At the company's "5G Day" event in San Diego yesterday, Qualcomm announced that it had secured 18 OEM partners to build 5G devices using its new X50 5G modem in 2019. Notable among them are handset makers Nokia (HMD), Sony, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, HTC, LG, ASUS, and ZTE. Conspicuously absent at the time of this writing is Samsung, though the two companies did just announce a long-term cross-licensing agreement, so you'd have to think they were on track to build a phone with this new modem, too.
Other companies in the list can be found in the press release below, though most of the others are in the component or supply chain side of the business. Read More
Ever since the launch of Google Duo, one of the top criticisms has been that you can only have a single device registered at a time. That means a person with both a phone and a tablet has to choose just one of those devices to receive calls. But a few months ago, we got the first clue that Duo would soon enable users to link a Google account, making it possible to contact people with their email address rather than needing a current phone number. This also raised the question of whether or not multi-device support might be coming. As of Duo v27, that question can be answered... Read More
We've been able to ask Google Assistant for information about the local weather for a long time, and your Chromecast's home screen has shown the current temperature along with a weather icon. But if you wanted to check out your upcoming weather, the only option was to "OK Google" yourself a forecast while you sit and listen through it. Back at I/O, Google announced upcoming contextual visual responses for the Google Home/Assistant and Chromecast, and now at least one of the features they showed off is here. You can now ask your Google Home to show you the weather on your Chromecast. Read More
Samsung's Gear watches have gone from an opportunity to joke about wrist cameras to a pretty solid wearable option. They're just a little expensive most of the time. You can, however, get a big discount on the Gear S3 Frontier today at Best Buy. It's a refurbished device, but it's hard to complain at $210. Read More
Google started a beta program for Google Maps Go—the lightweight low-data version of Google Maps—back in January, but at the time you couldn't actually install it on non-Go phones or in most countries. That was a bit disappointing; while the app itself might be nothing more than a shell for the PWA accessible via Chrome, it was still bound to come in handy as a shortcut for those on slower connections. Now Google has decided to let more of us in on the fun, as the beta program on Google Play has expanded to the US. Read More
Version 8.9 of the Play Store began rolling out earlier today, but as usual, you're probably not going to spot a lot of changes. However, I've been watching the last few updates and there have been clues for a few projects that are slowly coming together. Some truly cool things may be coming to us later this year, including what appears to be apps that can be downloaded in separate pieces. It also looks like users in data-constrained regions will soon be able to share updates with each other. Finally, we may soon be able to see a history of the edits users have made to their app reviews. Read More
It appears that the Play Store team is testing another new feature in the Android app, though you may like this one more than the new tab bar that's been rolling out to more and more devices. In the side menu of the Play Store, some users are seeing a new Notifications section, right below My Apps & games.
Tapping on it opens a dedicated Notifications screen, where both of our tipsters have only seen the below "You're all caught up" graphic. Read More
Chrome notifications are great in theory, but now that virtually every site supports them, that constant, nagging banner under the URL bar can get annoying fairly quickly. Of course, you can always block each site individually, but that doesn't really solve the issue, since you'll still get the pop-up every time you visit a new site that supports Chrome's notifications. Read More
Last year Unicode announced that the upcoming Emoji 11.0 Beta had 130 new candidates, meaning up to 130 new emoji could be joining the ranks of 🤨, 🏩 , and 🍖. Now that they've had the time to sit and deliberate over which are to be included, Unicode has somehow come up with 27 additional emojis that merited inclusion. Unicode's Emoji 11.0 characters for 2018 will bring 157 new faces/foods/animals. Read More
Remember those shortcuts at the top of the Feed in the Google app for things like weather and restaurants? They've been missing from the app for the past week or two. Turns out, their absence isn't an oversight. Google has intentionally removed those shortcuts from the Feed. Read More