Just yesterday Ford announced that it was planning to bring Alexa support to its cars in the coming months, and now a second auto maker is apparently on-board. Amazon says that Volkswagen has decided to build Alexa into its vehicles and launch a new Alexa skill. There's no information about a timeline or supported models, but it's happening. Read More
Everything's internet-connected these days, be it toothbrushes, thermostats, fridges, lights, CO detectors... or a shower. Yep, that's right: Moen, in partnership with GridConnect (smart home specialists), has released a smart shower, the U, which is controllable via a panel inset into the wall, or via an app on your phone. Read More
We're barely into the new year and Google isn't wasting any time getting updates out to some of its apps. A new beta for the Google app turned up on Tuesday, but like the last few versions, there aren't any apparent new features jumping off the screen. However, there are a few clues hidden inside the apk that tell us about a few changes coming down the pipe in the future. On the docket this time is a new(-ish) input method for Google assistant and a mysterious gesture-based search action. The first steps have also been taken to bring Google assistant to Android Wear. Read More
Even in the midst of CES, there are still deals to be found. This one is from Best Buy, which has the unlocked 64GB Moto X Pure Edition on sale for $249.99. That is a respectable savings of $150 for a decent phone by today's standards. Even though it may not run circles around the best of yesteryear, this is still a good deal. Read More
It's an understatement to say 4K content and products are on fire at the moment, with every manufacturer hopping on the bandwagon and getting 4K products out the door, stat. CyberLink is the latest to do that, with its mobile video editing app, PowerDirector, gaining the ability to edit in 4K.
CyberLink says this is the first time an Android app has been able to edit and output 4K content. Naturally, I tried this out on my Nexus 6P, and despite the fact a warning appeared when I added my UHD 4K footage, I didn't see any performance slowdown at all. Read More
As an Android nerd, there are times you probably need ADB or fastboot to mess around with your phone. Maybe you're flashing an OTA or unlocking the bootloader. You used to need to grab a giant package of other junk from Google to get them, but no more! Google has started hosting platform tools downloads without the other stuff that are a mere 3.5MB. Read More
Google today announced that it has acquired Limes Audio, a Swedish sound company specializing in acoustic echo cancellation and speech enhancement. The move reaffirms Google's intentions to continue improving sound and call quality across its suite of products, particularly in Google Hangouts.
Poor internet connections or noisy environments like coffee shops can have a significantly adverse effect on the audio quality in an online chat, making it hard to understand the person on the other end. Hardware solutions like noise cancelling microphones are designed to filter out ambient noise and today come standard in most mid- to high-end phones, but they do little to reduce echos — and do nothing to address connectivity issues. Read More
T-Mobile's allegedly revolutionary ONE Unlimited plan has been met with a lot of skepticism thanks to its oxymoronic limitations on streaming video and tethering, plus new tiers of service that undermine the idea of a "single" data plan for everyone. Even so, CEO John Legere said that the company is "doubling down" on the ONE plan. In his typical bombastic and profanity-laden style, Legere announced that starting January 22nd, T-Mobile will only offer the ONE Unlimited plan to new post-paid customers. That's $70 for talk, text, and "unlimited" data for the first line, $120 for two lines, and $20 for each line after. Read More
Sony is, of course, at CES 2017 in Las Vegas. As you'd expect it has a great many new products, ranging from new TVs to new Blu-Ray players. However, in our opinion, what is most exciting in Sony's announcements are the Chromecast built-in (or is that Google Cast?) products and the newly-unveiled Android TVs, plus some new headphones.
Sound bars and speakers
First up is a new sound bar, the catchily named HT-ST5000. This is Sony's flagship sound bar for 2017, so it has all the top-of-the-line features, such as Dolby Atmos, hi-res audio, and twelve advanced speakers. Sony says the HT-ST5000 is for home theater setups, and proves that with the number or ports and connectivity options: three HDMI ports, one HDMI ARC port, a USB input, Bluetooth and NFC, and a number of digital and analog connections. Read More
For a while now, Google Calendar has let you add goals so you can keep track of your efforts at self-improvement. One of the most popular uses (especially this time of year) is exercise goals. In the latest version of Calendar, you can plug in Google Fit to automatically complete your goals. Read More