BBC's micro:bit is an ARM-based embedded system with an accelerometer, magnetometer, Bluetooth, USB, 25 LED lights, and 2 programmable buttons, that is part of a BBC initiative to enhance computer education in the UK. The small board should be given for free to all year 7 students in the country to help them write software and build new computer things. It has a dedicated website to get started and desktop applications to connect to computers.
But now students will also be able to try their code on-the-go and wirelessly from their phones thanks to the new Android app. Developed by Samsung (which has partnered with the BBC as part of its Corporate Citizenship program), the app has four main sections to discover others' code on the micro:bit website, write your own code, connect to your micro:bit, and flash new code to see it execute.
Phone manufacturers are having a harder and harder time getting our attention when it comes to drumming up interest for new releases. LG decided that cheeky marketing would be best when announcing cases and covers for phones that don't officially exist yet. In contrast, Samsung has decided to be just plain baffling. In the "Seven Days of Unboxing" promotion, Samsung lets someone see the new phone (which is almost certainly a Galaxy S7 and/or S7 Edge) for 30 seconds, after which they get to make an artist's interpretation for the audience.
When a manufacturer open sources the code that makes their device work, it's an occasion worth noting. This is one of the strengths of Android, the availability of files that enable developers and tinkerers to create software that can replace the firmware that our devices ship with. It's one of Android's differentiating factors compared to iOS and Windows Phone.
Sony is becoming less and less of a factor in the smartphone world, but their camera sensor modules are second to none. You can find Sony's Exmor camera sensors in more or less every high-end phone on the market these days, including Samsung's Galaxy line and the iPhone. So when the company announces a new high-end sensor, it's kind of a big deal. That's the case today: Sony's camera division has revealed the IMX318, a new sensor with more megapixels, tiny dimensions, and a host of built-in features.
The IMX318 uses 22.5 megapixels, which is a modest bump over the previous 20MP design.
Dubizzle/OLX is the Arab equivalent of Craigslist. You can find ads for anything and everything on it, and today, if you go checking the United Arab Emirates section of the site looking for a brand new phone, you can find two peculiar items: brand new unannounced phones. Some enterprising user has gotten their hands on both the LG G5 and Samsung Galaxy S7 and is offering them for sale right away before their almost-certain launch at MWC on February 21.
Both Christmas and Valentine's are over, but Verizon doesn't seem to be aware of that. It has decided to wrap up its OTA updates with a bow and deliver them straight to your phone so you can enjoy some Marshmallow flavor before the end of winter.
Both the LG G3 and LG G4 are getting updated to Android 6.0, the former to version VS98546A and the latter to version VS98624C. Verizon details the new features with short descriptions and some screenshots so you can already go take a look and see how LG's flavor of Marshmallow will look like. There's Now on Tap, Doze mode, runtime permissions, silent mode, Direct Share, and more.
LG is going to announce the G5 at MWC in just a few days, but that's not all. The smartphone maker has taken the wraps off the Stylus 2, a considerably less exciting phone, but one that won't make such a big dent in your bank account. Plus, it has a stylus. I know, who would have thought?
Google has been on a kick lately with Android ads featuring the "Be together. Not the same" slogan, and the latest uses a piano to make its point. The ad shows what it would be like if all those keys were the same instead of different, which is fun and kind of clever. However, the @Android Twitter account got a little carried away with the letter "C."
After taking its sweet time releasing the Xperia Z5 and Z5 Compact in the US, Sony thought charging $600 and $500 respectively for the devices seemed like a good idea. Well, they're already discounted via Amazon for $50-60 off after going on sale February 7th.