Back in 2015 at I/O, and just after announcing Cardboard, Google rolled out Jump. At the time the hardware that accompanied it was the GoPro Odyssey, a big circular contraption containing 16 GoPro cameras. It was meant to make recording in 360 degrees for VR purposes a bit easier, both logistically and in terms of the tools and software needed. Don't be too surprised if that flew under your radar at the time; there hasn't been much in the way of news from Google about Jump since then (though there was a cool WebVR film announced a few days ago that used it). Read More
After the fallout from the total recall of the defective Samsung Galaxy Note7, many observers worried that the company's reputation could be permanently damaged, leading to a lack of confidence in future devices and ultimately to lower sales. That appears not to be the case. In a statement, Samsung has proudly pointed out that US pre-orders of its latest flagship Android phones, the Galaxy S8 and S8+, have topped their predecessors by a remarkable 30%. Let the ritual self-back-patting commence. Read More
Samsung announced the Bixby assistant several weeks ahead of the Galaxy S8 launch. We were told at the time this feature would let you control apps by voice and get contextual information. It doesn't do any of that at launch, though. Naturally, people want to remap the Bixby button, and that's still possible despite Samsung's attempts to block it. However, the remapping apps are pretty hacky. Read More
Technology has become part of our culture and how we organize. We make use of Google Calendar or Outlook to coordinate schedules, send invitations to events via Facebook and Google+, and we settle bar tabs on Venmo, Circle, Dwolla, Google Wallet, Paypal, and Messenger (barring the launch of any new apps while I was listing them). It's no huge surprise, then, that yet another function has been brought into the contemporary era of app convenience. The art and science of social and cultural unrest known as protest has made one more step into the future: your next one might come with an app. Read More
Card Thief is a new solitaire game from the creator of Card Crawl. Unlike Card Crawl's dungeon crawling themed gameplay, Card Thief is focused more on a stealthy risk/reward mechanic. You will be sneaking around in the shadows and thieving treasure, all while avoiding enemies and traps. This is done in order to compete for the high score in each of the game's four heists. Read More
Google Fit stands as one of Google's only flagship apps on Android Wear, and may be the only one of its apps that matters more on a watch than it does on a phone. There's a new version of the app available on the Play Store for both watches and phones, but this update is all about adding a big feature for Wear. There's a new mode for recording strength training and similar activities that involve counting reps.
This update is for Wear 2.0 only, so quite a few people will have to wait until the rollout is complete before testing this out, but it works on the last developer preview as well as any watch that already has the official 2.0 firmware. Read More
T-Mobile customers may have seen the recent news that Galaxy Note5 owners on AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon were starting to get the Android 7.0 Nougat update, and worried that they were being overlooked. But fear not! It appears that nougaty goodness is just around the corner for you. Read More
The market for camera-equipped doorbells is taken by three brands these days: Ring, Skybell, and August. Of the three, Ring has an interesting proposition thanks to a fleet of other products (stick-up camera and floodlight camera) that you can outfit your house with to stay within the same ecosystem. It also integrates with Samsung's SmartThings and the Wink hub.
If that's something you're interested in and you don't mind manually installing the doorbell and connecting it to your existing chime through electrical wires (there are tutorials for that), then you might want to check out the Ring Pro on Amazon today. It usually retails for $249 but is now being discounted to $199.99. Read More
This isn't the first time we've been through this rodeo: Sony announces a new device in 2 or 3 colors, then a couple of months later tries to grab back some headlines by launching it in a new color. This time we're looking at the high-end Xperia XZ Premium which made its debut in February at MWC with a Snapdragon 835, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, 5.5" massive 4K display, IP68 water and dust resistance, and a 19MP camera on the back that can shoot videos in up to a mind-boggling 960fps. And the new color in question is Bronze Pink.
The color is nice, but Sony's press release obviously contains a lot of graphical superlatives from Xperia Colour Designer (that's a job title, apparently) Satoshi Aoyagi. Read More