Who says that Nexus owners get to have all the fun? Yesterday an innocuous XDA thread claimed to have a beta version of an Android 7.0 build, ready and waiting for Huawei's dual-camera phone, the P9. Usually that sort of post when we're still weeks or months away from a full AOSP release of a new Android version is, to put it bluntly, bunk. But in this case, users who have flashed the ROM say that it's functional and apparently legitimate - Huawei's proprietary EMUI skin, marked as version 5, is running on top of Nougat. It's working on the EVA-L09 model; others may not be compatible. Read More
The Moto Z and Moto Z Force have launched today as Verizon-exclusive devices. The Moto Z will come out as an unlocked device in the not too distant future, but the Droid phones are the only game in town when it comes to Moto Mods. And there are settings apps for the Mods in the Play Store—two of them, in fact. I guess that's cool. Read More
Google does a lot of smart things, but it also makes some very bizarre (dare I say, dumb?) decisions. Case in point, YouTube recently changed the way it handles background play, making it harder to end playback from the notification. The "x" used to be tiny, but now it's just gone. Read More
For years, Republic Wireless has offered inexpensive plans and interesting WiFi calling features, but the selection of phones was extremely limited. That changes today. After announcing a new GSM network partner and smartphone portfolio, both are live today. You can pick up devices like the Nexus 6P and Galaxy S7 for use on Republic Wireless right now. Read More
Pre-orders for Moto's new flagships went up last week, but today is the day the phones go officially on sale. Both the Moto Z DROID and the Moto Z Force DROID are available for purchase at Verizon's website and the prices are like we discussed earlier.
You'll have to pay $624 for the regular Z or divide that up into $26 monthly installments over 30 months. As for the Z Force, it's about a hundred dollars more, costing $720 upfront or $30 per month for 30 months.
You can also grab a Mod if you want that, but you'll have to be ready to shell out serious cash for some of them. Read More
WhatsApp is hugely popular in Brazil where mobile subscribers pay high rates for cellular calls and messaging. WhatsApp isn't getting as much use today as a Brazilian judge has ordered the country's five wireless providers to block access to the service. Unlike past blackouts, this one does not include an end date—it's intended to continue until WhatsApp complies with a court order to turn over information. However, it says the requested information doesn't exist. Read More
Bolstered by surging sales of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, Samsung has announced its second quarter earnings for 2016, showing that profits, 8.14 trillion won ($45.2 billion), are up almost 18%, with revenue, 50.94 trillion won ($7.22 billion), also up by 5%.
These are big, big increases for Samsung - the biggest profit the South Korean company has made in over two years. This is no doubt thanks to, at least in part, a hugely profitable IT & Mobile Communications division, which has the smartphone department as part of that. Profit for the IM division was 4.32 trillion won ($3.83 billion). Read More
The LEGO games are great - a little repetitive, maybe, but very good, especially for mobile devices. For the Star Wars fans out there (and boy are there a lot of you), your time has come: LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens has hit the Play Store, almost a month after release on consoles and PC.
We all know the LEGO formula by now: run around with a character, collect as many coins as possible, and advance through the game. This is tried and tested, so I'm not going to doubt it, but the gameplay does feel a little tired now. Read More
Remember Chromecast's "Fast Play" feature? Well, some of it is out there in the wild now: for example, apps now can be pre-fetched by the Chromecast when they're loaded on your phone (this works for all Chromecasts). But the one feature a lot of people were looking forward to - video prefetching, aka Content Prediction - still isn't released.
Content Prediction is one piece of the larger Fast Play puzzle, but it's an important one. Content Prediction lets the Chromecast start to buffer a video before you even press the play or Cast button on your smartphone, with the idea that the video will start playing, essentially, instantaneously once you start it. Read More