One of the features buried in Android N while it was still a Developer Preview was seamless update. Just like Chromebooks, Android devices would be able to download new OTAs in the background, install them while they're still running, and only switch to the updated software after a reboot. We later learned that existing Nexus devices would not benefit from the option since they didn't have the partitioning necessary to manage the technical feat of having two firmwares installed at the same time, even if temporarily.
So in order to see seamless update in action — or not see them, that's the goal really — we had to wait until the Pixel shipped, since it's the first phone to support them out of the box, and until there was an OTA update for it. Read More
Mark it down, everyone: LG is the second OEM to start the Nougat rollout to its early 2016 phone, the G5. Seeing as the V20 launched with 7.0, LG already had a head start on the update wars this year. The catch here for most of us reading this is that the update is starting in South Korea. The claim is that the rest of the world will see it in the "coming weeks." Read More
Late last week, an eagle-eyed XDA user and Galaxy S7 edge owner noticed an app in the Galaxy Apps store entitled "Galaxy beta program." Not unexpectedly, many owners of Galaxy S7-series phones, myself included, got excited. Now, thanks to a major oversight on Samsung's part, we've got a ton of information about Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Beta Program.
Starting November 9th, select Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge models in the United States, United Kingdom, South Korea, and China will be permitted to enroll in the Galaxy Beta Program. This program will allow participants to try out Android 7.0 Nougat, in hopes that they'll provide feedback helpful to engineers. Read More
Google's Pixel went up for pre-order on October 4th, and the first versions to sell out were the limited edition Really blue finish (a temporary US exclusive). Within hours of the phones' announcement, in fact, there were no more Really blue Pixels to be had. Since then, they've never come back in stock (at least not for any appreciable time we're aware of), and many people have begun to assume that the brief first wave of sales was the end of the road for Really blue after all.
Not so, according to Google. After a reader reached out to tell us they had heard from a Google product manager that the Really blue device was no longer on sale and would not be restocked, we got in touch with the company. Read More
Huawei has made some great hardware, but the software is another story. The EMUI Android skin has been consistently sluggish, confusing, and redundant. Huawei has been promising a big redesign in EMUI 5.0, and now users of the Honor 8 have a shot at trying it out. You have to apply for inclusion in the beta test, and you can do so (oddly) at XDA. Read More
In light of the recent release of Google Home, it should come as a surprise to no one that former king (or queen) of connected speakers, the Amazon Echo, would start seeing more deals. Well, here it is. The Echo is $140 on Amazon today in both colors, which is a savings of $40. Read More
High Dynamic Range, or HDR for short, is quickly gaining ground in the media industry. In a nutshell, HDR videos have a much higher contrast and color range than standard video content - essentially making the video more true to real life. Google's Chromecast Ultra, the PlayStation 4, Xbox One S, some Blu-ray players, and various other devices all support the playback of HDR video. Read More
Google's monthly Android patches are live, and it's a momentous occasion this time. This is the first cycle that the Pixel and Pixel XL are included in the lineup. In addition to the security patches, which can be read about in the security bulletin, this update should enable Daydream VR support on the Pixel phones. You can either wait for the update, or do it manually. Read More
Google's entry into the connected home market looks unassuming, but has thus far proved to be amusing. Even though it might be lacking in features and integrations right now, that could easily change down the road. In the spirit of Home's release, iFixit has given us their sacred teardown tradition to determine repairability for the smart speaker. Complete with photos and x-ray shots of the whole process, the process showed a few surprises. Read More