For years, Samsung has generally not sold its top-tier smartphones SIM unlocked to US customers. The reason for that is basically left to us to speculate: be it collusion with or demands from carriers, cost issues, or simple lack of demand, it's not exactly clear. But the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge may be the most readily available unlocked of any major Samsung smartphones in the US yet.
Currently, Best Buy will sell you - with what appears to be a factory Samsung warranty - an unlocked North American model Galaxy S7 or S7 edge. They aren't cheap... at all: $709.99 for the S7 and $819.99 for the S7 edge. Read More
Google's in-house Project Fi has a great app compared to what you get from other carriers. Not that it would be hard to make that happen, but it is pretty good. It's getting even better today with an update (version I.2.1) that adds a new widget and better control over call forwarding. Read More
The Sprint Galaxy Note 5 got Android 6.0 a month ago. Now it's the Note Edge's turn. The carrier has announced an over-the-air update delivering Marshmallow, security patches from Google and Samsung, and bug fixes. The OTA is going out as verison number N915PVPU4DPD.
That large, curved device is not alone. Read More
Amazon Fire tablets are not devices geared towards stock Android-loving enthusiasts with an unquenchable thirst for whatever they can get from Google Play. They're more casual devices aimed at people who enjoy a simpler experience and Amazon services. New models are also very cheap—buy six for $250 cheap. The 8GB 7-inch tablet starts at $49.99. Read More
Normally only Nexus and other first-party Google devices get a taste of an upcoming Android version before it's released, barring custom ROMs and other end user activities. But Sony has been offering experimental AOSP builds for some of its phones for some time, and today the company has surprised and delighted owners of the former flagship Xperia Z3 with a custom Android N developer preview. This is more or less the same as the preview builds for Nexus phones and tablets, and it includes the Play Store and Google Services - everything one needs for a full Android experience. Read More
Years back, pressing the guide button on your remote and browse through TV listings was a luxury. It meant being able to see what was playing without channel surfing or purchasing a physical TV guide. But these days, the idea of scanning through even a digital guide strikes many of us as downright tedious.
We search online instead. And pretty soon, Google will start displaying live TV listings at the top of search results when you look for a show. Read More
Leica and Huawei really seem to have let discussion about the P9's camera module get under their joint-skin. Today, the companies released a joint statement addressing concerns about Leica's involvement, after it became clear earlier this week that the camera modules themselves were manufactured by the Chinese company Sunny Optical.
Huawei and Leica, though, were not satisfied with the conclusions this continued to cause journalists and readers alike to draw: that the camera was, in large part, a marketing effort. Today, Huawei and Leica have attempted to shine a light on exactly what involvement the German optics and camera manufacturer had in the P9's development process. Read More
Google is apparently reaching out to Maps explorers with word of a new app heading down the pipeline.
The email invite calls on recipients to be the first to try a new app for travelers. There isn't much in the way of details, other than the availability for both Android and iOS. But given the recent launch of Google Destinations, travel is clearly an area of interest for the company. Read More
The title for the sequel to Stealth Inc. is a pun on HBO's Game of Thrones fantasy series. Perhaps that's why NVIDIA published it to the Play Store this week: with the next season starting on Sunday, there's no better chance to capitalize on at least a few dozen people mistakenly putting the wrong search phrase into Google. But underneath its pop culture allusions there's a solid platform-puzzle game, and now it's available for the SHIELD Android TV and SHIELD Tablet (sorry, SHIELD Portable owners... and every other Android user, I guess). It's $10 with no in-app purchases.
The Stealth Inc. Read More
Google has just published the official schedule for I/O 2016 - you can see it right here. This year's I/O is at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, near Google's own headquarters. Day one kicks off with a 10AM keynote that will go a full two hours (!), but there are lots of other interesting sessions, here are a few.
- 6 Degree of Freedom Gaming in Android with Project Tango
- What's new in Android (our favorite)
- Introducing Project Tango Area Learning
- Android battery and memory optimizations (new battery optimizations in N, supposedly)
- Android Auto for everyone
- What's New with Project Tango
- VR & Cinema
- Google's Vision for VR
- Android high-performance audio
Seven sessions feature "VR" as one of the tags, so I would not be surprised if more VR-related sessions (and hopefully, news) are added as we get close to the conference. Read More