Cody found evidence of an improved smartburst for Google Photos in his v1.16 teardown, and on the v1.17 official changelog it listed 'Improved burst photo support' as one of the points. Now, just after the v1.19 update, it seems the new Smartburst is finally starting to rollout to general users via a server-side update. Read More
The Samsung Gear VR is more akin to Google's Cardboard than HTC's Vive or LG's 360VR. You rely on your phone for the screen, like Cardboard, but you have more possibilities for control thanks to the included physical buttons. Samsung has also been pushing its Milk VR store heavily, collaborating with different content providers and benefitting from its Oculus partnership to provide exclusive material to its Gear VR users. It has created an interesting gadget and platform, one that I have personally been eying for a while but haven't had the chance to test yet.
While many users have gotten a Gear VR for free with the pre-order of a Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge, even more Samsung smartphone owners don't have the virtual reality headset yet. Read More
The Nextbit Robin is one of the rare success stories of smartphone crowdfunding. The company delivered the product in a decent timeline and didn't skimp on its hardware or software promises, even if its approach isn't exactly perfect right now or suited for everyone as Ryan pointed out in his detailed review. Nextbit is also following up on the Robin with software updates, recently releasing Android 6.0.1 with plenty of fixes bundled in. And if the Robin's hardware is your cup of tea but you prefer a different software layer, you can grab TWRP to be ready to flash different ROMs and mods to the phone, like the newly released CM 13 nightly. Read More
As one of the top custom ROMs, CyanogenMod is constantly adding new devices to its stable. Now it's time for these three devices to have their turn in the spotlight. For the Robin and the dual-SIM Desire 816, this is the first appearance they've made on official CyanogenMod pages. The YU Yuphoria has had CM12.1, based on Lollipop 5.1, for a while, but has now made the leap to CM13 and Marshmallow. Without further ado, here are the three new additions to the CM 13 nightlies:
- Nextbit Robin (ether)
- HTC Desire 816 (a5dwg)
- YU Yuphoria (lettuce)
These are nightlies, so bear in mind that the ROMs will likely be unstable and likely to crash, reboot, fry your phone, eat your dog, etc etc. Read More
Google's self-driving cars have popped up in four cities over the past several months, including Phoenix, Arizona and Kirkland, Washington. Drivers there may have encountered Lexus RX450h SUVs riding around with funky Google cameras sitting on top. Now Google has partnered with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles for its next wave of self-driving vehicles. Read More
A long time ago, Sony Electronics had a reputation for stubborn adherence to its own proprietary formats. Back when the iPod was just an MP3 player, Sony was still trying to promote its own ATRAC standard that was only available on its own hardware. ATRAC itself was a descendant of MiniDisc, another semi-proprietary format that tried to usurp the CD... not long after Sony had lost the BetaMax war. The company doesn't always lose - Blu-ray is a notable exception - but it doesn't learn very quickly, either. Read More
HTC has announced a new mid-range smartphone this morning, the Desire 830. While Desire announcements are typically met with minimal fanfare here in the United States, these are volume sellers for HTC in many markets including its home country, Taiwan, where the phone will initially be available for sale starting this Friday. The price is NT$9,990, which is roughly $310 US.
While the phone does lack a fingerprint scanner, it's interesting to see HTC sticking to functional design choices of older One-series devices on the 830, particularly software navigation keys and dual front-facing BoomSound speakers. The HTC 10 has capacitive navigation keys and one front-facing speaker, along with a second, bottom-firing speaker, which are arranged in a stereo configuration. Read More
A Marshmallow update for the T-Mobile LG G3 started popping up about a week ago, but only in the LG PC Suite. Now, T-Mobile has made the Marshmallow OTA official. The rollout started yesterday, and should be done in the coming days. Not bad for a phone that's nearly two years old. Read More
It's the first Monday of May, and that means there are some new factory images and OTAs for the Nexus line. As usual, these new firmware packages include the latest security patches from the preceding month, and possibly some bug fixes and optimizations, as well. While we'll be looking for changes in the AOSP changelog (coming soon), Google has posted the security bulletin to explain the major risks that that have been fixed in this release.
Google took special care to point out that the security bulletin has been renamed (from "Nexus" to "Android") to reflect its relationship to all devices running Android, not just those directly supported by Google. Read More
Android 6.0 started rolling out to the OnePlus One early last month. It came in the form of Cyanogen OS 13.
The update took its time rolling out. Then OnePlus pushed out a bump. Most users should have received both by now. Read More