As I have moved on from sharing my every move via Facebook, one of the most useful things I do on the platform nowadays is take advantage of the expertise of my friends. Finding a place to get lunch, identifying a dentist covered by my employer's insurance, and all manner of similar problems can be solved in part by soliciting suggestions from my social network. Facebook is now rolling out a feature called Recommendations that helps you make sense of your friends' input. Read More
Amazon's Alexa voice control assistant is undeniably slick, but the initially limited availability and high price of the flagship Echo device kept it out of the hands of a lot of people. New Alexa-powered gadgets like the Echo Dot and Amazon Tap have lowered the barrier to entry, but the real opportunity is in devices that license Alexa for use on other hardware. Such is the case with FABRIQ, an inexpensive wireless speaker that works with Alexa out of the box. Read More
Updates are still a huge pain point for many Android OEMs, but Google's usually been okay with them. Historically, devices with the Nexus nameplate have received around two years' worth of updates; for instance, the LG-made Nexus 5, which was released in late 2013, is stuck (officially) on Marshmallow, which was released in late 2015. That trend seems to be continuing with the Pixel phones. Read More
Android Pay has slowly been growing to more and more regions, and now has finally reached the city of Hong Kong. This makes Hong Kong and Singapore the only regions in Asia supported by Android Pay.
Pay will be accepted at over 5,000 locations including 7-Eleven, Circle K, Fortress, McDonald's, and more. This works exactly like Android Pay in other regions; just install the app and you're good to go.
MasterCard and Visa cards are supported, as well as cards from BEA, DBS, Dah Sing Bank, Hang Seng Bank, HSBC, and Standard Chartered Bank. Online and in-app transactions with Android Pay also work. Google is also encouraging additional merchants to support Android Pay, so Hongkongers might have more locations accepting Android Pay in the near future. Read More
Android Pay now supports a ton of banks and credit unions, but most of them are small, local ones. That's not changing with these latest additions; I don't recognize a single name here. Hopefully, those of you who use smaller banks will have better luck. Read More
The Android 7.1 Nougat Developer Preview 1 just came out for the Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, and Pixel C, and we're already seeing quite a few improvements over 7.0 Nougat. Some of the most noticeable changes are in the notification panel; not only are there now six mini Quick Settings toggles, but Settings is easier to get to. Read More
Google recently renamed their Google Apps for Work service as 'G Suite,' which I still think sounds silly. However, the features Google announced today for all G Suite users are anything but.
Possibly the most important new feature is Action Items, which are Docs files assigned to a person or group of people. You can assign documents to others, which then appear on the recipient's main Drive screen with a special badge. Additionally, when you create a comment on the desktop site along the lines of "Phil to enter numbers for this week," Docs can figure out whom you are talking about and assign it to them automatically. Read More
LeEco isn't a name familiar to most US consumers, but is very well-known in China and India. As was LeAked (sorry, couldn't resist) last week, LeEco's US range has now been unveiled, and boy is it expansive, with phones, TVs, cloud services, and a bike.
There are two smartphones: the Le S3 and the Le Pro3. As you may have guessed, the Le Pro3 has the higher specifications of the two, with a Snapdragon 821 CPU, 5.5-inch FHD display, a massive 4070mAh battery, 4GB RAM, and 64GB of internal storage. The Le S3, meanwhile, also has a 5.5-inch FHD display, but couples it with a Snapdragon 652 CPU, 3GB RAM, and 32GB internal storage. Read More
The stage darkens, smoke pours out of an opening on the catwalk as bright blue lights franticly converge on a point. A man dips his head as he appears over the oddly low ramp, and jogs onto the stage.
That's YT Jia, LeEco's founder and CEO. He runs the LeEmpire (sorry), and his entrance was preceded by a video montage that included his face peering out of a wall of fire and sparks. To say that LeEco practices hero worship of its creator would not be a stretch - I have a feeling there's something approaching a cult of personality around this man in the company. Read More