Back in September, Hangouts switched from gray to green in its 2.3 update, ostensibly making the first baby steps on its journey toward joining Google's material design parade. Then in December we first spied a slightly more material version of the app. Now, users are running version 3.3 and many aren't satisfied with the app's layouts or structure. Things like the seemingly unnecessary contacts tab, the somewhat messy drawer, and the non-standard toolbar are common complaints.
It looks like Google is working on fixing a lot of issues with an upcoming update to Hangouts 4.0 though. We've heard rumblings from Reddit of the new update, and now we've got an early look at the app. Read More
Android Auto is starting to finally show up in cars and third-party head units, but there are still a handful of compatibility issues to work out, it seems. The latest update to the Android Auto app includes compatibility for the Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5 on AT&T, Sprint and Verizon.
Google made some big changes to Gmail when it retired the stock email app. You have the ability to manage non-Google email accounts in the app these days, but here comes something new. Today's Gmail app update has improved matters further by adding Oauth support for Yahoo and Microsoft accounts. Read More
There hasn't been much news out of OUYA for the last year or so, and Razer's first effort at mobile hardware, the Android TV-powered Forge TV, hasn't exactly been lighting the world on fire either. Would combining forces make either of these products better? Probably not. But according to a recent post on TechCrunch, at least someone thinks it might be a good idea.
TechCrunch reports that premium game accessory maker Razer is interested in purchasing OUYA, or at least what's left of it now that the "mini console" fad has come and gone. OUYA has tried numerous strategies to gain back the excitement of its initial Kickstarter campaign, including the addition of a subscription service and farming out its game library to competitors like MadCatz. Read More
HTC is pushing an update to the One M9 today, but only if you're using the international version of the device. Phones in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa should see the v1.40.401.5 update popping up any time now. It's not a major update, but it addresses several common M9 complaints.
A new report claims that Huawei has pushed back the release of the Huawei Watch until September or October. Of course, there was never an official launch date for the watch, but that's much later than everyone was expecting. The reason cited in the report for the delay is "incompatibility issues with Android Wear." That could mean any number of things.
More codecs are always better, especially if you're talking about a device that's (arguably) primarily for watching video. Android TV will get MPEG-2 support when the Android M build comes out - in fact you can check it out right now if you have a Nexus Player - but apparently NVIDIA doesn't want to wait. According to this forum post, an update to the new SHIELD Android TV will enable MPEG-2 codec support within a month.
Why MPEG-2 in particular? Apparently NVIDIA wants to add support for the popular HDHomeRun series of network-connected digital TV turners, which outputs directly in MPEG-2. Read More
Google's Camera app isn't exactly feature-rich, at least not when it is compared to alternatives offered by OEMs and many independent developers. Of course, that may be one of the reasons it is fairly popular – the interface remains simple and the features that did make it in, like Photospheres, are pretty cool. After looking through the latest update, it looks like Google is working toward another major feature addition called Smart Burst, and it might just become the best way to take photos of your friends.
Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong.
Back at CES earlier this year, Blu announced a handful of phones, including the Vivo Air, Studio X, and Studio Energy. Today, we're looking at the final phone from that announcement, the Life One, as well as another handset Blu has coming out in a few weeks, the Life 8 XL.
Let's jump right in with specs.
The first thing worth noting about the Life One is the processor - it's a 64 bit Snapdragon 410. Read More