone, from Accidental Queens. The game features a character who finds, unsurprisingly, a lost cell phone, and then attempts to return the device by looking through text messages and other items to identify the owner.
We don't talk about TomTom wearables almost ever at Android Police, and that's because of one particular reason: the TomTom MySports app sucks. It's a shame because TomTom makes very interesting products spanning from the simple Touch band to the Spark 3 GPS and HR watch with storage for music, and all the way to the multi-sport Adventurer with multiple outdoor modes, compass, and barometer.
But whenever we talk about any smart gadget here, onAndroid Police, we mention its app, and in this case, we couldn't gloss over the fact that no matter how good TomTom's products were, their app frankly sucked, which made the whole line-up irrelevant for our coverage.
Healthy living is the, er, in-thing at the moment, so anything which can help with that is welcome. Taking pictures of food is also popular *ahem* Instagram *ahem*, so Bitesnap, from Bite AI, could work wonders with those trying to eat to a specified diet.
Bitesnap works by using machine learning to identify food from pictures. Take a picture using the app (or add one from the gallery) and it will attempt to work out what's in the picture. By telling it the amount you're eating and any other important information, the app will tell you how many calories are in the food.
Everyone loves a bit of pixel art now and again (I do, anyway), so when I saw this game from Japanese indie developer Magniflop, I was excited. It's a fun horror game with a cool story, which has multiple endings and interesting world generation featuring a telephone. Who'd have thought?