The OnePlus 3 runs OxygenOS, a custom version of Android that is similar-to-but-not-quite what you get on a Nexus. You get a few more options, but you're still ultimately dependent on a company for updates.
Phone tweakers and open source types like having more freedom, and that can come from flashing a custom ROM. OnePlus 3 owners now have the option to install the most popular community-supported ROM, CyanogenMod. Read More
The Desire 626s is a midrange device that HTC announced about a year ago and released a month later in the US. By today's standards, it's even quite low-end with its Snapdragon 210, 1.5GB of RAM, 5" 720p display, and 8MP/2MP camera setup. Read More
If you're among the crowd that both installs Android developer previews and also owns an Android Wear watch, you've probably noticed some of the apps that belong on your watch have been missing. This happens because the stock apps included with the developer previews are missing the micro-apks for Wear. As the official release of Android 7.0 draws near, Google has been slowly releasing app updates that can install over the stock versions on the developer preview. And as of yesterday's stream of updates, Google Messenger joins that list. Read More
Android has long provided a way for developers to show web content in apps without implementing a full browser with WebView, but the nature of this component has changed a lot over the years. It became Chromium-powered, was unbundled from the system, and then got a beta channel. Starting in Android 7.0 Nougat, WebView will actually be Chrome. Read More
The new developer preview rolled out the other day, and included with it was a new version of the Google Camera. We already went over the various changes that were readily apparent, but there's another big one. As of v4.1, the Google Camera will support pausing video recording. Read More
Starting in Android 4.4, Google implemented verified boot (known as dm-verity) in the Android kernel to prevent malware from hiding in your device. This was all behind the scenes until Android 6.0 Marshmallow—that's when Google started alerting users to system integrity. In Android 7.0, it's going a step further. In Nougat, verified boot will be "strictly enforcing" and won't allow your device to boot if the software has been compromised. Android will also be able to correct errors, but this will cause some headaches for modders. Read More
Odds are pretty good that today's Android Auto news will only matter to extreme car buffs. Google's in-car phone extension has been officially announced for upcoming models from Lada, Koenigsegg, and Borgward. If you've never heard of any of those manufactures, you're in good company: you're unlikely to see them driving down the street unless you live in Russia, Beverly Hills, or 1955, respectively. Read More
The Xperia Z series has marked the high-end of Sony's smartphone line for years. The M5 sits somewhere lower on the food chain, but not much lower. You're looking at a 5-inch 1080p display, 3GB of RAM, a 21.5MP camera, plus both water and dust resistance.
Now you also get Android 6.0. Sony has begun pushing out an over-the-air update to this device. Read More
Google rolled out the fifth and final Nougat developer preview yesterday, and it includes a new version of the Google Camera app. It's v4.1, a significant jump over the current Play Store version. There are a fair number of changes to the UI, some new animations, and better control over buttons. Read More
In what I am tempted to say may be the stupidest news I've read all morning (give me an hour, though, I just grabbed my coffee), the US Army's Special Operations Command is allegedly dumping its current Nett Warrior embedded tactical smartphone solution - a 4-year-old Galaxy Note II - for an iPhone 6S. Because, and I quote DoDBuzz's source here, the iPhone is "faster; smoother. Android freezes up." Wait, you're telling me a smartphone that's four years old trying to run a specialized government app isn't very fast or stable? I am shocked, sir - simply taken aback!
This staggering conclusion has led the US Army Special Forces to decide that, after testing those same applications on an iPhone 6S - a phone benefitting from four years of technological advancement over its replacement - iPhones are simply better. Read More