The past week has been the Big-O week for all of us involved in Google's ecosystem and the Android world. The follow-up to Android 7.0 Nougat was announced as Android O — full name still unknown — and the developer preview images were made available for those who want to test it out and check all the new features.
That caused our inboxes to overflow with tips of all the major and minor and super minor changes in Android O coming from our readers, and it got our team to work overtime to verify and report them. We still have many O feature spotlights on our to-do list, some of which we're still investigating, but in the meantime, we thought we'd put together one list of all the Android O features we've covered so far. Read More
Before there was Allo and Duo, before Hangouts was unveiled, there was Google Talk. In some ways, it was better than the Hangouts platform that replaced it. Talk had a real desktop app, and if you didn't like it, you could use any XMPP client to communicate. You could even send messages to users on other XMPP-powered services - a huge difference from today's proprietary messaging services. Read More
We already covered that Amazon will sell Prime-exclusive Moto G5 Plus models with lockscreen ads, but other retailers have begun to take pre-orders for the phone as well. Best Buy, Motorola, B&H, and Ting are now selling the G5 Plus, with a release date set for March 31. Read More
When the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge launched in March of last year, they received fantastic reviews. Everyone, including the notoriously-critical David, raved about their fantastic AMOLED displays, water resistance, more grown-up software, excellent cameras, and so much more. Virtually any and all niggles that the Galaxy S6 warranted were fixed in the latest iteration. The S7 edge, in particular, received extraordinarily high praise for its gorgeous curved screen and excellent battery life.
However, Samsung devices aren't exactly well-known for holding up well over time. With the highly-anticipated Galaxy S8 launch rapidly approaching, it's time to take a look at how the Galaxy S7 edge is doing, one year after its debut. Read More
Multi-window was one of the biggest and most useful additions to Android 7.0 Nougat. It made its debut on Android with the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 all the way back in 2012, but it took a full four years to make its way into stock Android. It's since become a staple for many people; the convenience of watching a YouTube video while simultaneously scrolling through a Twitter or Facebook feed just can't be beat. With the O Developer Preview, Google has improved multi-window by enabling users to maintain a view of the app they've minimized when they head into the launcher, as well as expand or maximize it. Read More
In late June of last year, Amazon introduced its Prime Exclusive program, which offered unlocked phones to Prime members at a discount in exchange for a few Amazon apps and ads on them. It was a rather intriguing concept, and it's proven to be a success. David even used a BLU R1 HD in $60 Prime Exclusive guise for a month to see how a smartphone that cheap would fare. Now, Amazon is releasing another $60 Prime Exclusive phone in the form of the Alcatel A30, as well as the not-$60 Moto G5 Plus. Read More
LG has already announced the G6, its flagship for this year, but people on a budget are not to be left out. The Korean manufacturer unveiled the K20, the successor to last year's K10. The specs are pretty low-end, but that is to be expected. Strangely enough, the T-Mobile version (K20 Plus) and the Verizon one (K20 V) have some slightly different specs from each other. Read More
Once upon a time, I was able to get most of my communication done through Hangouts. Between its support for standard SMS, Google Voice, and normal Hangouts conversations, it was an incredibly useful tool. It even could even merge SMS and Hangouts conversations into the same thread, much like iMessage on the iPhone.
Over the past year or so, Google has been separating all this functionality into separate apps. Google started asking SMS users to switch to Messages, then removed merged conversations, and finally launched a new separate Google Voice app. The company has also been trying to move people off Hangouts itself, with its new Allo and Duo apps. Read More
Chrome 58 has graduated to beta status, moving one step closer to the stable channel. This time around, Google has been working on new features for Progressive Web Apps (and normal sites), improvements to Chrome Custom Tabs, and more. Read More
The Gear S3 is Samsung's latest Tizen-based smartwatch, which comes in two variants. The Frontier is more "rugged" and has LTE, and the Classic has a slightly sleeker frame and no LTE. The Gear S3 family has grown today, at least in theory. Samsung is on hand at Baselworld, a watch conference in Basel, Switzerland. It's showing off three new concept versions of the Gear S3, one of which is literally a pocket watch. Read More