Ready for the new Nexus phone announcements next week? Google is, and apparently they're preparing for a launch soon after that. A device that's without a doubt the LG Nexus 5X has arrived at the Federal Communications Commission for documentation and certification, an essential step in selling any wireless device in the United States (and a frequent source for gadget leaks to hungry nerds). This particular phone uses the model number LG-H790, presumably the carrier-agnostic version for the United States, while the international version leaked by an Amazon India listing yesterday is the LG-H791. The LG-H791 has also been listed in the FCC database. Read More
Android Pay has turned out to be much more than a simple rebranding of Google Wallet. Google is working with banks to support cards natively and doing away with those virtual MasterCards altogether. However, the lack of support for rooted or ROM'd devices has irked power users. A Google engineer popped up on XDA to explain the reasoning and calm the mob. Read More
Have you noticed an improvement in your phone's voice search or voice dictation capability in the last few days, especially in noisy environments? You can thank the Google Speech Team. They've implemented a new system for automated listening to human voices. Adding recurring neural network functionality to the system has allowed it to more accurately identify complete words instead of individual snippets of sound. From the Google Research Blog: Read More
In version 39, Chrome for Android learned an awesome trick: using a simple HTML tag, any webpage could tell Chrome to theme its UI (and your device's status bar) with a specified color. The downside to this feature was that it only worked if tabs and apps were "merged," meaning your Chrome tabs would show up inline with your recent apps, rather than relying on Chrome's own in-app tab switcher.
Today, a Chrome for Android developer at Google let Reddit know that the theme-color attribute will soon make Chrome snazzy even if you don't have tabs and apps merged. Right now the flag (chrome://flags/#enable-theme-color-in-tabbed-mode) will only work in Chrome Dev 47.0.2516.0 (available from the Play Store or APK Mirror), and support isn't complete yet - the flag won't allow Chrome to theme your status bar and swiping across the toolbar to switch tabs is a little glitchy, for instance. Read More
Android has more birthdays than a cheapskate in an Applebees. November 5th, 2007 is often given as one option, because that's the day that Google announced the development of the platform itself. October 22nd, 2008 is another one, the day that the HTC's G1 phone was first released by T-Mobile. But for some reason, the Google Store team is choosing to pin down today, September 23rd as Android's "seventh birthday." On this day in 2008 Google and T-Mobile announced the availability of the G1 for the following month. That's also the day that the Android 1.0 SDK was first available for public download. Read More
Google seems to really love tinkering with its Clock app. The latest version of the app, 4.2, should be rolling out in the Play Store now. This one is available to everyone running Android 4.4 or higher (we didn't grab it from one of the Android M preview builds). It has exactly one new notable feature: the ability to gradually increase alarm volume, which is a fairly typical feature of alarm apps (and even real, physical clocks). The rest is a bunch of visual tweaking. Read More
Just like with paper mail, some senders can't help but screw with a good thing. Alongside letters from sweethearts and loved ones, you have unsolicited offers from who knows what. And you seemingly run the risk of getting added to a mailing list every time you sign up for a new site.
To keep users from giving up and walking away from their webmail for good, Gmail has made a strong effort to filter out spam and help users keep only the mail they want to see in their inbox. Now Gmail is going to provide even more control. Users will soon have the option to block users they never want to receive messages from again. Read More
If you've been following the Google Now On Tap saga in recent days, you'll be happy to know we've come full circle. A new version of the Google app last week enabled On Tap for the third dev preview, but it stopped working soon after. Now it's back to displaying a cheerful "coming soon" message. Why do you taunt us, Google? Read More
Google just sent out the invitation below for an event in San Francisco on September 29th. This will almost definitely be the venue for the unveiling of the next Nexus phones, rumored to be manufactured by Huawei and LG. There's also a strong possibility of a new Chromecast, and who knows what else Google may have planned.
We'll be live at the event on the 29th at 9AM PST, and you'll be able to catch it streamed on Google's YouTube channel, as well, at youtube.com/google. Read More
The Google OnHub is a really neat router that might not be worth $200 right now, but it's got tons of potential. Of course, you haven't even been able to consider buying the OnHub since it came out—it sold out immediately. Now it's back on Amazon, and it's a few bucks cheaper. Read More