When Allo and Duo were announced at Google I/O, one of their pillar features was their requirement for a phone number to activate. And as most of you have noticed, this has been very controversial among users: some like the simplicity of the approach, others loathe its limitations: no multi-device support, no web/desktop clients, and a requirement for workarounds to install on tablets, especially WiFi-only ones.
With Duo's release this week, these limitations were put under the spotlight, and while some users like me were convinced by the no-fuss approach of a phone number as a means of identification, others are still moaning the lack of a tie to a Google account. Read More
When talking to a contact on Google's upcoming Allo messaging application, there are a few different types of attachments you can send. We've already discussed voice messages and stickers, but you can also share your current location, a photo or video taken instantly with your camera, and also media files taken from your camera roll. Unfortunately, sending other types of files like music or documents doesn't seem to be possible - at least not with the test preview version of the app that we're basing this information on. Read More
Samsung introduced the world to its Milk Music service back in March of 2014, and the name "Milk Music" was just as odd back then as it is now. It started off as an exclusive app available only on select Samsung Galaxy devices, and we gave it a positive review for being simple and having no ads.
Samsung eventually expanded support to more of its own devices, and last March they created a desktop web app. But Milk Music's time started to run short when Samsung shut down Milk Video in November 2015.
Now Samsung has unceremoniously announced the end of Milk Music. Read More
If the Galaxy S7 deal from yesterday was out of your budget, you might wanna take a look at this one. The OnePlus 2 isn't the Shenzhen-based company's top dog anymore, but it's still a pretty decent smartphone. Now, you can pick one up in new condition from an eBay seller with 99.3% feedback on over 110k ratings for just $240. Read More
The recent theme for Google's app updates has been that they're not really packed with big new features. This isn't unusual, just part of the typical ebb and flow as development teams prepare for bigger things. The previous update for Google Photos wasn't loaded with many new features and the new one appears to have none at all. However, a teardown of v1.26 shows that there's still some work going on under the hood for the previously revealed video stabilization feature and hints at a new way to share photos with people that will be even faster than what we already have. Read More
Google Chrome has been undergoing a massive amount of changes recently. From massive optimizations, to the Android New Tab page showing Google Now cards, to Progressive Web Apps blurring the line between native and web apps.
But in another change, although not entirely shocking, Google will be phasing out Chrome apps on the Chrome Web Store. If you've never used the Chrome Web Store, most of the items listed are branded as applications, but are in fact simply links to websites or web applications.
These are called 'hosted apps', which are allowed in the Chrome Web Store alongside 'packaged apps.' Packaged apps are based on web apps, but are hosted locally and have more control over their windows and the host computer. Read More
Starting with the Galaxy S7 series, Samsung began offering gifts to customers who pre-ordered their phones. If you pre-ordered a Galaxy S7 or S7 edge, you got a free Gear VR. The South Korean tech giant offered a similar promotion, arguably even better, for the Galaxy Note7—you could choose to receive either a Gear Fit 2 or a 256GB microSD card. But a number of T-Mobile users are having issues claiming their gifts. Read More
The MIT researchers-turned-entrepreneurs at a company called SolidEnergy have something you've probably heard before but also something you haven't. A battery breakthrough that will drastically increase your future phone's battery life? We've heard that before. New battery tech that is ready for production within a year? That's new. Read More
Sony has a new Android Auto head unit - its first, actually - the catchily-named XAV-AX100. The main draw of the device seems to be the sound quality, with four "55-watt Dynamic Reality Amp 2" amplifiers and Sony's EXTRA BASS low-boost circuitry supposedly overcoming engine noise to deliver crystal clear sound.
On the Android side, Sony says the XAV-AX100 has Android Auto 2 installed. If you're not overly sure what that is, you're not alone. Maybe it's the things Google announced at I/O this year for Auto? That would include things like OK Google hotwording and OEM apps, but possibly the most important announcement, WiFi projection mode - which means the Android Auto connection from your phone to the head unit is wireless - is not mentioned in the blog post Sony published today. Read More