Ah, the Nook Color. I have fond memories of Barnes & Noble's don't-call-it-a-tablet tablet, if only because that early hardware was a gateway drug to custom ROMs and root modifications. The Nook brand eventually crashed and burned against the twin onslaughts of cheap Android tablets and Amazon's unstoppable Kindle e-readers, but there are still at least a few B&N product managers who want to keep the hardware kicking, as evidenced by "Nook" versions of Samsung tablets. Read More
Inbox for Gmail continues to stack on new features and refine its existing capabilities. While it may never fit the needs of many Gmail users, it has earned a strong following of fans that couldn't live without it. The latest release doesn't appear to add anything to the user experience, but a teardown shows a few of the changes that may be on the horizon.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong. There is always a chance that details may change or plans may be cancelled prior to the launch of a new feature discovered in a teardown.
If you're a long-time Skype user, then you've no doubt seen its many faces and redesigns. Today marks the release of yet another redesign, and this time it actually looks pretty damn good.
First off, Skype took a page from the Android playbook and went with Material Design and a FAB, so it not only looks better, but it functions in a smart and intuitive way. I think that's something we can all get behind.
Aside from that, search has also been enhanced so you can more easily find the people you talk to the most. Along that same line, it's also faster and easier to see how many unread messages you have. Read More
SmartThings users have the luxury of controlling a large number of things from a single spot—their phones. That means the app SmartThings relies on must be pretty good, or the entire experience falls to pieces. To coincide with the formal release of its second generation Hub (which went on pre-order last month), the company is now pushing out an update to its Android app. Read More
Door Kickers is a military-style, real-time, top-down, squad-focused tactical game. If all those hyphens mean nothing to you, imagine it as something like XCOM with a more straightforward interface and a severe lack of aliens. But the difference between more conventional tactical games and Door Kickers is what makes it exciting: the game's 2D interface boils the admittedly niche genre down into its purest elements of placement, timing, and sight lines. It's available for Android tablets (and only tablets) for $5. Read More
Rumors began circulating a few weeks ago about a supposed Samsung tablet with a humongous 18.4-inch screen. At the time we suspected it was just a typo in an inventory system somewhere (an extra 1 in front of 8.4-inches). However, Samsung slyly showed off the huge Galaxy View during the Gear S2 announcement, so it looks like this one is real. Read More
So here's the scenario: you're in San Francisco for the first time. You're starving, but have no idea where to go, what's good, or where to even start. What do you do?
Now, you can open Google Maps, hit the Explore link, and get all the recommendations you could ever hope for. But not just "hey, here's some stuff near you" - starting now, Google is offering curated results in San Francisco, New York City, and London. Basically, this will make it easier to find exactly what you're looking for around your location. That's pretty awesome.
If you're not in any of those areas, though, you can still get the "hey, here's some stuff near you" recommendations, and it looks better than ever thanks to the new interface (in the US and UK only, though). Read More
If you've ever searched Google for an illness - mostly common stuff, like Pink Eye or Flu - then you've seen the Health Conditions feature. It's a quick-reference card that provides at-a-glance information like symptoms, how common it is, and a lot more.
Today, Google announced an update to this information that provides a lot of useful improvements, like additional health conditions, an improved look, and - probably most importantly - the option to download all of this info as a PDF so you can show your doctor.
- Hundreds more health conditions (soon over 900 total, more than double the number we started with) where you’ll get quick at-a-glance info on symptoms, treatments, prevalence, and more
- Visual design improvements and some more specific triggering so it’s quicker and easier to get the info you need (for example, you can now search for “pink eye symptoms” and you’ll get straight to the symptoms tab)
- A ‘Download PDF’ link so you can easily print this information for a doctor’s visit—this has been a top request from doctors
They're also including several common tropical diseases that affect people in poorer regions, making it easy for those users to get information and potentially self-diagnose/treat those particular infections. Read More
T-Mobile has been pushing some new network technologies lately, like the Advanced Messaging platform announced a few months back. Now it's moving on to video calling by adding native support to its network for select devices. It will require a software update to use, but the experience of placing a video call should be somewhat less annoying. Read More
If there's one thing to say about NVIDIA's support of SHIELD devices, it's that they're doing a pretty dang good job of constantly pushing enhancements to all three devices - SHIELD Portable, SHIELD Tablet, and SHIELD Android TV.
And today, two of those are getting updates of their own, with a minor update to SHIELD Portable and a slightly larger bump for SHIELD Android TV. Let's start with the former.
SHIELD Portable is currently receiving upgrade 106, which brings a few rather minor - but still useful - enhancements:
This update contains button functionality fixes and security improvements, including:
If you missed the start button from KitKat, it's back. Read More