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
Amazon offers various cloud services to consumers as well as businesses. In fact, some makers of home security cameras use Amazon's web services to store video. It only makes sense for Amazon to get into this market as it increasingly pushes home automation with Alexa. The Cloud Cam is a 1080p indoor security camera with a competitive price point of $120 when it's not on sale. This camera has a lot going for it, but it's clear Amazon is still just getting started with home security—the Cloud Cam is missing just enough that other cameras might be better options, even if they're more expensive. Read More
Google Maps has a new beta peeking out on devices. After a great deal of poking around, the list of changes for the interface is pretty sparse, but as always, there's a ton to discuss from the teardown. There's more from the home screen shortcuts, showtimes with ticket sales, detail fields for food photos, and way more. Read More
The chances are almost 100% that everyone reading this has some way to access the Google Assistant. You might even have more than one Assistant device now that most phones released in the last few years have support and Google is handing out Home Minis like they're going to expire. The original Google Home has a respectable speaker for the size, and many people use it to listen to music. Yet, for anyone who's serious about their tunes, the Home and Home Mini just don't cut it. That's where the Home Max comes in. This smart speaker is not screwing around—it's big, heavy, and incredibly loud. Read More
Nest has made its name by adding smart features to things that you might already have around the house. It's worked pretty well in the past with devices like the Nest Thermostat, but home security is a more serious business. It's different than a thermostat—people rely on a security system to control access to their homes. The new Nest Secure is trying to take the place of an existing product with an important function. It's a balancing act between convenience and safety, and Nest mostly gets it right. The hardware is capable and innovative, and setup was a breeze for me. However, it's missing a few features, and the price is high at $500. Read More
For many people around the world, this is the holiday season. We're packing things up and hitting the road to visit family and friends. Most of us will put at least some part of our trip into Google's hands as we launch Maps and wait for it to tell us which turn to take next. A new version hit the beta channel yesterday to prepare for some of these road trips. There are a few new features and a boatload of items for a teardown. Read More
Fitbit started out making simple step counters that clipped on your pocket, but over time it added displays, exercise tracking, heart rate monitors, and more. Many of its rivals have changed their focus or simply gone out of business, but Fitbit is fast becoming a household name. The last few wrist-based Fitbit devices have been vaguely smartwatch-like, but the true Fitbit smartwatch has been elusive—until now. After acquiring some bits from the now-defunct Pebble, Fitbit has its very own smartwatch called the Ionic.
This device has a definite "Fitbit" aesthetic. It's thick, and the screen is rectangular and rather small. You want corners? Read More
The motives of many smartphone makers are somewhat opaque to outside observers, but OnePlus is as transparent as they come. OnePlus iterates its hardware relentlessly to stay on the cutting edge, and it responds to the community in a way most OEMs don't. If the smartphone market is trending someplace, you can bet OnePlus is going to follow, and it'll manage to do it all a little cheaper than the other guys.
That brings us to the latest phone from OnePlus, the predictably named OnePlus 5T. This phone is dropping just a few months after the OnePlus 5, so it's not surprising much of that phone's hardware has been recycled. Read More
Huawei isn't a widely known name in the US market, but that hasn't stopped the Chinese company from becoming the second largest smartphone maker on the planet. As its fortunes have risen, so has the quality of the hardware. Last year's Mate 9 was a reliable phone, and Huawei's revamped Nougat version of Android eliminated many of the pain points from its past devices.
Now, we've got the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro on the horizon. The Mate 10 Pro, which is the phone we'll be talking about today, is the more expensive of the two. Despite being called "Pro," it lacks some of the features power users have come to expect like a microSD card, headphone jack, and 1440p display. Read More
Before Nest made cameras, home security systems, or smoke detectors, there was the Nest Thermostat. There wasn't anything like the OG Nest when it launched back in 2011, but the market for smart thermostats has heated up since then. Nest (now an Alphabet company along with Google) has continued iterating the thermostat, which remains its most iconic product. All three generations of the Nest Thermostat have a similar vibe—they look like pieces of technology attached to your wall. Not everyone wants that, but the new Nest Thermostat E offers a more understated look and a lower price. Read More