Chinese manufacturer Meizu revealed the latest entry into its M-Series of smartphones, the M5 Note. Not to be confused with BMW's line of cars, this smartphone family usually sits in the lower end of the "mid-range" category. The M5 Note is no exception, packing decent specifications into an affordable price point. Read More
The history of Android on tablets is complicated. Just as Apple had done in 2007 with the first iPhone, the iPad's release in 2010 set a very high standard for the rest of the market. The next year, Google released Android 3.0 Honeycomb on the Motorola Xoom, designed specifically with tablets in mind. The Xoom wasn't the iPad killer that Motorola had hoped for, and there have been very few Android tablets that could stack up to Apple's iPad line.
Since Honeycomb, Android has shifted away from most tablet-specific features in favor of a shared UI on all screen sizes. There's still a large number of major applications clearly not designed for tablets (Hangouts comes to mind). Read More
Every new phone has at least a couple of issues out of the gate that need to be addressed (and can hopefully be fixed with a software update, rather than scrapping a billion-dollar product line). So it is with Google's Pixel and Pixel XL: last month a subset of users reported spotty connection problems with the flagships, apparently when using LTE Band 4 (1700MHz) on certain carriers outside the US. Owners aired their grievances on Google's product forum, and were heard fairly quickly. Read More
We started getting reports of 4K videos rolling out in Google Play several weeks ago, but not everyone could see the 4K option and Google didn't list a separate price for it. Google has now made it official—4K video is available for rental or purchase in the Play Store. However, there isn't very much of it right now, and you can't even get 4K everywhere. Read More
Google is one of the largest and most far-reaching companies in worldwide tech, but it's also known for progressive (if not necessarily selfless) projects that go beyond its standard interests. Those include sponsorships and massive purchases for renewable energy, like buying portions of solar and wind energy production from farms in the US, Chile, and Sweden. According to the latest post on Google's Keyword blog, those purchases combined with renewable energy credits will account for 100% of the company's business operations in 2017. Read More
Modern Family's resident nerd and geek, the awkwardly and adorably funny Phil Dunphy is no stranger to hot gadgets and new technology products that we all drool over. In the last Modern Family episode, Phil seems to have decked the Dunphy house with some Google love: there's a Google Home right on the kitchen counter and it's not just there for show, it's also part of the plot — albeit a very small part.
Toward the start of The Alliance episode (season 8, episode 8), Claire talks about the romantic Italian movie she and Phil watched the evening before. Phil then turns toward Google Home and says, "OK Google, play the soundtrack to Spaghetti for Pepe." The nice female voice in Home answers him and starts playing some Italian-sounding music. Read More
There are some hardware advances that make sense—moving to the USB Type-C standard, for example. It's a pain at first, but the benefits are clear. Removing the headphone jack, however, seems dumb at this juncture. Still, SamMobile says that Samsung is planning to drop this port in the upcoming Galaxy S8. Boo. Read More
Hé, les Suisses, vous étiez jaloux des Français et de leur accès à Google Opinion Rewards? Bah maintenant, il n'y a plus aucune raison de rester envieux: Opinion Rewards est disponible en Suisse!
Of the national languages in Switzerland, I only speak French, so excuse me if I can't write that sentence above in German, Italian, or Romansh. But I'll translate the general sentiment to English for those of you who are still reading me: Google Opinion Rewards is now available in Switzerland.
According to a couple of tips we've received, the app is now downloadable from the Play Store in Switzerland and users can sign up, start answering surveys, and earn a little bit of cash for each of them. Four languages are available for surveys: French, Italian, German, and English. Read More
Blink has an interesting proposition as a connected security system: one sync module that plugs into MicroUSB for power but connects to your network over WiFi, and 1 to 10 completely wireless cameras that you can place anywhere without worrying about power or connection cables. They only get triggered by motion and record short clips (max. 60sec) then go back to idling. When I reviewed the system last week, I found the idea promising but complained about the slow app and the missing hardware features: no weatherproofing and no night vision were big deal-breakers for me, and the 720p resolution was limited too. Read More