Hyundai has been pretty quick to take advantage of Google features over the years. The 2015 Hyundai Sonata was the first car with Android Auto at launch, for example. At CES 2017, the company has announced that users of Hyundai's Blue Link service can now use Google Home to issue commands to their cars. Read More
Mesh WiFi networks are the new trend of the past couple of years. Eero, Luma, Google Wifi, and several others have introduced their own systems of routers that aim to simplify home networking as much as possible by consolidating access points under a single network SSID and letting your WiFi reach more areas of your house without too much headache.
Now Linksys, the company behind some of the most popular routers in the world, is presenting its take on the matter. Velop, which I'm going to assume comes from "envelop" as in enveloping your house with WiFi, is a system of routers in which each node is a Tri-Band 2x2 802.11ac Wave 2 MU-MIMO router that can also work as range extender or bridge. Read More
The Amazon Echo and its integrated assistant Alexa have seen a lot of success and popularity over the past year, and now more companies have been tempted to build their own iterations of the product. Some, like Lenovo, have decided to nearly copy the entire idea, from the form factor to the Alexa integration. The result is the Lenovo Smart Assistant Speaker.
It's a cylindrical tower, much like the Echo, with a speaker grille at the bottom and what seems to be a rising control panel with volume and trigger buttons and an array of 8 360-deg far-field microphones with noise suppression that can pick up voices from up to 5m away. Read More
It looks like Samsung is still pushing the smart fridge thing. The electronics giant has introduced its newest Family Hub 2.0 connected refrigerators, bringing the number of models to ten. With the new version of the software, Samsung is bringing on new app partners and better integration. "A full range" of Samsung's popular 3- and 4-door French Door models will be supported, which obviously means more choices for consumers. Read More
CES is upon us and the cool, new announcements are incoming. Showing itself to be an early bird, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has announced a collaboration on a new concept for an automobile infotainment system powered by Android. Goody, another one. Read More
Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android games that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.
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Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
This is definitely an "Oops" moment for Qualcomm. The chipset manufacturer accidentally leaked/revealed the newest Asus device ahead of the CES announcement. While new devices are sometimes worth getting excited about, this one is actually special: the ZenFone AR, as it is named, will be the second phone with Tango built in. Qualcomm noted in its now removed blog post that the ZenFone AR will use the Snapdragon 821 SoC and that the new phone would also be Daydream-ready. Of course, this would be the first device to run both of Google's augmented and virtual reality platforms. Read More
Blink, the company that makes affordable and portable home security cameras (see my full review), has been on a bit of a roll over the past few months. First, it added Alexa support to arm and disarm the system and inquire about the latest recorded videos, then it announced an outdoor camera, the Blink XT, with weather-proofing, 1080p video, and an IR night vision sensor. Now it's releasing a whole host of upgrades and gear to complement its system.
To begin, Blink's Sync Module, the one that connects to your WiFi and serves as the central hub for all the small wireless cameras, has an upgraded version with 4G Cellular support and battery backup so your system remains up and accessible even when WiFi is down and there's no power. Read More
Android finally added support for split-screen apps in 7.0 Nougat, but Google has been playing with the specifics of launching apps in split-screen. It removed the UI tuner's swipe gesture, and the home button behavior has been tweaked in 7.1. The whole system can be a little clumsy at times, but Screens makes split-screen mode a one-tap proposition. It's rather barebones, but it gets the job done. Read More
Samsung is starting off the new year with a bang, namely with several new phone releases. This time it's the mid-range Galaxy A 2017 series, with the A3, the A5, and the A7. All three phones seem reasonably similar, using aluminum construction and glass backs, with features such as fingerprint scanners, IP68 water resistance, Micro SD card slots, and Samsung Pay present. Read More