It feels like Google changes the Play Store UI every few weeks. A larger button here, adjusting the font size there, and so on. But the new 'Trending' section on the Play Store is absolutely new, and is both incredibly useful and well-designed. The new addition can be found in the entertainment section, just below the new movie releases. Read More
Microsoft Selfie has been available on iOS since last December. What took it this long to reach Android is anyone's guess, especially considering the company's very prolific releases on our beloved platform, but it's not like anyone of us was heartbroken over the delay of the app or spending sleepless nights tossing and turning in bed just wishing for Microsoft to come and save them from selfie mediocrity.
Regardless, the app is now available on the Play Store. Microsoft Selfie, unlike its name suggests, is not an app where you can browse selfies of Microsoft's logos, past and current execs, employees, buildings, or any other Microsoft property. Read More
There's always a Google A/B test going on in the background to figure out what could get users to better discover options or take them to what they're looking for faster. One of these tests was a series of search shortcuts that had a very distinct circle design in the Google Now (now known as Feed) page right below the search bar. That interface didn't spread to a wider user base, but it appears that Google is still toying with the idea, albeit in a different look.
Below are a couple of screenshots from two different users who are seeing these shortcuts or hints below the search bar. Read More
Amazon's Alexa voice control system has taken off very well thanks to the Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Tap, as well as an open platform that lets developers implement any and all skills they want and let users access them. The problem, as we've pointed out before, is discoverability. With thousands of skills available, users had to dip into the Alexa mobile app (or the Alexa website), and either search for a keyword or browse by category. The app (and the site) were slow, you couldn't filter by 3 or 4 star rated skills only, searching for keywords in the skill's review was impossible, and most importantly, you had to be signed in to Alexa to know what skills were available. Read More
If you haven't at least glanced at YouTube gadget aficionado JerryRigEverything (whose real name is Zack), you should close this tab and go do that. He puts new phones through excruciating damage tests for "entertainment purposes only" - it's the kind of thing that we're not really supposed to do in our standard reviews (unless the phone dares us to kill it). In a breakdown of the Xperia XZ, Sony's current premium flagship which retails for $700, Zack found a surprising amount of materials that were less than premium. Read More
As mobile bloggers, watching national carriers with revenue in the billions snip at each other like gossiping high school students is the closest thing we have to a spectator sport. Between Sprint hiring Verizon's old spokesman, T-Mobile continuing its cloying David-versus-Goliath narrative, and Verizon using textbook straw man attacks against both of them in all those Jaime Foxx spots, we can hardly make the popcorn fast enough.
Every couple of months or so, T-Mobile CEO John Legere emerges from his fortress of solitude to directly address mobile consumers with a rant against his competitors. This time he's addressing specific points from Verizon's latest ad campaign. Read More
Google Home preorders have started arriving and interested consumers can head down to certain brick & mortar stores to pick one up starting today. I've been messing with Home for a little while and I feel like there's already quite a bit to say about it. Read More
Samsung is pulling out the big guns to encourage Note7 holdouts to turn in their phones. In the coming days, it will send out an OTA to all Note7s in the US that limits the battery to a 60% charge. So, it's not just T-Mobile. The new software will also nag you incessantly about returning the phone. Read More
All of Google's products have adopted the "OK Google" hotword in recent years, but Google Home presents an interesting challenge. What if you have another device around with OK Google enabled? It can be a mess, so now there's also "Hey Google." Read More
When I was but a sarcastic teenager full of Read More
promise snide commentary (no, I really haven't grown up), I would spend a week or two at my grandmother's house every summer when school was out. One thing that 13-year-old-me found endlessly fascinating yet profoundly annoying was her Big Mouth Billy Bass, which I can only assume was purchased via QVC. Her Big Mouth Billy Bass never went on to be more than a wall fixture, though, unlike one Brian Kane's, who has suffered a fate that is both awesome and slightly terrifying.