The ZenFone 2 was one of the best budget phones to launch last summer, and the Laser variant (named after a laser auto-focus module) was a good follow-up. Now the latter (ZE500KL model) is getting its Android 6.0 update, WW_22.214.171.124_M3.6.44. Read More
Right on schedule on the first Monday of the month, Google's latest security updates for Nexus devices have arrived. Both factory images and OTA update zips for June 2016 are available for the following devices, Android version 6.0.1, listed below with build numbers for your convenience.
- Pixel C - MXC89H
- Nexus 6P - MTC19V
- Nexus 5X - MTC19V
- Nexus 6 - MOB30M
- Nexus Player - MOB30M
- Nexus 9 LTE - MOB30M
- Nexus 9 Wi-Fi - MOB30M
- Nexus 5 - MOB30M
- Nexus 7 2013 Wi-Fi - MOB30M
- Nexus 7 2013 3G - MOB30M
This month's security bulletin can be found here, and this month's updates contain six security fixes Google has deemed "critical," four of which are specific to Qualcomm driver privilege elevation vulnerabilities (a further five such Qualcomm driver vulnerabilities were classified from high to moderate severity). Read More
Samsung's Active series takes the hardware from its primary Galaxy S phones and wraps them up in big, tough plastic and a water-resistant chassis. The Galaxy S4, S5, and S6 were all given Active variants, and now it's the S7's turn, as previously leaked. While the new AT&T phone hits all the familiar notes from previous generations, a little extra engineering manages to cram an impressive 4000mAh battery inside. With similar specs elsewhere, the S7 Active should last a solid 30% longer than the standard S7 and even a bit longer than the larger S7 Edge. Read More
In the admittedly limited field of Android Wear devices, the Huawei Watch is the current stand-out. Between the full circular screen, the all-metal build, the built-in heart rate monitor, and a design that has a high factor of watchiness (a technical term meaning "possessing the quality of a conventional watch"), it's received quite the warm welcome among the Android faithful. The Huawei Watch is also one of the most expensive options out there, but today Best Buy is easing a bit of the sticker shock. Read More
For a phone that was supposed to "kill" high-priced flagships, the OnePlus 2 seems to have taken its sweet old time in upgrading to the latest version of Android. Whether that has to do with a smaller development team over at OnePlus, or the idiosyncrasies of the company's custom "Oxygen OS" ROM, we couldn't say. But it appears that the wait is finally over: according to a post on the OnePlus user forum, the Oxygen OS 3.0.2 over-the-air release (based on Marshmallow 6.0.1 code) is heading out today. Read More
Like it or not, it's clear that Motorola's often-leaked upcoming batch of phones will be very different from the relatively straightforward designs in its current lineup. Previous leaks indicated that at least some of the models in the refreshed Moto X (or possibly Moto Z) and DROID series will have add-on modules called "MotoMod" that snap onto the back of the phone via a proprietary interface. It's a lot like the direction that LG is taking with its modular G5. Read More
Fans of the community-created CyanogenMod ROM, your cup runneth over with new gadgets to try out on CM 13 (based on Android 6.0 code). Five new phones and a tablet have been given the nightly treatment in the last week or so, to wit: the OnePlus 2, the Moto X Pure (the US multi-carrier variant of the Moto X Style), Yu's low-priced Yureka, the Oppo R5 and R5s, and the original version of Sony's Xperia Tablet Z. They're all available at their respective download locations under CM's somewhat nebulous device codenames.
The Yureka deserves some special attention here. Read More
Amazon's Echo has become the de-facto standard of home voice control, at least until Google Home is released and we find out whatever Apple is planning. To emphasise Amazon's market-leading position, the company has published a press release saying Alexa has over 1,000 skills and integrations - we counted roughly 1,150 (115 pages with 10 items on each page). For such a young platform, this is mightily good news, and says wonders about the battleground that the home will be for technology companies in the future.
Left: the skills list, showing the filters and sorting options. Right: some other skills that are installable on the Echo. Read More
The Galaxy Note 4 is a little less than two years old now, but Samsung stuffs the Note series so full of high-end technology that it isn't really fair to call it "old." In fact, the Verizon version just got updated to Android Marshmallow earlier this week. The blogging gods must be smiling upon us, because they've offered a serendipitous eBay deal: the same phone, refurbished, for just $204.95. That's approximately five hundred dollars - five and two zeroes - off the original retail price.
What's this? These aren't Android devices, true, but Chromebooks will very soon run Android apps. Thus, you might want to know there are two new Chromebooks on sale in the Google Store today. Customers in the US and Canada can pick up the Acer Chromebook 14 or 2016 refresh of the Chromebook 11 right now. Read More