Google's new charger designed to work with its Pixel smartphones is now available on the US Google Store for $35. That's certainly a pretty penny for a power brick, so what are you actually getting here? Well, this Google-branded charger is designed specifically for use with its Pixel phones, but will work with any compatible USB-C device. It delivers up to 18W of power (up from 15W for last year's Nexuses) with the USB Power Delivery specification, and includes a 1.8m (nearly six feet) USB-C to USB-C cable. The cable itself, it's worth noting, is USB 2.0 specification, not 3.0. Read More
Sprint is the latest carrier to announce launch details on the LG V20, following both AT&T and T-Mobile. The phone will be available on October 28th, but pre-orders start one week earlier. Pricing isn't clear, but Sprint promises some special trade-in deals and free stuff if you buy a V20. Read More
Opera Max started out as a VPN capable of reducing data usage, as well as blocking apps from accessing the internet. Now Opera is rolling out a new feature to Max, called 'privacy mode,' that aims to make your device even more secure online.
Privacy mode is based on the S Secure feature Opera created for Samsung for the Galaxy J5 Prime and J7 Prime, which filtered ad trackers and other privacy risks. Opera Max takes it a step further by showing information per app, so you can see what applications on your device are potentially dangerous. Opera uses the EasyPrivacy filter list, a massive database of tracking services, to make this possible. Read More
The Galaxy Note7's tendency to explode and its subsequent recall have been well-publicized, but it appears that the issue wasn't completely fixed. Following the explosion of a revised Galaxy Note7 on a (not yet in the air) Southwest Airlines flight, American carriers AT&T and Sprint are permitting any concerned customers to exchange their 'safe' replacement Galaxy Note7s for any other smartphones they have available. Read More
Prisma came to Android a few months ago with a ton of really impressive photo filters. Whereas some apps with filters try to be subtle, Prisma completely reinterprets the pictures you feed in, turning them into some fancy art. The main drawback; Prisma only worked online. That is finally changing on Android. Read More
In an email sent to Google Mobile Services partners on October 5th, Google outlined a significant change to the core GMS package (AKA gapps) for telephony-enabled Android devices (basically, smartphones). As of December 1st, Google will no longer require Hangouts to be bundled with new hardware. An excerpt of that email follows.
Today, we are announcing that Google Duo will replace Hangouts within the suite of core GMS apps, and Hangouts will become GMS Optional for telephony products. This change will take effect on December 1, 2016.
This does not mean Hangouts, or Hangouts for Android, is dead. It does mean that manufacturers may opt to stop including it on smartphones released in 2017, so you'd have to download it from the Play Store after initial setup. Read More
While the Pokémon GO hysteria has mostly died down, there are still a lot of people playing. Those who have stuck with the summer's hottest mobile game will soon be able to enjoy significant improvements to training Pokémon at gyms and the way rare Pokémon are caught. Read More
OUYA may have been a bust as an Android-powered game console, but after being sold to Razer and focusing on software, it has cultivated an impressive specialization for local multiplayer. The publisher's latest release for Android TV is Gurgamoth, a 4-player 2D brawler that landed on Steam back in February. It's available on the Play Store now for five bucks with no in-app purchases. Read More
First, I'd like to invite everyone to take a deep, calming breath. I mean that sincerely, not sarcastically: Google's Pixel phones have proven rather literally to be an emotional topic in the tech community over the last few days. In looking over Android Police's comments, the sentiment around these phones has been a veritable tidal wave of negativity - and not all of it is unwarranted. There are clear and legitimate reasons to find Google's new smartphones uncompelling as a consumer.
But much of the anger, the frustration, the rage seems directed not at the Pixel phones themselves. And of that which is, is often through the lens of Nexus, not of the Pixel phones as products in their own right. Read More
If you check out the listing for Google Wifi, you'll see that it doesn't say much about the power adapter—just that there is one. According to Google's USB Type-C Tsar, Benson Leung, it's actually a Type-C power adapter very similar to the one that comes with the Pixel C. Neat. Read More