The new Chromecast is here! Well, sort of new. I mean, it is new, but it doesn't really do anything new apart from one oft-requested feature: 5GHz Wi-Fi (also, Wi-Fi ac support, if that matters to you [read: it probably doesn't]). Google has not only added higher-frequency wireless support to the new Chromecast, it's also doubled down on it with a new Wi-Fi antenna array that should increase signal strength and, potentially, speed for streaming. Also, the Chromecast is now a magnetic hockey puck thing.
Other than that, there are actually no significant reasons from a consumer standpoint to buy the new Chromecast if you already have the old one.
TomTom, who you may know best as the company who makes car GPS and fitness products, has decided to dive into the blossoming industry of action cameras. As an extension of their sporting background, this is a logical move. The TomTom Bandit is surprisingly polished and offers some unique functions for a first generation product, signaling to me that this is more than a “me too” business strategy.
Of course, I’ve already given away the review in saying that. Expectations are in some ways lowered for the Bandit given its status as TomTom’s first action camera. When it comes time to reframe things in terms of what you should buy and for what price, the Bandit is far from a failure but will come up short for many potential buyers.
Have you seen the Nat And Lo video series from Google employees Natalie Hammeland Lorraine Yurshansky? It's an interesting collection of shorts that explore some of the lesser-known projects going on inside the company - the pair use Google's famous "20% time" allocation to produce and release them on their YouTube channel. They actually broke the news of the new Android Marshmallow name by documenting the "making of" the official statue, and now they're back to explore the history of Android's Easter eggs.
Dedicated Android users (and Android Police readers) are no doubt already familiar with these - they're the little goodies and games you get for diving into the Settings menu and clicking on the Android version number.
One of the best things about smartwatches is that they finally give the fashion-inclined the ability to switch out watch faces without buying another $300 bit of wrist jewelry. There have been attempts to create systems whereby end users could easily create their own digital watch faces ever since the original Pebble, with varrying degrees of success. Now Asus, which has already released dozens of custom watch faces for its ZenWatch and ZenWatch 2 customers, has created its own custom watch face maker app.
ZenWatch FaceDesigner, in addition to being number one with a bullet on the Most Wanted list for camelcase offenders, offers Asus smartwatch users a way to quickly and easily make and install customized watch faces for the ZenWatch.
After signing up for Google's Project Fi I had only to wait a couple of days before a SIM card and "Welcome Kit" showed up at my door. I noted that the accessories - a battery pack, earbuds, and white case for the Nexus 6 - seemed to be carefully and thoughtfully designed, even if the hard plastic boxes for each seemed a little extravagant. The welcome kit was foreshadowing for the rest of the Fi experience - thoughtfully put together and pleasing.
I've been using Fi (switching over from T-Mobile) for over a month now, so I thought it might be helpful to rewind through my experience and answer some questions would-be Fi users might be asking.
OnHub is Google's attempt at a router that's easy to set up and, unlike most others, pretty enough to leave out in the open. But it could be prettier. Rather than roll out new hardware this early in the game, Google seems to be interested in producing new cases—or shells—to replace the blue one that comes with the device.
At least one person has completed a Google Opinion Rewards survey (Google's way of acquiring user feedback in exchange for Play Store credit) asking questions about the OnHub. Particularly, would you be interested in purchasing one of three potential shells, and what price would you consider reasonable?
Hey guys -- Marshmallow is officially available, just like Google promised last week. Factory images just went live for all Nexus devices that will be getting the update: 5, 6, 7 (2013), 9, and Player.
Cables, the technological innovation that just won't die no matter how bad some folks want them to. There are wireless ways to charge smartphones these days, as well as options for transferring data without pulling out a cord. But frankly I still reach for a microUSB cable to do both of these things, and the number of people who do hardly stops with me.
You've been able to tell Android to place calls by voice since time immemorial, but it has gotten a lot smarter over the years. Now, with OK Google commands, you can place a call without even touching the phone. It only makes sense you could activate the speakerphone in that situation, and indeed you can. At some point, Google added the ability to begin a call on speakerphone with only a voice command.
Ah, Adobe. You can't turn around without Adobe either discontinuing or releasing another app that fits somehow into its complicated product ecosystem. Today we're getting Android versions of Illustrator Draw and an app called Capture CC. The functionality of this one isn't technically new—it's an amalgamation of three other apps, which are being phased out.