Late last week, an eagle-eyed XDA user and Galaxy S7 edge owner noticed an app in the Galaxy Apps store entitled "Galaxy beta program." Not unexpectedly, many owners of Galaxy S7-series phones, myself included, got excited. Now, thanks to a major oversight on Samsung's part, we've got a ton of information about Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Beta Program.
Starting November 9th, select Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge models in the United States, United Kingdom, South Korea, and China will be permitted to enroll in the Galaxy Beta Program. This program will allow participants to try out Android 7.0 Nougat, in hopes that they'll provide feedback helpful to engineers. Read More
Google's Pixel went up for pre-order on October 4th, and the first versions to sell out were the limited edition Really blue finish (a temporary US exclusive). Within hours of the phones' announcement, in fact, there were no more Really blue Pixels to be had. Since then, they've never come back in stock (at least not for any appreciable time we're aware of), and many people have begun to assume that the brief first wave of sales was the end of the road for Really blue after all.
Not so, according to Google. After a reader reached out to tell us they had heard from a Google product manager that the Really blue device was no longer on sale and would not be restocked, we got in touch with the company. Read More
BestBuy has a sweet deal going on today. You can pick up a Phillips Hue A19 starter kit (3 bulbs plus a hub) and an Amazon Echo for $260.40. That's about $120 less than you would pay if you bought each item separately at full price. This a great combo for those of you wanting to add some tech to your home to make it a little smarter.
I own several Phillips Hue bulbs. I love being able to change the color and intensity of the lights to fit my activity and mood. Waking up to gradually increasing lights instead of an alarm has helped me tremendously in handling the dark Seattle winters. Read More
Right now Google is testing a new Trending section, a new app interface, Netbanking for Indian users, and other minor tweaks in the Play Store. Maybe one day Google will only test one new feature at once, but that day is not today. For some users, the Play Store now shows the install size of an application on the overflow menu, as well as next to the application's name on its own page. Read More
Ah, Pokémon GO... those first few weeks over the summer were something magical. Even if you aren't very into Pokémon, it was amazing to see that so many people were experiencing the same thing out in the real world at the same time. Then, Niantic killed the Pokémon tracker and took ages to improve the basics. Pokémon GO is still popular compared to most mobile games, but the developer is looking to regain some momentum with the v0.45.0 release. This is the one with the previously announced daily bonuses. Read More
Huawei has made some great hardware, but the software is another story. The EMUI Android skin has been consistently sluggish, confusing, and redundant. Huawei has been promising a big redesign in EMUI 5.0, and now users of the Honor 8 have a shot at trying it out. You have to apply for inclusion in the beta test, and you can do so (oddly) at XDA. Read More
During the I/O 2016 Keynote presentation, and again at the October 4th Pixel announcement, Google made brief references to newly added support for seamless updates in Nougat. To make this work, many changes had to be made to the structure of Android and its assorted system partitions. As a result, there have also been some changes to the fastboot utility many of us use when new factory images become available. This post covers a few of the technical details and also demonstrates some of the ways to use the new features.
How it works
Seamless updates are accomplished by creating a second set of logical partitions in device storage. Read More
In light of the recent release of Google Home, it should come as a surprise to no one that former king (or queen) of connected speakers, the Amazon Echo, would start seeing more deals. Well, here it is. The Echo is $140 on Amazon today in both colors, which is a savings of $40. Read More
High Dynamic Range, or HDR for short, is quickly gaining ground in the media industry. In a nutshell, HDR videos have a much higher contrast and color range than standard video content - essentially making the video more true to real life. Google's Chromecast Ultra, the PlayStation 4, Xbox One S, some Blu-ray players, and various other devices all support the playback of HDR video. Read More