Earlier this week the super-skinny Dell Venue 8 7840 was given its Android 5.1 update. It looks like the firmware developers left in a goodie for power users: the new "OEM Unlocking" option in the Developer Options menu, first noticed on the latest round of Nexus devices when Lollipop 5.1 was going out earlier this year. According to an Android Police tipster and multiple posts on the XDA-Developers forum, this allows end users to easily unlock the bootloader of the tablet, something that wasn't a simple process before.
To unlock the bootloader, you just need to go through the familiar steps that are shared across most Nexus and "developer" devices: install Fastboot on a PC, make sure you've got the right drivers, connect the device, reboot into fastboot mode, and execute the command "fastboot OEM unlock." The only difference is the addition of the prerequisite manual switch in the Developer Options menu when Android is booted.
Remember the Tegra Note 7? It was supposed to be an OEM platform from NVIDIA, but it got a bit overshadowed when the SHIELD Tablet came out. About a half-dozen manufacturers took NVIDIA up on its offer, notably EVGA, Zotac, Gigabyte, and HP, but it doesn't look like a second model is coming any time soon. Still, they're pretty nice little tablets, especially if you want one with a relatively clean version of Android and a built-in stylus for a low price.
One of the other nice things about the Tegra Note 7 tablets is that updates come straight from NVIDIA (though HP's Slate 7 Extreme seems to be an exception).
Do you have a Chromecast or an Android TV device? Then open up Chrome on your desktop, make sure that you've got the Chromecast extension installed, go to this website, click "redeem all offers," then click the Google Play offer in the upper-left corner. You'll get a free movie rental voucher on your account, which can be applied when you checkout any movie on the Play Store. HD movies are valid as well. Even though the freebie is specifically to promote the Chromecast's second birthday, connecting to an Android TV box will get you the credit too.
This offer is valid in the United States and a few other countries (commenters mentioned Germany, Australia, and France) but doesn't appear to be a worldwide promotion.
Knock Knock. Tap Tap. Scratch Scratch. Jot Jot. Wait, that's not how the joke goes. Let's try again. Knock Knock. Who's there? Fin. Fin who? Fin Gersense. Aha, now it makes sense.
Bay Area start-up Qeexo has been working on its FingerSense technology for several years, and it looks like it's starting to reap the fruits of its labor. The software solution, which allows modern touchscreen devices to detect the difference between fingertips, knuckles, nails, styli, and erasers, has been licensed by Huawei (under "Knuckle Sense") and has been shipping with its P8 and P8max since April. It's also included in the company's more recent Honor 7.
The upcoming release of the third generation of Motorola's Moto G has been an especially leaky one. Coming hot on the heels of today's accidental publishing of the phone's Moto Maker page, a promotional video for the Brazilian market has found its way to YouTube.
One meaningful thing we get from this particular leak is that, unlike Motorola's company secrets, the Moto G will be watertight. The promo boasts of IPX7 certification, meaning the 2015 Moto G will have modest waterproofing that will protect it from splashes, rain, and brief submersion up to 1 meter deep.
The video, which we have mirrored here, confirms much of what we have heard about the Moto G and also may lay to rest some of the false rumors going around.
We all know that a new Moto G is coming very soon, probably at Motorola's "find your match" event on July 27th. Someone over at Moto HQ must have an itchy trigger finger, though. The Moto Maker page for this phone was available on Motorola's website for a short time today before it was pulled (redirects to the homepage now). We do, however, have a screenshot of the configuration options courtesy of a Reddit user.
AT&T approved the Android 5.1 update for the first-gen Moto X (XT1058) on July 7th, but yesterday the carrier decided to halt the update. AT&T is calling this a "temporary" suspension, but isn't saying what exactly the issue is.