Cody found evidence of an improved smartburst for Google Photos in his v1.16 teardown, and on the v1.17 official changelog it listed 'Improved burst photo support' as one of the points. Now, just after the v1.19 update, it seems the new Smartburst is finally starting to rollout to general users via a server-side update. Read More
Sometimes app developers surprise us with a big push of new versions and features after leaving us in the cold for the longest time. The Vimeo team, for example, had an ugly mess of an app for years until an update to version 2.0 last December completely rewrote it from scratch and made it several folds better. That was followed by the addition of Chromecast support in version 2.1 in February, and now another update to 2.2 is introducing offline videos.
When you start watching any video inside the Vimeo app, you'll see a new download icon in the overlay on top, which slowly breathes a blue hue to attract your eyes. Read More
The Samsung Gear VR is more akin to Google's Cardboard than HTC's Vive or LG's 360VR. You rely on your phone for the screen, like Cardboard, but you have more possibilities for control thanks to the included physical buttons. Samsung has also been pushing its Milk VR store heavily, collaborating with different content providers and benefitting from its Oculus partnership to provide exclusive material to its Gear VR users. It has created an interesting gadget and platform, one that I have personally been eying for a while but haven't had the chance to test yet.
While many users have gotten a Gear VR for free with the pre-order of a Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge, even more Samsung smartphone owners don't have the virtual reality headset yet. Read More
The Nextbit Robin is one of the rare success stories of smartphone crowdfunding. The company delivered the product in a decent timeline and didn't skimp on its hardware or software promises, even if its approach isn't exactly perfect right now or suited for everyone as Ryan pointed out in his detailed review. Nextbit is also following up on the Robin with software updates, recently releasing Android 6.0.1 with plenty of fixes bundled in. And if the Robin's hardware is your cup of tea but you prefer a different software layer, you can grab TWRP to be ready to flash different ROMs and mods to the phone, like the newly released CM 13 nightly. Read More
As one of the top custom ROMs, CyanogenMod is constantly adding new devices to its stable. Now it's time for these three devices to have their turn in the spotlight. For the Robin and the dual-SIM Desire 816, this is the first appearance they've made on official CyanogenMod pages. The YU Yuphoria has had CM12.1, based on Lollipop 5.1, for a while, but has now made the leap to CM13 and Marshmallow. Without further ado, here are the three new additions to the CM 13 nightlies:
- Nextbit Robin (ether)
- HTC Desire 816 (a5dwg)
- YU Yuphoria (lettuce)
These are nightlies, so bear in mind that the ROMs will likely be unstable and likely to crash, reboot, fry your phone, eat your dog, etc etc. Read More
When eBay released its version 4.0 interface revamp back in September of last year, I was slightly disappointed. The app looked like a mishmash of design styles and ideas that didn't really belong on any platform but that were trying too hard to not offend anyone either on Android or iOS. It lacked life and felt clinical, with so much grey and white and nary another color. It also removed access to your personal lists, an omission that I still despise because I am very picky about organizing my items in differentiated and clear lists.
But now eBay is rethinking its mobile design altogether, introducing a new look with more colors, clearer layouts, and a lot of Material Design. Read More
If you're a PC gamer, odds are that you have at least a passing familiarity with Team Fortress 2. Valve's team-based shooter has become nothing less than iconic since its release almost a decade ago, thanks to impressive balance, a fun atmosphere, and a never-ending supply of updated content. We'll probably never see a full version of the game for Android (since Valve isn't really in the game-making business these days), but an indie developer has given us the next best thing: a 2D platformer version. Read More
Far be it from me to criticize a multi-billion-dollar company for falling behind in its release schedule but... really, Warner Bros? The LEGO Movie came out more than two years ago, and you're just now getting around to releasing an Android version? Even back when video games ran on machines with the power of a calculator, they generally got around to releasing the movie tie-in within a month or so of the theatrical release. Read More
Yesterday Brazil made headlines by once again blocking the function of mega-popular SMS replacement service WhatsApp for 72 hours. The reasons were... complicated. Apparently. We don't actually know the reason - the purpose of the ruling has been sealed by the court in the state of Sergipe which issued it. But fear not, Brazilian WhatsApp users: you now have access to the service once again, thanks to some quick work on the part of WhatsApp and the ruling of an appeals court. Read More
YouTube does a lot of cool things, but the consensus is that auto-playing the next video is not one of them. I'm sure some people like that, and they're going to be quite pleased to hear that Google appears to be adding autoplay to the Android app. It's looking like a server-side change, so sit tight and prepare to be pleased or annoyed, depending on your outlook. Read More