The idea of using a smartphone as a full desktop PC when connected to an external monitor isn't new. The now-dead Ubuntu for phones and tablets had 'Convergence' as one of its main features, allowing you to run full desktop Linux apps when you connected a keyboard and mouse (and display, if your device supported that). Read More
As is tradition when a new phone is released, the Pixel 2 XL has appeared on the sacrificial altar of iFixit. Not only do we get to find out how easy this phone is to repair, it's a chance to see how things work in there. After tearing down Google's latest flagship, the team at iFixit has granted the phone a repairability score of 6 out of 10, which is better than many other devices. Read More
Motorola had hit a rough patch when Google came calling back in 2011. It took some time to clear out the queue of sub-standard devices, but the first true Google-backed Motorola effort came in 2013 with the launch of the Moto X. This device broke new ground with clever software features like Moto Display (called Active Display at the time) and a customizable design. Motorola made a few more Moto X phones, all of which were excellent devices. Lenovo didn't keep the Moto X going when it took over from Google, preferring to sell devices like the modular Moto Z.
Here we are, two years after the last Moto X launched, and there's another phone that calls itself "Moto X." This is the Moto X4, a device that comes with the added distinction of being the first Android One phone in the US. Read More
Yesterday in China, HMD Global announced the newest member of its range of Nokia branded Android smartphones. We've seen the wallet-friendly Nokia 3 and 5, the mid-range Nokia 6, and most recently came the flagship Nokia 8. While it might appear that HMD doesn't know how to count, the Nokia 7 announcement at least takes us one step closer to a full house. The Nokia 2 and 9 are on the way soon, too.
The Nokia 7 follows the same pleasing design language as its siblings, but where the Nokia 8 was encased in metal, this new phone goes for a mixture, with an aluminum frame and a vacuum molded back made from Corning Gorilla Glass which curves nicely around the back. Read More
In his teardown of the Google app 7.12, Cody uncovered a customizable Google Search bar was in the making and it's been showing up here and there for some, but the latest Google app beta version 7.14.15 finally brings it to life for everyone.
The new Search bar widget looks pretty much the same as the old one, so you'd be forgiven for missing it. The main change is an overflow menu on the right that lets you choose a Customize option. Tap that and you're taken into a new UI where the search bar is dropped in the middle of the screen with a white menu of 4 options below it. Read More
This time last year, Google confirmed that it was working to add support for Visa Checkout and Masterpass to Android Pay. The aim was to have the services integrated in early 2017, but we've not heard much about it since. There was evidence of Visa Checkout on Google's payment platform in a demo at I/O in May, but it remained to be seen when it would go live for users.
While the Android website shows that PayPal is already supported, it still has a 'Coming Soon' note by Visa Checkout, although we believe that was added recently and as a precursor to today's news. Read More
If you've been caught up in all of the Pixel news today, then you might have overlooked something in the specs page. It would appear that Google is extending its software update promise from two years to a minimum of three years. That's fantastic. Read More
Google Text-to-speech may not be the sexiest app out there, but it's a particularly useful one for many people, especially those who make use of accessibility options such as Talkback on Android phones. The last meaningful update to it came back in April (v3.11) with a few new languages (Bangla (India), Czech, Khmer, Nepali, Sinhala, and Ukrainian) as well as improvements to voices and better number processing.
The latest update brings the app up to version 3.13.3 and includes support for two more languages: Filipino and Greek. There's also a new setting to for language detection on devices running Oreo and a few more improvements to how the voices sound. Read More
The Moto X4 is Motorola's latest kind-of-budget phone, which despite the name, bears no resemblance to the Moto X of past years. It's availability in the United States is somewhat limited, with Motorola saying it will sell the phone unlocked on its website, and Project Fi offering an Android One version. In a few hours, there will be another way to buy the X4 - from Amazon. Read More
If I've learned one thing from writing posts about Android Pay, it's that there are far more banks and credit unions in the US than I thought there was. Google already supports a massive number of them in Android Pay, but apparently there are still more to add.
Today Google has added an additional 34 banks and credit unions to the list, including one notable holdout, Charles Schwab Bank. Here are all of the others: Read More