It is no secret that Sony is not the largest smartphone player in the U.S. While the phones (and tablets) are typically pretty good, they are not too commonplace here. Regardless, some of us still get excited when Sony announces new devices. That excitement is easily doubled whenever those make it to the States.
The Xperia XZ was announced at IFA back at the beginning of this month with U.S. availability. You can now pre-order it from Amazon for $699 in blue, silver, and black (though, at the time of this writing, the black was showing at $717.59 for me). The official date has been given as October 2, where you should also be able to purchase this phone at Best Buy (and "other participating retailers"). Read More
Yahoo is having a rough week in terms of security. It's probably just a coincidence that a considerable update for the official Yahoo Mail app comes days after one of the biggest password leaks ever. Even so, it's nice to get official support for something like Google's Fingerprint API. That, among other new goodies, is waiting inside the latest Mail update in the Play Store. On my Nexus 6, it's version 5.9.1. Read More
We've been sitting on this one a while (sorry), watching and waiting to see what might signal that something big, really big, would be announced at Google's event on October 4th. As in, bigger than Pixel phones. Bigger than Chromecast Ultra, Google Home, or Google Wifi. And then, a couple of hours ago, Senior VP of Android, Google Play, and Chrome Hiroshi Lockheimer tweeted the following. Read More
There's a Chick-Fil-A location on Powers Boulevard in Colorado Springs. It's there. It sells chicken sandwiches. It's the only one on that side of the city. The store is technically open from 6AM to 10PM every day, but I don't think I've ever been there before nine at night. Because as good as Chick-Fil-A sandwiches are, they're not worth waiting 40 minutes in a drive-through line that wraps around the building twice. Read More
My arsenal of smart health and activity trackers has been missing a body composition weight scale. The Fitbit Aria always looked appealing to me because I've been wearing a Fitbit for more than 3 years, but it's getting a little outdated. Several months ago, I was looking at the Polar Balance Scale, the Withings WS-50, the Garmin Index Smart Scale, and a few others. Eventually, I settled on the QardioBase because I already had a good experience with the QardioArm and liked the company's no-nonsense approach to design and health. However, I was unlucky enough to get the first generation, which turned out to be a complete failure from the get-go. Read More
Snapchat, the company best known to us for creating a horrible Android app, has just announced two big pieces of news; not only is Snapchat renaming itself Snap Inc., but it's also releasing 'Spectacles', a pair of sunglasses built just for Snapchat that is equipped with a wide-angle camera.
Let's start with Snapchat's new name - Snap Inc. According to CEO Evan Spiegel, the California-based company is taking on this new identity because it's beginning to offer products other than Snapchat. This is understandable; lots of companies, including Google and Facebook, have undergone name changes to redefine themselves. Read More
Not too long ago, Google began offering users the chance to test unfinished Chromecast firmware. The first preview firmware, version 1.21.72444, began rolling out to users recently. Google's release notes for the update only state, "General bug fixes and stability improvements." Really helpful, Google.
Thankfully, tipster Rafael sent us the screenshots above and below. They indicate that all references to the word 'Chrome' have been removed. The current public firmware shows the Chrome logo when the device starts up, which is now replaced by a Google logo. Read More
Setting up and using 2-factor authentication on a Google account used to be a fairly miserable affair. The sign-in process lurched from a native interface into a browser where users were expected to quickly enter codes, various apps weren't compatible and required special 1-time use passwords, and the app for generating codes felt completely unfinished. These days, all of those problems have been solved, and now Google's Authenticator app is even taking steps to further improve its look and usefulness. The latest update brings a great looking refresh to the UI, adds a dark mode, and finally adds its own built-in scanner functionality. Read More
Allo was finally released earlier this week, much to my own excitement. Google's latest messaging app seems pretty appealing in some regards and I am always willing to try something new. Thus far, I am enjoying it.
It seems that I am not alone. Allo is listed as number one in the Top Free Apps chart in the Play Store. That means it is beating Facebook/Messenger, Snapchat, and Instagram. It is mirroring its cousin, Duo, which also reached number one in the Top Free chart shortly after its release just over a month ago.
From this vantage, it is pretty easy to draw parallels between the two apps — both were announced together as Google's new messaging solution. Read More
Eight years - that's how long Android has been available to the public for. September 23rd, 2008 marked two huge events in Android's history: T-Mobile's release of the G1, the first Android device available to the masses, and Google's release of the Android 1.0 SDK. Happy birthday, Android! Read More