"Connected cars" are all well and good, but you need a pricey new model or a mobile hotspot to see the benefit. Samsung thinks it has a solution for everyone with an older car: a gadget that plugs into a standard On-Board Diagnostic port (OBD) and rebroadcasts mobile Internet on local Wi-Fi. It's a simple idea, but one that's easy and unobtrusive. The company calls it the Samsung Connect Auto.
The Connect Auto was announced in Samsung's home country of South Korea, though the timing coincides with Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. There's no date or price for the gadget, but Samsung has already announced its first network partner: AT&T. Read More
NVIDIA tends to be very diligent when it comes to upgrading its first-party Android hardware. Earlier this month the company sent out an over-the-air update for the SHIELD Tablet, bumping the mostly-stock software up to Android 6.0 Marshmallow. A day later it halted the update, because early users were reporting that the new software made the tablet's Wi-Fi inoperable... which is kind of a big deal, especially when most of your tablets are Wi-Fi only. Today the problem has apparently been fixed, and the update is being resumed.
The news was posted on NVIDIA's official forum, which remains quite active. Read More
ASUS doesn't just make low-price Android phones and tablets with regrettable amounts of bloatware. The company is a major manufacturer of all kinds of consumer electronics, including laptops, PC components, and network equipment - and ASUS routers have some of the best bang-to-buck ratio on the market. That said, their browser-based management tools are designed for desktops, so accessing them to change any settings on your local Wi-Fi network is a major headache on Android. Until now: ASUS published a router management app in the Play Store earlier this month. Read More
Republic Wireless has one big selling point—the ability to seamlessly switch from a call from Wi-Fi to cellular without getting dropped. This enables it to offer low monthly bills, as customers tend to offload most of their usage onto Wi-Fi when they're at home.
Unfortunately, cellular calls have not been able to seamlessly transition back onto Wi-Fi networks, regardless of which network they originated on. But with project Salsa, Republic Wireless is aiming to alleviate this issue. It hopes to soon offer seamless cell to Wi-Fi handover.
Customers who don't want to wait can sign up for project Salsa right away. Read More
A few years ago getting Internet access while on an airline flight seemed like magic. Now in the not-too-distant future, the connection in your plane might be faster than the one in your home. According to a press release issued by Virgin America, new technology from corporate partner ViaSat will improve its satellite Internet connection by a factor of five to ten times thanks to a next-generation satellite. The new technology offers speeds of up to 140 gigabits per second spread across the entire network, which should mean "8 to 10 times faster" speeds for individual users, enough for reliable music streaming and (maybe) some video. Read More
If you have an LG G Watch R, you're probably aware of the Wi-Fi drama following Android Wear 5.1.1's release for the watch. While Google had announced Wi-Fi support for the platform's update in general, it turned out that the G Watch R didn't have the certifications necessary to boast that function, although technically the hardware was very capable of it. LG then let us know that it's working on a patch to enable Wi-Fi (and presumably on getting all the right certifications) but that it wouldn't be released before July.
Not to let some paperwork get in the way of gadgetry, Vojtěch Boček managed to have Wi-Fi working on his LG G Watch R after flashing some files over from the Watch Urbane (which has the same hardware, but currently supports Wi-Fi). The details of the mod are available on XDA, but they aren't for the faint of heart. Read More
Opera Max debuted on Android way back in December of 2013. Today it gets a major update - major enough, at least, that Opera thinks it's worth putting into a completely new app listing. Here's the original Opera Max, and here's the new "global" version (from the file name). The biggest visual change is a spiffy new interface with a bunch of Material Design elements. And that's nice, but what's really interesting is the ability to select specific settings for Wi-Fi or mobile (3G and LTE) connections.
Opera Max isn't a browser, it's an app that allows users to apply Opera's VPN and data compression technology to all of the non-encrypted data sent or received by an Android device. Read More
One of Android Wear 5.1's key new features is the ability to connect smartwatches to Wi-Fi networks directly. This lets them receive notifications and sync actions even if your phone isn't nearby, as long as both maintain active connections to the Internet. The thing is, this feature doesn't automatically kick in with the 5.1 update (or 5.1.1, though it should for the Moto 360, Sony Smartwatch 3, and Samsung Gear Live). The LG G Watch R, which is largely the same device on the inside as the newer G Watch R Urbane, won't have support for quite a while. Read More
Google let the cat out of the bag yesterday with a blog post detailing just what we should expect in the next major version to Android Wear. An upcoming software update will be adding Wi-Fi support, always-on apps, and a few other interesting options. While we wait for new firmwares to hit our wrist-bound hardware, the Android Wear app just received its own update to prepare for the new features. This isn't just a small maintenance release to add configuration screens, there are some major visual and organizational improvements, and a few new features.
Most of the main screen has been completely redesigned. Read More
Republic Wireless, the Sprint MVNO that burdens as much cellular load as it can onto Wi-Fi networks and seamlessly switches between the two, is changing the way it handles plans. Starting later this year, the company will charge you based on how much you use rather than the speed of your data connection. It will also offer refunds if you don't use up all the data you pay for each month. The carrier is calling this project Maestro.
Republic Wireless currently charges 5$ for Wi-Fi only plans, $10 for Wi-Fi and talk/text, $25 for 3G, and $40 for LTE. This approach places the emphasis on network-type-used, rather than the amount consumed. Read More