If you've been using Google Maps in the past couple of days, there are two changes that you may have noticed, or not depending on how lucky you are with server-side switches. The first one is purely cosmetic and the second is something Local Guides and sticklers for accuracy will enjoy.
The location indicator in Google Maps is seeing a small aesthetic change. Instead of the arrow pointer, some users are getting a widening gradient spray. It serves the same purpose, but might be more accurate in saying the general direction you're pointing at by broadening a little bit the field and not trying to pinpoint it precisely. Read More
One of the reasons the Samsung Gear S2 was quite so interesting was its primary input method. Similar to the Apple Watch's 'crown' button, the bezel around the watch's screen could be used to navigate menus and perform other functions. Even now, it's one of the best input methods I've seen on a smartwatch. But if a research project from the University of St Andrews holds practical promise, similar interactions - really, even more powerful ones - could be implemented on Android Wear, and without any new hardware.
WatchMI is a new technology being developed by computer scientists at St Andrews. The WatchMI software hooks into the smartwatch's accelerometer, gyro, and magnetometer sensors to detect pressure and twisting motions. Read More
For the past two years, Samsung has unveiled its Tizen-powered Gear smartwatches at IFA Berlin; the Gear S was shown off for the first time at IFA 2014, and the Gear S2 and S2 Classic were released at IFA 2015. Judging from the watch hands on the press invite the company sent us, it intends to continue this trend.
How about a little Friday Nexus treat? We've got something you may enjoy - brand-new ringtones and notification sounds from Google's upcoming Nexus devices Marlin and Sailfish. Eight notification sounds and ten ringtones, to be precise. My favorite ringtone, per the above image, is the "Rrring." Though, "Hey hey" is pretty funny, too. Read More
Every single operating system developed by Google to date has one thing in common: they're based on the Linux kernel. Chrome OS, Android, Chromecasts, you name it. Linux has powered Google hardware for years.
However, the Linux kernel is not ideal for every situation. Especially in the case of embedded devices like car dashboards or GPS units, full-blown desktop kernels like Linux impact performance and cause other issues. There’s a massive ecosystem of operating systems designed for embedded hardware, and Google may be working on their own.
Enter “Fuchsia.” Google’s own description for it on the project’s GitHub page is simply, “Pink + Purple == Fuchsia (a new Operating System)”. Read More
As we quickly approach the dawn of the 2016 Nexus era, we should not so easily forget the Nexuses of yesteryear. Just yesterday, we brought you a deal for a 32GB Nexus 5X via Groupon. Prices for the old budget-friendly Nexus are dropping quickly. Google Fi has had some good (and some outright fantastic) Nexus offers, but those have been US-only. Now, we have a similar price for international Nexus users. From eBay, you can score a 16GB Nexus 5X for $199.99 in all three colors. This is $150 less than what Google charges. 16GB of internal storage may not be enough for everyone (myself included), but for others, 16GB works just fine. Read More
Last month, Samsung announced a limited edition of the Galaxy S7 Edge to celebrate the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. This version of the S7 Edge is certainly unique, with the body in black and the buttons and trims in the colors of the Olympic rings. Samsung also announced that it would give 12,500 of the limited edition phones to the athletes of the Rio Olympics.
Not to take charity from its southern neighbor, Radio Free Asia reported that North Korea refused the gift and prevented its athletes from claiming the complimentary devices. According to both Samsung and the Rio Olympics Committee, one of the top managers for the North Korean team took the 31 smartphones, and then failed to deliver them to his athletes. Read More
There are a lot of factors playing into the success and failure of mobile payment systems. Perhaps the most challenging issue for Android Pay to overcome isn't the slow adoption of compatible payment terminals or the general lack of awareness about contactless payments, it's the confusion people experience once they decide to try it. While many users are nervous simply because they don't know what to expect, some others are confronted with an even bigger challenge: they have no idea where the NFC antenna is on their phone. The Android Pay app has been progressively adding more informative screens to help with educating users about tap-and-go payments, and now evidence from a teardown suggests Google will soon teach users what part of the phone to actually tap with. Read More
We caught wind of an FCC filing for the ZenWatch 3 the other day with an interesting quirk—the label was round. That would imply a round watch, but the device was being kept confidential. The Chinese version of the FCC, known as TENAA, was not as careful and has leaked images of the ZenWatch 3 in all its round, grainy glory. Read More
Many were surprised when Sony began offering an Android N Developer Preview build for the Xperia Z3. Nobody expected a two-generation old Sony flagship to join a beta program that only Google devices were included in. Sony is now following up by offering up an Android N beta build for the Xperia X Performance, a phone that we didn't especially like.
The beta, which Sony is calling the Xperia Beta Program, is currently only available to Xperia X Performance users in European countries (specifically Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands). Sony has not commented on whether it plans to expand the beta's reach. Read More