WhatsApp users (you and me both), it's time to raise your pitchforks and descend into battle. We've asked time and time again for the messaging service to add GIF support, you've whined in the comments section, we've whined in our private conversations with friends that we're sick of sending them links to GIFs and we just wanted, pretty please, to insert a freaking GIF like God Intended Forrealz inside a conversation and have it display just as any other image or video. But no, we still don't have that. Guess who has it as of today though? Viber.
Gah. I'm infuriated. Read More
Samsung's Active series takes the hardware from its primary Galaxy S phones and wraps them up in big, tough plastic and a water-resistant chassis. The Galaxy S4, S5, and S6 were all given Active variants, and now it's the S7's turn, as previously leaked. While the new AT&T phone hits all the familiar notes from previous generations, a little extra engineering manages to cram an impressive 4000mAh battery inside. With similar specs elsewhere, the S7 Active should last a solid 30% longer than the standard S7 and even a bit longer than the larger S7 Edge. Read More
There's no shortage of Twitter clients for Android, even if Twitter itself keeps trying to kill them and then back out of it. The latest comes from Sam Ruston, the developer of Weather Timeline, which has been praised both by Android Police and the higher powers at Google itself. Flamingo is a standard Twitter client that almost slavishly follows the Material Design guidelines. It's available in the Play Store for a dollar with no in-app purchases. Read More
In the admittedly limited field of Android Wear devices, the Huawei Watch is the current stand-out. Between the full circular screen, the all-metal build, the built-in heart rate monitor, and a design that has a high factor of watchiness (a technical term meaning "possessing the quality of a conventional watch"), it's received quite the warm welcome among the Android faithful. The Huawei Watch is also one of the most expensive options out there, but today Best Buy is easing a bit of the sticker shock. Read More
For a phone that was supposed to "kill" high-priced flagships, the OnePlus 2 seems to have taken its sweet old time in upgrading to the latest version of Android. Whether that has to do with a smaller development team over at OnePlus, or the idiosyncrasies of the company's custom "Oxygen OS" ROM, we couldn't say. But it appears that the wait is finally over: according to a post on the OnePlus user forum, the Oxygen OS 3.0.2 over-the-air release (based on Marshmallow 6.0.1 code) is heading out today. Read More
In the market for some high-end Bluetooth headphones? Amazon has you covered, at least for the next few hours. US shoppers can buy the Parrot Zik noise-cancelling Bluetooth headphones for $99.99, which is half off of the current price. There are a couple of caveats, though: at the time of writing only the somewhat gaudy gold-on-white version is on sale, and these are the first-gen design, not the more recent (and much more expensive) second or third generation. David reviewed this version three years ago. Read More
Like it or not, it's clear that Motorola's often-leaked upcoming batch of phones will be very different from the relatively straightforward designs in its current lineup. Previous leaks indicated that at least some of the models in the refreshed Moto X (or possibly Moto Z) and DROID series will have add-on modules called "MotoMod" that snap onto the back of the phone via a proprietary interface. It's a lot like the direction that LG is taking with its modular G5. Read More
Fans of the community-created CyanogenMod ROM, your cup runneth over with new gadgets to try out on CM 13 (based on Android 6.0 code). Five new phones and a tablet have been given the nightly treatment in the last week or so, to wit: the OnePlus 2, the Moto X Pure (the US multi-carrier variant of the Moto X Style), Yu's low-priced Yureka, the Oppo R5 and R5s, and the original version of Sony's Xperia Tablet Z. They're all available at their respective download locations under CM's somewhat nebulous device codenames.
The Yureka deserves some special attention here. Read More
Amazon's Echo has become the de-facto standard of home voice control, at least until Google Home is released and we find out whatever Apple is planning. To emphasise Amazon's market-leading position, the company has published a press release saying Alexa has over 1,000 skills and integrations - we counted roughly 1,150 (115 pages with 10 items on each page). For such a young platform, this is mightily good news, and says wonders about the battleground that the home will be for technology companies in the future.
Left: the skills list, showing the filters and sorting options. Right: some other skills that are installable on the Echo. Read More