Competition in Android smartphones is better now than it's ever been, and not just in the flagship segment. With devices like the Moto G, the ZenFone 2, and various Blu designs, the mid-range is heating up with phones that are jam-packed with value. But how about the low-end, entry phone segment? For those people who just want a device that runs a few apps, plays a nice round of Threes, and maybe browse for some sports scores? Before a few years ago, they were limited to whatever bottom-of-the-line, low-margin phones Samsung and LG would spare.
These days things are a little different. Read More
Mulling a Shield purchase in the near future? Well, if you want your Shield TV/console/thing with the official remote accessory (not to be confused with the controller), NVIDIA's got a deal going temporarily that'll get you $25 off a bundled console/remote package. And yes, that means NVIDIA was valuing this remote at fifty bucks previously.
At $25, it's definitely a hell of a lot easier to stomach (honestly, I think this thing should be thrown in gratis, but whatever). The deal is on both Amazon and NVIDIA's own website (link). You have to buy both, sadly - the remote is not 50% off when purchased alone, so current Shield owners without remotes won't be getting any discount love. Read More
Verizon has begun rolling out an update for the Galaxy Note Edge that should address the vulnerability in Stagefright, one of Android's media libraries, that could potentially compromise a user's device. This is the first Stagefright-related fix we're aware of Verizon rolling out.
Of course, the changelog doesn't specifically mention Stagefright... but it's really obvious that's what it's for, given the timing of the update and terseness of the document. You can probably expect a slew of Samsung Stagefright fixes (as well as other OEMs, of course) on Verizon to follow, if this is any sign. Read More
A couple of months back, rumors that Google was working on a gamer-focused video streaming service first appeared. And so we waited. Now that the appropriately named YouTube Gaming is finally here, it plans to go head to head with Twitch.tv - easily the most popular such service in the world. Google has a tremendous amount of experience in the video streaming space in the form of YouTube, but it has never offered anything that was geared toward gamers. YouTube Gaming is hailed as the brand-new service that aims to fill that gap.
Currently, YouTube Gaming is only available as a beta program. Read More
The news of the Stagefright exploit appears to have precipitated a much needed update commitment from Google and various Android OEMs. After Samsung announced its new Android security update process and Google revealed the details of a new Nexus update policy, LG is following suit and promising similar monthly security patch updates.
Although it hasn't been officially announced by the company, the news comes from a couple of reliable sources. First, speaking at the security conference Black Hat 2015, Googler Adrian Ludwig revealed that LG has made the same commitment to send the monthly security patches that it receives from Google to end users. This, supposedly, should last for three years after a handset is announced, the same as Nexus phones. Read More
Another long design test appears to be drawing to a close for Google. After apparently beginning a wider rollout for the new mobile search UI (in testing since April), it seems that Google is making the revised image results UI final too.
This layout has been popping up since at least May, with a brighter, more crisp interface that offers more iconography, refined typography, and - yes - a section for related images. Read More
ASUS is riding high on ZenFone Fever, and at an event in India called - wait for it - Zenfestival, the company announced a slew of new ZenFone models. ZenFone 2 Deluxe, ZenFone 2 Laser, ZenFone Selfie, and ZenFone Max. Well, actually, only one of them was new - the ZenFone Max. The Laser, Deluxe, and Selfie were all announced previously, but the Max is the only really interesting one anyway (it even has a laser, don't worry).
The ZenFone Max is clearly targeted at emerging markets, blending an extremely large 5000mAh battery (how thick is this phone?) with a much more modest Snapdragon 410 processor, compared to the speedy if power-hungry Intel Atoms in the standard ZenFone 2. Read More
Almost anyone who uses YouTube regularly has seen a video with either 301 or 301+ views, according to the player. Why is this? Well, Google automatically checks videos crossing this threshold of views to see if the visitors are legitimate or just bots designed to pump up the number. From now on, they are tweaking the method to count "real" views in real time and only holding off on adding those that YouTube is unsure about.
Screen capture originally posted at Business Insider.
Stopping at a low-ish number like 301 kept a video with fake views from looking too popular. Read More
Sony announced the Smart B-Trainer at this year's CES as part of its continued efforts to log your life. This fitness-oriented device isn't the wrist band you might expect. Instead, it's a headset. Now Sony has provided a few more details, including a launch time frame. The Smart B-Trainer is scheduled to hit the US this fall.
The SSE-BTR1 headphone-integrated device comes with six sensors. There's a barometer and gyroscope, along with the tech required to measure your acceleration, cardinal direction, GPS location, and heart rate.
The companion app lets you log your runs. This means tracking how far you ran, how long you took, how high you went, how many steps, how quickly you moved, how many calories you burned in the process, and a number of other measurements. Read More
After adding the feature to the web version of Keep in May, Google has updated the Android app to allow users to easily convert their notes into Docs. Sometimes what starts as a stray thought or two that you dump into a note becomes something you want to expand upon. Rather than rewriting or copy and pasting, why not have your notes manager do the heavy lifting for you?
And by easy, I mean easy. Go to a note and head to the overflow menu. Tap "Copy to Google Doc" and the process begins. Keep tells you when it is finished on the bottom of your screen, giving you an "Open" link. Read More