Scanning through tens of streaming services and hundreds of shows and movies to find that one perfect title is not only time-consuming but also exhausting (TIL, it even has a word: Showverload). Google, being that one nice guy around, wants to fix that for you with its all-new Google TV interface. The highly personalized service is getting a new tool to better understand your likes and dislikes, which will help Google tune its content recommendations to match your preferences.
Back in October (2020), NetEase caught everyone by surprise by announcing that it would bring ArtPlay's indie Metroidvania title Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night to Android and iOS. In the following week, the game landed on the Play Store for pre-registration, with an iOS listing hinting at a December 4th release. Well, it would appear the game has arrived a little early, which means you can already grab Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night from the Play Store for $9.99. Of course, I've taken the game for a spin to offer my thoughts, which you can read in full after the break.
Apple single-handedly defines directions and trends in the smartphone market, so it's especially curious to see the company release a Mini version of the latest iPhone 12. Compact flagship phones have petered out in the world of Android now that even Sony seems to have given up on them, but this year's move could forecast a shift back to small, good phones if the iPhone 12 Mini sells well enough. After using the phone for the last two weeks, I'm utterly sure that it will, and even Android users might be interested now that iOS has picked up a few familiar features.
Street View is one of the most useful features that Google created to help people navigate via Search and Maps, and now its availability is about to rise dramatically. Google has announced that it's allowing you to help capture Street View data without a special 360° camera. The beta is limited to a few locations in the beginning, but if everything goes well, many more places might soon be explorable through user imagery.
Every time I open the wallpaper picker on my phone, I wonder why it doesn't let me choose a local folder or a Google Photos album as a source of pics to cycle through on my homescreen. While that functionality has yet to be added, a new integration between Photos and Android's wallpapers is live now, but it only takes input from your Memories, leaving you at the mercy of Photos' AI algorithm and what it deemed worthy of being a "Memory."
Privacy-focused web browser Vivaldi debuted on Android only a few months ago with encrypted sync and native protection against trackers. In the following months, it got better at forcing dark mode on all websites, which worked well for the most part. The browser maker is now pushing a new update to its Android app that brings the option to clear your browsing data upon exiting the app, plus the ability to prevent WebRTC IP leaks, much like its desktop counterpart, in addition to a couple of other feature enhancements.
Google's new Nest Audio speaker might be the newest smart speaker on the market, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's the best choice for your home. Harman Kardon's Citation line of smart speakers boasts superb sound quality and a design that's more svelte and sophisticated than many other options. And right now, Best Buy is offering the Citation 100 for just $99.99 — about $100 off the prices found elsewhere.
It's December, and that means it's time for Spotify's annual end-of-the-year Wrapped. 2020 has been pretty terrible and capping everything off, this year's Wrapped adventure is one of those godawful "stories" everyservice (including Spotify) is loading themselves up with. At least you get a playlist loaded with your top songs from the year after you sit through the tedious process, and there are two new ones to go with it.
Samsung Internet is one of the best browsers for Android, as it combines the Chromium web engine with a customizable interface and limited extensions support. After the last major update arrived in June, a new version began rolling out last month with design changes, new features, and a core engine upgrade — and now Samsung is announcing the full list of what users can expect to see in the update.
There are plenty of forms of so-called two-factor authentication when it comes to security, and not all of them are equal. Among the higher tiers of security is an actual, physical hardware key that requires you to plug it in when signing into an account. Fans of the standard will be glad to hear that Twitter has just announced that hardware key-based two-factor authentication can now be used to log in on Android and iOS.