On the scale of meh to super duper exciting, this Google+ 7.8 version update falls low, really low. Unless you get excited about bug fixes, which I know is a legit reason to love an update if a specific bug had been ruining the app for you, but is as dry and drab a topic to read about as a 0.1 pH change in a cleaning solution, you can pretty much say that nothing significant has changed.
I know I'm telling you to close this tab and go read something else, but since you're still here and you're clearly interested in the littlest changes Google introduces in its apps, I'll satisfy your curiosity. Read More
About a week ago, a couple of readers reported to us that direct carrier billing was showing up for Idea Cellular subscribers in India, but it seemed at the time that the feature wasn't live for everyone and wasn't working reliably for those who had it. Now it's official: the Google Asia Pacific Blog has announced the availability of carrier billing on Idea Cellular.
The post explains how direct carrier billing has positively impacted purchases on Google Play, citing Indonesia as an example of 4x growth in the number of people who make app and in-app purchases after the introduction of operator billing. Read More
All flagship phones tend to get better and better prices the farther out you get from the release date, but Samsung's latest crop seems to be dropping in price especially fast. For example, one eBay merchant is offering a 32GB Galaxy S7 Edge Duos for just $649.99, a solid $150 off the retail price (or much more, depending on where you buy it). That's even better than the aftermarket price for the same phone just a couple of weeks ago. The seller is based in New York, but this particular phone is being sold with a UK-standard phone charger, so you'll need a spare one to use it. Read More
I've always found myself nervous when Q&A sessions come up at a talk or presentation - I want to ask a question but can never find the willpower to actually put my hand up and ask it. Slides Q&A, in the latest version of Slides, appears like it might remedy or at least go some way to fixing that situation with its digital, typically Google-y approach to question and answer sessions.
With the update, Q&A is open all through the talk, with a link on the presentation screen. The audience is able to submit questions to the speaker, which can then be voted up or down by other members of the audience. Read More
It's common for American carriers to mandate the removal of FM radio functionality from popular phones. After all, they'd much rather you used their network services to gobble down data. Something very unusual is happening in the new GS7 update. Samsung and T-Mobile are actually turning on the dormant FM radio functionality. Read More
The LG G5 has been out for a few weeks and it hasn't exactly been a big hit. The $700 price tag certainly isn't helping, either. There's a sizable discount on the international dual SIM variant on eBay right now that seems like a much more reasonable deal. It's just $574.99 and it'll work on any GSM/LTE network; two of them at the same time, actually. Read More
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