Last week, Sony had a nice gift for a large portion of the owners of their relatively recent devices: Marshmallow! That was following up on March updates to their newest releases. Still, a few were left out. The wait should be over soon, if not already, for owners of the Z3 Tablet Compact.
The updates are going to both the LTE-enabled and WiFi-only variants of the tablet, which were released in late 2014. Here's the summary info provided by Sony's web pages for each variant:
Android version: Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)
Latest available software: 23.5.A.0.570
Release started: 2016-04-26
The version number is common to most or all of the recent Marshmallow releases to the Z2 and Z3 lines. Read More
Google Now on Tap, the search engine's contextual tool for Android, hides some pretty neat tricks up its sleeve. But perhaps none is so handy to music lovers as this option, spotted by an Android Police reader: Now on Tap can serve up song lyrics directly from music apps with just a few on-screen taps. Google's Knowledge Graph system can already find lyrics fairly easily, but the way it's been integrated into the retrieval system for Android is fairly slick. Read More
Those of you with pro—or maybe just moderately complicated—home entertainment systems know how much of a pain it can be to manage the various remotes involved. Even worse is if anyone other than you wants to operate them; I had somebody watch my pets while on vacation and I came home to see the TV on and static buzzing because my poor friend just couldn't figure it out. A universal remote like one in the Logitech Harmony series can make things much easier, so why not jump on board today when they are on Amazon's Gold Box daily deal?
There are two models, each refurbished, available:
The first model, seen on the left for $54, has never been lower than $65 before (was also a one-day deal) and has otherwise ranged between $78 and $100, according to CamelCamelCamel. Read More
After years of insignificant adoption among manufacturers, Intel is apparently throwing in the towel on smartphone chips. The company's ultra-low-power Atom line of processors has had a tough time competing with low-cost players like MediaTek and, obviously, the incumbent mobile SoC juggernaut, Qualcomm.
Specifically, Intel is cancelling the upcoming Broxton platform and the already-delayed SoFIA fully-integrated mobile chipset, both of which were slotted in the "Atom x3" family and designed specifically for smartphones and tablets. The tablet-focused Atom x5 and x7 currently based on the Cherry Trail platform will continue to ship, though it is unclear if that platform's successor - Willow Trail - will enter production or if it, too, has been axed (Intel did not comment on Willow Trail, as it was not expected to ship for some time). Read More
I always felt like one of the big downers to web browsing on mobile was typing in passwords. Of course, the built-in password management for Chrome (and other mobile browsers) can sometimes take care of things for you. But I'm sure if you do a lot of signing in, you know there are some sites whose login system just doesn't work with the browser's password manager. With Chrome v51, now in beta, Google is taking some steps to help smooth things out.
W3C, the web standards group, has created an API to help homogenize the relevant aspects of signing into websites. Read More
Many of Google's apps are in extremely active development, some are even on weekly update schedules, but there are others that seem practically abandoned until they get that one random update every 6 months or so. With an average of about once per year (so far), Authenticator is easily one of the best examples of the latter group. Given the infrequency of new versions, it's a little disheartening to see that there are no discernable new features in the latest release; but it's actually worse than that, one was even taken away. But don't let this get you down, it looks like this little app may be due for some new tricks soon as it may be entering wireless territory. Read More
It's always fun when the newest flagships start seeing their prices drop, but this deal on a brand new 32GB Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is not just a price drop–it's a steal. At $629, it's a full $150 less than the price you'd pay to T-Mobile or the like. You can get it a little cheaper on Amazon, at $752, but this deal is still over $120 better than that.
Even better, this isn't some fly-by-night seller that you have to worry about. It's Newegg, of selling legitimate electronics fame. There are a few things to note about this listing, though. Read More
About a month ago we spotted two new entries in the country availability listings for the new Chromecast and Chromecast Audio: Taiwan and India. Today both of those are coming true (though India is somewhat conditional - see below), and you can add Hong Kong into the mix. For both Hong Kong and Taiwan, the streaming gadgets are now available on their respective Google Stores. The Chromecast 2015 and Chromecast Audio are HK$349 (around $45 USD) in Hong Kong and NT$1445 ($44.75) in Taiwan.
In India, things are a little more complicated. The new Chromecast and Chromecast Audio aren't available directly from the Google Store. Read More
I like managing local files. I like copying data over to flash drives and moving them around regardless of whether I have Internet access. I like knowing I can cram a stick of flash memory into my device and access files that wouldn't fit on internal storage.
But I don't like cables. They take up excess space, and they look like a mess. As much as I enjoy transferring files, plugging one device into another using a cable still strikes me as tedious.
A microUSB OTG flash drive is a nice workaround. Read More