Every once in a while, we get a sneak peek into the new technology that companies are creating that will ultimately make something better, faster, or [adjective here]. Swiftkey recently launched the latest project from Swiftkey Greenhouse: Swiftkey Neural Alpha. This is the first keyboard on a smartphone that uses artificial neural networks to fix mistakes and predict words. Swiftkey currently utilizes n-gram technology to do this by looking for patterns and common phrases. Read More
People who take online privacy seriously eventually get to the point where they want to experiment with a VPN. Usually this costs money, which puts some people off particularly because the process involves handing over an email address and credit card information. This means that even if you're better protected from prying eyes than you would be if you were VPN-less, the company that supplies the service may still be able to connect the dots.
That's what makes Betternet interesting. Unlike most other options, this service is entirely free to use. That has implications both for your privacy (though you still have to watch out for DNS leaks) and your wallet. Read More
This morning at the Walter Reade theater in NYC, LG (re)announced the dual-display, triple-camera V10 phone, a device we heard all about last night. After today's (short) presentation, we got a few minutes to play with the V10 first-hand.
The phone is made of stainless steel and Duraguard silicone, materials that contribute to what LG says is superior durability, passing drop tests "from 48 inches at various angles." In photos, the textured, segmented back cover looks kind of weird, but in person it feels pretty nice and isn't too visually distracting. The overall device feels weighty and - because of the stainless steel strips along the left and right edges - smooth. Read More
The Nexus 6P is a big, good phone with a slightly better than average price. That's what makes it interesting. The display is good. The build quality seems nice. It supposedly has a pretty good camera. It even has true dual front-facing speakers which the Nexus 5X apparently does not. You can choose between 32, 64 and 128GB of internal strorage ($499, $549, and $649, respectively), too, the most available storage ever on a Nexus phone.
It has an aluminum chassis, a 2K super AMOLED screen that looks quite solid, and a Snapdragon 810 chip that appears to fly through most tasks pretty easily. Read More
The Nexus 5X is, by Google's own admission, a spiritual successor to the very-popular-for-what-it-was Nexus 5. It has a reasonably-sized display at 5.2 inches with a reasonable 1080p resolution, a not too fast, not too slow Snapdragon 808 processor, and comes with a usable if not super-capacious 16 or 32GB of internal storage. At just $379 to start, the Nexus 5X isn't the cheapest "nice" smartphone we've seen, but it is certainly nothing if not cheerful, especially in this light blue shade (which is indeed blue, I promise).
The phone feels fast, as does just about any Nexus running a fresh build of Marshmallow. Read More
At Google IO this past June we saw the launch of many new products from Google, including Android M, Android Pay, and Project Brillo. The tech giant also launched Google Photos as its own service, which was previously tied down to Google+. Today we're going to dive into every corner of Google Photos and my experiences with it over the last few months.
Intro & tests
Over the last eight years I have used iPhoto, Aperture, Lightroom, and Photos on Mac to organize my photos. While each worked for a period of time, I never truly felt like my photos were properly organized. Read More
Full disclosure: I own an iPhone 6. It's not my daily driver (I use it for testing and design research), but when Android Wear for iOS was announced, I thought it might be fun to connect my Moto 360 to the iPhone and see what our friends using iOS might experience if they decide to pair up with an Android Wear watch.
First things first: the Android Wear app for iOS. In general the experience will seem familiar to Android users. Pair up your watch using its special name/code, then view a video going over the basics, etc. The iOS onboarding process feels a bit laborious, since - if you follow the app's guidance - you'll have to do things like venture into iOS settings to enable bluetooth, double click the home button, and go back to Wear, but it's not unbearable and in practice you can just swipe up the iOS quick settings from the bottom. Read More
Given how young Android Wear is as a platform, it's not terribly surprising that a new "best" Wear device pops up every six months or so. But the Huawei Watch, announced way back in March at MWC in Spain, has all but stolen the proverbial show since it was first unveiled. Let's get the important parts out in front: pre-orders start today at GetHuawei.com, Google Store, Amazon.com and BestBuy.com, and ship beginning September 17th. The Huawei Watch will start at $349 for the stainless steel body and basic black leather strap and go up to $799 for the rose gold version with matching links. Read More
Today, as we expected it would, Samsung announced two new phones: the Galaxy Note 5, and the Galaxy S6 Edge+ (what a name). We were at the event and spent a few brief moments with each of the devices, got some impressions, and took some photos. So naturally it's time to talk hands-on with the Note 5 and Edge+.
If there's a main takeaway from my time handling these two devices, it's that they were what I expected. That's not a bad thing, though - Samsung has carried over the interesting refreshed design language of the S6 and S6 Edge to the new phones - the Edge+ is curved on the front, and the Note 5 is curved on the back. Read More
A couple of months back, rumors that Google was working on a gamer-focused video streaming service first appeared. And so we waited. Now that the appropriately named YouTube Gaming is finally here, it plans to go head to head with Twitch.tv - easily the most popular such service in the world. Google has a tremendous amount of experience in the video streaming space in the form of YouTube, but it has never offered anything that was geared toward gamers. YouTube Gaming is hailed as the brand-new service that aims to fill that gap.
Currently, YouTube Gaming is only available as a beta program. Read More