Google's Daydream is what I would call the most travel-friendly VR solution yet. Its simple but elegant pointer-style Bluetooth controller means you aren't reaching all over the place to work the VR interface, its comfortable fabric design is tolerable for long periods of wear, and sliding the phone into the viewer is a simple no buttons, no switches affair.
So, I decided to put these qualities to test on a five-hour flight from Los Angeles to New York last week. I had a variety of games (I didn't play any), interactive experiences (many require an active internet connection), and a few movies I'd downloaded from Play Movies to watch. Read More
The Pixel phones have been out for several weeks now, and a lot has been said about the camera. I will try to comment on some of the things that I’ve felt have been a bit overlooked, in a deeper dive into the Google Camera 4.2 on the Pixel XL. Most of the issues, if not all, should also apply to the smaller Pixel phone.
A note on pixel size, sensor size, and aperture
Starting with last year’s Nexus phones, Google has been advertising “bigger pixels” in their camera sensors, frequently pointing out their 1.55µm size in marketing materials. Relatively speaking, they’re larger than the ones on most other phones and should lead to lower noise, at least according to common belief. Read More
OnePlus started its existence by hyping up the Android community to a completely irresponsible degree in advance of the release of the OnePlus One. Lucky for them the OPO was a pretty good phone. However, the breakdown of OnePlus' relationship with Cyanogen Inc. made the OnePlus 2 a less appealing device. It was lacking in a few hardware areas and the software was very barebones. The OnePlus 3 was a clear improvement, but just a few months later OnePlus has given it the boot in favor of the OnePlus 3T.
As the name implies, this phone is very similar to the OnePlus 3. Read More
Asus has been one of the more persistent promoters of Android Wear since it was released. As other companies have scaled back on wearables, Asus is full speed ahead with a third-generation ZenWatch. The first ZenWatch was a solid addition to the initial wave of watches, and the ZenWatch 2 had some appeal due to the extremely competitive price. Both those watches had the same rounded square body and general aesthetic, but the ZenWatch 3 is a radical departure. This is a completely round watch—no flat tire—and it makes more tweaks to the UI of Android Wear than any watch I've used before. Read More
It is no secret here at AP that I love my OnePlus 3. If you go back and read my introduction post, you will see that my history of Android devices is long. Quite a few of them rank as awesome devices (for their time), but the third flagship phone from Chinese manufacturer OnePlus is certainly my favorite. Yet, the point here is not to go all fanboy over this phone — there are plenty of others in the world to do that. Instead, I want to give prospective buyers a look at how well this phone has aged in the last few months, especially with Google's latest on the table. Read More
Google's Daydream View serves as the gateway into Google's mobile VR platform, Daydream. The viewer itself, though, is what has received the lion's share of attention thus far, likely owing to our fascination with its genuinely charming design and unique wireless controller (well, unique-ish). It is, I wager, all but impossible not to love the fabric-wrapped, gentle curves and elegantly blended material aesthetic of the View headset. I hope Google wins some kind of award for it, because they deserve one - the Daydream View is Google industrial design at its most endearing. But enough about the way it looks: what's it do? Read More
When I reviewed the Fitbit Blaze a few months ago, one of my main complaints was its bulky design and the identity crisis over what it actually is: a smartwatch, a sports watch, a fitness tracker, or all of the above to a certain extent. That was never a question with the company's best selling tracker, the Charge HR. From the first look, you knew it was an activity tracker first and foremost, and anything else that it could do was just a bonus feature.
Now the Charge 2 is here to carry the torch. It's an all-around better Charge HR with several significant improvements that nearly put it on the same level as the higher priced Blaze. Read More
Google Home preorders have started arriving and interested consumers can head down to certain brick & mortar stores to pick one up starting today. I've been messing with Home for a little while and I feel like there's already quite a bit to say about it. Read More
You don't understand the feeling of violation that a theft causes until you open the door to your home and see everything moved, turned, tossed, and the muddy footprints of a stranger everywhere on your floor, your kitchen cabinets open, and even your bedspread removed and balled up in the garden. That happened to my family's mountain house many, many years ago, and I still remember the feeling of disgust over the scene as well as helplessness with all the police procedures that followed. The perpetrators were never caught, just like any minor theft that occurs in Lebanon — they only took small appliances — and we ended up installing gates and locks on all the windows and doors. Read More
Music is definitely everywhere. From our own personal libraries and streaming stations to advertisements and entertainment, it is a fundamental part of who we are as individuals and as a culture (for better or for worse). Since music is just noise (how's that for a scientific breakthrough), I have always found it neat to see the visual representation of the soundwaves in line with the song that is playing. Back when Windows Media Player was a thing, I always turned on the visualizer, finding it much more entertaining than staring at the album art — or worse, the placeholder image when no art was available. Read More