Samsung may produce the top-selling Android flagships, but that doesn't mean buyers don't encounter a few bugs.
Some Galaxy S7 and S7 edge phones apparently suffer from malfunctioning volume down and power buttons. You press either one, whether to reduce noise or wake your device from sleep, and nothing happens. In either case, it's quite a big deal. You're either stuck with a blank screen or notifications coming in loudly as you're trying to silence your phone. Read More
Last year, both The Wall Street Journal and Sammobile reported that the Galaxy S7 would feature a Type C USB connector. As you may know, the Galaxy S7 does not feature a Type C USB connector. But these rumors didn't come out of thin air - it seems more likely than anything that Samsung was at least testing Type C connectivity on the Galaxy S7, but for one reason or another ended up sticking with the tried-and-true micro-B connector.
Sammobile is back at it again, this time claiming the Note 6 will mark Samsung's USB-C debut. I do find this more plausible than the S7 rumor, so let me posit my theory here. Read More
Perhaps the best of the current brood of Android Wear watches, the Huawei watch looks great and performs admirably. It's also quite expensive, so it's always welcome news when it goes on sale. Here's some of that welcome news, the Huawei watch is on sale.
In fact, every color and band option available at Amazon and Best Buy is currently $100 to $150 off (with the exception of the ladies rose gold version, which is $50 off).
There's not really anything else to say on the matter, so I won't hold you from digitally perusing the wares of these two retailers any longer – here are the links. Read More
LG's Innotek arm unveiled a new fingerprint scanner implementation today that allows a scanner to be placed directly under a piece of glass, such as the bezel area of display cover glass on a smartphone. The new technology, then, is at least somewhat similar to Qualcomm's Snapdragon Sense ID in that it does not require an exterior element physically demarcating where the scanner sits, and can instead be basically invisible. Qualcomm's solution, though, uses ultrasonics to identify a fingerprint - LG's design appears to be of the traditional capacitive variety.
To be clear, the new technology does not allow the scanner to sit on or under the display itself - this is a problem not yet solved - merely for it to be hidden a bit better in the places where we see fingerprint scanners already. Read More
Say what you will about the latest crop of Android Wear devices, but it would be hard to call any of them "feminine." Even with gold-plated bodies or thin bands, the chunky or boxy nature of the watches mean that they don't easily conform to the current designs of women's conventional watches. (For my money, the most svelte looking Android Wear device right now is the Asus Zenwatch 2.) But Huawei is willing to give it a shot: a few months ago we caught wind of two new variants of the Huawei Watch, the "Jewel" and the "Elegant," and now it appears both of them will soon be available in the US. Read More
Google apparently has a Material Design UI overhaul in the works for YouTube and it looks pretty good. While it has not yet been pushed to the masses, it is apparently being tested on a small group of users while the developers look for bugs and Google braces for any negative feedback (people hate change, remember). Here's a look at the goods and a way to enable the new UI for yourself.
First, let's look at the homepage. Here's the current version:
And the new:
Not exactly a radical difference, but you do see the modern search bar that should be familiar from Google's Android apps and several web services as well. Read More
It's impossible to launch a new flagship phone these days without some fancy (and expensive) companion devices. At least that seems to be the approach that Samsung and LG are taking, and the former has a very interesting 360-degree action camera on the way. The Gear 360 captures both still photos and video in (you guessed it) 360 degrees thanks to dual lenses and a ball-like design. The Gear 360 is launched in Samsung's home market of Korea, and though it's yet to get a western release, the companion app is already available. Read More
Last week, Sony had a nice gift for a large portion of the owners of their relatively recent devices: Marshmallow! That was following up on March updates to their newest releases. Still, a few were left out. The wait should be over soon, if not already, for owners of the Z3 Tablet Compact.
The updates are going to both the LTE-enabled and WiFi-only variants of the tablet, which were released in late 2014. Here's the summary info provided by Sony's web pages for each variant:
Android version: Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)
Latest available software: 23.5.A.0.570
Release started: 2016-04-26
The version number is common to most or all of the recent Marshmallow releases to the Z2 and Z3 lines. Read More
Google Now on Tap, the search engine's contextual tool for Android, hides some pretty neat tricks up its sleeve. But perhaps none is so handy to music lovers as this option, spotted by an Android Police reader: Now on Tap can serve up song lyrics directly from music apps with just a few on-screen taps. Google's Knowledge Graph system can already find lyrics fairly easily, but the way it's been integrated into the retrieval system for Android is fairly slick. Read More
I always felt like one of the big downers to web browsing on mobile was typing in passwords. Of course, the built-in password management for Chrome (and other mobile browsers) can sometimes take care of things for you. But I'm sure if you do a lot of signing in, you know there are some sites whose login system just doesn't work with the browser's password manager. With Chrome v51, now in beta, Google is taking some steps to help smooth things out.
W3C, the web standards group, has created an API to help homogenize the relevant aspects of signing into websites. Read More