OK, European readers. We know Google doesn't always put a rush on features and products outside of the United States. America got lane guidance (which tells you which lane to get into before you approach a turn or exit) way back in May. It looks like US roads were the only ones on which this feature was available, at least until yesterday, when Google announced lane guidance for some European countries on the official Google Europe blog.
Are you curious to see how the versatile YotaPhone 2 performs in the real world? So are we. But with a launch in Russia and Europe scheduled for later this week and no US launch in sight, we'll have to admire it from afar. One Russian technology site is a little more lucky, however: Hi-Tech.mail.ru has managed to snag a review unit. If you're fluent in Russian you can head over there now - if not, you can check out this Google translation.
Update: It looks like a few English-speaking news outlets have been given early review units as well. Engadget has one, and so does Cnet, among a few less-reliable sites. Cnet was kind enough to post a video, embedded below.
Are you curious to see how the versatile YotaPhone 2 performs in the real world? So are we. But with a launch in Russia and Europe scheduled for later this week and no US launch in sight, we'll have to admire it from afar.
Yota's unconventional hardware design has gained the company a lot of press, but following the Mobile World Congress debut of the YotaPhone 2, we've heard nary a peep for the better part of a year. That changed today in a Moscow presentation: the second-gen phone with a built-in e-ink screen on the rear of the case will go on sale in 20 European countries later in December, presumably including Russia.
You know those orange headphones that come pre-installed on stock Android devices? They pump tracks through a service called Play Music. It's a downright dandy offering, but it's only available in certain countries. As of now, that list has just expanded to include thirteen more.
These new additions are spread predominantly throughout Eastern Europe. Here's what Play Music looks like if you're browsing the web in Bulgaria.
Here's what the Android app looks like in Romania.
I've been writing about Android phones for over three years, and I'm going to be honest: I still think I'm pronouncing "Huawei" wrong. (Wah-way. WAA-whey. Hoo-waa-way.) Huawei is perfectly aware that their branding outside of Asia isn't exactly stellar, and it looks like they're taking steps to improve it. Say hello to "Honor," a new Huawei sub-brand introduced to Europe this week. The first phone launched under the label will be the Honor 6.
You know what thermostats and smoke detectors need? They need touchscreens, and internet connectivity, and apps, and gesture recognition. The only way you're getting that is with Google's Nest thermostat and Nest Protect smoke/carbon monoxide detector. Now you can get them even if you're in France or Ireland.
You may have been enjoying Netflix's streaming video service for a few years, but not everyone the world over is so lucky. Netflix announced earlier this year (and clarified in July) that it was going to expand the service into Europe this month, and it's starting with France.
The Fire Phone is a tough sell when there are so many great Android devices available with Google services, and it looks like AT&T agrees. After just a few months of (reportedly) poor sales, the Fire Phone has dropped to just $0.99 with a new 2-year contract. I'm seeing shades of the HTC First here.
At this point, it's essentially impossible to deny that Android is beating other mobile operating systems with a big market share stick. According to a report issued by Strategy Analytics, phone manufacturers sold a combined 295.2 million smartphones worldwide in the second quarter of 2014, 249.6 million of which ran Android. That gives Google's OS a staggering 84.6% of the market share for new devices, up from 80.2% the previous year.