Samsung Internet for Gear VR is exactly what it sounds like; it's a web browser from Samsung designed for the Gear VR headset. The browser is mostly only used for navigating to WebVR experiences, but Samsung has added a few useful improvements in the latest update, including support for content blockers and streaming from DLNA servers.Read More
Nowadays, there are several ways to watch content on your TV if you don't like using a set-top box. Smart TVs are one way to go, but they do have some downsides. For one, you're stuck with whatever software that comes with the TV, so you can't pick the platform you like best or that's most compatible with your devices. Then there's also the fact that the software on your smart TV will probably become outdated much sooner than the actual hardware will, so you're left with the prospect of buying an expensive new television just to get more up-to-date software. The alternative is to get a media streaming device, which have all (if not more) of the functionality of a dedicated smart TV, work with virtually any TV with an HDMI port, and are very affordable.Read More
For years, some Android manufacturers have been replacing the default emojis with their own set, usually to differentiate their devices. Samsung's set has always been bad, with several emojis showing completely different emotions than what is intended. The company has started rolling out Android 8.0 Oreo to its phones, and the included emojis are a much-needed improvement.Read More
We're expecting Google to drop the first developer preview for Android P in the coming weeks, assuming it holds to the same approximate schedule from the past two years. According to a report from Bloomberg, Android P may include support for a particular hardware feature: the notch. Devices like the Essential Phone with a "notch" missing from the display have some UI peculiarities, and Google may be looking to get ahead of things.Read More
According to CNET, Verizon Wireless will begin SIM-locking its smartphones out of the box at some point this Spring. Essentially no details are provided about how this will be implemented, but it really doesn't matter, because Verizon rather explicitly agreed not to do this ten years ago.
Per the restrictions imposed by the 700MHz Upper Block C spectrum auction it won in 2008, Verizon is expressly barred from locking down handsets on its network that utilize this spectrum. The plain text from the restrictions makes this absolutely clear.
(e)Handset locking prohibited. No licensee may disable features on handsets it provides to customers, to the extent such features are compliant with the licensee's standards pursuant to paragraph (b)of this section, nor configure handsets it provides to prohibit use of such handsets on other providers' networks. (Emphasis added)
So, Verizon's announcement today is complete and utter bullshit.Read More
We don't use the word "finally" in titles gratuitously on Android Police, but this instance warrants it. For years and years, we've heard the same complaint when covering Google Calendar: you can't change an event's calendar on the Android app. You need to use the web app or if you're bound to your phone, you have to delete the event from one calendar and manually create another in the second one. The update to version 5.8.18 of Calendar solves this issue by adding two new options: copy and duplicate. Sadly, moving an event from one calendar to another still seems to elude the team...Read More
One of Android's biggest criticisms over the years has been how fragmented its version distribution is at any given time. At Google I/O in May last year, Google unveiled a plan to modularize the OS and make it easier to update. Project Treble, in short, separates out the base-level Android framework from the vendor implementation so OEMs are able to release OS updates without having to wait for chipmakers to update drivers.
Faster updates should increase the distribution numbers for the latest version of Android, but Treble could also be useful for custom ROM developers, allowing generic AOSP builds ("Treble ROMs") to be installed on more phones.Read More
Last week, we attended an event at Qualcomm's corporate headquarters in San Diego to test out the company's latest high-end smartphone chip, the Snapdragon 845. We ran some benchmarks and ate some food. There was probably more eating than benchmarking, if I'm honest.
Full disclosure: Qualcomm paid to fly me out to San Diego, put me up in a nice little hotel for three nights next to their campus, and fed me lots of food and bought me lots of drinks. Of particular note: some pretty delicious hot wings at midnight.
First and foremost, let me be clear that we place essentially zero weight on benchmark results as a reflection of real-world performance or user experience.Read More