Looking to fancy up your Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, but having trouble navigating Samsung's less-than-perfect theme store (there really are a lot of bad themes in there)? Check out our latest video for five of our favorites with Facundo Holzmeister. You'll find links to each theme below the video!
When the Nearby API started rolling out to Google Play Services in July of last year, it had a lot of potential and promise. It made it so devices could talk to each other based only on their proximity and regardless of whether or not they were on the same WiFi network (in certain applications) or paired via Bluetooth. That's why we've often said it's the genius feature no one is using.
But Nearby in its original form required a lot of involvement from the user. The few apps that implemented the API only used it in specific screens, had to ask for a permission to activate it, and had to show a notification whenever Nearby was on and looking for other devices.
Back in February, Cyanogen Inc. announced the MOD platform, a way for developers to customise the Cyanogen OS experience with deeper-level integration into the framework of the operating system. The update to Cyanogen OS 13.1 - with MOD support included - is now rolling out to the OnePlus One.
Currently, Twitter, Skype, OneNote, Cortana, and Microsoft Hyperlapse hook into the platform and provide features integrated into Cyanogen. Twitter shows trending tweets on your lockscreen; Skype integrates VOIP into the dialer app, along with Skype contacts clearly marked in the phone's contacts app; OneNote integrates with the email and phone apps to enable you to take notes anywhere in the OS; the already-existing Cortana mod takes things further, allowing users to 'take a selfie' hands-free, while also expanding to the lockscreen; and Microsoft Hyperlapse means time lapse videos can be created easily in the camera app, or videos edited in the Gallery app.
I had a chance to go hands-on with the Moto Z and Z Force today (full name: Lenovo Moto Z DROID Edition and Lenovo Moto Z Force DROID Edition... which, OK), and here are my initial thoughts. Videos also follow.
First, I think both phones actually feel of a high quality - the design Moto is going with here is actually a lot nicer in person than I think various leaked photos have given these devices credit for. In particular, I love the black / dark gray versions of both devices - they have kind of a Darth Vader thing going on, if you ask me.
The first time we heard about Motorola's plans to launch a phone with modular back plates, they were called Amps and there were going to be at least six of them. However, Motorola only announced four "Moto Mods" with the new Moto Z today. You'll be able to get stereo speakers, a projector, a battery, or a pretty back cover.
So Lenovo, you're not going to let Motorola announce its own stuff anymore, is that it? That certainly seems to be the take-away from the company's reveal at its Lenovo Tech World presentation in San Francisco. In between discussions of new tablets, augmented reality 3D design, and network tech, the much-leaked Moto Z flagship was announced at the event, along with the Moto Z Force. They're both coming in "DROID Editions" only to Verizon, at least initially.
Lenovo did as expected and announced the Phab2 pro Android phone at Tech World today, making it the first consumer-ready device with Google Tango technology built-in. The leak appears to have been accurate; this is a huge 6.4-inch phone with an array of cameras and sensors on the rear. The phone will launch worldwide in September as an unlocked device for $499.
The SHIELD TV is the best Android TV device around, even if its competition isn't up to much. With NVIDIA's Tegra X1 architecture and an available 500GB hard drive on the Pro model, one might wonder why something like the fan-favorite Plex software wasn't available before. (Plex was previously installed on the SHIELD, but only as a client for streaming media from another server.) Well soon enough it will be: NVIDIA and Plex announced that the next update to the SHIELD firmware will include a built-in Plex media server.
Have you ever opened up Street View in Google maps and tried to move more than a couple of steps to get a good look around? It's useful and kinda cool, but also utterly horrible. Every move required a tap on the little arrows at the bottom, and you had to wait a little bit after each tap before making the next one. Plus, the arrows weren't always very clear about where they would take you. Seriously, it was really bad. But there's great news: Google is throwing out the old arrows and switching to a new swipe-to-move feature that makes Street View super fluid and much easier to use.
For many of us, the Street View name is linked to a convenient way to look around at places we haven't been, whether it's just an address we're about to drive to or one of the world's greatest mountains. We don't usually associate it with making money, but a lot of businesses have started investing in virtual tours to attract more customers. For a few years, Google has been working to help businesses pair up with independent photographers and agencies to capture scenery for potential visitors. The interface for this was entirely web based, but now it looks like some of the operations will soon become available through the Street View app itself.