The newest little phone from Sony has been made more developer-friendly today. The Xperia X Compact has joined the Sony Open Device program, allowing the more technically inclined out there to build stock Android from AOSP for the phone. Sony has made the necessary code available for both Nougat and Marshmallow builds on the X Compact. Read More
The NVIDIA SHIELD is probably the best Android TV hardware out there (it has Borderlands!), and today it's getting even better, with the addition of Plex DVR to the latest Plex Media Server beta, which enables the recording of any over-the-air TV channels through any web browser.
Plex Media Server released on SHIELD earlier this year, so Plex DVR is just the latest feature to come to the service. This apparently makes the SHIELD the only streaming set-top box with DVR functionalities, which only makes it more attractive as an Android TV box. To use Plex Media Server, a Plex Pass is needed, however, which may dampen things somewhat for a number of potential users. Read More
In case you somehow haven't heard, the just-officially recalled Galaxy Note7 has been having some battery troubles - troubles that are leading to people and things getting burned. To differentiate the explosion-prone and revised Note7s, the Korean company is changing the color of the battery indicator in the status bar from white to green. Read More
Chrome 54 Beta is now available on the Google Play Store, for you adventurous beta testers out there. This beta brings some very useful new features to Chrome, so let's dive right in!
New Tab page
Chrome 54 brings a redesigned New Tab page, and honestly, I'm not sure I'm a fan. The changed New Tab page still maintains the Google logo and the search bar, but does away with the Bookmarks or Recent Tabs buttons. Read More
Samsung is currently working to recall all the Galaxy Note7 devices it sold in the last month because of the well-known risk of battery failure. Knowing if your Note7 is affected right now is easy—if you have a Note 7, it's recalled. In the future, you might not know for certain when you see a Note7. Samsung's online IMEI check tool is now available to verify if a device is recalled or not. Read More
Samsung and the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) have just announced an official recall of the Galaxy Note7 in the US. This news comes after statements last week that Samsung and the CPSC are working together to issue a formal recall and reports that Samsung is limiting the batteries of Note7s in Korea to 60% via an OTA update. According to the CPSC, 92 reports of batteries overheating in the US have been received. This is out of an estimated one million units sold. Read More
There aren't a ton of devices running the commercial Cyanogen OS ROM these days, but the Wileyfox Spark and Spark+ are two of the most prominent (which really tells you something). These UK phones launched with Cyanogen OS 12 (Lollipop) earlier this year, but now Cyanogen OS 13 is finally rolling out. Read More
Google's Safe Browsing feature has been around since 2007, and has protected millions of people from harmful threats on the internet. It's a blacklist of harmful websites, such as those distributing malware and phishing scams, that Google actively updates every day. The database is used by Chrome, Firefox, and even Safari to ensure users can be as safe as possible online.
Back at Google I/O, Google announced they would make an official API for applications to check a given website in the Safe Browsing database. Starting with Google Play Services 9.4, developers can finally use the API in their apps.
The Safe Browsing API uses the latest version of the Safe Browsing Network Protocol, meaning it's designed to be as quick (and use up as little cellular data) as possible. Read More
The smart home revolution doesn't seem to be coming as quickly as some had hoped, but whenever it does break out, Amazon intends to be on the ground floor. To that end, the latest addition to Alexa's growing list of voice control connections is Control4, a semi-proprietary collection of home automation tools. The company announced a new Alexa skill that works with the Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap, and any other device that can connect to the voice service. Read More
When the BlackBerry Priv arrived last year, one of the built-in applications was the BlackBerry Hub. It merged your emails, notifications from supported social networks, and calendars all in one place. It was a pretty good idea, and Samsung has just released a similar application, Samsung Focus.
Focus is much more oriented towards business users than the average Joe the BlackBerry Hub aims to please. Samsung Focus can sync your emails, contacts and calendars, memos, tasks, and more. Most of these features are only compatible with Exchange servers, but the email feature does support IMAP and POP3 email as well. This means that essentially every email service is compatible. Read More