The history of Android on tablets is complicated. Just as Apple had done in 2007 with the first iPhone, the iPad's release in 2010 set a very high standard for the rest of the market. The next year, Google released Android 3.0 Honeycomb on the Motorola Xoom, designed specifically with tablets in mind. The Xoom wasn't the iPad killer that Motorola had hoped for, and there have been very few Android tablets that could stack up to Apple's iPad line.
Since Honeycomb, Android has shifted away from most tablet-specific features in favor of a shared UI on all screen sizes. There's still a large number of major applications clearly not designed for tablets (Hangouts comes to mind). Read More
Black Friday and Cyber Monday may have come and gone, but tons of great deals are still out there. Case in point: ASUS's photography-oriented ZenFone Zoom is on sale from both B&H and Newegg for $199. That's the same deal that ASUS offered on Black Friday, and a whopping $200 off its MSRP of $399, effectively making the phone half-price. Read More
Cyanogen Inc. may be dying as a company, but the voluntarily-maintained CyanogenMod ROMs are still alive and kicking. Case in point: seven more devices are joining CyanogenMod 14.1, which is based on Android 7.1 Nougat. Six of these Android-powered machines have builds already up, but one doesn't yet. Read More
Asus has been one of the more persistent promoters of Android Wear since it was released. As other companies have scaled back on wearables, Asus is full speed ahead with a third-generation ZenWatch. The first ZenWatch was a solid addition to the initial wave of watches, and the ZenWatch 2 had some appeal due to the extremely competitive price. Both those watches had the same rounded square body and general aesthetic, but the ZenWatch 3 is a radical departure. This is a completely round watch—no flat tire—and it makes more tweaks to the UI of Android Wear than any watch I've used before. Read More
A new update to Android Marshmallow 6.0 has begun rolling out for the two-year-old ASUS Padfone S. The hybrid device launched back in July of 2014 with KitKat 4.4.2 and offered a unique compromise between the portability of a phone and the screen real estate of a tablet — without resorting to the predictable phablet form factor.
Marshmallow may already be outdated considering this summer's release of Nougat, but the software upgrade should include many of the niceties we've come to enjoy on Android, including Doze mode and run-time app permissions. Installing the OTA file will also remove up to 22 pre-loaded apps (a.k.a. Read More
At the beginning of the month, Asus announced that its latest Android Wear offering, the ZenWatch 3, would be available in the early part of November. It looks like the company came through with its promise. The ZenWatch 3 is now available to order for $229 through the Asus store and B&H. I daresay that this looks like a very nice piece. Read More
Just as several new smartwatches make their debuts on the Google Store, two (and a Chromebook) say their goodbyes. The ASUS ZenWatch 2, Casio Smart Outdoor Watch (great name, right?), and the ASUS Chromebook Flip are now unavailable for purchase from Google's hardware shop; in fact, the links to their listings now automatically redirect to the Android Wear and Chromebook landing pages, respectively. Read More
Android Wear is in a sort of a lull now. Beside the ZenWatch 3, no new significant watches have been announced in several months (there are the specialist Nixon, Polar, Michael Kors, etc, ones, but they cater to a niche market) and Android Wear 2.0's update has been pushed over to 2017. So now is one of the best times to grab an older watch that's been on the market for a while but that's still pretty decent in terms of specs.
One such deal is an ASUS ZenWatch 2, the larger 1.63" version. This one has the Snapdragon 400, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage, and a speaker. Read More
Today, ASUS and Verizon announced the LTE-equipped model of the ASUS ZenPad Z10 tablet. If you're already on Big Red, which you have to be for this device, it's not a bad choice for the asking price of $329.99.
The Z10 LTE is powered by a Snapdragon 650 CPU with 3GB of RAM, running Android 6.0 (with ASUS' ZenUI, of course). There is no indication in the press release or Verizon's site of an update to Android 7.0 Nougat, so don't get your hopes up. The Z10 has 32GB of internal storage, expandable with microSD cards up to 128GB.
The screen is a 9.7" panel at 2048x1536, with a 178° wide viewing angle. Read More
Asus announced the ZenWatch 3 several weeks ago, but neglected to provide information on when you could buy one. Irksome, but nothing compared to the Zenfone 3 that was available in some markets over the summer. Well, now you can finally plan to pick up both, if that's something you want to do. The ZenWatch 3 and all Zenfone 3 variants will be available in the coming weeks, but pricing on the Zenfone 3 is a little higher than expected. Read More