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
T-Mobile made a big change to its plans yesterday by getting rid of all of them except for T-Mobile One, which offers unlimited data. There are a number of big drawbacks to that plan, but Sprint likes the sound of those drawbacks, so it has followed suit with a plan called Unlimited Freedom. It's a lot like One, but a few bucks cheaper with a slightly different set of restrictions. Read More
With Google Duo already released and working well, and rumors of Nougat coming on August 22nd, it's only a matter of time before we have Google's Assistant and its messaging app Allo in our hands.
In the meantime, what we have here is an early look at one of Allo's features: sticker packs. From the screenshots, it looks like Allo will come with 3 packs installed by default and others can be added later.
There are 24 additional packs available in different styles and from different designers. As far as we can tell, there doesn't seem to be a way to add your own sticker packs from a URL or a Zip file, but that may or may not change in the future. Read More
In a move that strikes a balance between becoming more consistent with the mobile apps and giving desktop users the best experience possible, Google has made some tweaks to Play Music's playlist interface. While playlists are no longer on the top level of the left-side hamburger menu—to be more like the phone and tablet UI—web users can use a shortcut to access a new sliding menu from the right. Read More
Many years ago, people would pour quarters into arcade machines to play Q*bert. You are much more lucky—you can get Q*bert Rebooted for SHIELD at the low price of $5.99 and it's yours forever. This is a special edition title with improved visuals, but it's only for SHIELD devices. Read More