The over-ear headphone market is a competitive place, with Bang and Olufsen (B&O), Bose, Plantronics, and Sony all vying to make the best cans money can buy. B&O's latest set, the Beoplay H9, are up for pre-order at Amazon with a shipping date of December 8.
The Amazon listing says the H9 are lightweight (although I wonder if that means they're lighter the Bose's QC35, which are ridiculously light, as Rita said in her review) and, interestingly, has an intuitive aluminum touch panel, located on the right earcup. This allows changing music, volume, turn noise cancelling on or off, and answer or decline calls. Read More
Nokia has been through the wash a bit recently, with Microsoft buying its phone business and Chinese companies using the Nokia name to sell devices by. The Finnish company announced a return to the tablet market in May, and now it is announcing it will return to smartphones in 2017, along with manufacturing partner HMD Global.
A new section devoted to phones has appeared on Nokia's website - you'll see that the website is operated by 'HMD Global Oy,' which is now the exclusive licensee of the Nokia brand. HMD Global is also Finnish, so the company remains in Finland, although it's not clear if the devices themselves will be manufactured in Finland. Read More
In 1961 a musical called How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying made light of the growing corporate culture in America. Half a century later, those same corporations are seen by many as a necessary evil, a soulless machine that runs on the lives of its employees. It's appropriate, then, that Human Resource Machine is more or less the opposite of How To Succeed in Business: instead of starting in the mailroom and becoming the CEO in a fun-filled week of singing and dancing, you play a literal human machine whose behavior is programmed like a computer, and who spends decades in service to a company that has nothing but contempt for you. Read More
Republic Wireless, the mobile virtual network operator that was doing hybrid Wi-Fi service before it was cool, is now an independent republic. The company received a $30 million capital investment from its parent corporation Bandwidth, according to The Verge, which allowed it to become its own separate entity. The Republic Wireless blog says that aside from a necessary change in names on customers' Terms of Service agreements, no significant changes to the service or business model are planned. Read More
It's been a few months since Android 7.0 hit the AOSP code repository, and this is about the time of year that owners of non-Nexus (non-Pixel, now) flagships start to ask why their upgrades are taking so long. Well if your flagship just happens to be the latest high-powered Sony smartphone, you're in luck. The Xperia X Performance is receiving its Nougat update starting today, according to XperiaBlog. For the record, that's just a little over three months of waiting for the upgrade - not bad by current Android standards. Read More
Steve Kondik has left a statement about the rather troubling news coming out of Cyanogen Inc. this week on the [private] official CyanogenMod developer Google+ community, and things aren't looking pretty. Read More
TWRP is an awesome tool for us Android enthusiasts; it allows users to make and restore backups, flash ROMs and other files, and is often the stepping stone to root access. Now, TWRP has become available for three smartphones and one Android TV device. Read More
Pebble is one of the best Kickstarter success stories. Predating the original Samsung Gear and Android Wear, Pebble's first fundraising campaign raised over $10 million and spawned multiple generations and models of e-paper wearables. But as many tech startups eventually do, Pebble is being acquired by wearable competitor Fitbit. Read More
Android Auto has existed for almost two years now, but it's improved only slightly in that time. One of the more vexing inadequacies in Android Auto thus far has been the lack of OK Google support. With the latest version, the hotword trigger is finally a thing. Read More
Eager to get a slice of the growing cord-cutter pie, AT&T and DirecTV announced their own web-based premium TV service earlier this week. DIRECTV NOW officially launches today, so it's good to see that the service gets Android support immediately. The app is free and works with phones and tablets running Android 4.4 or higher. Sadly it's not compatible with Android TV, though Chromecast streaming is available on all videos. Read More