During a live-streamed event in London today, Huawei announced its new flagship series of Mate 20 phones. While we were fully expecting the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro, the company surprised us somewhat with a "one more thing" type announcement: the Mate 20 X.
At first glance, it looks much like the regular Mate 20, with a waterdrop notch and minimal chin. Then you find out the size of the OLED FHD+ (2244 x 1080) display — an absolutely massive 7.2 inches diagonally. It's basically a Nexus 7 with no bezels.
The Nexus 6 came in for a landing on my doorstep yesterday, and I've been happily exploring Google's new phablet ever since. Because I've had it for just one day, there's no way I could write anything resembling a review, so instead I thought it may be fun to do a very basic "initial impressions" post. There are a few things that immediately strike me about the device, so I'll discuss those here, with more details to come in the full review.
The Form Factor
The Nexus 6, known until recently as Shamu, is a whale. It's really big. That should go without saying since the display is 5.9", but when you see it in person its size is truly striking.
Update: According to this post on Engadget, the Hisense X1 is slated to come to the United States in the second quarter of this year. The company will sell the X1 under the "Sliver" brand as an unlocked handset, and they are reportedly pursuing carrier partnerships as well.
The likes of HTC and Samsung have been pushing phones to larger and larger dimensions for years, but humble Chinese manufacturer Hisense is about to shoot for the moon. Their high-end X1 prototype is being shown off at CES 2014, and it's big enough to comfortably fit in a form factor that was previously reserved for "small" tablets.
Carbon, one of the most hotly anticipated Twitter clients to ever come to Android, got an update today to version 1.2, bringing with it a ton of useful enhancements.
First among these is the ability to browse from links or watch YouTube videos in the app, saving time that would otherwise be spent leaving the app to see content somewhere else.
The update also adds Vine preview/playback, people search, a new image viewer, the ability to save images, optional style tweaks (like changing tweet font size), and the ability to change notification frequency, among other things.
Here's a look at the full change log:
What's in this version:
Additions, New Stuff, and Changes - 4x1 Home Screen Widget for quick actions (The original) - In-App Browser - In-App YouTube video playback - Vine videos Timeline Preview and playback - People Search - Tweet font size options - Quote style options - New Image Viewer screen - Save Image option - Image Upload option to Twitpic - Notification frequency options of 5 up to 120 minutes.
If you're reading this story on a Widows PC (Vista or later), do me a favor. Minimize your browser and any other windows so that just the desktop is showing. Hold down the control button. Then scroll your mouse wheel up about a dozen times. Congratulations, you've just replicated the effect of Giganticon without even installing the app.
Giganticon has one purpose, and one purpose only: it makes the app icons on your homescreen enormous. Technically it's a widget - place a Giganticon widget on your homescreen in the standard way, and it will open up a menu letting you select any app.
Hey, you got your Jellybean in my Windows 8! No, you got your Windows 8 in my Jellybean! The ASUS Transformer AiO probably isn't as tasty as Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, but it will have a slimming effect... On your wallet. You may remember this odd tablet-meets-PC from our previous coverage. In short, it's an 18.4" Android tablet that also plugs into a base unit running Windows 8. The screen can be toggled between the Android and Windows 8 modes when docked, and it includes SplashTop Remote Desktop for connecting to the base unit while roaming freely. Anyway, the flood gates are open and you can have one of your very own, provided you don't mind spending about $1,299.
Back at Computex 2012 last year, ASUS showed off an 18" Windows 8 all-in-one desktop that could turn into a gigantic Android tablet simply by sliding the display out of the dock. Questions aside about whether anyone needs or wants an 18" Android tablet, the tech was certainly neat. This isn't a dual-boot situation, but rather two completely concurrent OSes being run on two separate systems in the same device. The whole of the hardware carries an Intel processor and NVIDIA SoC. Now, ASUS has seen fit to announce some launch details: it will be landing (with a thud) on April 12th at a starting price of $1299.
The Pebble sure wasn't the first smart watch, but it's been getting a lot of attention lately. In fact, wearable computing as an industry is seeing a bit of a resurgence in general. The trouble, at least as one company sees it, is that smart watches require you to already have an expensive phone. That's two batteries you have to keep charged! Craziness! That's where the Neptune Pine comes in.
The idea here is that your watch can have a micro-SIM of its own. It will connect to a data network and even make phone calls. Oh, and it runs Android.
As if the news out of Google couldn't get any hotter today, the company decided to just casually announce that it has over 500 million users with Google+ accounts, 235 million of whom are active "across Google" which means anything from +1ing things in various Google products to "connecting with friends in Search"...whatever that means. The most important stat, though, is 135 million users are active in the stream. That means, if we can assume past definitions are still true, those users either visit plus.google.com or use the mobile app to view content.
In other words, it's time to stop pretending that Google+ is a ghost town.
The Bard's Tale is huge in just about every way. It's a 3.5GB download (at most), it's a long, elaborate game and, until now, it was $6, which is not quite expensive, but certainly pricier than the average game. Today's sale, however, brings the cost down to an outright bargain. For $3 you can get the full Cary Elwes experience on your phone or tablet. It's almost unreasonable not to go for it.
If you're really attached to those three bucks and need some extra convincing, you can always read Ryan's review of the game here. The short version is that The Bard's Tale is entertaining, hilarious, and is a huge download.