Google I/O has taken its toll. At least that's the way it looks based on the fairly quiet week we've seen for app updates thus far. The biggest update to arrive was for Snapseed, which gained some fairly useful improvements for editing. The focus on images continued with an update to the Photos app, but it didn't appear to bring any notable new features, rather just a bug fix. However, a teardown of the app reveals quite a bit more. Google is lining up some cool improvements to the app, including new sorting methods for albums, new editing controls, and a pretty amazing promo for Nexus devices. Read More
I reviewed Aukey's lineup of chargers a couple months ago and overall, I liked them. They are solid, affordable, and work well. My only qualm with them was that they were not capable of rapid charging my Nexus 6P. Well, Aukey has some new chargers out now that solve that issue. They sent me three to check out and I'm happy to report that they work great with QC devices and the new crop of Nexus phones alike.
All three chargers sport one USB Type-C port that is compatible with Nexus phones and QC 3.0 devices, the other ports are 2.4A adaptive ports that will work just fine to juice up your other gear. Read More
For a long time now, Google has made factory images available with each new system update for Nexus devices, but the problem was, you had to have an unlocked bootloader in order to flash them. Not anymore. Starting today, Google now offers full OTA images for all currently supported devices. These are not the incremental OTAs which sometimes take weeks to fully roll out. These are full OTA images that you can simply sideload with adb in recovery regardless of whether your bootloader is locked or not. Read More
Google introduced factory reset protection (FRP) in Android 5.1 to make it impossible to use a stolen device. Ever since then, RootJunky has been finding workarounds for it. Presumably this is all he does, tapping around in the setup menu for hours or days on end until he finds a trick. Google just rolled out the May security patch for Nexus devices, and RootJunky has found a FRP bypass method for it. It's not easy, but it works. Read More
Need a Nexus device on the cheap? Well, then you clicked on the right article. Daily Steals has refurbished 32GB Nexus 5's on sale in black for $140 and white for $160. Yeah, the phone did come out in 2013, and yeah the battery life is not great, but hey, it's still running the latest Android software and $140 is less than a fourth of what you'll pay for a Nexus 6P.
The model being sold by Daily Steals is the US D820 variant, meaning it's compatible with T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint. Standard shipping is free and will get you your (refurbished) device in 3-7 business days. Read More
It's the first Monday of May, and that means there are some new factory images and OTAs for the Nexus line. As usual, these new firmware packages include the latest security patches from the preceding month, and possibly some bug fixes and optimizations, as well. While we'll be looking for changes in the AOSP changelog (coming soon), Google has posted the security bulletin to explain the major risks that that have been fixed in this release.
Google took special care to point out that the security bulletin has been renamed (from "Nexus" to "Android") to reflect its relationship to all devices running Android, not just those directly supported by Google. Read More
We're a few days into a new month, which means it's time for a fresh set of security updates for the Nexus family and the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). Factory images are available for most of the actively maintained devices, though it looks like the Pixel C is still waiting its turn. OTAs should also begin rolling out shortly, if they haven't already.
Google has already posted the associated security bulletin for April's update. Read More
Smartphones are, by their nature, iterative products. But if you've felt that this iteration has started to slow a bit in the last few years, you're not alone - and you're probably not wrong, either.
Think about it: smartphones have a pretty set list of characteristics and features we evaluate in order to judge the overall quality of a device. Some are more subjective than others - design, for example - but many are also quite objective, even if quite difficult to measure objectively sometimes. How fast is the phone? How long does the battery last? How good is the camera [at night, for video, in slow motion, etc.]? Read More
Alright, non-US readers, this one goes out to you. A seller has the international Nexus 5X on eBay, and they only want $229 for the phone. Take that in for a moment. Yeah, that's a great price for a current Nexus.
Everyone knows someone who has made the switch from iPhone to Android. This latest convert will surprise you though. It’s GoogleBot – the all-important web crawler used by Google.
GoogleBot is a vital cog in the Google search engine. In its most simplified form, it works by going from website to website and sucking up as much information as it possibly can. The data is then passed to other Google algorithms, where it is processed, ranked, and transformed into search results.
In order for GoogleBot to get all perspectives of a website, it masquerades as different types of devices – a desktop browser, a feature-phone browser, and a smartphone browser. Read More