The Google Keyboard has been updated to v4.1, and it brings a few handy new features. At the same time, several options have been removed. Google giveth and Google taketh away. One of the additions is cross-device dictionary sync, so maybe you can forgive Google on this one.
Do you want the new LG G4? Well, go call dibs. That's not what this post is about. We're gathered here to talk about the G3. It's still a good phone. Only now, due to planned obsolescence, it's becoming a cheaper one. On eBay, you can get an unlocked GSM model for a pretty reasonable $340. This is the 32GB model, which AT&T still sells for $450.
These are new units, not refurbished ones. Read More
In a post to Slack HQ today, the Slack Android team announced that version 2.0 of the chat service's Android app is coming (graduating from the 1.9.9 beta), and so far it looks much better than the current stable iteration. Read More
Android TV has a serious app discovery problem, and it's the built-in "leanback" version of the Google Play Store. Before today, the Play Store on your TV only showed curated apps selected by the powers that be at Google, so between the video, audio, and game sections, there were less than two hundred apps on display for users. You might get the impression that these were the only Android TV apps available - the rest had to be manually searched for in the search function of the main leanback launcher.
With version 5.5.15, that finally changes. New sections of the Android TV Google Play Store are now visible beneath the curated portion, and based on a quick run-through, it looks like every compatible app for your ATV device is exposed. Read More
Tech companies regularly spin their products as innovative revolutions that disrupt existing standards and push humans further along the evolutionary tract. So when each new app comes along with promises of raising the bar, it's easy to be skeptical. Just because SoundHound recently released a competitor to Google Now, that doesn't mean it will be any good.
Well, from the looks of the latest video to appear on Hound's YouTube page, the voice assistant's natural speech recognition is actually pretty amazing. In the demonstration, we see Hound speedily respond to obscenely specific inquiries, such as: "How many days are there between the day after tomorrow and three days before the second Thursday of November of 2022?" The answer, according to Hound, is 2714 days between the day after tomorrow and Monday, November 7th, 2022. Read More
One of the coolest bits of news from Google I/O last week was the expansion of Smart Lock into password management. If your Google account has a saved password for a service, Smart Lock can automatically log you into an app. The newest addition to the list of supported apps is the official New York Times app.
Most over-the-air updates include a few bug fixes, maybe a new bloatware app or two, and are thus not really worth getting excited over. Not so for the latest addition to T-Mobile's customized version of the Sony Xperia Z3. In addition to the long-awaited upgrade to Android 5.0, today's update flips a software switch that enables access to band 12, the 700MHz spectrum that T-Mobile began using for LTE earlier this year. If the prospect of wider, faster LTE for your phone doesn't make you excited for an update, I don't know what will.
Beginning June 3, the Sony Xperia Z3 will have a mandatory software update to Android version 5.0.2/ Build 23.1.C.0.385 available via OTA push or Sony PC Companion over Wi-Fi only.
There's at least one thing you can get on your phone that doesn't require waiting on Android M. Google has pushed a new version of the Google Camera app, which we last saw bundled with the Android M preview. It's v2.5 and it comes with a cool new focusing animation. Check it out.
No doubt about it, the mid-range market is heating up, even in places where unlocked and contract-free phones have typically undersold. This morning Chinese smartphone maker Huawei announced the Ascend P8 Lite, a new offering for the US that has its sights set on competitors like the Moto G. The $250 phone is available right now from Huawei's online store in black or white, and it doesn't look like the company is interested in selling through conventional carriers. Read More
The updated contacts app in Android M has a nifty little trick up its sleeve. You can select multiple contacts from the main list to merge, delete, or share all at once. You would think this feature already existed somewhere in the stock app, but apparently not.