Back in November of 2015, Google expanded its Local Guides program with a points and level system that introduced new rewards for each tier. At 200 points, you would reach the coveted Level 4 and receive 1TB of free Google Drive storage for 2 years. Now Google is backing away from that promise and lowering the amount of free storage to 100GB only.
It might be that Google Maps' recent updates that incentivize you with notifications to post photos, reviews, and answer questions about places you're visiting have had a positive effect and Google is seeing more and more people reach Level 4. Read More
Samsung has been championing Universal Flash Storage (UFS) storage for a couple of years now. Back in February of 2015, it started mass producing embeddable UFS chips at up to 128GB capacity to replace the typical eMMC cards that smartphones had been using previously and provide super fast read, write, and random read and write speeds. The goal, at the time, was to convince users to dump external MicroSD cards and see the benefit of fast embedded storage, which was even later raised to 256GB. That strategy, which was carried out in the Galaxy S6 (and corresponding line-up), didn't pan out all that well with the company's avid power users who loved the flexibility of removable storage, and Samsung resolved to adding back the MicroSD slot the next year in the Galaxy S7. Read More
NVIDIA has released an update for its Shield Portable console device today, namely update version 110. The OTA doesn't add anything new, but it resolves some long-standing bugs and gives the device some much-needed security patches. You can see what's changed (rather, been fixed) in the official changelog from NVIDIA's forums, below.
Updates SHIELD security to the latest Android Security Bulletins
Fixes a bug that causes the LED brightness level to reset after a system restart
Resolves instances of the audio volume fluctuating during video playback
Fixes a bug that could result in SHIELD becoming unresponsive after lid close and reopen
Resolves instances of the ‘Optimizing apps’ message appearing in error
The Shield Portable is the oldest Shield device, having been announced over three years ago. Read More
Android One isn't Google's most-loved product initiative, but it does proposition consumers with a deal they aren't getting anywhere this side of a Nexus: updates direct from Google and minimal bloatware. Android One has predominantly launched in Southeast Asia and a few other locations - such as Turkey - but has remained firmly out of tier-one economies to date. Today's announcement by Google, Sharp, and Y! Mobile, then, is quite interesting. Read More
Huawei isn't just in the smartphone and hard-to-pronounce name businesses, they're also a telecommunications giant that handles an enormous amount of business-to-business infrastructure all over the world. That means a diversified portfolio of hardware, software, and (waaait for it) technology patents. BizJournals reports that the Chinese company is bringing that portfolio to bear against T-Mobile US today, alleging that the budget-friendly cell carrier refuses to license 14 of its 4G patents. Read More
Google Now on Tap sounded really cool when it was announced as part of Android M, but the reality of using it has been largely disappointing so far. Google has been adding new features in an attempt to make On Tap more engaging, and today there are three additions. In the latest round of updates, you'll have easier access to translation, content discovery, and barcode scanning. Read More
The LG G4 came out roughly a year ago, and it was a rather nice phone, all things considered. The price started out up in the standard flagship range, but it has come down considerably. Now, you can pick up a new-ish G4 on eBay for $200. That's a solid deal. Read More
Google has shown a lot of interest in computer vision over the last few years. You need only look at the way it digs around for similar images in Google search and identifies specific objects in your uploaded photos. It can always be better, though, so Google has purchased a French company called Moodstocks that specializes in image recognition. Read More
Samsung has been diligent about releasing its security patch bulletin along with Google at the beginning of every month, but this month, it took the lead and published the details before even Google got around to doing so.
The report lists the different Android Security Bulletin patches issued by Google to AOSP, which are quite numerous this month. There are 9 critical patches, 26 high-severity ones, 9 moderate, and no low severity patches. As for Samsung's Vulnerabilities and Exposures, 4 new ones have been patched with this release, but the bulletin keeps two a secret probably as to not compromise any devices that might be unguarded and have not already or will not receive the security update. Read More
Google Now's new weather card was spotted at the beginning of January then officially announced later that month. Ever since, it has been going on and off when you tapped on the weather card or did any weather search inside Google Now, and mostly never made it onto the regular Google Search results inside the browser (mobile and desktop - think when you open Chrome and do a normal weather search there, not through the Google app).
Long and tumultuous history aside, the modern weather card with the blue background, detailed forecasts, and funky frog, has gotten slightly better over the past month. Read More