Qualcomm's new Adreno 530 GPU won't be something you'll find in any phone until next year, but nonetheless the newer, better, faster GPU powering the upcoming Snapdragon 820 chipset was detailed (well, lightly detailed) at SIGGRAPH 2015 this week. Qualcomm also confirmed that Snapdragon 820 devices will be available starting in the first half of 2016 - all but ruling out the chip in rumored Nexus devices launching this fall (unless, of course, they're not launching until next year).
While the rest of Snapdragon 820 is still largely under wraps, the new Adreno 530 was described to us in a short presentation, with the major figures to take away being a 40% increase in speed over the Adreno 430, along with a 40% decrease in power consumption under the same workload.
Hey, game pirates: screw you. Seriously, you're part of the reason it's so hard to find a decent game that isn't packed with $100 in-app purchases. Of course, good old-fashioned greed on the part of game developers is a big part of that, but a demonstrable loss of revenue from relatively easy piracy (a problem on other platforms like Windows) is giving developers little incentive to release conventional premium games for a simple price. Prolific publisher Noodlecake recently looked at statistics for the excellent Wayward Souls action-RPG and found that only 11% of Android users (and possibly fewer) had actually paid for the app - the rest had pirated it from various Internet repositories.
Online streaming music is all well and good, but if you're hankering for the good old days of sliding FM dials, Rdio wants to oblige your craving. The long-standing streaming service is adding a new section to its app called "On the Air on Rdio," which gives users access to digital streams of 500 United States radio stations. The collection of stations covers basically every major market in the county, usually with a mix of top 40, classic rock, country, sports, and news content.
The radio stations come from a partnership with Cumulus Media, a radio conglomerate that owns all of the stations added.
Some homes are smart, and the Logitech Harmony serves as their brain. It provides a single location to control all the things, assuming of course that the products are supported. The latest update adds quite a few more to the list ranging from door locks to thermostats and a few things in between.
The latest updates to Microsoft's OneNote app have taken advantage of an ability granted to it by the openness of Android OS: the ability to place an overlay on top of other running apps. Similar to Facebook Messenger's chat heads UI, OneNote now has an opt-in feature called "floatie" that remains accessible while you use non-OneNote apps. The idea is that inspiration for notes may come at any time and you may not want to leave the app you're in to do it. And in spite of the silly name, my first impression of floatie is that it serves its purpose well.
Keeping to their normal rapid release schedule, Mozilla published v40 of the stable release of Firefox to the Play Store today. The biggest user-facing change in the update is one that was also present in the beta version of v40, allowing you to long press the forward or back buttons to see a list of your recently visited pages. Here's a quick look at how that works:
This is the sort of thing that only catches your attention when there aren't any other major changes, but this is one of those times. I don't think mobile browsers generally make going back very easy and sometimes the system back button isn't ideal when you plan to go back multiple pages.
The idea of paying using your phone may be exciting, but that's all it will ever be until more stores start playing along. Today Rite Aid announced that you will soon be able to add its nearly 4600 stores to the list. Starting August 15th, it will accept Google Wallet NFC payments in stores. It will also take tap and pay credit cards.
That's right, it'll be like you're shopping at Walgreens. Remember when Android users got to first play around with mobile payments in 2011?
The free version of Skype is great for personal use, but you can also get work done with it as well. I took part in numerous job interviews over video chat during my last year of college. When I landed an internship, we used it to communicate around the office.
But for big work done by big companies, there's Skype for Business. It comes with extra perks such as the ability to chat with up to 250 people and integrate everything with Office. The enterprise-oriented service replaced Microsoft Lync on desktops when it launched at the end of last year.
You don't hear a lot about Google Creative Lab, but it's had a hand in some of Google's most memorable ads and products. Google's Creative Lab is an outfit that basically comes up with (presumably) innovative ideas the promote the Google brand. Along the way, they've also made a few apps. Today there are three new apps from the Creative Lab, all of which are appropriately offbeat.